In recent years, many businesses across a variety of industries have become more aware of their environmental impact. While being environmentally responsible is undoubtedly great for our planet, have you considered how it can be beneficial for your organization as well? Historically, it has been challenging for machine shops and other metalworking businesses to implement more sustainable practices due to cost concerns. However, with the tools and recycling programs readily available today, these initiatives can actually help your business with long term cost savings.
How environmentally friendly is your workplace? Here are 3 different factors to consider:
1. Fluid selection:
No matter your operation, Quaker Houghton offers a variety of metalworking fluids that are efficiently designed for your specific needs, are safe to dispose of, and are even fully biodegradable. When selecting a coolant, ensure it is compatible with the material you are working with and use the appropriate concentration. Synthetic coolants will generally last longer, be less messy, and are easier to reclaim than a neat cutting oil.
If any equipment in your shop requires hydraulic fluid, consider a fire-resistant, biodegradable option. QUINTOLUBRIC 888 for instance, is not only completely biodegradable, but provides added fire safety and can even qualify you for an insurance discount.
2. Fluid maintenance:
Fluid management practices are a great way to get the most out of your coolants and other metalworking fluid. The key to fluid longevity is daily concentration monitoring, which impacts everything from micro-organisms and foaming to emulsion stability and added corrosion protection. Monitor concentration and pH daily and consider checking for bacterial and fungal growth on a weekly basis. Do not allow the solution to sit stagnant and train operators to avoid putting their hands in the solution to avoid bacterial growth.
Troubleshoot problems as they occur by maintaining the proper fluid flow, pressure, and level, and by adjusting the concentration as needed. Keeping an eye on things allows for lifecycle optimization, which is an easy way to prevent unnecessary disposal.
If utilizing QUINTOLUBRIC 888, Quaker Houghton provides a fluid analysis program to assist with fluid maintenance, so let us know if this is something you are interested in!
3. Recycling programs:
There are recycling opportunities available for many materials that you can consider for your business. Certain organizations will accept, or even pay for, metal scraps and used tooling. When it comes to metalworking fluid recycling, equipment options are available either as an on-site rental or as a truck that stops by with the necessary tools. Common processes for fluid recycling include filtration, coalescing, and magnetic separations. Filters and magnetic separators are used to remove solids from the oil, which can also often be recycled or resold. Coalescers will cause oil to float to the surface, allowing for easy separation from the remainder of the fluid.
Once the contaminants have been removed, the next steps are to replenish the coolant and ensure correct concentration. Some manufacturers mix recycled coolant with fresh coolant using special tools to obtain the correct ratios. Although recycling coolant requires specific equipment and procedures, doing so can significantly reduce waste.
Today’s economy, in combination with a push toward energy conservation, is changing many shops’ approaches to metalworking fluid selection and use. If you are interested in the environmentally conscious options we have available, please visit us as https://www.quakerhoughtonconnect.com and browse our product selection.
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