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acp systems AG
Designed for cleanroom use, the compact JetCell-HP cleaning cell with dry quattroClean snow jet technology enables a broad spectrum of high-purity cleaning tasks to be carried out automatically.

Compact, Automated Dry Parts Cleaning Cell

Sept. 6, 2022
A CO2-based surface-treatment process cleans parts that require a particulate- and chemical film-free preparation.

ACP SYSTEMS AG has developed the JetCell-HP cleaning cell incorporating quattroClean® snow-jet cleaning technology in a cleanroom-compatible design. The compact and digitally controllable installation performs a variety of cleaning tasks automatically, either inline or as a stand-alone device. The dry cleaning process uses climate-neutral carbon dioxide, to treat parts that require particulate- and chemical film-free cleaning.

Manufacturers of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, optics, sensor and laser technology, metrology, semiconductor manufacturing, electronics and microtechnology, have severe cleanliness specifications for parts and components because even sub-micron particulates may undermine the quality and performance of parts, as can film residues, stains, and fingerprints.

The acp systems quattroClean JetCell-HP uses climate-neutral carbon dioxide in a flexible, automated operation. The cleaning cell is made entirely of stainless steel and has smooth, homogeneous surfaces without any external screws. It integrates easily into a continuous production line or operates as a stand-alone device. All equipment components and materials are geared to cleanroom applications.

The four-stage quattroClean® process treats parts by delivering crystallized CO2 in a stream of compressed air or nitrogen to the part surface.

Thanks to the flow-optimized design of the process chamber, detached impurities, and sublimated carbon dioxide are removed quickly and effectively by the integrated extraction unit. This effectively prevents not only cleaned parts from becoming recontaminated but also dirt pockets from forming.

The quattroClean system’s cleaning effectiveness is due to the design of the wear-free, two-substance ring nozzle through which the liquid carbon dioxide is fed. This expands on exiting to form fine snow crystals, which are then bundled by a separate jacket jet of compressed air and accelerated to supersonic speed. The jet is easy to focus on a specific area. On impact with the surface to be cleaned, four mechanisms (thermal, mechanical, solvent, and sublimation) ensure that particulate and chemical-film contamination are reliably removed. The crystalline carbon dioxide sublimates completely during the cleaning process. The dry surfaces/parts can be advanced immediately to the next production step.

To ensure consistent results, the JetCell-HP has a standard sensor system that continuously measures the density of the snow jet. The cleaning cell can be integrated into and controlled by higher-level process control systems via standard interfaces. All process parameters (e.g., CO2 supply, compressed air supply, and jet time) are recorded automatically and transferred to the host computer, for parts documentation and traceability.

Customizable process parameters can be stored in the JetCell-HP control system as part-specific cleaning programs.

Besides the control system, the complete technology for the snow jet process as well as the media preparation equipment are integrated into the system housing.

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