In our June 2021 issue, we explored how metalworking manufacturers can “Get Dramatic Savings by Using the Right Coolant”. Adding to this, we share a look at how coolant cost is a very small percentage of overall part production expense and can make or break costs all the way down the production line.
Coolants are an integral part of the machining process. They can extend tool life, improve surface finish, increase production, and add to profits. Yet when looking for a way to cut costs, some manufacturers look at going with a cheaper coolant to save money on a line item. As the cost of coolant is a factor that ranges from .03% to less than 1% per part produced, it is a false economy, because the right coolant actually lowers other costs.
Let’s review the ways coolant affects every phase of production before we think about compromising quality. Just like the right coolant positively impacts every phase of an operation – tool life, cycle times, machines, health and safety, and downtime – an inferior coolant can cause havoc that adversely affects the entire production.
“The cost of coolant is secondary to the effect it has on overall production. The proper metalworking fluid can speed production, improve quality, reduce tooling and other costs, and increase profits.”
Mandar Samant, Managing Director, Master Fluid Solutions India
Quality coolant ensures longer tool life and tool life can make or break profitability. A broken tool causing a scrapped part means wasted cost all down the line – from material purchasing, receiving, prepping, and machine time.
The proper coolant provides the lubricity and cooling to allow reduced cycle times and faster production. Quality coolant foams less, has less carry-off, lasts longer, keeps machines running cleaner, and ensures good corrosion protection – which means fewer rejects. It adds up to faster production, less machine downtime, and higher profits.
‘Bargain’ coolants notoriously cause issues with foul odor, operator health problems and subsequent lost work days, and higher employee turnovers. Better coolants avoid these pitfalls and provide a better work environment.
Maximizing production leads to better parts and higher profits. Here are some examples of how Master Fluid Solutions works with customers to help optimize their operations.
CUSTOMER 1: A manufacturer of automotive and aerospace dies already using a premium TRIM™ coolant was looking to increase throughput and reduce fluid consumption and price per part. They ran a trial of TRIM HyperSol™ 888NXT neosynthetic with amazing results. Coolant concentration was cut in half, tool life tripled from 50 to 150 parts per edge, reducing tool costs by 67%! The customer dramatically reduced costs and increased profits by switching to the higher priced HyperSol 888NXT.
CUSTOMER 2: A US-based company machines challenging aerospace metals. Wanting to increase production and lower coolant use, they tested new HyperSol 888NXT. The result was double the throughput of stainless steel from 18 to 36 parts/hour. With lower concentrations and top off rates, they significantly reduced coolant use. Their switch to HyperSol 888NXT paid off in profits!
CUSTOMER 3: A high-volume, 24/7 plant produces quality industrial bearings. As they were having problems with dirty sumps, foul odor, sick workers, and rust on parts, a change in coolant was in order. With a detailed analysis of their production, Master Fluid Solutions recommended TRIM™ MicroSol™ 585XT microemulsion coolant. They worked with the plant to make process improvements and with the MicroSol 585XT there was no longer bacteria growth in the sump, the rancid odor and health issues were gone, and parts were pristine and protected. Increased coolant life alone saved them $150,000 in two years.
The expression, ‘you get what you pay for,’ is certainly true with coolant. Buy a cheaper coolant, but pay with higher makeup rates, shorter coolant life, higher tooling costs, foul odor, operator health issues, and higher recycling cost. Whereas a robust coolant eliminates problems and increases productivity and profits. Experience the difference the right coolant can make to your production.
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