Case Study: Robots Get a Cold Clean Blast

Case Study: Robots Get a Cold Clean Blast

RobotWorx speeds its robot cleaning
RobotWorx speeds its robot cleaning process using a dry-ice blast cleaning system from Cold Jet.

As a large robot integrator, RobotWorx of Marion, Ohio, buys and sells hundreds of used robots each year. When RobotWorx buys them, the robots typically arrive covered in grime, welding residues, paint, grease and other debris.

The cleaning process used to take a full, eight-hour day for each robot, and RobotWorx wanted to do it faster to shorten its overall robot refurbishing time. To accomplish that, the company installed an Aero Series dry-ice blast cleaning system from Cold Jet LLC (www.coldjet.com).

The Cold Jet system reduced robot cleaning time to less than two hours, saving RobotWorx more than $60 in labor costs per robot. Cold Jet systems use compressed air to accelerate recycled CO2 pellets at supersonic speeds through specialized nozzles to create mini explosions on part surfaces. The dry ice pellets are at a temperature below -107.6 degrees F., the melting point of CO2. Explosions from the pellets hitting the relatively warm surfaces clean the robots without harming sensitive electrical controllers, cables or wiring.

Upon impact, the Cold Jet CO2 pellets sublimate and do not create any secondary waste product. That has allowed RobotWorx to reduce its use of cleaning solvents by 75 percent and to reduce the costs of other supplies that previously were needed to clean the robots by hand.

“Unlike steam cleaning or using water, the dry-ice blast system lets us clean electrical equipment because it doesn’t leave a moisture blanket on or inside the robot. Since the system saves us time on the initial cleaning of robots, our entire refurbishing process is faster, and we can prepare more robots for customers,” Matt Schrift, shop manager for RobotWorx, said.

Schrift also said that the major advantage of cleaning robots ahead of time is that they appear more attractive to buyers. And, if a clean robot stays in storage too long, it has to be cleaned again. That makes having a fast and effective cleaning process even more important.

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