In-house or outsourced ultrasonic cleaning, what is right for you?

The pros of doing it yourself:

 

You are in control, to do it when you want

You can quickly decide if a part needs cleaning there and then so you can schedule downtime with ease. Keeping your process working is of paramount importance so the quicker it can be done the better. It also gives you the freedom to choose the level of cleanliness, either you just want a fast clean to remove some contaminants to keep work flowing or you can choose to have a deep clean. Time is in your hands.

You are in control, to do it how you want

Your parts or items have specific cleaning requirements and nobody is better qualified to know the cleanliness specifications than yourself. You can choose to clean them fast in strong chemicals or slowly with less hazardous types. The outcome is completely up to you and you can decide when a job is good enough or not in the moment without waiting for return delivery.

Peace of mind

It can be difficult letting go, like many companies some of your parts may cost tens of thousands of pounds and be very sensitive, fragile and difficult to transport. Having them cleaned within your 4 walls by your own staff keeps all the anxieties of sending them out into the world at bay.

Cost

For most companies keeping costs down is a top priority.

A DIY approach can be very cost effective when dealing with very high volumes. Cleaning companies usually discount high volumes but it’s still a significant cost that could otherwise be taken in house.

Transport is another cost not to be overlooked if you require high volume cleaning then transport is going to be another significant price to factor in. By having the cleaning equipment on site you would save thousands of pounds annually or even monthly on courier services.

One of the greatest costs of all is damage to your parts and the possible upsetting of the supply chain. By sending parts out the risk of damage increases massively, you must put your faith blindly into the people delivering and cleaning your items. Cleaning internally ensures the greatest possible care is taken when cleaning goods.

Flexibility

Overseeing your own cleaning operation gives you ultimate flexibility, you can alter time, process, chemicals, items and most importantly standards. It allows you to prioritize things according to live dynamic situations, you can choose to clean it now or after the shift you can pause work for a clean and restart it as quick as possible. Flexibility is freedom in the workplace.

Choosing the right supplier

When you take on your own cleaning operation you must carefully consider where and who you buy your ultrasonic cleaning tanks from. There are many ultrasonic tank manufacturers around but very few ultrasonic cleaning experts around. It’s all well and good purchasing a brand new £20,000 tank with all the bells and whistles on it, but… What chemical will you use on the contaminant? How long should you leave your parts in? Will the chemical effect the material you are cleaning? The ultrasonics are making a high pitched noise, what is that?

These are some of the questions you will come up with when starting out and 9 times out of 10 the manufacturer hasn’t got the foggiest idea what you mean.

You must seek the advice of an ultrasonic cleaning expert to help guide you through the setup, maintenance and ongoing cleaning requirements you may need. Ultrasonics is very easy to get right BUT it’s even easier to get wrong.

 

The pros of outsourced cleaning:

 

Focus on your own business

In your business you have your own experts in producing your own products, usually highly skilled and well trained people with a deep knowledge base on a specific task or part. Having your highly skilled operatives also doing the cleaning is a waste of valuable time and resources.

Let the experts handle it

Although you may know exactly how clean you want something to be, you may not know exactly how to get it that way. A cleaning expert has usually encountered every type of contaminant, material, small jobs, big jobs, nasty jobs, smelly jobs and everything in between. Like you they are experts in their field can usually look at a job with just a few details and work out the best method, fastest turnaround and likely results.

Hassle free

Having an outsourced clean frees you of the hassle of managing an entire cleaning process, as you well know the management of people is a difficult one at best adding more processes to your already busy shop floor can be overwhelming. When an engineer is asked to do a weeks worth of cleaning, something which he didn’t train for and has no intention of making a career out of, it can leave a sour taste in the mouth.

Health and safety

Some of the cleaning solutions used in the industry can be very harmful. Heavy caustic alkalis and strong hazardous acids, perfect for cleaning purposes but need to be handled with care and used correctly.

Training and knowledge of each chemical is absolutely mandatory. This is something that a cleaning expert should already be very familiar with. Having to learn all this for yourself is a big undertaking and expert advice should be taken.

Another aspect of health and safety are the environmental implications when disposing of solutions after a clean. When dealing with potentially deadly chemicals plus the added contaminant that has been removed (sometimes far worse for the environment than the chemicals themselves). The utmost care must be taken that the correct disposal procedure is being followed for each chemical and each contaminant. This can be financially and time costly for a business trying to do cleaning in house, whereas an outsourced cleaning professional will already have these procedures in place.

Equipment / cost

Setting up your own ultrasonic cleaning system in house can be very costly, you would need a very heavy initial investment to get started, and if you aren’t going to be using it day in and day out you might not have wanted to spend that kind of money in the first place. The outsourced service is there for you whenever you require it so that you need never throw money at something you don’t know how to use and have no knowledge on cleaning.

If you have large volumes of cleaning that would occupy far too much time in-house you can usually rely on bulk rate price for a professional cleaning service. This means you can concentrate on the things that are important to you and leave the cleaning to the cleaners.

Adapting to you

An ultrasonic cleaning expert draws on all his knowledge from all job types to give you the best outcome for your specific requirements. If your process changes or your requirements change or if you have an entirely new piece of equipment or part that needs cleaning, the experts probably already know how to proceed and can alleviate any stress or concerns you might have moving forward. Having that expertise at your fingertips means you can confidently move forward in an ever changing environment, knowing your cleaning needs will be met every step of the way.

Consistency and peace of mind

Let’s not beat around the bush, an ultrasonic cleaning expert with years and years of knowledge through trial and error, training and education perfecting methods over a decade or more, will most certainly achieve a higher cleaning standard than that of someone “having a go at it” in house. Consistency is key in this profession, it’s all well and good cleaning something, but you have to clean it to standard set by the client and you have to repeat this time and time again without causing damage. All this can be a lot to take on for an in-house set up so once again outsourcing passes on all this responsibility and leaves you free to run your own business.