The metalcutting industry is continually developing new products that can help to reduce the environmentally unfriendly outcomes associated with manufacturing processes. Dimac Tooling offers a range of products that can remove unwanted and harmful effects that are created during the machining process.

Coolant management is an important part of efficient CNC machine tool operations, and it is generally well known that degraded coolant can result in premature machine tool wear, causing decreased performance. Removing coolant from a sump using a Freddy vacuum provides multiple benefits; not only is coolant vacuumed up quickly at an impressive rate of 230 litres per minute, but any sludge and residue that has built up at the bottom of a machine sump is also removed. The sump can then be thoroughly cleaned if necessary.

By doing this with a Freddy vacuum, it also removes the need to come into contact with the coolant, thus removing the likelihood of a worker contracting a skin condition through prolonged contact or having an allergic reaction. However a Freddy does more than just vacuuming out the coolant. The in-built filter removes fines, swarf, and any particulates larger than the filter rating of the filter bag. A variety of filter bag sizes between one and 1000 microns are offered, which ensures a significant amount of microscopic particles are removed from the coolant.

The coolant can then either be disposed of or reused. If it is disposed of, the Freddy has a return hose that can pump out the coolant. And just as quickly as it can vacuum up, it can pump it out. The filter bag full of the removed swarf and particulates can then easily be lifted out, disposed of or kept for reclamation. If the coolant is to be reused it is a simple matter of pumping the filtered coolant back into the machine sump, ready to be reused.

“The cost savings of refiltering coolant are enormous,” says Dimac Managing Director, Paul Fowler. “Regular filtering means that the coolant degrades much slower, therefore lasting longer and requiring less to be bought. And because it remains uncontaminated, the associated WHS risks lessen, and your machine tools live longer.”

A Freddy coolant vacuum also comes with a toolkit that allows it to be utilised in other areas, whether that be using the floor tool to vacuum up spills and swarf or using the crevice tool for getting into the machine beds and guards.

Freddy is a well known and respected UK based company established in 1962, which supplies international markets with the renowned Mark I filtration machines, originally complementing the de la Pena Oil brand. Since then the company has designed and manufactured the entire Freddy family of industrial vacuums and coolant filtration machines.

“Freddy has always led the way in coolant recycling and the company’s expertise and innovation in this area is unquestioned,” says Fowler. “Quite simply, Freddy can extend the life of your coolant, lower your operating costs and extend the life of your equipment whilst at the same time protecting your employees.”

Tramp Oil’s worst nightmare

Tramp oil can cause a variety of problems including odour, smoke generation and unpleasant conditions for the operator, as well as affecting the finished product. It is also detrimental to coolant life and will quickly undermine all efforts to keep a clean workshop and maintain an optimum working environment. The Freddy Tramp Oil Separator has been designed to combat the problems associated with tramp oil contaminates in machine tool coolant systems.

“The Tramp Oil Separator is easily manoeuvrable so it can be used throughout a factory, and it runs continuously so as not to interfere with production,” says Fowler. “The tramp oil is siphoned into the supplied collection bottle allowing the cleaned coolant to be returned.”

The machine can remove tramp oils from coolants in a variety of applications. An extensive range of filters and floats are available. The unit has a standard 70-litre tank capacity and for maximum durability is finished in oil and acid resistant powder coated paint. Both electric and air-operated models are available, with the air-powered models running at approximately 10psi. It comes standard with a full set of tools and hoses, whilst an optional UV Coolant decontaminator which prohibits bacterial growth can be specified.

“The Tramp Oil Separator is another example of Freddy’s expertise and innovation in this area,” adds Fowler.

Slashing coolant disposal costs

For smaller manufacturing companies the cost and hassle of disposing of coolant is an expensive exercise. Unlike larger companies they frequently lack the space, capital or technical personnel to utilise the exotic recycling or treatment capabilities.

However, the Water Eater from EMC provides an innovative and effective solution to the issue. Designed on the principle that only a tiny proportion of the waste product is actual coolant, the Water Eater uses evaporation to remove the water component from the coolant, thereby drastically reducing the amount of waste product that needs to be disposed of.

“Typically used coolants are normally 95% water, meaning that all you are left with is a mere 3 to 5% of the original volume,” remarks Fowler. “Efficient, environmentally friendly and compact, the Water Eater is an ideal solution for smaller manufacturing companies.”

The unit is available in both gas- and electric-heated models with evaporation rates ranging from 19 to 208 litres per hour. An optional Auto Fill system automates the process and allows for 24 hour operation.

The evaporation of the waste fluid is achieved via heating elements in the floor of the unit. In addition, a power exhaust system continuously draws air across the surface of the heated liquid to speed up evaporation. The system releases the moisture safely into the, air leaving only a small amount of residue for disposal. Any residue can be easily scraped from the obstruction-free bottom on a periodic basis. To minimise clean-out time, a fully removable cover is provided that allows for complete access to the entire tank.

The majority of Water Eater models have a low top frame height, which allows easy accessibility without the need for footstools or stands. To keep energy costs as low as possible the Water Eater features a large heat transfer area of the burner tube or heat exchanger. The large 165mm diameter burner tubes on the gas models provide as much as 200% more heat transfer surface than competitive systems, thereby minimising heat-up time and decreasing energy costs.

All Water Eaters are designed to operate simply and efficiently. They are constructed of high-quality materials and components to ensure trouble-free operation and long service life. The tanks are made of heavy-duty MIG-welded 12-gauge steel to ensure outstanding longevity, and are fully insulated to reduce heat loss.

“The massive reduction in the volume of liquids requiring disposal not only slashes disposal costs, but also means reduced storage requirements whilst minimising labour time for handling the waste product,” says Fowler.

Clearing the air and saving energy

Oil mist separators do a great job of removing the coolant mist from the working area of CNC machine tools. However, they often run at full capacity, regardless of the current requirements., resulting in high consumption of both energy and coolants. Reven, a well-known manufacturer of industrial air cleaning systems, now offers a solution to this problem with its new digital power controller, the XSC (X-Cyclone Speed Control).

Sensor technology measures the machining environment of the machine tool, while the intelligent control unit adjusts the suction power continuously via ventilation valves and an optional frequency converter with a micro computer and algorithms. Power consumption can be halved, while thanks to a patented Venturi ventilation and condensation system, the separation efficiency can be increased up to 50%. Furthermore the XSC system extends the maintenance intervals for filter cleaning and also the filter service life.

A pressure and flow sensor also detects the door state of the machine. If the door is opened, the suction power rises and ensures a stable vacuum in the work area of the machine tool. This prevents coolants particles from leaving the machine.

The XSC control can be retrofitted with all encapsulated machine tools. Controllers and sensors are installed within a few hours, and thanks to the modern frequency inverter, the operating condition of the oil mist separator can be transferred online to an existing building control system.

“Anything that can be done to reduce costs for CNC machine tool operators is welcome news,” explains Fowler. “The new XSC digital power controller will help lower energy consumption and reduce coolant usage whilst providing a cleaner workplace.”

The Reven XSC is also Industry 4.0-compliant, adhering to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. This allows the unit to provide for real-time updates, feedback and if required process control modification.

German based Reven was founded in 1905. From as early as the company’s foundation phase it took up the construction of extraction apparatus and systems for production facilities and workshops. Reven has now been specialising in industrial air cleaning for decades and the company’s knowledge in the field of air cleaning has grown continuously. This expertise is reflected in numerous internationally protected patents, design protection rights and unique technologies.

Designed, constructed and manufactured in Germany, all Reven oil mist separators feature a stainless steel enclosure that is 100% rustproof, providing a considerably longer service life. A lifetime guarantee is offered on the corrosion resistance of the enclosure.

“Like all the products we sell, the Reven XSC has the full back up and support of Dimac technical personnel to ensure the product is installed correctly and operates at optimum performance,” Fowler adds.