Photo: Werbefoto Robold

Running like a well-oiled machine? It'll run even better with intelligent lubrication!

The machining quality of a workpiece depends on the machine, the tools, and the cooling lubricant, although less attention is usually paid to the latter. The concentration might be too high, too low, or not maintained; the temperature might fluctuate – all of which can clearly be seen in the machining results. To keep the emulsion just right and supply it continuously to machines, the CHIRON Group is collaborating with the MOTOREX AG. The system created by the Swiss lubricant specialist ensures continuous monitoring, dispensing, and maintenance. Moreover, it can be fully incorporated into ConditionLine, the automatic condition monitoring tool of the CHIRON Group's SmartLine portfolio.

Millions of machining centers are used worldwide, and they operate with cooling lubricants as a rule. In most cases, that means the operators mix water and an additive to form an emulsion, top up the tank, and assume everything's fine.

»Unfortunately that's not actually the case«, according to Pascal Schröder, Development Coordination Digitalization at the CHIRON Group. »Let's say the tank holds 900 liters, and there was 300 liters left in it. It wouldn't be wise to then add 600 liters of fresh, cold emulsion to it. The temperature of the emulsion as a whole would change suddenly, which – thanks to the laws of physics – would mean each machining center would warp slightly, negatively affecting the precision and machining quality.«

Another negative aspect is that machining processes generate heat, causing the water in the emulsion to evaporate faster. The longer the cooling lubricant is used, the higher its concentration, and the less stable the process. If the cooling lubricant is not maintained properly, it can also result in deposits accumulating in the process, causing tools to break and stopping surfaces from fitting. Which is all the more problematic if a tank supplies many different machines rather than just one. According to Adrian Schoch, Head of Application at MOTOREX, »even high-quality additives won't help in these cases. That's because they, like the machining centers, can only give their best performance when they are used correctly.«

»To achieve optimum machining results, the conditions need to be perfect. Besides the machine itself, the cooling lubricant is an important way of achieving this.«
Pascal Schröder
Development Coordination Digitalization at the CHIRON Group

The goal: »To digitalize« fluid
For Pascal Schröder, the answer is clear: »The automatic supply, monitoring, and maintenance of cooling lubricant is a key factor for machining centers to deliver perfect results. Particularly bearing in mind the opportunities from networked production and Industry 4.0, it makes little sense to constantly monitor the machine condition but to completely ignore the surrounding processes.«

That's why the CHIRON Group has, for many years, supported developments by MOTOREX to achieve automatic fluid management and the optimum conditions for machining different materials.

»In the CHIRON Group, we have a partner who, like us, strives for perfection and focuses not only on the machining centers themselves, but also on production factors in the surrounding environment.«
Adrian Schoch
Head of Application at MOTOREX

Measuring, monitoring, dispensing, checking – these are the four factors to achieve the best possible condition at all times. This is reflected in the workpiece quality, but also generates added value:

Up to 25 percent less consumption: When the tank is always full, with a consistently optimum value and stable temperature, less strain is placed on the cooling lubricant and it can be used for longer.

Lower machine usage costs: Rotating components – spindles, pumps, vane pumps – can be used for longer and better protected from wear if the emulsion has the right concentration and optimum pH.

Better machine availability: The tanks are filled automatically with no machine downtime.

Reduced workload: Operators no longer have to deal with the machining fluid and can be confident that everything is set correctly at all times.

Greater sustainability: The longer the fluid is used, the less waste there is, which is better for the environment. There is no need to »tip up« the tank and replace the entire tank contents.

Improved health and safety: Chemical additives are no longer required to prevent fungi and bacteria. This, and a constant pH value, prevents skin allergies and allergic reactions.

Fast documentation in accordance with TRGS 611 (Technical Rules for Hazardous Substances):Weekly measurement values in the medical engineering division can now be provided at the touch of a button for all machines, saving a significant amount of time.

Scalable for every requirement
The smartphone-based Easy Monitoring App from MOTOREX offers a convenient introduction to automatic cooling lubricant maintenance. The app provides a digital illustration of the fluids, records all relevant parameters in seconds, and stores the data for analysis and documentation purposes. Discrepancies can be identified at an early stage and eliminated quickly.

Machining centers »understand« fluid
Incorporating fluid management into the machine controls of the CHIRON Group machining centers offers a number of advantages when combined with the Easy Monitoring App: All relevant values such as the concentration, pH value, conductivity, temperature, and fill level can be viewed directly. Plus, the data can be transmitted to the CHIRON Group and to MOTOREX, with the customer's consent of course. This allows the professionals to provide direct support. The system can intelligently top up and automatically maintain the fluid. When the first shift starts on Monday, the emulsion is just right and the tank is topped up to perfection.

 Relevant cooling lubricant factors displayed on the ConditionLine dashboard.
Relevant cooling lubricant factors displayed on the ConditionLine dashboard.

Would you like to know more about Swisscare Smart Solutions for CHIRON Group machining centers?
Get in touch with us! Or pay a visit to »micro on tour« in Switzerland in late summer 2021. Nine partners will be on board the roadshow truck, providing information on innovative solutions and services along the entire precision manufacturing process chain.

MOTOREX AG, based in Langenthal, Switzerland, is a major global manufacturer of lubricants for a wide variety of applications in industry, agriculture and forestry, transport, construction machinery, Alpine infrastructure, the marine industry, the car sector, the motorbike and bicycle industry, and the classic vehicle segment.

It produces 38,000 Metric tonnes of lubricant per year, while the 2,500 plus formulations are constantly under further development in collaboration with OEMs, industry partners, motorsport teams, and universities, with a growing focus on optimizing sustainability. One of the company's core competencies is industrial lubricant technology – from water-miscible cooling lubricants, to different oils, to spindle products. MOTOREX has over 350 employees and operates in 85 countries through 5 sales branches and 130 distribution partners.

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