The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a stop. Industries everywhere faced unprecedented disruption, especially manufacturing. Now more than one year later, governments are slowly opening their countries — but the effects of the pandemic still pose real challenges for businesses. 

In April 2020, total industrial capacity utilization fell to 64.1 percent, though it was back to 74.5 percent by the end of the year. Despite the uptick, that figure was still below the 77 percent capacity utilization from the same time in 2019. Currently, Deloitte anticipates annual manufacturing GDP growth to increase 3.5 percent in 2021. COVID-19 also resulted in a significant decline in industrial jobs — employment levels as of December 2020 were 543,000 lower than February of that year. 

From supply chain delays to labor market instability to thin profit margins, manufacturing faces more challenges than ever in 2021. Here’s how to overcome this year’s difficulties — and why Master Fluid Solutions can help.

High-Quality Cutting Fluids Anchor Fluctuating Budgets

Supply chains from China were completely cut off at the start of the pandemic, forcing manufacturers to find other material sources. Even with borders open again, ongoing trade wars are causing steel prices and other metals to fluctuate. Labor costs — which generally comprise 31 percent of a budget — are also in flux due to market instability. 

Labor and workpiece materials are among the biggest expenses for a manufacturer, which is difficult considering the constant shift in today’s pricing. Another major expense is fluid costs. However, manufacturers can rely on Master Fluid Solutions’ TRIM® line of cutting fluids, which remain unchanged throughout the pandemic — both in cost and quality. 

Coolant Management Training Saves Money 

On average, coolant accounts for 0.5 percent of total production costs. Maximizing coolant life and efficiency can subsequently control costs for labor, cutting tools, and other workpiece materials.

Coolant management refers to the equipment and procedures that help keep cutting fluids clean, ensuring they provide optimal lubrication and maintain a long life. We partner with customers to assist them in developing systems and protocols for maintaining optimal coolant, creating a cascade of cost savings in labor and materials, as well as increasing revenue potential with greater productivity

Master Fluid Solutions reps diligently work on-site to train workers on coolant maintenance. And as skilled labor becomes increasingly tough to secure, Master Fluid Solutions is helping train the next generation of metalworkers on best practices. 

Longer Coolant Life Improves Labor Efficiency

Coolant maintenance doesn’t only minimize fluid costs — it improves productivity too. If coolant becomes dirty to the point that it needs to be replaced, the machine will require downtime while the sump is cleaned out. This adds time to shifts where nothing is produced, which then eats into profits. 

Clean coolant helps tools cut more efficiently, making machines easier to use for workers and reducing time spent on reworking parts. Plus, cutting fluids that are cleaned of tramp oil produce less smoke and vapor, improving the shop environment for workers. 

Well-Maintained Cutting Fluid Prevents Material Waste

When cutting fluid is dirty, it reduces cutting accuracy and increases the likelihood that parts will be malformed and scrapped. Workpiece materials account for an average 17 percent of every production budget — and right now, prices are unusually shaky. That’s why waste should be avoided at all costs by keeping cutting fluid in an optimal state. 

Better Coolant Extends Tool Life

Comprising about three percent of a budget, cutting tools bear the brunt of every manufacturing operation, requiring frequent replacement. However, high-quality, well-managed cutting fluid can help tools last longer. In fact, an aerospace parts manufacturer increased their tool life by 234 percent with Master Fluid Solutions, shaving almost $70,000 off annual production costs. 

Cutting fluid is a small expense in the grand scheme of every operation, but using it properly can create untold savings. Getting back to basics and reassessing how even the smallest aspects of a workshop are managed will help manufacturers successfully navigate these uncertain times. 

Call +1 800-537-3365 or email info@masterchemical.com to learn more about high-quality coolants and metal working fluids, and the numerous benefits they can offer your operation.