A Teammate’s Path to Eco-Friendly and Cost-Effective Coolant Practices
Evan, a dedicated teammate at 110 Metalworks, recently spearheaded a groundbreaking project to tackle coolant wastage. His mission? To find a sustainable, cost-effective solution that benefits the environment and enhances operational efficiency.
Before diving into Evan’s journey, it’s essential to understand the function of coolants in a metal shop. Also known as cutting fluids, coolants play a crucial role in providing several benefits during machining processes, including:
- Temperature Control: Metalworking operations, such as cutting, milling, and drilling, can generate significant heat. Coolants help maintain optimal temperatures, preventing the workpiece and cutting tools from overheating, reducing the risk of thermal damage, and extending tool life.
- Chip Evacuation: Metal machining produces chips or swarf. Coolants aid chip evacuation by lubricating the cutting area, making it easier for chips to be carried away from the workpiece. This prevents chips from interfering with machining and helps maintain a clean and efficient workspace.
- Tool Lubrication: Coolants act as lubricants for cutting tools, reducing friction between the tool and the workpiece. This lubrication minimizes wear on the tools, leading to longer tool life and improved machining precision. Lubrication also contributes to better surface finishes on the machined parts.
- Reduced Friction and Vibration: Coolants reduce friction between the tool and the workpiece, minimizing the risk of tool breakage and vibration. Reduced friction also contributes to quieter machining operations, creating a more conducive and comfortable working environment.
- Improved Machining Speeds and Feeds: Coolants’ cooling and lubricating properties allow for higher machining speeds and feeds. This, in turn, enhances productivity by enabling faster metal removal rates while maintaining machining precision.
The Coolant Conundrum
Coolants are an integral element in the dynamic realm of precision machining, contributing to the overall efficiency, tool longevity, and precision of metal machining processes. Recognizing their vital role, Evan identified wastage issues while performing his daily tasks. Because of this, he began seeking ways to enhance environmental consciousness and cost-effectiveness in coolant usage.
Evan experimented with various coolant types to troubleshoot machine-related problems. Despite his efforts, the problem persisted. So, Evan changed course and began researching machines capable of filtering out solids and contaminants from used coolants. Upon his recommendation, the company purchased a Freddy machine, which recycles coolant efficiently, reducing waste and making it easier to reuse in the machines.
Upon further research, Evan found coolant options that could yield long-term advantages for the company. Specifically, these metalworking coolants are environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and use fewer harmful chemicals. Despite the higher upfront cost, these coolants’ diminished waste and extended lifespan make them a financially prudent and environmentally conscious choice.
Management reviewed Evan’s recommendations and determined this shift in production wasn’t just about saving money. It was a strategic move toward sustainability, aligning 110 Metalworks with eco-friendly practices while optimizing operational costs.
The Freddy machine resulted in a substantial reduction in waste products. The workshop’s environmental footprint has been significantly diminished, marking a crucial step toward a more sustainable operation.
Environmental Impact and Efficiency Gains
Beyond the eco-friendly gains, the newfound efficiency has been transformative. Evan’s initiative has streamlined operations and showcased the power of combining technology with skilled human input to achieve unprecedented efficiency levels. Additionally, a job that used to consume an entire day is now completed in just a few hours. Evan can now focus on other essential tasks while the Freddy machine collects used coolant from bins.
Speaking candidly, Evan also mentioned how the project provided a unique opportunity to deepen his perspective and knowledge of machining. It wasn’t merely a task but a learning journey that has contributed to his growth toward becoming a skilled CNC machinist.
Reflecting on his experience, Evan admitted to some nervousness when presenting his research to upper management at 110 Metalworks. Not accustomed to public speaking, addressing senior figures was intimidating. However, the positive feedback he received on his work served as a confidence boost.
This project wasn’t just about optimizing coolant usage; it was a testament to Evan’s growth as a professional. Conquering his apprehensions and showcasing his expertise to upper management propelled the project’s success and underscored the importance of investing in staff development.
At its core, this project epitomizes Evan’s journey to becoming a skilled CNC machinist. It goes beyond the technicalities of machining to encompass problem-solving, environmental consciousness, and professional development.
As Evan continues to refine his skills and contribute to the workshop’s success, his journey stands as an inspiring example of how innovation and sustainability can go hand in hand in precision machining. His initiative not only addressed a pressing issue within the workshop but also exemplified the potential for positive change when sustainability, efficiency, and personal development converge.
About 110 Metalworks
At 110 Metalworks, our journey is not just about growth; it’s a relentless pursuit of excellence. As we evolve, our commitment to unwavering values remains the heartbeat of our identity. Passion for manufacturing runs deep in our dedicated team, uniting with collective expertise to establish us as your steadfast ally.
Our mission? Crafting quality metal parts for the world’s best. Diving into our extensive experience with metals and diverse materials, we provide OEMs with more than a service – we offer a comprehensive production solution, from simple components to intricate assemblies. No matter your business size, we’re geared to deliver unparalleled value.
We’re not just a supplier; we’re the supply chain partner you can count on. Your success is our success. Ready to elevate your manufacturing journey? Contact us today – let’s build excellence together.