If you know anything about the metalworking industry then its a fair bet that you will have come into contact with metal cutting fluids & coolants. Now if your experience extends to working with or maintaining machine shop coolants you may have a love hate relationship with these products. Its a fact that even after years of development water mix coolants still have a knack of causing issues on the shop floor despite the best efforts of the supplier.
These days its fair to say that there are probably few poorly formulated cutting fluids. Where it all goes wrong is in the use & management of the mixed fluids in the often high pressure environment of a production machine shop. Sadly even now cutting and grinding coolants are too often way down the list when it comes to caring for them. We know, don’t we, that coolants can fall foul to bacteria attack which causes breakdown with all the accompanying hazards such as rotten smell, corrosion attack, poor performance, shortened sump life and so on.
Of course to prevent breakdown of this nature steps can be taken to implement a sensible coolant management program. Simple coolant checks for dilution, bacteria counts, ph reading, regular sump maintenance, tramp oil removal etc will have a positive impact.
But there lies the problem. Who will do it?
Well whoever it is its going to cost- and its going to cost plenty particularly in a large machine shop. Even in a moderate production facility with upwards of thirty machine tools, checking each machine every day just for dilution is going to take time and top-up adjustments even longer. Throw in bacteria dip slide checks, ph monitering, emptying and refilling sumps to remove accumulated swarf and sludge, even topping up machines on a regular basis and it begins to eat rapidly into someone’s budget and resources.
Of course it has not escaped many major coolant suppliers that there is gold to be mined here. The larger the production facility the more aggravation poor coolant care will cause so by offering paid for coolant care services many day to day issues can be avoided. However manual ‘on site labour’ is an expensive commodity so how about some help here? Often equipment is part of the deal, from sump vacuum cleaners to tramp oil removers to coolant mixing systems to coolant disposal units, all can be had at a price.
So where do we as coolant management equipment supplier fit into this jigsaw? It depends on what your final objective is.
Our coolant management systems take care of just about everything that goes into a manual management system. Sure you can use people to do what our systems can do but who wants to pay forever for a service you can pay for just once?
Think of it like this. Following the installation of a Vivex central coolant management system the whole responsibility for coolant mixing, dilution control, distribution to machine tools, tramp oil and particulate removal, topping up, even ph checks, the whole caboodle, is now an automatic function of our system. It won’t make mistakes, it does not get tired, takes no tea breaks, its 24/7 monitoring and care for your cutting and grinding fluids.
So why would you want to do it any other way?
Once installed and commissioned the systems need little in the way of day to day maintenance, they are self cleaning and use no consumable media. Nothing to pay for once commissioned apart from electricity. Clean coolants last and last, daily automatic top ups at the correct dilution help with that as does the continual movement of coolant around the machine shop, no stagnant areas in our system. Of course inevitably pumps will need maintenance sooner or later but its not a daily necessity, many of our pumping units have run for years without issue.
Additionally more than a few management systems have not needed a coolant change in years our longest to date was ten years with no coolant clean-outs. Try doing this with a manually monitored service, wishing you the very best of luck with that one 🙂
So why is it then that we have some companies that need a system, want a system but never go on to specify one?
Simple. Capital Expenditure.
Manual monitoring with all the associated costs concerned with coolant care is often on a consumable budget and gets lost in the general overhead of a companies accounts. Amazing isn’t it? A management system that can pay back over and over gets sidelined while either coolant issues continue or the price of correction is paid forever on another budget.
Fortunately this scenario is, bit by bit, being eroded. We have seen much more interest recently from companies who wish to invest in a system that will contribute massive savings to their bottom line. Fit once, pay once and then get on with manufacturing without concerning themselves with day to day coolant issues. As touched on at the beginning of this article coolant care is often low down the list of priorities but the impact that poor coolant care can have on profits is always there.
So in the final analysis you are paying for it anyway.
If any of this hits a chord then get in touch and lets talk.