Coolant cost reduction by recycling with an ALFIE 500 centrifuge

Coolant cost reduction by recycling with an ALFIE 500 centrifuge from LUBRISERV LTD

By: LUBRISERV LTD  10/01/2011
Keywords: machining, Coolants, Metalworking Fluids

 Alfie 500 – Your New Coolant Cost Saver

Clean coolants save more than you think Alfa Laval has released its smallest metalworking coolant cleaning module - the Alfie 500. The Alfie 500 is a mobile, plug-and-play system designed to remove contaminants from smaller metalworking systems. Based on high-speed centrifugal separation, it is dimensioned to handle volumes up to 5000 Litres, operating either at standstill or during a production run, without interrupting the machining process.
The Alfie 500 separates tramp oil as well as metal fines and solid particles down to 1µm from the coolant. With top-ups, continuous cleaning extends the coolant lifetime to up to 10 times the life of oil without a centrifuge.  This means major savings on fluid and filter disposal and replacement.

Clean coolants also extend tool lifetime and provide production runs without breakdowns. Clean coolants also result in more precise machining and fewer rejects. All functions are controlled by a PLC-based control system. Operating in bypass flow, the compact Alfie 500 can be installed in any metalworking system.

Example Case History
Kinnex in Götene, Sweden, is a contract manufacturer specialized into metal components for e.g. the packaging industry and for suppliers of hydraulic systems. From a modest start as a small local operator in 1974, the company now has 45 employees and an annual turnover of EUR 7 million.Their major customers are the global packaging company Tetra Pak and its system suppliers.

Part of an efficiency crusade.......
During the last few years, the company has taken its production process to a very high level of automation – thus meeting market demands for fast delivery of complex products manufactured in short series. Efficient cleaning of coolants is a major productivity factor, and this important task is performed by a mobile centrifugal separator from Alfa Laval, Alfie 500. This separator presently serves some 12 machines at the Kinnex plant. 
The pollution of coolants in this kind of operation occurs gradually when tramp oil from the machinery and metal particles from the tools disperse in the coolant liquid. Insufficient cleaning will compromise e.g. tool precision, occupational safety and productivity. It will also generate high costs for replacement and disposal of the coolants.

The best alternative.......
 Krister Berglund is the Environment & Quality Manager of Kinnex. He tells us why the Alfie 500 emerged as a natural solution of a well-defined problem. “Up to 2005 we replaced the coolants in every machine twice annually. The costs, not least for disposal, were heavy indeed. We finally got the chance to host the final on-site test of Alfie 500 before its launching. During the test period, we also checked out alternative technologies for coolant cleaning. We soon found out, however, that high-speed centrifugal separation was the most efficient method in our kind of operation. In 2005 we finally started using Alfie 500 regularly.

Doubled coolant lifetime......
Today, the replacement of coolants is carried out only once annually. This means a 100 % prolongation of the coolant life cycle and a subsequent reduction of purchase and destruction cost. A major additional benefit is the environmental gain. Says Krister:“Well, coolants that are not sufficiently clean tend to carry a very unpleasant odour. The operators are very pleased with the improvement brought by Alfie 500. It keeps their working environment more agreeable and they also notice that the tools can be kept working with unfaltering accuracy. Most likely, the life span of the tools and the machinery is affected favourably – since tramp oil and metal particles in dirty coolants will reduce their cooling and lubricant effect.”

A popular visitor........
The Alfie 500 working within the Kinnex plant is a mobile unit presently serving 12 machines. It is handled by two operators, specialists in their field. Since the character and intensity of operation will vary considerably for each machine, the coolant cleaning is not undertaken according to a fixed schedule. Instead, the operators of the machinery call for Alfie 500 assistance whenever they notice that it is time for a cleaning session. Krister continues:“Alfie 500 is indeed a popular visitor to the working stations. 
It is a great advantage that the cleaning can be carried out during operation and that the compact measures of Alfie allows minimal interference with the regular operation. I also find it a good thing that the operators have developed a keen eye for the cleanness of the coolants. ”Krister concludes by saying that the Alfie 500 was a sound investment with a remarkably short pay-back horizon. It could be set to work without any initial problems, since it represents something of a plug-and-play solution.

The Alfie 500 is an advanced mobile module for cleaning of water based coolant emulsions.
• System includes separator, feed pump and controlsystem.
• PLC-based control system – extremely easy to operate.
• High capacity-to-size ratio.
• Quick couplings make it easy to move from tankto tank.
• Can handle tanks with volumes of up to 15 m3.
• Installed in a bypass system, operating continuously
Please contact Lubriserv for more information or a demonstration of an ALFIE 500
Tel: 01302 723131
email: [email protected]

Keywords: CNC coolant, Coolant Centrifuge, Coolant Cleaning, coolant recycling, Coolants, machining, Metalworking Fluids