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High-tech cleaning solution saves manufacturers money

Posted: April 30, 2014 4:06 p.m.
Updated: April 30, 2014 4:06 p.m.

David Jackson, president of CleanLogix, watches the robotic spray arm as it cleans electronic parts with a spray of CO2 at the CleanLogix lab in Valencia.

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CleanLogix of Santa Clarita uses its C02 water-free cleaning technology for manufacturing industries that require high performance and reliability in the manufacturing process of aerospace components, medical device parts and disc drive parts.

And in the process, its technology saves companies the cost of water, energy usages and waste water cleanup, said an executive for the Valencia-based company.

Having built a business around a technology he pioneered while at Hughes Aircraft, President and Founder David Jackson refers to his team as the “cleaning geeks.”

Using a waste byproduct, CleanLogix treats a carbon dioxide gas liquid to remove all contaminants, re-condenses it, and then drops the temperature way down transforming the byproduct into a pure liquid mix – which is then essentially freeze-dried with minute particles of dry ice injected into the product.

When the product is sprayed or blasted onto a component, the result is a dry-clean process without the use of water, and without damaging or scratching a part.

“We’re mainly in markets where, if you don’t remove all the contaminants, it will affect the quality, performance or reliability of the product,” Jackson said.

As technology advances the production of smaller and smaller electronics, semi-conductors, devices and components, it becomes more challenging for companies to clean their devices of contaminants.

“When working with very complex devices, water can become entrapped in them, and companies can’t be assured they’ll get that water out, which then dries and leaves residue on the parts, introduces corrosion or damages the product,” he said.

The technology also eliminates the costs associated with the manufacturing processes today, as well as the cost of waste water clean-up, removal of hazardous solvents and deionizing water to remove all of the minerals that might damage a component.

“We can lower manufacturing costs by 50 percent by converting water to be used, and the cost of energy to dry those parts, by using C02,” Jackson said. “It also reduces water usage in the manufacturing process.”

There’s another benefit, he claims. Cleaning tools used in the manufacturing process with his company’s C02 technology gives a longer shelf life to the tools.

Not only can it clean the tools, removing very tiny particles or oily films, the CoreLogix technology removes heat from the process by jetting its product right into the spot where components are being cut – an alternative for water-based cutting, he said.

Headquartered in Valencia, and founded in 1989, CleanLogix works with its partner-manufacturers in Ohio and Singapore to produce cleaning machines for customers. And it provides process consulting services along the way.

“A lot of our high-end customers need robots,” Jackson said.

With chemists and engineers onboard, the company custom designs and engineers solutions and machines for its customers – which are all tested in-house before arriving in a customer’s place of business.

For smaller businesses that can’t afford to buy the equipment, or don’t need the technology for most of their production, CoreLogix arranges to have the few parts they might have cleaned for them.

With nearly 16 engineers and 25 manufacturing personnel, the company currently generates $5 to $10 million per year, but has plans to operate in the $25 to $50 million market segment within the next five years, Jackson said.

The CoreLogix business model now is to work with industries that already own a market and infuse its technology into their products, as opposed to just selling to end users. And the company will put its design and engineering know-how behind the effort.

“It’s like the Intel chip model,” Jackson said. “Most PCs have Intel chips in them even though Intel doesn’t make computers.”

CoreLogix aims to make its lean cleaning technology a standard part of someone else’s manufacturing process.

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