Bill Ashby, Engineering Director

November 16, 2001

Wealdstone Engineering LTD is a Ford Q1 supplier of remanufactured engines to Ford Motor Company in Europe. We are one of Europe's leading remanufacturers with an 11,000 square meter facility on a 7 acre site that produces 15,000 petrol engines per year, plus a complete line of diesel engines and transmissions.

HISTORY OF OUR HEAD CLEANING PROJECT. The cleaning of aluminum heads was by far our most serious cleaning problem. It involved three steps, one of which was hand blasting. The most critical problem was the use of a solvent base cleaner that created severe environmental problems. In order to achieve the ISO 14001 Environmental Standard we had to eliminate solvents. For several years we looked at various cleaning systems and methods without success.

RESEARCH. I first became acquainted with MART at the AERA show in St. Louis. MART was conducting aluminum head demos at their factory so I took the tour. I was very impressed with the cleaning of the Ford CVH heads because our current method was time consuming and expensive. An agitated solvent dip, then a rinse to remove the solvent, next a drying cycle in an oven followed by a media blast each heads and, finally, a second wash to remove the media.

I sent several large batches of Zetec heads to MART and came to St. Louis for each trial. The first tests cleaned quite well, but not to the standard I was looking for. The cleaning was better with subsequent visits but still not where I needed it to be. After much discussion on how to improve the process the chief engineer of MART, Marc Treppler, suggested a unique two-speed turntable drive that allowed the nozzles to dwell on the most critical surfaces on the heads.

THE MART ORDER. After Marc came up with this proposal, without actually seeing it demonstrated, I believed that the system would work and ordered the Power Washer. On November 15 & 16, 2001 I came to St. Louis for the final run-off of the MART. The Power Washer cleans heads so well that the results exceed my expectations. The Power Washer runs eleven heads per cycle in 30 minutes. In the most critical area- the lower chamber around the valve guides on the exhaust side of the heads- were absolutely clean. This result is crucial because you cannot blast media down the tappet bores into this critical area. As we continued to run batches we noted that traces of grease remained on the top of the front cap of most Zetec heads. Mike Erslon, another MART engineer, and I fine-tuned the nozzle configuration to eliminate this minor concern so that all heads we tested came clean to our standard.

I am most pleased with the system and eagerly await the delivery and installation of my Power Washer in our plant in England.

Close Window