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Cleanliness For Optimal Diagnostics And Therapy

Cleanliness For Optimal Diagnostics And Therapy

X-ray tubes are the basis of a number of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in medicine. Manufacturing precision and cleanliness of the individual parts are key factors for the functional reliability and longevity of these high-tech components. A leading manufacturer relies on equipment from Ecoclean and UCM for cleaning.

Shortly after the discovery of X-rays by Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen on November 8, 1895, the development and manufacture of X-ray tubes at Philips Medical Systems DMC GmbH began with Carl Heinrich Florenz Müller, a glassblower born in Thuringia. As early as March 1896, he made the first X-ray tube in his workshop in Hamburg. Three years later, the technology pioneer was granted the first patent for an X-ray tube with water-cooled anti-cathode. The breathtaking pace of tube development and the enormous success of X-ray technology spurred demand worldwide, turning the craftsman’s workshop more and more into a specialist factory for X-ray tubes. In 1927, Philips, the only shareholder at the time, took over the factory.

Innovation and High Manufacturing Precision

Ever since then, the company has been shaping X-ray technology with innovative solutions and continuous improvements. The products used in Philips Healthcare systems, as well as those sold under the Dunlee brand, contribute significantly to advances in diagnostic imaging, computer tomography and interventional radiology. 

“Besides modern manufacturing technologies, high precision and ongoing process optimisation, component cleanliness plays an important role in ensuring the functional reliability and longevity of our products,” says André Hatje, Senior Engineer for Process Development in the X-ray Tubes Division. Residual particle contamination specifications that have to be met when cleaning the various X-ray tube parts underline this: a maximum of two 5 µm particles and one 10 µm particle.

Removing Molybdenum Grinding Dust With a Standard System

The high cleanliness requirements were one criterion when the plant for cleaning spiral groove bearing components was replaced. The bearings, which form the heart of high-tech X-ray tubes, are made of molybdenum. After the groove structure has been applied by laser, a dry grinding step is performed. This is followed by cleaning, during which the grinding dust and any traces of smoke from the laser process still present in the grooves must be removed. To simplify process validation, among other things, a compact standard machining was needed for this cleaning process. Against this backdrop, the process developer approached several cleaning equipment manufacturers, including Ecoclean GmbH in Filderstadt. 

Equipped for Fine Cleaning

The machine for immersion and spraying processes is operated with the same acidic cleaning medium previously used at Philips and has a footprint of just 6.9 m2. It is fitted with three flood tanks for the washing step and two rinsing processes. Their flow-optimised, cylindrical design and upright position prevent dirt from accumulating in the tanks. In addition, each tank has a separate media circuit with full-flow filtration so that the cleaning and rinsing fluids are filtered during filling and emptying as well as in the bypass. The deionised water used for the final rinsing process is treated in the integrated Aquaclean system. 

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Ecoclean: Service App Optimises Communication

Ecoclean: Service App Optimises Communication

Ecoclean: A system reports an error, a problem arises during maintenance work, a spare part is not in stock or there’s a technical query about a machine or process: these are only some of the reasons why the equipment manufacturer’s service team needs to be contacted in order to get a cleaning system operational again as quickly as possible.

Fast and straight to the right service employee

To give plant users even faster and more effective support in such cases, Ecoclean also offers a range of digital services. These include the new service app for IOS and Android that is designed for smartphones as well as for the web interfaces of desktops and tablets. The application software, which is currently available in seven different languages, automatically forwards service requests directly to the service staff at the responsible Ecoclean branch.

The app has various menu options for contacting the service team, such as ‘Report malfunction’, ‘Spare parts inquiry’ and ‘Technical support’. This pre-selection helps to ensure that the request is routed to the appropriate member of the relevant service team. If a company has more than one Ecoclean cleaning system in operation, the machine in question can be selected from the ‘My Machines’ menu. This way, service employee know exactly which system is concerned as soon as they are contacted, and have the necessary documentation at hand.

Easy to use and reliable: real-time connection via chat and video

During the service request, a two-way real-time connection with chat, photo and video functions simplifies communication between the machine operator and the Ecoclean service team. For example, the photo of a defective component can be sent live, enabling it to be quickly identified by the service employee and an order or quote initiated. The information and instructions required to remedy a problem or for system maintenance can be transmitted directly to customer’s staff by smartphone. The video chat function allows helpdesk employees to follow the work being carried out in real time and intervene immediately if something goes ‘wrong’. With the telephone or chat function, queries can be answered straightaway or more detailed instructions given.

This helps make sure that malfunctions or maintenance tasks are not only rectified or performed more quickly by the plant user’s staff but also more reliably. Consequently, the digitised service support minimises unscheduled machine downtimes and associated production losses. This also reduces the number of necessary trips by support staff as well as CO2 emissions.


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Ecoclean GmbH: Cleaning System EcoCduty

Ecoclean GmbH: Cleaning System EcoCduty

Ecoclean GmbH’s solvent-based large-chamber cleaning system EcoCduty is designed for loads measuring up to 1250 x 840 x 970 mm and weighing up to 1 tonne. It uses hydrocarbons or polar solvents and operates under full vacuum. Its modular design provides adaptability to individual user needs. Configured as a vapour-degreaser in its standard version, the system is additionally available with one or two stainless steel flood tanks – e.g., for a process comprising vapour degreasing and injection flood washing or vapour degreasing, injection flood washing plus a preserving step. Moreover, the unit is perfectly suitable for cleaning off sulphur-containing oils.

EcoCcore – A new dimension in solvent-based cleaning

Rising demands for the quality of parts require increasingly complex solutions from industrial parts cleaning processes. With the EcoCcore a solvent cleaning machine perfectly tailored to satisfy these requirements has been designed. The system offers maximum flexibility and high capacity with respect to throughput and volumes, with optimized cost efficiency as the result.

Maximum flexibility and high capacity with enhanced cost efficiency

The system design of the EcoCcore combines all the benefits of a solvent-based cleaning system with extremely simple operation.

Users benefit from:

  • A higher load capacity: increases throughput and lowers unit costs.
  • Adaptable operation: with hydrocarbons and modified alcohols for changing production conditions.
  • Optimized system technology: for improved part cleaning.
  • Exceptional ease of maintenance: smart modular construction facilitates ease of maintenance.
  • Intuitive system operation: a new HMI panel with clearly laid out process tracking which includes integrated partial visualization.
  • High flexibility: via a variety of available load compositions, combination filter housing and component preservation options..



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