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Coolant-management program.

Coolant-management program

Eastman Kodak, Rochester, NY, houses some very important machine shops, performing work as challenging as any West Coast aerospace jobs. Many of the rolls and other parts for film-processing equipment must be machined on site because of extremely close tolerances essential in producing photographic film.

QC procedures established for sophisticated metal- and plastics-working equipment go beyond selection and control of machines and intensive training of machine operators. They now include management of coolants as well. In addition, the firm also sets its own standard for worker and environmental protection at a level said to be unmatched in the industry.

Two-year search

The company embarked on a dedicated program to optimize coolant management more than two years ago. Management wanted quality coolant that met all performance requirements while ensuring a safe environment for employees. The program evaluated coolants with regard to performance, economics, worker health and safety, effects on environment of the plant and community, disposal problems, and--a special concern--photo reactivity of coolant chemicals to film produced by the company.

"We've come to the realization that there's no perfect coolant on the market," says a tooling expert at Kodak's Shops Div. "Every coolant, no matter how good, begins to break down the minute it's used in a machining operation."

This conclusion led the Kodak group to expand the investigation of coolant improvements to include not only coolants, additives, and biocides, but also the entire scope of coolant application from selecting the product all the way through to disposing of spent coolants.

Oakite Products, Berkeley Heights, NJ, proposed a coolant-management program tailored to conditions at Kodak Park. The program uses quality coolants and lengthens coolant life in the machines. Coolant-management began with a test program that included one machine using flood coolant and ten machines using mist coolant. While the tooling group monitored coolant performance, health and safety experts monitored machine operators for possible reactions.

Employees accepted the Oakite products, and, after six months, the program was expanded to include more than 200 machine tools. Machine sump capacities ranged from 7-gal misting-coolant systems to 250-gal flooding operations.

Charging machines

At Kodak, as in any plant, the changeover of machine tools to a coolant-management program begins with a thorough cleaning and sanitizing of each machine sump. Operators use a sump sucker to remove coolant from the machine sump and scrape out all solid material (fines, chips, sludge) from the bottom.

Next, they add a solution of Oakite Sump Cleanse [sub.R] and Grow-No-More [sub.R] biocide to each sump, and circulate the fluids as long as practical. This will help to clean and disinfect the sump and lines, setting up a sterile environment for a fresh coolant charge.

Every other Friday, more bactericide and fungicide are added to each coolant sump and circulated for 1 hr. This extra precaution protects coolant from bacteria and fungi growth during machine shutdowns over the weekend.

As a rule of thumb, Kodak tooling experts rely on a synthetic coolant (Oakite Controlant [sub.R] 155-S) for cutting, grinding, and spray-mist applications. Soluble-oil coolant (Controlant 150-SO) is applied for turning, drilling, broaching, tapping, and reaming.

This rule is flexible. Special conditions can require a switch in coolant types for specific operations. For example, in some machining operations, where close visual monitoring is desirable, clear synthetic coolant provides better visibility.

The shop has its 55-gal drums of coolant equipped with Oakite Crown Mixers, which are set to deliver a 5 percent concentration of coolant. The mixers can be set for 2 percent, 6 percent, or whatever concentration is required.

Operator involvement

Involvement of machine operators in the coolant-management program is essential. Once a coolant is accepted, operators are grouped together for training. Literature on the advantages of coolant management is reviewed, and log sheets for each machine are given to operators and explained. Procedures for adding bactericide are demonstrated, and the technique for checking coolant concentration with a refractometer is practiced. Where the operators were not concerned with coolant life before, they are now a part of the program.

Oakite Products is also an integral part of managing the program. Every Monday, an account manager from the Rochester area meets with the shop people at Kodak Park and makes a round of the machines. Samples are taken by dipping in Sump Checkers [sub.R] that have surfaces on which any bacteria or fungi in the coolant will be cultured. Coolant samples from selected machines are collected and sent by overnight mail to the Oakite coolant laboratory in New Jersey. The samples are analyzed, and a computer printout of coolant condition, perceived problems, and corrective actions goes back to Kodak in 48 hr via facsimile machine. When desirable, lab personnel telephone to discuss any conditions that need immediate attention to prevent coolant degradation.

Laboratory tests and reports generated at Oakite include: Machine number, sample date, date sample was received, coolant name, pH, concentration, percentage of tramp oils, conductivity, percentage of sediment, and quantity of fungi and bacteria.

"By adopting a coolant management program, we reduce maintenance, disposal, and coolant expenditures," says a Kodak spokesman. Coolant management permits early recognition and avoidance of incipient problems with coolants that could cause poor tool life, coolant rancidity, machine downtime, excessive coolant disposal, dermatitis, and workpiece and tool corrosion.

PHOTO : Good management programs help to ensure coolant purity and long life.

PHOTO : Operator takes weekly sump checker and coolant samples from machine-tool sump to send to

PHOTO : Oakite laboratory for analysis. Disk skimmer in foreground removes tramp oil from 100-gal

PHOTO : sump; 55-gal coolant drum in background has Crown Mixer set to deliver a 5-percent mixture

PHOTO : to replenish the sump.
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Copyright 1990 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:at Eastman Kodak Co. machine shops
Publication:Tooling & Production
Date:Feb 1, 1990
Words:938
Previous Article:MEs in the '90s: pulling together on the shop floor.
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