Since William Hughes, a specialist manufacturer of springs and wire components, acquired the ultrasonic cleaning company AC Services in 2015, it has installed an 80m² high specification clean room at its Stalbridge, Dorset headquarters rated at Class 7 in accordance with ISO 14644-1, the only one of its kind in the UK. The clean room is already being used by some of the best known manufacturers in sectors such as aerospace and hydraulics for the cleaning of small batch, precision machined and fabricated parts to meticulous standards.
“From the outset we wanted to create a facility featuring the latest, modular clean room technologies and furniture,” explains William Hughes Special Processes Manager, Shaun Tattershall. “We have adopted the previous solvent and aqueous cleaning systems – both of which offer ultrasonic capability – used by AC Services, but pretty much everything else is new.”
This includes high grade stainless steel furniture that is designed to help minimise particulate levels. What’s more, the open plan clean room has been designed for optimum product flow based on the latest lean manufacturing methodologies. It will thus prove ideal for any company looking to subcontract its cleaning requirements, not just from the aerospace and hydraulics industries, but also defence, nuclear, medical, electronics and oil and gas.
The new clean room, which incorporates an inspection dark room so that parts can be viewed under ultra-violet light, is already being used for oxygen-related cleaning applications, predominantly for aerospace giant, Honeywell. Typically, these comprise high precision machined components, springs and other parts that go into oxygen equipment such as breathing apparatus, face masks and ducting. These parts, some of which are also used in liquid oxygen (LOX) systems, are cleaned using approved cleaning solvents and solutions.
“The existing class room specification for these products is ISO Class 8, so our ISO Class 7 facility is more than suitable – it’s the equivalent of a Class 10,000 cleanroom using the Fed Stan 209E,” says Mr Tattershall.
The solvent and aqueous cleaning systems within the new facility at William Hughes can accommodate precision parts up to 300 by 200 mm in size. Along with metallic parts, materials such as rubbers or plastics (or a combination of these with metal) can also be cleaned.
For further details, contact: William Hughes Ltd, Station Road, Stalbridge, Dorset DT10 2RZ. Tel: (01963) 363377 Fax: (01963) 363640