Before the world’s current crisis Industry 4.0 had unleashed a whole new way of thinking,
not just in manufacturing.
Standards, decision-making, training, cybersecurity, sensors, machine monitoring and cloud computing make up the IIoT of Industry 4.0. Attacking unplanned machine tool downtime with predictive maintenance applications and identifying issues before they turn into production problems should be par for the course. You can now utilise machine health monitoring systems – some come standard – by applying sensors and proprietary predictive analysis algorithms that constantly check the health of a spindle, the tool changer and machine-resident software can detect when critical systems are trending toward the need for repair.
There is also a whole host of CNC software that is used for machine process monitoring and tooling system monitors that collect data for coolant flow and pressure, which allow users to determine tool wear issues. All of these help optimise machining processes and increase equipment utilisation.
Flexilube have launched a Coolant Doctor Mobile Laboratory – an on-site metalworking fluid optimisation programme
The real question though is how do you monitor the health of your metalworking lubricant or coolant. In some machining situations, variations in coolant concentration can affect surface finish, part-to-part consistency and even the useful life of the coolant and cutting tools. The cost of these metalworking fluids might not make up a huge percentage of the overall cost per component but fluid can have a major effect on the production cost per component. Some say up to 95%. It is therefore critical that you have a plan or strategy in place to monitor the condition of your metalworking fluids – a fluid doctor of some sort.
Flexilube, a leading manufacturer of metalworking fluids has launched an on-site mobile laboratory that will allow you to get on with what you know best and leave the hassle of metalworking fluid monitoring to the experts.
“The Coolant Doctor Mobile Laboratory is the first of its kind in the industry in South Africa, as far as we know. This will bring our on-site metalworking fluid optimisation programme directly to the manufacturer, thereby introducing a new dimension in the way that soluble oils are prepared, monitored and managed,” said Irene von Knoblauch-Dreyer, Managing Director of Flexilube, a company that has roots back to 1984.
“At the core of our metalworking fluid optimisation programme is the Coolant Doctor Mobile Laboratory that is equipped with sophisticated portable test equipment to perform on-site analysis of your metalworking fluids and industrial lubricants by our trained technical field service specialists. These tests are performed to establish the condition of the emulsions, solutions and industrial lubricants, so that corrective action may be taken before a problem develops,” continued von Knoblauch-Dreyer.
“The day-to-day management of the metalworking fluid is essential to keep it in good condition, thereby optimising its overall performance. When using water-based coolants, most problems are traced back to the incorrect mixing of emulsions and solutions. With the installation of an automated dosing station, coolants are prepared quickly and accurately on demand.”
“Flexilube have installed many automated dosing stations to prepare and accurately dispense their coolants. However, it is not just about the preparation but rather the continual monitoring of the coolants overall performance during its lifespan. That is what prompted Flexilube to invest time and money implementing the fluid optimisation programme, using the Coolant Doctor Mobile Laboratory.”
“Our industrial expertise means that knowledgeable and competent technically trained representatives are available to assist in diagnostics and solution finding, should challenges arise.”
“Retaining metalworking fluid and reusing fluid can be good and is encouraged. Coolant recycling saves a company both purchase and disposal costs. Eventually, however, all metalworking fluids and lubricants reach the end of their useful service life and need to be disposed of. Compliance with hazardous waste regulations is extremely important for your business and the environment. We offer advice on the correct disposal of used metalworking fluids as well as a solution for the disposal of waste lubricating oils and the removal of tramp oil in accordance with waste regulations.”
Stock level and fluid management monitoring
“Stock management issues can be costly and interfere with the smooth running of your production process. Regular stock level monitoring by our field staff will prevent unnecessary down-time due to insufficient stock, as well as the high costs associated with holding excess stock.”
“In our service offering concentration, tramp oil, pH and general housekeeping are monitored and solutions are implemented immediately on-site.”
At the core of their metalworking fluid optimisation programme is the Coolant Doctor Mobile Laboratory that is equipped with sophisticated portable test equipment to perform on-site analysis of your metalworking fluids and industrial lubricants by their trained technical field service specialists
“The benefits are numerous and include consistent concentrations that help increase tool life, there are no foul smells due to bacterial degradation, there is no rust on finished components or on the machine tools, less misting and smoke generated during production, less oil residue inside machines and on finished components.”
“Metalworking companies face a daily battle against friction in their struggle to achieve precision and economy. The demand for better machined finishes, closer tolerances and greater productivity, coupled with the high cost of machinery and tooling, poses a number of stiff challenges.”
“With our automated dosing stations you are able to accurately dispense coolant, there is no guessing, which reduces the usage of the concentrate and mixing correctly ensures a stable emulsion or solution. With our Coolant Doctor Mobile Laboratory you are able to optimise your metalworking fluid.”
“These all lead to reduced disposal costs and down-time due to extended emulsion life, improved health and safety for all operators, and on-the-spot dashboard laboratory reporting services provide immediate feedback and there is no need to dedicate staff to taking care of your coolants – we do it for you.”
“The programme has two tiers to get the most out of your metalworking fluid optimisation programme, allowing customers to select the package that best suits their company’s specific needs – platinum and gold,” added von Knoblauch-Dreyer.
Metalworking fluid manufacturing and the management thereof
“The concept was borne out of a need to offer our technical knowledge and expertise in managing our customer’s coolant systems, allowing them to achieve maximum benefits without dedicating their time and resources to keeping their coolant health in check,” explained Paul Linaker, Sales Director of Flexilube.
“Our area of technical expertise is metalworking fluids and the management thereof. It’s not just about the sale of the product, it’s about what we can do after the sale to bring maximum product benefit to our customer. Business owners want solutions to their manufacturing challenges, this programme will bring them piece of mind, knowing that they have one less thing to worry about,” continued Linaker.
Launch of new product Biokool Citrine, which will protect operator’s health, reduce misting and is bacteria resistant
“We have also been busy developing and launching a new product. Biokool Citrine makes use of bacteriostatic technology. It is a high-performance water-soluble metal working fluid, designed with your machining and operator’s health in mind,” enthused Linaker.
“Biokool Citrine is a low-oil and ester-based bacteriostatic coolant formulated to prolong system life, offer a high-quality finish, increase productivity and reduce process costs without having to use toxic bactericides and fungicides, thus making it a truly universal and robust coolant, for use in a wide range of ferrous and non-ferrous metal machine operations,” said Linaker.