Problem: Spray nozzles on the automatic parts washer frequently clog with particles, causing the parts washer to be shut down
Brainstorming: clogged nozzles Particles that are washed off of the products may fall down into the water holding tank, which are then sucked up through the pump, into the hose and get stuck in the nozzles During the drying process, particles evaporate and get stuck to the nozzles During the washing, particles are removed from the product and are blasted into a nozzle
Brainstorming: particles Hard-water buildup Calcium Chips from the parts Paint chips Soap flakes Something caused by a chemical reaction Some type of gravel or dirt Salt (if the water goes through a water softener)
Analysis It might be a good idea to using air to blow off gravel, dirt, or loose particles on the parts before they are placed in the washer. This would reduce the amount of loose particles that fall into the water. Removing hard water buildup, calcium, or salt from the water can be eliminated by using filtered water in the washer. Soap flakes can be reduced by adding less “extra” soap during the course of the day. It might also be necessary to install a filter into the pump so that no soak flakes are sucked into the hose that could get stuck in the nozzle.
Management Summary The first step that should be taken is to determine how much it will cost to add filters to the water pump in the automatic parts washer. If the research determines that it will be cheaper to add a filter to the pump, than to continually spend time and money unclogging the nozzles, it will be worth purchasing and installing a filter on the pump so that the automatic parts washer is able to stay longer.
Management Summary The next thing that should be done is to test the water being used in the automatic parts washer. If it is determined that the water is hard and buildup or calcium is present in the water, management should research the costs of using filtered water so that the machine can stay in use for a longer period of time without being inoperable for maintenance. If it is determined that the water is soft, and there is too much salt in the water, management should also research the costs of using filtered water. Even if management determines that adding a filter to the pump is a good investment, it is still important to test the water so that there are potentially less particles (calcium, hard water buildup, salt) in the water so that the filter for the pump does not have to be replaced as frequently.
Management Summary Finally, management should determine if spending additional time and resources blowing air on the product(s) before placing them in the automatic parts washer is worth the cost. In order to test this, management should determine how much extra time is required. Management also needs to determine how the products are going to be blown off, whether through a high-powered fan, pressurized air, or other. Management also needs to measure the amount of particles removed from the product during this process to determine if the amount of particles removed are worth the added costs.