Coolant is a crucial part of many industrial processes. Without it, machine parts overheat and can stop working altogether, leading to expensive replacement and repairs. In cars, coolant cools the engine parts as it circulates. For industrial use and manufacturing plants, coolants are more frequently made from cutting oil, or from water infused with antifreeze and anti-corrosives.
Other coolant options include freons, halomethanes, carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, anhydrous ammonia, and waterless coolants like ethylene glycol and polyalkylene glycol. Cutting fluids are generally made using water-oil emulsions. Coolants might be passed outside the heated metal parts, or they may flow through them, absorbing heat and picking up debris. The coolant, therefore, gets contaminated with dust, dirt, grease, and shards.
Preserving your machines
The type of contaminant determines the kind of filtration device to be used. Interfil magnet drum filters are good for extracting metal particles while the IC-45 series of centrifugal filters work well for glass shards and food grade filtration. For oil-based contaminants, try the Interfil 2000 oil skimmer, and for dense solids, use the Hoffman Vacumatic.
The function of the coolant is to preserve the equipment itself, but it can also affect the final product. If your coolant is dirty, the product that comes out of the machine could have defects. This is especially evident for roll grinders. When the coolant is dirty, it can scratch the work or glaze the grinding wheel.
Protecting the product
Since the rollers are finishing equipment designed to ensure a smooth, clean surface, any scratches or abrasion reflect on the product that passes through these damaged rollers. If the rolled surface is stained or burnt, it means the roller was too hot, suggesting the coolant isn’t working effectively due to contamination.
Roller wheels need to be dressed and changed regularly, but if your coolant is dirty, there will be more changing and dressing necessary. Time is lost repairing the wheels because production has to stop for this maintenance activity. It can be done during the machine’s scheduled downtime, but that leads to maintenance costs being charged at premium ‘off-duty’ prices for the repair crew.
Maintaining the machine
When a rolled product is stained, it could mean the roller has excess soap and scum on it. If the product is dull or scratched, the wheels may have been damaged by a cloudy coolant. In this sense, filtering your coolant helps the roller grinders last longer before they need to be fixed or replaced, and that saves money.
As a result, the actual maintenance happens less regularly, saving on labour costs that go to the repair team. Moreover, of course, it reduces stoppage time, so the machines run longer and produce more, which helps the bottom line. Ideally, you want a filtration system that can run simultaneously, so the coolant can be cleaned without halting the production process. A self-cleaning auto filter like the IC-45 AV Fully Auto-clean centrifuge is helpful.
This doesn’t mean your rollers and grinders will never need maintenance. Still, your machines run longer before they need to be switched off for servicing. Cleaning your coolant has a few other cost-saving benefits. We’ll explore in Part 2 of this coolant cleaning series.
To learn more about coolant filtration techniques, call Interfil today on 02 9533 4433.
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