Die Lubrants In Preventing Defects
Fluid Monitoring Next Generation
Having Team Involvement helps with the critical changeover decision and Die Lubricant is the most critical necessity of your process.
As most casting manufacturers know, there are several key factors to creating a quality casting. However, die lubrication is a key component to the success of a quality casting. Die Lubrication is key to the flow of metal, the cooling process and the ejection process. How do we monitor this key component of our process? What do we use? Is it accurate? These are all key questions that come up daily in our production, tooling and quality meetings.
With today’s ISO 9001 standards, most all Die Lubricant Companies use these standards to develop and continuously manufacture quality lubricants with the same properties to be delivered to the end user. With this said if our manufactured die lubricant is always consistently manufactured and delivered, how do we know if our desired dilution of lubricant to water is consistent with our known process requirement?
There are many ways to monitor our die lubricants. There is the process of refractive index reading, using a Refractometer and reading the solids of a known dilution and creating a chart utilizing known dilutions. There is the process of using a Hydrometer used for measuring the relative density of liquids based on the concept of buoyancy. They are typically calibrated and graduated with one or more scales such as specific gravity. This process also requires the creation of charts using known dilutions. How about the process of moisture balance testing? This probably is the most accurate and scientific process that requires the use of a Moisture Balance Analyzer machine. This process will also require charting of known dilutions to give you your accurate dilution readings. All these processes are solid methods of measuring and monitoring. However, they are very time consuming and labor intensive if multiple lube sources are being monitored.
CAST STUDY – DIE LUBRICANT PROPORTIONAL MIXING SYSTEM
We were tasked with the opportunity to develop a monitoring system that would adapt to existing Die Lubricant Proportional Mixing Systems and would do the following to eliminate the need for daily monitoring, charting and system evaluation from valuable production, maintenance or engineering staff members. The critical monitoring variables requested were:
- Monitor Current Oil GPM
- Monitor Current Water GPM
- Monitor Current Batch Dilution
- Monitor Current Batch Gallons Produced
- Save Batch History
- Monitor Critical High and Low Ratio’s and Alarm
- Monitor System Pressure
- Monitor All Critical Items Remotely and Alarm when out of spec.
As discussed in this article, die lubrication is a critical part of the casting process. If your Proportional Mixing system has a hiccup and the lubricant proportional mixing pump goes bad, you run the risk of filling your entire plant with either Hi or Low dilutions of mixed product or worse yet straight water and doing severe costly die damage to all of your running dies in the plant. If your distribution pump goes bad your run the risk of no lubrication being delivered to the plant and causing severe die damage.
With our newly developed system, all these critical areas of monitoring are all done simultaneously; they can be viewed from your desk top computer or your smart phone. Also, multiple people can be added to the monitoring system list so off shift staff can view critical lubricant process variables as well.
So, how does this system help with the defect prevention process? Most companies monitor the critical dirty dozen of the casting process for each machine. This includes metal temperature, shot speeds, shot pressures, shot positions, water flow, die temp, spray and blow off times etc. Now you can know that your critical die lubrication process is being monitored and will notify you at precisely the moment a failure with the system occurs. This will help prevent Solder, Porosity, Non-Fill, Cracks ext and save you from costly rework, tooling damage and most importantly customer complaints.