Filtering Grinder Coolant Leads to Better Blades
Whether a knife maker is creating a high-end chef’s knife that retails for hundreds of dollars or a discount pocketknife, the manufacturer needs machine tools to grind the blade into a fine edge. The grinding process, however, creates swarf -- or flecks of metal -- that compromise the operation of machinery and the treatment of fluids used. Also, the coolant can help maintain optimum machining temperature during the grinding process. Exposure to high heat would undo the tempering process that makes steel less brittle.
Knife makers need to be mindful of the grinding process because it represents an opportunity to better manage costs, improve productivity and mitigate manufacturing’s environmental impact. Losma creates industrial air and fluid filtration systems, which are intrinsic to operating manufacturing equipment under ideal conditions. As robotics, lasers and precision instruments guide manufacturing, it is paramount to have the equipment operating at its peak. In the case of grinding knives, it means keeping the equipment cool and clean. Under these circumstances, the grinders require lower levels of maintenance and the knives produced have fewer defects. Grinders require a system to collect swarf consisting of a filter made with non-disposable or disposable type media and possibly a magnetic separator pre-filter to maintain the purity of the coolant and keep machines from overheating. Without the filters, lubricating and cooling liquids would need to be replaced, leading to higher material and waste disposal costs. Manufacturers also must consider the efficient use of space, since inefficient coolant set-ups can curtail the number of grinders available to work.
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