Coolant recycling case study for an Alfie 500 Centrifuge
filtration, industrial lubricants, Coolants
Atlas Copco Tools in Tierp, Sweden, is a leading global supplier of manually operated pneumatic and electric power tools used in industrial production. Today, the total number of employees amounts to approx. 350. From its distribution hub in Hoeselt, Belgium, the company ships more than 2,000 different tool varieties to its worldwide network of customers. Since short lead times and spotless quality are major competitive factor for Atlas Copco as well as for their customers, no effort is spared when it comes to improvement of the production processes. Centrifugal separators from Alfa Laval are vital in this continuous pursuit of industrial excellence.
Coolant emulsions fulfil a critical function
As for all players within the metalworking industry, coolants are critical for product quality, machinery performance and overall economy. Their replacement and disposal generate considerable cost and insufficient cleaning of them will compromise e.g. tool precision, occupational safety and productivity.
The pollution of coolants occurs gradually when tramp oil from the machinery and metal particles from the tools disperse into the coolant liquid.
At Atlas Copco, the important cleaning function is fulfilled by 2 mobile centrifugal separators of the Alfie 500 model. Since 7 machines work with an exceptionally high lubrication frequency, their coolants have to be cleaned on a daily basis.
The other machines are being served whenever the operators find it necessary.
Says Joakim Forslund, who is a production manager at the Atlas Copco plant in Tierp: “We got our first Alfie 500 a couple of years ago, and very soon decided to have another one. Before the arrival of the separators, we did replace the coolants whenever needed. At this stage, though, we did not have any machinery with a high-frequency lubrication pattern. These machines were installed in parallel with the separators.
The beauty of simplicity
When asked if alternative technologies were considered for the coolant cleaning, Joakim Forslund gives a straight reply:
“Not really. Of course there are alternative solutions, e.g. band skimmers. However, we found that high-speed separators will produce the best result. Another important aspect is the simplicity of its design and the fact that the separators can be operated by almost anyone with a basic understanding of the coolant function. It is also a great advantage that the cleaning can be performed with the machinery in full operation.
”In the actual case this means that the separators are handled by the machine operators, who did not need any specific training for this task. The Alfie 500 represents a genuine “plug-and-play” solution. Preventive maintenance and repair can be carried out by the Atlas Copco technicians. Joakim Forslund again:
“The simplicity and robustness of design are valuable to us. The operators can handle the separators after merely a brief introduction. I would describe the design as a brilliant example of ‘ingenious simplicity’.
”Since the production structure and fleet of machinery was restructured upon the arrival of the first Alfie separator, Joakim Forslund has no material for a cost/efficiency analysis before and after the Alfie separators.
However, he has a feeling that everything is working out very well. “We are able to keep the coolants clean and able to fulfil their function.
Also, the Alfie separators have proved very reliable. They do their job and cause us no headache, so I guess this brings obvious testimony to their efficiency.”
LUBRISERV LTD are the Authorised UK Distributor for Alfa Laval mobile centrifuges:
For more information on how an ALFIE 500 can help you please contact Lubriserv Ltd
TEL: 01302 723131
EMAIL: [email protected]
, Coolant Centrifuge
, Coolant Cleaning
, coolant recycling
, cutting oils
, industrial lubricants
, Metalworking Fluids