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Magnetic Filtration Case Study

Company Name:Eclipse Tools

Location:Jiangmen, South China

Eclipse Product Installed:AutoMag 6 Skid

Machined Material:M2 Steel

Industry Process Type: Grinding hand hacksaw blades

Application Background

The Spear & Jackson Group encompasses three principle divisions including tools, precision measurement, and magnetic technologies. As part of the Spear & Jackson Group, Eclipse Professional Tools offer a comprehensive range of cutting tools, including its ‘Predator’ range of hand hacksaw blades which are renowned for their superb cutting capabilities, performance, and safety.

The manufacturing facility for Eclipse Tools is located at the HSB plant in Jiangmen, South China. A creep feed grinder is used to manufacture the hand hacksaw blades from M2 steel. This large, powerful grinding machine facilitates full depth of cut and uses a synthetic, water based coolant to facilitate the manufacturing process. With a 3000 litre fluid tank, flow rates are approximately 160 litres per minute and operate with 10 bar of pressure.

The Challenge

As a brand new machine, the creep feed grinder was fitted with a paper filter roll. In addition to being expensive when replaced regularly, the paper filters become contaminated by metal swarf quickly.

Drawing on past experience, staff at the Eclipse Tools manufacturing facility decided that it would be sensible to add an extra level of filtration in the form of a magnetic filter in order to capture and remove ferrous particles from the coolant. The magnetic filter, therefore, would remove the contamination before it reaches the paper filter, preventing it from clogging up and needing to be replaced frequently. Acting as a primary filter, the magnetic filter would take out the metal contamination, therefore extending the life of the paper filter significantly, in turn saving money and reducing waste.

The Solution

Eclipse Magnetics provided Eclipse Tools in China with an AutoMag Skid magnetic filtration system. The AM 6 AutoMag filter unit boasts 6 magnetic cores, and a maximum flow rate of 450 litres per minute. With a contamination capacity of up to 7kg, the AM 6 has a maximum operating pressure of up to 10 bar. This effective self-contained filtration and fluid recovery system has a fully automated operation which minimises fluid loss during cleaning and is ideal for the company’s creep feed grinding machine.

The AutoMag Skid has been installed on the creep feed grinding machine at the very first stage of the filtration process. The majority of the ferrous contamination generated by the grinding process is made up from steel swarf created during the manufacture of the hand hacksaw blades. Contamination generated by the natural wear and tear of the aluminium oxide grinding wheel, however, is not magnetic. This fine, non-ferrous contamination, therefore, is removed from the coolant afterwards using the paper filter.

The AutoMag Skid removes magnetic and para-magnetic contamination, down to submicron size, from the coolant used in Eclipse Tools’ creep feed grinding machine. The filter holds the contamination until it is released during the automated 'purge' process, which briefly diverts the filter's purged output so that fluid carries all the contamination to the buffer tank. The buffer tank then feeds the contaminated fluid to the high-intensity coolant roller, and the magnetic coolant roller removes the contamination from the fluid. The clean fluid is then put back into circulation, and the contamination is extracted in a form ready for disposal or recycling.

As a result of the magnetic filtration, the coolant is much cleaner. With fewer contaminants circulating around the grinding machine, critical components such as the pump are at reduced risk of wear, damage, and failure. The AutoMag Skid also extends the life of the paper filter significantly, effectively collecting and removing the vast majority of contamination before it reaches the paper filter. The result is that the paper filter needs to be changed less frequently, not only saving money on replacements, but also reducing the environmental impact of disposal.

The magnetic filtration solution has only been installed in the new machine for a matter of months, but it has made overall improvements to efficiency. A significant amount of ferrous contamination is now being removed from the coolant, meaning that the waste can be recycled due to the high steel content, or adequately disposed of in an effective waste management programme.

Comments

David Liang, General Manager at Eclipse Tools Jiangman said: “Our operator are very happy with the installation of the Automag Skid. Cleaning out the coolant tank is hard and time consuming job, and the AM6 greatly reduces the frequency of it. The magnetic filter removes almost all the ferrous contamination from the system, in turn greatly reducing the amount of material collecting on the paper filter. This means that the paper use and frequency of its replacement is greatly reduced.

The AutoMag Skid has definitely enabled our operators to improve efficiency. Compare the paper filtration methods, the AM6 not only improves efficiency, it also saves costs. It is a maintenance free machine!”