15 Jul Continuing the investment at Chester Hall Precision
Coolant Recycling – the journey so far – July 2019
Following a significant cost increase for removal of waste products from site in Q4 2018, it was decided that a plan should be taken forward to explore the possibilities of installing a water treatment and metal working fluid recycling plant onsite. A business case was built and by January 2019, the procurement process was complete, the site was then mobilised to receive the new plant. The water treatment plant was installed first, this would include a softening package together with a R/O system or Reverse Osmosis. In the reverse osmosis process, cellophane-like membranes separate purified water from contaminated water. RO is when a pressure is applied to the concentrated side of the membrane forcing purified water into the dilute side, the rejected impurities from the concentrated side being washed away in the reject water.
Typically operating in a very hard water area, this new plant would make significant improvements to the quality of water that the site generates to make new metal working fluid. This will also help to prolong the life of machine tool components and help to reduce maintenance and machine downtime.
Next to be installed was the main coolant recycling plant. This process would involve all the waste fluid from our waste briquetting machines being pumped into a “dirty” tank to be processed. This would include Tramp Oil Separation and then suspended solids removal by a centrifuge system. Production could then use this fluid directly at a higher strength or make a weaker mix ready for machine tool top up or refill.
This project was broken down into 3 stages where a network of pipes were fitted to utilise the supply of treated water to an external plantroom several hundred metres away. The main plant was then delivered and over the course of 6 weeks the new system began to take shape.
The brief was a simple one, prevent large amounts of waste fluid from leaving site and reduce the amount of “new” fluid required for machine tool use by using recycled fluid. A robust system was implemented which include the following:
- Stable bio resistant fluids able to withstand repeated recycling
- Management control and active supervision of the recycling program
- Systems capable of maintaining high-quality fluid condition
- Control of the mechanisms that cause coolants and cleaners to fail
With the support of a dedicated onsite team, we have not only reduced costs significantly but have also been able to enter into a new era for the company by reducing our carbon footprint and has set Chester Hall Precision on the road to achieving its Corporate Social Responsibility objectives, something that we as an organisation are rightly proud of.