money and preventing machine downtime
came early for Rick Taurus this year. In fact, he's been reaping
good tidings for some time now. As plant supervisor of Casetroll
in Garfield Heights. Ohio, Rick knows the vital role that
skimmers play in maintaining coolant. This is why he decks
his shop with Zebra
Sidewinder Tube Skimmer.
Saving money and preventing machine downtime were the most
important factors in their decision to install skimmers. Often,
Casetroll gets busier than a staff of little elves making
toys the night before Christmas. From the automotive industry
to aerospace, their customers rely on them to manufacture
motion control linear positioners and tension transducers.
Casetroll machines everything from aluminum, brass, to stainless
steel and some exotics - and their CNC's often operate for
12 or more hours at a time. These conditions wreak havoc on
even the best coolants. Finding a solution to Rick's coolant's
tramp oil problem had to be both efficient and cost-effective.
He also wanted a skimmer that would run continuously, be easy
to install, and if a problem came up, help would be just a
phone call away. Zebra Skimmers in Chagrin Falls, Ohio got
Rick decided to use the newest type of skimmer, the Zebra
Sidewinder, and now uses them on many of his Hitachis and
Hurcos. Before Zebra, Rick had to change his coolant sumps
every 3-4 months, on the average. It was enough to make Saint
Nick say "ba humbug"!
Since using Sidewinders over the past 2 years, Rick has seen
his coolant sumps last much longer. On the average, they now
last over a year before they need to be changed. And in several
cases, the sumps have gone almost a full 2 years without the
need to be cleaned out. Equally important, his co-workers
are not complaining about foul odors and skin problems anymore.
Rick had a vertical Hurco that was generating a lot of oil,
and a lot of fines. In response, Zebra developed its newest
member of the Sidewinder family, the Sidewinder V. Rick required
such improvements as the external scraper to prevent fines
from clogging the drain, a 1" inner-diameter discharge port
for easy cleaning and reduced maintenance. Most significantly,
it had an oil capacity over 1 quart per hour.
Like earlier Sidewinders, it had a continuous-duty motor,
and would still fit in even the most access-impaired machines.
This, coupled with its increased capacity, meant that Rick
could use the unit on several machines without having to worry
about how the skimmer would bring out the oil. In addition,
the Zebra Sidewinder features a transparent cover that enables
him to see the skimmer in action.
Finally, the torque of his new Zebra Sidewinder allows Rick
to use an O-ring of almost any length. Unlike most skimmers,
the O-ring allows the skimmer to move from a deep machine
to a shallow machine sump with no work involved. Since the
unit can't bottom out like a disk or belt skimmer, it gave
Rick even more flexibility as to where it can be placed. And
because it can be mounted with a single C-clamp, he has the
convenience of moving it around in a matter of minutes.
Once the skimmer was installed, he was amazed at the speed
at which tramp oil was removed. He was also pleased to learn
that very little coolant is removed from the sump despite
the faster speed, and also noticed an improvement in the quality
of his expensive coolant. He especially liked the fact that
he was able to install the skimmer without having to shut
the machine down, as you have to do with many other types
Rick takes a pro-active approach to coolant maintenance at
Casetroll, utilizing a few stocking stuffers. By using a refractometer
in conjunction with a mixer, he gets the right concentration
of coolant for each machine, every time. In this way he gets
peak performance out of his coolant, but doesn't waste coolant
either - saving lots of money in the long run. Zebra's customers
which are water-tight, prefocused, and unbreakable. Zebra's
mixers feature precise needle-valve control, providing
consistent mixing every time. Finally, the ideal stocking-stuffer
would be an oxygenator,
a device that injects oxygen into coolant sumps. In this way
the growth of aerobic (good) bacteria is enhanced, while the
growth of anaerobic (bad) bacteria is suppressed.
Useful Links and Information about Coolant Maintenance