Founded in Spain in 2004, Tierra Tech found a niche market in affordable ultrasonic cleaning equipment for automotive companies. Upon expanding into Mexico three years later, the company’s Director General, Arturo Gil San Román, recognized the absence of anything similar in the country, and therefore decided to market through a variety of sectors, such as automotive, aerospace, and agriculture. The company is ISO 9001:2008 certified and produces a variety of equipment for precision cleaning that has been designed to eliminate grease, oil, and carbon deposits from engines.
Servicing customers such as Volkswagen, Nissan, Voith, Caterpillar, Cummins, and GM, the company provides standard models as well as integrated cleaning and rinsing units, with optional drying facilities. By employing multifrequency ultrasonic waves of between 40-90KHz, the cleaning of delicate materials like aluminum, magnesium, and brass is optimized and damage is prevented. Other advantages of the system include reduced energy costs, a reduction in labor time, and immersion washing features that save water and detergent. For instance, the water used is not wasted, since longer use creates better outcomes as a result of the reduced surface tension, making water molecules less sticky or heavy so the waves can travel faster. Additionally, the system provides a cleaner and more environmentally friendly service due to separation of oil, sludge, and water within the unit. One model, the MOT8000 has a tank built of AISI 304 stainless steel with a capacity of 8,000l and an ultrasonic power of 34,000W produced by ten generators. Its working frequency is 40KHz and the unit has 20 submersible transducer boxes, all of which operate at 1,700W. With a 1-inch thick ball valve for water inlet, a 2-inch ball valve for liquid draining, an integrated wasteflow system and inclined bottom, the MOT-8000 is a highly efficient, hygienic, and time-saving cleaning system. The ultrasonic equipment contains a high frequency generator connected to a titanium steel transducer, which is placed inside a stainless steel tub filled with water. Ultrasonic waves travel through the water, generating a physical effect called cavitation, which puts pressure on the water molecules and causes them to implode at twice the speed of sound, subsequently causing a suction that allows a delicate washing process.
Tierra Tech provided this equipment to Nissan to clean the liquid aluminum injection molds at its plant in Aguascalientes. In those molds, the aluminum is injected and cooled, before the molds are opened to extract the components. However, waste residue inside the mold means that it must be cleaned before the next piece is manufactured. Before the use of the ultrasonic equipment, this process took two or three days, and manual cleaning as well as the harsh chemicals meant that the molds suffered from corrosion, meaning they had to be replaced on a scale of over 70 every two years. Each mold costs US$250,000, but now only require replacement every 20 to 30 molds within the same two year timeframe, resulting in Nissan experiencing a significant saving in time and money by using Tierra Tech’s units.