Using Ultrasonics to Clean Medical Devices


Challenges with Cleaning Medical Devices

Integrating ultrasonics with immersion washers has proven to be an effective way to clean intricate medical devices. Before processing them for distribution, cleaning medical devices pose a unique problem to manufacturers due to their intricate and delicate nature.  Any residue left behind from the manufacturing process could affect the device’s intended purpose or cause adverse health effects for the person receiving the device. 

Many medical devices such as stents, prosthetics, implants, and other devices like ventilator equipment or testing tubes must meet strict guidelines set by the FDA.  

Medical devices like these can be difficult to clean due to intricacies, small holes, recesses, and crevices that can gather dirt and residuals. 

Cleaning Solutions 

Ultrasonic cleaning kills bacteria and other pathogens through physical means and temperature rather than by a chemical reaction. This removes any need for harsh compounds. 

Ultrasonic cleaning uses bubbles induced by high-frequency pressure (sound) waves to agitate a liquid. In addition, the agitation produces high forces on contaminants adhering to substrates like metals, plastics, glass, rubber, and ceramics. This action also penetrates blind holes, cracks, and recesses.

Ultrasonic cleaners can also remove soil from joints, crevices, lumens, and other areas that are difficult to clean using other methods. To accomplish this fine cleaning, ultrasonic cleaners use a process known as cavitation.

How Do Medical Parts Cleaning Systems Work? 

Once placed inside the immersion washer, parts are submerged underwater where a process called cavitation takes place. Cavitation uses sound waves to create bubbles within the liquid. The bubbles then travel up through the liquid and implode when they hit the object within the parts washer. The force of the bubbles imploding loosens soils and debris with force. 

Ultrasonic parts washers can emit sound waves between the frequencies of 25 kHz to 40 kHz. Medical devices need to be cleaned with high frequencies so that the complexities and details in the devices can be reached and any microscopic soils can be removed. Whereas, lower frequencies are most often used for removing contaminants like grease and oil from surfaces.

These ultrasonic features in combination with detergent and agitation within the immersion washer leave medical devices microscopically clean. 

Choosing An Aqueous Parts Washer 

Better Engineering’s ImmersoSonic line comes with optional ultrasonic cleaning, perfect for your medical device needs.  We have the ultrasonic capabilities you need and many of our parts washers can integrate directly into your current production line. 

View Better Engineering’s ImmersoSonic Systems

Multi-tank systems are most effective in cleaning medical devices. Multi-tank immersion systems remove large particles in the early stages of cleaning. This ensures large particles do not interfere with the later stages of sanitation. 

Better Engineering machines comply with and exceed all regulatory safety standards such as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) guidelines.

Customers can count on Better Engineering to find a cleaning solution that matches their needs. In our test lab, we can test your parts free of charge. This guarantees the system you choose always meets your cleanliness standards.

Is an aqueous parts washer the solution to your needs? To find out, speak with one of our machine specialists today.

Choosing an Aqueous Parts Washer

Aqueous Parts Washers

Selecting an aqueous parts washer that meets all of your cleaning needs can be challenging. Parts washers are rarely one-size-fits-all and it can be difficult to decide what type of machine will bring your company the most value. To make the process easier, when choosing an aqueous cleaning solution there are three main questions you should ask yourself before purchasing.

How Clean is Clean Enough

Deciding the level of cleanliness you need your parts washer to perform will be a key factor in choosing a machine. Better Engineering’s aqueous parts washers can clean across a large spectrum of needs. Options span from visibly clean to microscopically clean.

Machines that clean to visible standards are perfect for those looking to remove remnants such as dirt, grease, grime, and other contaminants. Therefore, these heavy-duty cleaning systems ideal for manufacturing and industrial rebuild/repair industries.

Meanwhile, companies part of federally regulated industries will likely need parts cleaned to the highest hygienic standards. Better Engineering’s machines meet and exceed cGMP, FSMA, and HACCP standards and can easily remove biological hazards. These sanitization machines are well suited for the food/beverage, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and medical industries.

What Size and Shape are the Parts

If the parts that you need to be cleaned are small, you may be interested in a drum washer or immersion washer. Drum and immersion washers clean small items quickly and efficiently. However, large such as totes or dunnage may be best cleaned by conveyor or turntable washers. These machines clean large items quickly and efficiently and can be customized with robot arm integration.

How Fast Does the Parts Washer Need to Operate

Your company likely has requirements for how many parts need to be cleaned on a daily, hourly, or weekly basis. Because of this, is important to take into consideration how quickly a machine cleans parts when choosing a machine. This will ensure that the machine meets your company’s parts cleaning needs and cleaning deadlines.

Companies with high volume needs will likely machine with high levels of automation and robot integration. Companies looking to clean a few parts per day may find more value in an operator-run machine.

If you are unsure of the type of machine that may best fit your needs, contact us. Better Engineering has a complete Engineering Process Lab and Machine Demonstration Test Center to test and evaluate your parts. These processes help you find the perfect aqueous parts washer for your application. For a complimentary parts cleaning consultation, speak to a Better Engineering machine specialist today.