Laser Cleaning: A Miracle For Industrial Surface Cleaning Applications

Environmental responsibility is being nowadays featured, challenging traditional business/industrial processes around the world and developing new, greener business models. More and more companies are striving to reduce their carbon footprint and create a greener, cleaner and healthier environment for all. Today, environmental responsibility is a significant factor driving how companies structure and conduct their manufacturing […]

Anh Son Ngo
Published 02 Dec 2022
Laser Cleaning: A Miracle For Cleaning Applications (Source: Internet)

Environmental responsibility is being nowadays featured, challenging traditional business/industrial processes around the world and developing new, greener business models. More and more companies are striving to reduce their carbon footprint and create a greener, cleaner and healthier environment for all.

Today, environmental responsibility is a significant factor driving how companies structure and conduct their manufacturing operations. Ensure parts and surfaces are free of contamination before coating, welding, or gluing. The process of removing such contaminants is an integral part of the manufacturing process and has primarily been accomplished using conventional environmentally unfriendly means. This is one of the greenest business practices to consider this year.

About industrial laser cleaning

Fortunately, the advent of greener cleaning technologies such as laser cleaning is revolutionizing the way the industry performs this process. Basically, industrial laser cleaning uses a high-energy laser beam to irradiate a surface to instantly strip or vaporize rust, dirt, and other unwanted material.

New model laser cleaning machine (Source: Internet)
New model laser cleaning machine (Source: Internet)

Unlike conventional ultrasonic, chemical, or mechanical cleaning methods, laser cleaning does not require the use of CFC-based organic solvents. Most of them cause significant damage to the environment and the ozone layer. This is one of the things to think about when trying to make your business greener. Laser cleaning tops the list of green cleaning processes. It requires no consumables, contains no contaminating components, and is harmless to the environment and operators. 

The latter advantage is very important to industries that use traditional aggressive cleaning methods to remove paint, oxide, and rust. Such processes are unsustainable and can compromise material quality, especially in the automotive and aerospace industries where the final product must meet very high-quality standards and durability.

In essence, laser cleaner offers the industry a cost-effective and eco-friendly solution for treating a wide variety of surfaces with minimal environmental impact. With more organizations joining the Go Green movement and revolutionizing industrial processes to be greener, it’s only a matter of time before laser cleaning goes mainstream.

How laser cleaning works (Source: Internet) 
How laser cleaning works (Source: Internet) 

Industrial laser cleaning technology is now widely adopted by top players in the shipbuilding, power generation, military and defense, aerospace, and automotive industries. However, many companies are concerned about the potential impact of introducing new technologies, and complex processes and redesigning production lines to achieve new levels of environmental friendliness.

For such companies, it is important to identify potential bottlenecks on the production line and demonstrate the efficiency and effectiveness of new technology prior to deployment. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the key reasons why lasers are an economically and environmentally viable alternative to traditional cleaning methods.

How can laser cleaning technology help reduce costs?

Reduce energy consumption

Laser technology is the most energy-efficient method of removing surface contamination in industrial applications. Therefore, companies implementing laser cleaning technology find that they use less energy (resulting in lower electricity bills).

Laser machines use significantly less energy than other alternative industrial cleaning solutions such as sandblasting machines. The operator can control the duration and intensity of energy delivery. In this way, companies can reduce their carbon footprint, minimize the negative environmental impact of their industrial activities, and save operating costs.

Reduction of consumables

Unlike traditional cleaning methods, laser cleaning does not require abrasives, chemicals, or other (dangerous) consumables. On the one hand, this reduces the total cost of ownership. Additionally, it is one of the few industrial cleaning methods that does not produce or require hazardous substances. This makes it easier for manufacturers to meet increasingly stringent OSHA and EPA regulations. 

Additionally, laser cleaning produces significantly less waste than other cleaning methods. This reduces waste disposal costs, reduces operating costs, improves profit margins, and enables a more environmentally friendly cleaning process.

Long product life

At first glance, the cost of purchasing and installing an industrial laser cleaning system may seem high, but eliminating ongoing costs (such as repairs and maintenance) makes it a wise investment in the long run. Laser systems are extremely durable and last much longer than traditional cleaning systems.

Most laser cleaning equipment can provide up to 100,000 hours (continuous) of operation before a problem occurs. With this effective cleaning method, companies benefit from a lower total cost of ownership (compared to other cleaning systems), a safer process for operators (instantaneous evaporation of contaminants), and a more environmentally friendly operating model. 

Waste reduction

Laser cleaning does not generate toxic waste. All contaminants and unwanted substances vaporize instantly upon contact. The use of chemical solutions for certain applications (such as removing paint from metal surfaces) creates large amounts of pollution and wastewater.

Disposal of such chemical waste should be done in accordance with best practices and government regulations. This drives up operating costs and complicates the production process. Companies can avoid this hassle (and create hazardous chemical waste) by using laser cleaning technology.

Supporting the economy with laser technology without endangering the environment

Whether it’s preparing surfaces for subsequent processes (plating, soldering, welding, etc.), removing corrosion, decontaminating harmful substances, or preventing damage to the underlying metal substrate, laser cleaning always delivers excellent results.

Laser cleaning method is eco-friendly (Source: Internet)
The laser cleaning method is eco-friendly (Source: Internet)

It provides flexible deployment options for the industry. Integrated into production lines, stand-alone automation for dedicated high-volume applications, or handheld (mobile) for intermittent and infrequent use cases.

Moreover, it is a more economical, efficient, and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional cleaning techniques. For companies looking to minimize the use of abrasives and chemicals in industrial cleaning applications, this is a no-brainer. 

Industrial laser cleaning is a great way to create a more sustainable business.

There are countless ways to make your business more sustainable. Once you get used to traditional cleaning methods, you can consider laser cleaning, which will amaze you with its effectiveness. This will allow us to be more environmentally conscious and create a greener and cleaner environment for everyone.

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