Monday, September 12, 2016

Tool of the Week: Elma Ultrasonic Cleaning Machine

***Apprentice Corner

There’s been a lot of talk recently about all the manufacturing machinery we’re acquiring for the rebelde project. But as it continues to grow and we prepare for the first batch of servicing to come to us in two years time, we’re also slowly improving our servicing capabilities. This week’s tool is, once again, not really a ‘tool’, but rather a serious piece of machinery that will help us provide the highest level of service to our loyal customers, whilst making our lives a whole lot easier.

Repairing watches is a very time consuming process and though it has served Nick, and its previous owner before him, well for over 30 years, our old cleaning machine has begun to show its age. One must sit by the cleaning machine for the duration of the process to regulate the speed, manually moving the cleaning basket between stages before drying it at the end.
It does the job, and does it well, but the machine can be a bit precarious to use and our time could be better spent elsewhere.

Shipped all the way from Germany, the Elma Ultrasonic cleaning machine has been “going to arrive next week” for the last few months. It was on its way before I even started and I was beginning to think it would never get here.

Every step of the process, including drying, can be individually regulated and is performed automatically by the machine. Short of it gathering up the pieces, cleaning them and then placing them back on the bench for you, it does everything one could ever ask for from a watch cleaning machine. Used by all the large Swiss brand manufacturers, this is the pinnacle of cleaning equipment.

That said, it isn’t the machine itself that cleans the parts, but the solution. Luckily, the hard work on that front has been done for us as well.  The cleaning solution must be of a very particular composition in order to effectively strip the various lubricants and grime that attaches to watch mechanisms.

We buy our solution from Chemwell, a Melbourne based company that has been producing cleaning products for kitchen, automotive, watchmaking and other industries for over 25 years. Though they produced nearly 900 litres of watch cleaning solutions last year, only 5% of their business is for the watchmaking trade. We’re very grateful for their service – acquiring watch-specific cleaning liquids can be a bit of a hassle, especially here in Australia.

So once again, we’re here to serve you, our loyal rebelde comrades. This is another snippet of our excitement and preparation of the servicing for the 450+ rebelde watches that are now with their owners. We can’t wait.

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