Metalworking lubricants perform a simple but critical task. Like a fuse, we learn to appreciate their usefulness more when they fail. And like fuses and everything else, industrial lubricants have become more technical and specialized. Always consider your options carefully.
In 1914 the Bussmann brothers produced their first fuse from the basement of their home in St. Louis, Missouri. They soon realized it would never be a one-size-fits-all product they were on to. (This made them very happy.) The company grew from providing fuses for everything from horseless carriages and World War II aircraft to more than 30,000 products today. In fact, over the past 100 years, Bussmann products have received more than 3,000 utility and design patents. Each fuse uniquely and efficiently performs one specific task extremely well—and there’s no substituting.
Assumptions can be expensive
Lubricants and fuses are expected to work. That’s it. Their functional contribution is taken for granted. They are required and disposable. Too bad lubricants don’t provide the stark “lights out” warning a blown fuse has become famous for but that would be too easy.
In a real sense, the fuse has enabled electrical engineers to design cost-effective, energy-efficient circuits to exacting customer specifications. The ability to deploy precisely the right-sized fuse for each situation creates job security for the engineers and, dependable power for everybody else. Lubrication is just as critical.
We would never assume that one fuse is interchangeable with another designed for a different use—it’s far too risky given the cost of equipment damage and downtime. By the same token, why would you assume a heavy-duty soluble oil, designed for broaching, could do the job of a low viscosity, tool grinding oil?
Choosing the right lubricant doesn’t require an engineer but substitutes are tempting and often times disastrous. Avoid costly assumptions, ask your supplier for help when you need to make the most of your metal.
Check with your supplier. HIT Solutions, for example, offers no less than 15 different answers to your most demanding industrial metalworking lubrication problems—for removal alone.
Expect plenty of questions. Choosing the right lubricant for your specific job depends upon factors ranging from material and machine wear to workability and bioactivity impact.
Consider all the most obvious factors:
- Materials used
- Improving product and workmanship
- Protection for your equipment
- Environment of the workspace
- Increased output
- Reducing waste and working time
- Lengthening maintenance intervals
- Cutting supply cost
- Minimizing energy consumption
- Managing tramp oil and,
- Adherence to environmental protection regs
The Devil’s in the details
Each job’s a delicate balancing act. We juggle product quality and delivery schedules with profitability and customer satisfaction. We know; if we miss a spec, damage a tool or underestimate the environmental impact in the process, it can all come tumbling down. Oh yeah, and the clock’s still running.
Over the years the variety of fuses proliferated. So did lubrication. Ask your supplier for advice.
HIT Solutions believes the more your business keeps up with important trends, the more you will improve your product, and improve your bottom line.
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