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Automag Skid saves $110,000 investment

Steel Pipe Forming

Company Name: EXL Tube (Steel Ventures)

Location: Kansas City, USA

Eclipse Product Installed: Steel Processing

Industry: Pipe Forming Mill

Process Type: Triple AM12 Automag Skid

Our Client

EXL tube is a leading manufacturer of mechanical and structural steel tubing. The tubes, ranging from 1” (25mm) to 24” (600mm) diameter, are progressively rolled from flat steel plate. They are then seam welded to form tubes. During the rolling process the steel is flooded with 6% strength aqueous cutting coolant. The fluid is circulated via a 6000 gallon (22000 litre) holding tank, passing through in-line paper filters in an attempt to clean out any ferrous particles.

The Challenge

During the rolling process scale on the face of the steel peels off creating “Mill Mud”. Previous paper filters became blocked very quickly. High flow rates then caused the fluid to overflow, by-passing the filter and depositing ferrous contamination in the holding tank. In an attempt to find a solution, EXL engineers tried a more porous paper filter, this resulted in a similar end result. Smaller ferrous particles simply passed through the filter pores and settled in the tank.

Inadequate filtration presented many problems. The holding tank became clogged with solid “Mill Mud” and had to be dug out regularly, resulting in down time. In addition, particles re-circulated in the coolant damaging the product surface. Dirty coolant had to be replaced regularly and pumps/seals were subject to high wear, again due to being bombarded by ferrous particles.

The Solution

As different types of paper filter proved inadequate the engineers looked for an alternative solution. However they were quoted $110,000 for an upgrade system based on barrier filtration media. Eclipse came up with a less expensive but more effective solution – a triple AM12 Automag Skid was installed. The Automag Unit is located above the coolant tank - It runs on rails above the tank with 2 drop pipes into the tank. The skid unit is moved up and down the length of the tank sucking up the collected ferrous particles. This is then cleaned by the Automag. The unit cleans 700 gallons per minute (2650 litres per minute) through 2 pumps and removes a remarkable 1000lbs (450 kgs) of ferrous solids every week.

Fitting the Automag Skid has dramatically increased the fluid life, improved surface finish on the tubes and enabled them to completely remove the paper filtration system. In addition is the ferrous waste is now sold as part of EXLs scrap reclaim programme.

Comment : EXLs Maintenance Manager commented “I cannot begin to tell you how much it has helped our operation, the magnetic filtration unit has been a real problem solver it has surpassed all our expectations. Its cured a 30 year plague!”