Aerospace – Understanding your needs, Validated critical cleaning and drying


Understanding your needs – Validated critical cleaning and drying.

As a Project Manager or working as part of a Project Team in the aerospace industry, you will understand that any change or development to a validated critical cleaning process is a costly, time consuming and risky business.

In this very high risk sector, cleaning and drying processes form a vital part of your quality assurance so the ability to develop or retain required outcomes, including chemistry choice is essential.

Whether you are looking to process large aerospace aero structures or composites, pipes, tubes, nozzles, wings, metal castings, or fasteners your challenges remain the same

To introduce a new or replacement precision cleaning system, a different technique or cleaning chemistry, or indeed re-visit your drying process it will inevitably involve in-depth testing and approvals. In many cases the cost of such changes can be so restrictive that they can have the potential to actually prevent new or shut down existing production of lucrative products.

Your Challenge

To deliver an environmentally compliant, validated critical cleaning and drying process which is cost effective, repeatable, reliable and long lasting.

Your Solution

Through partnership and in-depth consultation with you, including planning, testing and review, the team from Layton will design and develop a tailored machine to meet your project needs and exceed your expectations – no matter how big or how small..

At Layton, we don’t just sell machines we provide solutions within budget.

Inevitably our work is highly confidential and covered by appropriate non-disclosure agreements. However as an indication that you have selected the right company below is a list of some recent projects we have been involved with in the Aerospace industry.

  • Multi-stage aqueous line for wings manufacturer
  • IPA Vapor dryer for infra-red detection

Case Study

Precision Cleaning for Aerospace - Understanding your needs

Any change in a validated cleaning process is a costly, time consuming and potentially risky business.

For companies in very high risk sectors such as Aerospace, these processes form a vital part of their quality assurance so the ability to retain proven methods, including chemistry choice is essential.

To introduce a different technique or cleaning chemistry, would generally require re-validation and inevitably means in-depth testing and approvals. In many cases the cost of such changes can be so restrictive that they can have the potential to actually shut down production of lucrative products.

The Challenge

Compliance with stricter environmental regulations is essential and perhaps the strictest environmental regulations are in place in California, which has strict and detailed levels of compliance for solvent emissions (Rule 231 for solvent degreasing).

A major, California based, aerospace manufacturer was intent on retaining their existing process and chemistry. The solvent of choice was a flammable solvent – a widely available, non-ozone-depleting, low cost solvent which has excellent soil removal and cleaning capabilities but was classed as a smog precursor in their region and virtually banned from use unless any new operating system met strict emission controls, design and operational guidelines. It was a tried and tested cleaning solvent for the company and a fully approved and validated process for their customers.

Changing the process was not an option and any new systems introduced to operate these existing processes are subject to physical checks and approval by the regulator body Santa Barbara Air Pollution Control District (SBAPCD) before they can be put into operation.

This set Layton a challenging design and manufacturing task, to develop a new effective cleaning system with significantly lower emissions than the current system and to enable the customer to meet the stricter Santa Barbara emission limits.

In addition, the customer’s engineering group had also set out parameters to minimize the impact that a new cleaning system might have on the overall manufacturing operations including reducing machine supervision and time consuming maintenance interventions.

The Solution

Through in-depth consultation with the customer, planning, testing and review, the team from Layton was able to design and develop a tailored version of its ultrasonic flammable solvent cleaning system to provide a cleaning process that not only met the strict legislative guidelines, but also duplicated the existing validated process.

At its core the system is designed as a stand-alone unit for use in a typical aerospace manufacturing environment and handles flammable solvents in a controlled, safe and environmentally compliant way.

The Result

Using the new system the customer has reduced solvent usage by a dramatic 60% in the first 6 months. Along with legislative compliance, the Layton system also offered improved safety and operational cost-savings. Safety features in a flammable solvent system are crucial, so in this instance the solvent vapor leak detection and CO2 fire suppression had to meet national approvals [NFPA] in addition to gaining the endorsement of the local City Fire Marshall and the company’s insurers.

This technology has minimized downtime and maintenance, thereby adding as much as 30% to machine utilization, with operating costs also cut by the same amount. As the system offered a smooth, programmable operation, throughput is more regulated and bottlenecks smoothed out, which has contributed to overall productivity.

The customer was so pleased they ordered another system and are regularly used as a reference site by Layton.