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Modern Coolant Management -- Serving Many Masters. (Spotlight).

Experts in metalworking fluid manufacture, application, and management discuss the critical issues in coolant usage in a seminar session at the Wisconsin Tool Expo 2001.

After more than 150 years of product manufacturing, there had been no means or criteria to evaluate metalworking fluids in a comparative manner until 1995. In that year, things began to change. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Sciences (IAMS) a cooperative agreement under the President's Environmental Technology Initiative. This agreement explored ways of improving industrial competitiveness by solving environmental pollution problems. A group of 4l industrial experts was assembled to form an advisory stakeholders team that became the International Working Industrial Group (IWIG).

In 2000, IAMS (now renamed TechSolve) determined that hey should continue with this advisory group (now consisting of more than 60 companies) to find methods for foam, bacteria, and foreign matter testing, as well as several chemical/material compatibility standardized test methods.

IWIG machinability testing consists of: monitoring the cutting forces generated during a specific, standardized procedure using dynamometer instrumentation; using a baseline fluid/material as reference points for all IWIG force tests; and comparing all products tested using this standard machinability test to one another for performance evaluation analyses.

When meeting with a machine fluid supplier, the following information should be requested:

* MSDS Material Safety Data Sheet;

* IWIG performance data, chemical/material compatibility, and sump evaluation data;

* How to handle foam, bacteria, and foreign matter; and

* How to use the manufacturer's information

When compared to the product currently in use, it is important to ask: Is the performance enhanced? Are health and safety an issue? Is environmental disposal an issue? What are the sump life, foam and bacterial resistance, and emulsification of foreign material?

Finally, the benefits achieved are:

* Knowledge of performance-based standardized methods;

* Time savings;

* Applied experience in fluid shop trials;

* Cooperative work with the fluid manufacturer.

* Reduction of fluid-related problems using improved technology;

* Increase in consumer confidence.

It is essential in today's climate to reduce cost by eliminating redundancy and increasing control of machine cutting fluids. Most companies allow a number of individuals to choose what fluids will be used, including the health and safety department, the environmental department, the hygiene specialist, and even, in some cases, industrial and manufacturing engineering. In all cases, the most important element of evaluation is performance, not concerns about health and safety, and not even the environment. If the fluid does not work, it should not be used.

To allow just anyone or everyone to determine what fluid is the correct one to use -- when the only information provided by the vendor is a promise of good performance -- may just be a costly, if not suicidal business practice. Setting up a network of personnel trained to use a knowledge base and manage fluid decisions intelligently will reduce all the costs related to evaluation, implementation, and maintenance, as well as issues involving the environment, health, and safety. The key to success is ETC: Education, Training, and Control.

Manufacturers and consumers of machine cutting fluids both have a responsibility to use this new testing resource in ways that better fit the users' information and productivity needs. The IWIG group has met quarterly since 1995 and will continue to meet as long as this work is in progress. This will require information and data to evaluate fluid problems and find solutions. If new quality criteria in manufacturing and pollution prevention are not implemented, eventually society and government will impose guidelines that could be more stringent and controlling than those that are in force today.

Critical Issues in Metal Machining

Machining and grinding wastewater tend to have more concentrated organic constituents, while wastewater from washing and maintenance is more dilute. The EPA has determined TOC (total organic carbon) to be the best overall indicator parameter for the evaluated waste streams because this analysis measures all types of organic compounds.

Wastewater characterization (where fluid goes):

* Spoilage: total daily fluid loss of 5% -- 20% may occur from the combination of evaporation, atomization, splashing, and drag out;

* Fluid misting: aerosols composed of liquid particles less than 20 micrometers in diameter. Small droplets may remain suspended in the workers' breathing zones for several hours, and even several days. They are formed by atomization (impact or spraying vaporization) of the cutting fluid by the heat generated with recondensation in to small droplets upon cooling evaporation, leaving nonaqueous components (such as the biocide additives) behind as a fine particle aerosol.

Anti-misting compounds can reduce misting substantially. A mist collector can be installed to prevent mist from entering plant air. However, efficiency will decrease with the time. In addition, oil droplets may experience partial or complete evaporation as they travel to the collector, and the resulting vapors may return to the room and affect worker health.

Pollution Prevention Act of 1990. 42 U.S.C. 13101 November 5, 1990 makes pollution prevention the national policy of the United States. This management hierarchy is founded on these principles, whenever feasible: pollution "should be prevented or reduced"; pollution that cannot be prevented should be recycled in an environmentally safe manner; and pollution that cannot be prevented or recycled, should be treated in an environmentally safe manner. Finally, disposal or release into the environment should be employed only as a last resort.

The Pollution Prevention Act (P2) defines "source reduction" as any practice that: reduces the amount of any hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant entering any waste stream or otherwise released into the environment (including fugitive emissions) prior to recycling, treatment or disposal; and reduces the hazards posed to the environment and public health with the release of such substances, pollutants or contaminants.

The National Commission on the Environment (NCE) defines P2 as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It espouses a systems approach in which P2 plays a critical role to improve solution of many of the remaining human health and environmental problems, while taking into account the complex relationships between energy, environmental, and socioeconomic concerns. The NCE definition integrates pollution prevention with environmental sustainability and offers the greatest opportunity for pollution prevention as a means to development in the future.

Some notable examples include:

* Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing: over 25 years, reduced emissions by a total of 800,000 tons, realizing over $825 million in first-year savings;

* The Dow Chemical plant (Midland, MI): saved $5.4 million a year on a one-time expenditure of $3.1 million and reduced the amount of 26 toxic emissions by 43%;

* Eastman Kodak: P2 framework models indicate cost savings of $13,500 to $100,000 in avoided expenses for each $100,000 expended in new chemical product development.

Sound environmental information on products and service systems is essential for manufacturers making decisions on materials, production methods, distribution, and disposition approaches. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a management decision tool that evaluates the environmental consequences of a product in its entire life cycle -- from the extraction of raw materials to its final disposition.

Technology for sustainable development must focus on pollution prevention across societies' entire spectrum. This requires a total systems approach that prevents the formation of pollutants by employing conservation, more energy efficient processes, and reducing waste in all facets of life.

It is a preventive approach that: uses fewer, non-polluting materials; designs processes to minimize pollutants and directs by-products to other useful purposes; and designs products for recycle.

More rapid adoption of sustainable technologies brings on the potential for cost savings derived from implementation. The need for conventional regulatory compliance will increasingly be designed out of processes and products, relieving reporting and enforcement burdens. Rissler Associates

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RELATED ARTICLE: ISO 14000: A Global Standard for Environmental Management Systems

The regulated community is in the process of making a fundamental change in the way it manages environmental issues. Countries are moving away from reactive, end-of-pipe management to a more proactive preventive approach based on uniform environmental management systems (EMS).

Environmental management systems are voluntary programs established by public and private enterprises that provide for the integrated management of environmental practices and prevention of noncompliance with environmental regulations as an integral part of plant management operation.

An EMS Program consists of a company's overall environmental policy, including safeguards developed and implemented to prevent noncompliance performed to evaluate, detect, prevent, and remedy any environmental problems associated with the institution's activities. These may include operating procedures for regular, periodic monitoring, including compliance and management audits, maintenance capability and response, and emergency response plans and capability.

ANSI (the American National Standards Institute) is the U.S. representative to the ISO process. The standards are administered by the ASTM (the American Society for Testing and Materials), the ASQC (the American Society for Quality Control) and NSF (the National Science Foundation) International, on behalf of ANSI. Individuals participating in the U.S./TAG: 510 representatives; 164 company reps: 200 consultants/registrars: 70 organizations/associations: 20 government agencies: 10 environmental interests.
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Publication:Modern Applications News
Date:Dec 1, 2001
Words:1493
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