Types Of Sump Cleaning
There are several ways to clean a sump, but the method you choose depends on the machine, the sump, and its contents. Here, we have highlighted some of the more common types of sump cleaning:
1. Tramp oil pickup | 2. Quick pit stop | 3. Full cleanout
1) Tramp Oil Pickup
On Monday morning, after a couple days of inactivity, you may begin to notice tramp oil forming a layer on the fluid in your sump. This is not unusual in the machining industry and needs to be addressed at some point. This is the ideal time to pull off that top layer with a sump cleaner. By positioning the flared nozzle edge close to the surface of the sump fluid, you can suction the oil off of the metal working fluid. Note, this is not a replacement for oil skimmers or other oil removal systems, but it is a way of dealing with heavy machine tool oil leakers to improve the effectiveness of other oil removal systems.
2) Quick Pit Stop
A quick pit stop requires a machine with reasonable access to the sump. You do not need to remove the conveyor or pull the sump to accomplish this. Machine tool downtime is minimal, if at all, maybe 15 – 30 minutes max. With a high-end sump cleaner, you will attack the known sludge buildup areas of your sump and clean around the machine tool pumping systems. Complete a quick cleanup of material on the floor outside of the sump and you’re done. Since every machine is a little different, you may want to have an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for each machine and a form showing what was done, the date it was completed, who did the work, and the time required to complete it.
3) Full Machine Cleanout
With this cleaning method, we recommend you pump out 20 to 30 gallons of fluid from the sump. If the machine tool has a conveyor you should turn it on. Use the sump cleaner to discharge and flush down the tooling area of the machine tool with the 30 gallons of machine tool fluid. If you need to repeat this process to clean the tool area, you should do so before completing the next step. When the tool area is cleaned to your satisfaction you can shut off the conveyor. Use the sump cleaner to remove 20 to 30 gallons of fluid again to reduce the mess when pulling the conveyor. Begin working toward getting full access to the sump. This is the most time-consuming part of cleaning a sump thoroughly. When you have full access to the sump, you should add back the 30 gallons you just removed while carefully washing down the exposed sides or shelves in the sump.
You are now ready to finish the sump cleaning task. You will want to use your sump cleaner to attack the solids first. Position the straight gulper tool in areas that are primarily solids. Occasionally move the suction tool from the solid particulate to areas that only contain fluid. This will clear the hose of any sludge. If the fluid is removed before the sludge is completely removed, then discharge the filtered fluid back into the sump. While you are discharging the fluid, you can wash down any exposed areas where solids have gathered. The flex tool can be used for hard-to-reach areas and areas that need a higher nozzle velocity, and the flare tool can be used for the final cleanup of the flat areas of the sump.
Consistency Is Key
A consistent schedule of cleaning reduces the time required to complete each cleaning. A dirty sump can stop production without warning, so keep up on those sump cleanings to keep your equipment running smoothly and your production schedule on track!