Coolant is a crucial component in various machining processes, playing a significant role in extending tool life, improving part quality, and ensuring the safety of workers. However, to maximize its benefits, proper coolant management is essential. In this blog, we will discuss the six best practices for handling and managing coolant effectively, along with the consequences of improper coolant management and the benefits of doing it right.
6 Best Practices
Properly mixing coolant is the first step in ensuring its effectiveness. Coolant mixers help maintain a consistent and stable coolant solution. Incorrectly mixed coolant can lead to performance issues and even pose hygiene concerns. Using a reliable mixer ensures that the coolant’s components are well-balanced, enhancing its overall efficiency.
- Monitor Concentration and pH
Maintaining the correct concentration levels in your coolant is vital for its longevity and performance. A refractometer is a valuable tool in this process. Regularly measuring the coolant’s concentration helps you safeguard its quality and lifespan. This practice prevents the coolant from becoming too diluted, which can negatively impact its effectiveness.
Tramp oil, a common coolant contaminant, can significantly affect coolant performance and lifespan. It damages tools, reduces production efficiency, and poses safety risks to workers due to potential skin irritations. Investing in devices like surface oil skimmers helps minimize tramp oil, preserving the integrity of the coolant. As the tramp oil increases, the bacterial growth will also increase, affecting the efficiency of the coolant.
Regularly topping off your machines with coolant not only ensures a stable concentration but also saves you money. Coolant contains water that evaporates over time, increasing its concentration. Therefore, adding dilution coolant daily helps maintain optimal levels and prevents unnecessary costs associated with disposal and replacement. For summer and winter seasons we can choose lower concentration top up but in the monsoon season, we must go with higher concentration. This is due to moisture content in air that will help the part from getting rusty.
Topping off machines frequently allows you to maintain a lower percentage of coolant, reducing expenses. Neglecting regular top-ups may lead to higher costs associated with adding a higher percentage of new coolant. Proper sump maintenance is crucial to prevent the buildup of contaminants. Cleaning the sump every 2-3 months through a filtration process is recommended.
Implementing a rinse cycle involves filling the machine with a mild concentration of new coolant. This process effectively removes contaminants, ensuring a cleaner and more effective coolant solution for an extended period.
Consequences of Improper Coolant Handling
Improper coolant management can result in several adverse effects, including unnecessary costs. Poor management leads to increased expenses related to coolant disposal, machine cleaning, and the replacement of contaminated coolant. It also impacts the machine lifespan.
Benefits of Proper Coolant Management
On the other hand, effective coolant management offers numerous benefits:
- Extends coolant sump life
- Enhances productivity
- Improves part quality
- Maintains consistent target concentration
- Enhances health and safety in the workplace
- Protects high-value machining resources
- Increases tool life
Proper coolant management is essential to ensure the longevity, effectiveness, and safety of machining processes. Implementing these six best practices will not only optimize coolant performance but also save costs and improve overall operational efficiency. By adhering to these guidelines, manufacturers can experience significant improvements in their machining operations while safeguarding the health and safety of their workforce.