FRIESS Oil Skimmer Model 1U used in Cutting Fluid Coolant tanks on Individual Machine Tools

The Problem

A large manufacturer of printing machines uses approximately 300 machine tools to produce their parts. Each of these machine tools has its own cutting fluid coolant tank, and chip filter. Many of these printing machine parts are made of cast iron. During machining, cast iron chips, dust, graphite, hydraulic oil lubricating oil and other oils fall into the cutting fluid coolant tank. These contaminants, in a short time, form a thick sticky sludge that floats on and covers the cutting fluid surface. The customer had tried several different oil skimmer systems to remove this sludge. They could only clear an area of 10 to 20 cm square, while the remaining sludge on the tank’s surface was untouched.

The Solution

The manufacturer installed a FRIESS Model 1U Oil Skimmer with oil collector tube. During oil skimmer operation, the movement of the floating oil collector tube induces movement on the coolant tank’s liquid surface. This puts all the surface sludge in motion, which then allows the moving oil collector tube to easily pick up the sludge from the total area of the tank’s surface.

The oil skimmer’s ceramic scraper then removes the thick sticky sludge from the oil collector tube and drops it into an open waste chute, which is used to prevent the sludge from clogging any piping. The open chute can easily be inspected visually, and quickly cleaned if needed. Previously, this thick sticky sludge went into pipes, which were prone to frequent clogging. With the cutting fluid surface now completely free of sludge, oxygen could also reach the surface. This is a necessity to prevent anaerobic bacterial growth in the cutting fluid. Over time, anaerobic bacterial growth contaminates the cutting fluid, and causes odors. The contaminated cutting fluid then has to be frequently replaced with fresh fluid. With the cutting fluid surface now exposed to air, this eliminated cutting fluid odors, while at the same time vastly extending the useful working life of the cutting fluid.

The Result

  1. The cutting fluid coolant tank’s total surface was continually kept sludge free
  2. The amount of tramp oil was reduced
  3. Additional work, which previously had been needed for removing sludge from the cutting fluid surface,  was eliminated
  4. Additional work needed for frequently cleaning sludge clogged pipes was eliminated
  5. Oxygen could now reach the total cutting fluid coolant surface which completely stopped anaerobic bacterial growth, eliminating the cutting fluid coolant smell
  6. The working life of the oil-free cutting fluid was greatly extended

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