Skimmers extend coolant lifespan


Introducing oil skimmers to the coolant process on machinery has both extended coolant life and improved sustainability at the Door Controls production facility in Monroe, US.


Researching different coolant products or methods to extend the life of the existing coolant in the CNC machining centers is just part of the overall continuous improvement process at the Door Controls production facility in Monroe, North Carolina. Reducing coolant usage and cost, while maintaining machine tool life for aluminum, steel, cast iron, and brass materials, using one coolant formulation, can be extremely challenging.


After investigating various coolant recycling processes and calculating the cost of sending coolant to be recycled – or purchasing equipment to recycle internally – it was determined that recycling was not the right fit for our operation.  A more effective alternative was to install skimmers on all our CNC equipment’s coolant sumps, and skim the tramp oils from the coolant, significantly extending the life of the coolant. The skimmers were inexpensive, easy to install and extremely effective, while providing immediate results.


All of our CNC machines and even several of our traditional manual machines now have skimmers on the coolant sumps. This has extended the coolant life so that a charge will last a minimum of one year without affecting tool life, producing an annual saving of 1040 liters of coolant per year, or USD 5600. In addition, the tramp oils that are removed from the skimming process are put through our evaporator system, and the sludge from this process is recycled and used for fuel blending.