Advanced oils, lubricants and treatments since 1887
Millers Oils Fluid Management Technician, Zane Alqadi, gives best practice tips for looking after your cutting fluid over the holidays.
Proper planning for a Christmas shutdown can save both time and money on your return, and this is especially true for machine-shops using water soluble cutting fluid.
Due to their water-based chemistry and the open environment in which they operate, metalworking fluids need regular checks to ensure the product is in good condition and free from contamination. If the concentration deviates from the recommended level, or the sump becomes contaminated by bacteria or fungus, the product can rapidly degrade – particularly when not in use for a prolonged period like the Christmas break.
Ideally, small sumps should be drained and cleaned out prior to shut down to eliminate the risk of contamination and degradation while the machine isn’t in use. That’s not always practical, and certainly for larger sump sizes we’d recommend taking some preventative measures instead:
When you return in January, take off the sump lids and remove any tramp oil that has settled on the surface before starting up the machines. Test all the fluid concentrations and pHs again. If the sumps haven’t been covered then the concentration may be too high due to evaporation loss. If that’s the case, then top up with a weak mix to return the concentration to its recommended level.
Where the pH is low but the concentration is correct, I’d recommended checking for bacteria and fungus using dip slide tests, before using a tank side treatment if required.
Once the fluids are back to their optimum condition, you’re ready to start the new year with improved work-piece finish, extended tool life and reduced unplanned down-time.