It’s true, sometimes there’s nothing wrong with the status quo. But to be sure of that, you have to be sure you know what’s right, what’s wrong and what you can or can’t do to improve your situation. If not, you’re simply marking time and might be missing opportunities for success.
One way to make sure you’re making the most of your shop’s opportunities is to make sure you’re running the best possible metalworking fluid (MWF) for your application. The best way to do that is trialing a new fluid in real working conditions. Let’s examine just a few reasons you might choose to undertake a trial.
Dealing with a strong rancid odor is definitely not a great way to start your Monday morning, but it’s all too common for those in the machining field. And it’s not uncommon for those odors (or the “locker room” odor of fungus growth) to intrude into the rest of the week. When your operators are at the machine for eight hours and might have to deal with misting pushing the smell onto their clothing, it’s a bad thing all around.
Fluid is not the sole factor in odor prevention, but the right fluid can make it extremely difficult for any biologicals to grow and take hold. Now might be just the time to trial a biostable fluid with good tramp oil rejection properties, and new advances in the chemical engineering of MWF’s mean there are a number to choose from. It may also be an opportunity to check out the performance of other fluid inputs, such as your sump cleaner. Choosing one with effective biocidal additives (such as Chemtool’s ALC 50 cleaner/conditioner) can make it even less likely that your machines will be a home for new guests.
Other Operator Acceptance Issues
Misting and smoke can be a big annoyance for your operators, especially if you’re using straight oils or soluble oils. If the oil also tends to cause skin irritation for some operators and/or produces a slippery coating employees can slip on, you could have a costly workers compensation mess on your hands as well.
Though straight and soluble oils have their benefits, trialing an advanced formulation may give you equal benefits with better operator acceptance.
Tool Life And Other Productivity Factors
If you’re experiencing lower than optimal tool life, lack of proper lubrication is the most likely factor. And of course, a metalworking fluid that fails to deliver the best results in lubrication and cooling is going to affect workpiece velocity and other factors which will in turn affect your ability to turn pieces out quickly.
If productivity isn’t where it could be, explore what a new MWF will do to change the results.
As we mentioned in a previous blog, cost and productivity are different sides of the same coin. The cost of MWF will be about 2% of your spend, but affect about 80% of your production activity. In a sense, a good value in MWF is a lever that allows you to move your costs in the right direction.
If your per-piece cost is not where it should be,there may be an opportunity to reduce it with a different MWF. Older chemical formulations may cost less per drum, but if you can achieve faster production, longer tool life or other cost savings, your across-the-board cost will be reduced.
New Factors In Your Work Equation
Perhaps you’ll soon be replacing a machine or machining a new product. When you’re making changes in the shop, it’s a great time to evaluate your setup and determine exactly what else might need to change. That way you’ll know you’re taking these news steps with confidence and the best information.
Trialing a new fluid doesn’t have to be a hassle. It’s as easy as getting in touch with the experts at Chemtool.