How Regular Machine Coolant Sump Cleaning Leads to Better Metal Cutting Performance

How Regular Machine Coolant Sump Cleaning Leads to Better Metal Cutting Performance

How Regular Machine Coolant Sump Cleaning Leads to Better Metal Cutting Performance

Sumps are the underappreciated workhorse of your machining operations and play a major role in metal fabrication. Sumps hold the liquid that keep cutting inserts and workpieces cool in the metal cutting process. Sumps also collect oil and gunk so letting it just sit there can gum up machinery, causing major damage to machines and their performance.

Any time a sump isn’t in use, even for a short period of time, the coolant begins to break down. Have you ever come into work after a long weekend and been met with a terrible smell? That smell is likely your cutting fluid breaking down. Tiny microorganisms are chomping on tramp oil that has leaked into your coolant. The result is not only a horrible odor, but also the potential for degradation of your cutting tool’s performance. Regular sump cleaning and maintenance helps you eliminate things that could be lurking in your sump, including:

  • Chips
  • Swarf
  • Mold
  • Fungus
  • Bacteria
  • Tramp oils

If you’ve had to shut down operations for any period of time, even over the course of a weekend, and haven’t performed regular sump coolant maintenance, you could be looking at serious and costly problems.

Related: 8 Steps to Prepare Your Sump for a Temporary Shutdown

3 Reasons to Keep Your Machining Coolant Clean and Free of Sludge

Operators that perform regular sump cleaning and coolant recharging experience benefits such as better machine performance, fewer machine breakdowns and less downtime. Here are just a few ways that your metalworking fluid can impact your shop’s performance.

  1. Better Tool Life
    Regular coolant changeouts and maintenance allow your machines’ tooling to perform better. Fresh coolant offers better lubricity when cutting a variety of materials, from soft metals to very hard and brittle variations.
  2. Better Machine Performance
    Old or dirty coolant can leave residue on the machine causing components, plates and tool holders to become sticky. Gummed up parts can lead to slower production, tools falling out of place and breakage of inserts and drill bits.
  3. Less Wear and Tear on Machines
    Using poor quality coolants can cause rust to form on chucks, vises, ball screws and other machine surfaces. Over time, this corrosion can cause premature machine failure and unnecessary replacement costs. Additionally, the wrong fluid can cause excess foam which may diminish the fluid’s ability to carry heat away from the tool, further limiting tool life.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your machine tool investment, Master Fluid Solutions has the general use and specialized formulas you need for improved sump life, repeatability, reliability and increased profitability. Contact your M&M Sales & Equipment representative to learn what coolant is right for your applications.

10 Steps to Sump Coolant Changeout and Tips for Longer Sump Life

Part of any good coolant maintenance program is regular evaluation of the coolant and laboratory testing performed either internally or through the coolant manufacturer. Depending on the size of your operation and the systems in use, this can be a cost many don’t expect- especially in cases of smaller coolant systems. Compared to larger coolant systems that may have the capacity to hold thousands of gallons of coolant, smaller coolant systems can be more expensive to maintain and have less filtering capabilities. On the other hand, failing to perform regular maintenance can quickly lead to poor machine performance and system breakdown, costing you thousands in unplanned downtime, repairs and lost jobs.

Below you’ll find recommendations on steps you can take to ensure optimum sump health and coolant life.

  1. Completely drain sump of all fluids
  2. Remove any material, chips, sludge or gunk from your sump
  3. Add water to circulate throughout the entire system, filters and lines
  4. Add the recommended amount of machine coolant sump cleaner
  5. Circulate for several hours, longer if sump hasn’t been cleaned in a while
  6. Manual scrubbing or steam cleaning may be necessary to remove stubborn or hard to reach residue
  7. Drain the entire system free of all fluids
  8. Flush completely with fresh water, making sure to thoroughly circulate water throughout
  9. Add water and recommended amounts of coolant
  10. Circulate coolant throughout the entire system and be sure to reach normal operating temperatures

Pro Tip: Never use common cleaners like bleach or floor and surface cleaners when cleaning out your sump. Choose a sump cleaner specially designed to disinfect, inhibit corrosion and control foam. When in doubt, talk to your M&M Sales & Equipment representative or review your manufacturer’s manual for recommended cleaning instructions.

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M&M Sales & Equipment customers can receive the exclusive Master Fluid Solutions TRIM® First Charge No Charge® free comprehensive plant survey to examine your facility and production and identify key areas of improvement. Just give us a call and we’ll walk through your facility and offer fluid solutions and problem-solving feedback to meet your metal cutting needs.

First Charge No Charge® Conversion Allowance through Master Fluid Solutions

Convert your facility at no cost with the FIRST CHARGE NO CHARGE® conversion allowance. The program will allow you to receive:

  • 30-day FREE trial of selected TRIM product in your machine
  • FREE assistance with conversion/cleanout
  • FREE training to all plant personnel across all shifts
  • FREE laboratory analysis of samples
  • Technical assistance to ensure your company’s success over the long term

M&M Sales & Equipment is your full line distributor for cutting tools, abrasives and cutting fluid, as well as safety and other MRO supplies in West Texas. M&M Sales & Equipment is also proud to offer the Master Fluid Solution products you need to keep your operations running smoothly. For other questions on how you can improve operations and increase profitability in your business, please call one of our four Texas locations.

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