Inside machine shops, neglecting sumps has a negative impact on your operation, from output to the environment itself. And, though cutting tools are the stars of every workshop, some operators don’t put in the time or effort to take care of them either.
Properly cleaning your shop’s machines and sumps might seem like it lowers productivity, but you might be surprised at how the practice can cut costs for your operation and save time in the long run.
Here are some of the biggest benefits of adding regular cleanings to your schedule:
Reduce Fluid Costs
Properly cleaning your sumps and machine tools will reduce overall fluid costs each year. In many operations, cleaning is neglected until someone smells an odor or sees smoke from one of the machines or coolants. At that point, damage has likely been done by corrosion and odor causing bacteria and contaminants, which will require additional downtime and coolant usage.
A foul odor on the shop floor is a sign that bacteria are growing in the sump, destroying the coolant. Maintenance cleaning won’t be enough. You’ll likely have to stop production and replace the cutting fluid, which uses significantly more product than if you kept the coolant clean and maintained.
However, when you frequently clean your coolant by removing tramp oil and preventing bacteria growth and keep concentrations in the proper range the coolant will last far longer before it needs to be replaced.
Failing to properly clean cutting fluids will lead to substantially more coolant usage due to constantly replacing the material, which will significantly increase your costs.
Increase Worker Productivity
The average person spends over a third of their life at work, which means the workplace will play a major role in someone’s day-to-day mood. Happy workers are productive workers. This relates to cleaning sumps and machine tools because, in doing so, you’ll simultaneously contribute to employee satisfaction and productivity by:
1. Creating a better environment
When coolant gets too dirty, it becomes a breeding ground for smelly bacteria, creating an odor that can pervade the entire shop floor. Tramp oil might also burn off during machine use and create smoke. It’s not pleasant to be in that kind of environment, let alone for a long shift, surrounded by other people who are equally miserable.
Properly cleaning your sumps or changing coolant when necessary will prevent this from happening, making the factory a much more pleasant place to be.
2. Protecting worker health
Smoke is never pleasant to breathe, and that includes the smoke created by burning tramp oil. Plus, dirty coolant fluid may contribute to skin reactions such as contact dermatitis, a condition that can cause painful itching, flaking, cracking, or peeling.
3. Making machines more productive
When cutting fluids are properly maintained, cutting tools work properly and can last longer. Things like contaminants, tramp oil, fines, and degraded coolant all reduce tool life. . Like clean oil in your car, clean coolant can keep things running smoothly, and machines will work as expected, further improving employee morale
Reduce Machine Downtime
Properly cleaning the machine and changing out the coolant takes a serious amount of time. And when your machines aren’t efficiently producing parts, you’re losing money. Regularly and properly cleaning sumps and cutting tools will extend coolant life so machines give their maximum performance for a longer period of time.
Extend Machine Tool Life
Contamination and dirty coolant doesn’t just create foul-smelling odors. The contaminants that make their way into cutting fluids can also cause issues with the machines themselves, such as heavy residues, deteriorating seals and other components. In many cases, this can even lead to corrosion. This will result in more replacement parts needed over time.
Increased equipment costs will drive up your costs, not to mention the downtime and labor of having to replace parts.
Properly cleaning your sumps and cutting tools won’t just make for happier employees and a better work environment — these practices will improve your entire operation, as well as your bottom line, productivity, and output.