Minimum quantity lubrication improves Ford quality and processing cost

Nearly dry MQL machining cuts major costs related to unneeded coolant tanks and high-pressure supply systems, while also reducing operating costs and improving plant air quality.

05/20/2009


Ford Motor Co. claims that its use of MQL (minimum quantity lubrication) machining systems from MAG Powertrain at the company’s Van Dyke Transmission plant in Sterling Heights, MI, has produced measurable environmental and costs benefits. To begin with, the MQL systems saved the company significantly (Ford would only say that it saved “seven figures”) in initial cost compared to conventional wet machining, and the machines have been producing parts at lower variable cost compared to previous machining systems used at the plant.
Van Dyke Transmission currently uses more than 120 MAG CNC machines equipped with MQL or a hybrid system combining CNC and special machines. MQL is a nearly dry machining process that uses a through-tool oil mist, tailored to provide the right volume for required lubricity at the interface of tool and work surface. The amount of lubricity is controlled for the particular machining operation and tool, such as tapping or face milling. MQL reduces metalworking fluid flow from gallons per minute (in traditional wet machining) to milliliters per hour.
The plant's most recent green-machine installation in 2008 included 52 MAG Specht horizontal machining systems configured for 4- and 5-axis work to produce aluminum parts for the

MAG Specht horizontal machining system

Machining a Ford transmission case

MAG Powertrain horizontal machining centers, equipped for MQL machining (top), produce a family of valve bodies and transmission cases for Ford (bottom).

6F mid-range FWD transmission. The high-speed machines complement MQL with a proprietary real-time temperature compensation system that constantly monitors the machine, the part and ambient air to ensure consistently precise work. The steeply angled interior of the machine, coupled with a Handte chip evacuation system, eliminates the need for chip-flushing coolant and the resulting cost for pumps, filter media, and chip drying. The machining envelope is kept under negative air pressure, with chips and oil mist pulled out in an airstream, then through a centrifuge and filter system. Dry chips collect in a hopper, and clean air is returned to the plant or back to the machine enclosure. A study conducted by Van Dyke Transmission showed that the filtered air from the chip evacuation system is as clean as typical office air, contributing to an improvement in overall plant air quality.
"The metalworking industry consumes several hundred million gallons of fluids each year," said Ron Quaile, vice president proposal, estimating & marketing for MAG Powertrain North America. "The investment, operation, and maintenance costs of traditional coolant systems can easily reach 15% of the life-cycle cost of a machining system. A machine that uses conventional coolants requires a more costly plant infrastructure, costs more to install, and is more difficult and costly to relocate. Coolant mist almost always fouls the plant air and equipment. There's a cascade of cost savings when you take flood coolant out of machining, and Ford Van Dyke has proven these benefits."

– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director

Control Engineering News Desk

Register here .





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
The true cost of lubrication: Three keys to consider when evaluating oils; Plant Engineering Lubrication Guide; 11 ways to protect bearing assets; Is lubrication part of your KPIs?
Contract maintenance: 5 ways to keep things humming while keeping an eye on costs; Pneumatic systems; Energy monitoring; The sixth 'S' is safety
Transport your data: Supply chain information critical to operational excellence; High-voltage faults; Portable cooling; Safety automation isn't automatic
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Maintaining low data center PUE; Using eco mode in UPS systems; Commissioning electrical and power systems; Exploring dc power distribution alternatives
Synchronizing industrial Ethernet networks; Selecting protocol conversion gateways; Integrating HMIs with PLCs and PACs
Why manufacturers need to see energy in a different light: Current approaches to energy management yield quick savings, but leave plant managers searching for ways of improving on those early gains.

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.