Cleaning your metalworking machine sump is an important job. If you do not have the proper equipment, it can also be dirty and time-consuming. Perhaps you have even delayed the cleaning of your machine tool sumps for these reasons. Luckily, it does NOT have to be that way!
Why Clean Your Machine Tool
If you do not clean your machine tool fluid, three main issues are likely to occur:
1) The amount of fluid available to keep the cutting surface cool will be displaced by sludge.
2) Additional stress will be added to your machine tool filters and pumps.
3) Overall cleaning time will increase due to an increase in sludge.
When you clean your machine tool on a regular basis, you reduce the amount of sludge that needs to be cleaned out of the sump per cleaning. This alone will speed up the cleaning process.
A high-end sump cleaner can move liquid and sludge at a rate of 60 – 110 gallons per minute depending on the sump cleaner used (no pale or shovel required). With good access to the sump, a 100 gallon sump can be empty in less than 2 minutes, provided the suction power has a minimum of 13” of mercury and an average rate of 60 gallons per minute.
Filter Machine Tool Fluid
The same sump cleaner should be able to filter the machine tool fluid at the same time and, depending on the material being filtered, possibly allow for immediate reuse. A high-end sump cleaner allows you to discharge fluid at a similar rate as it suctions. In this scenario you will need under four minutes to suction, filter and replace the machine tool fluid.
With a high-end sump cleaner, the sump cleaning portion is not what causes excessive downtime. Most of the downtime is caused by gaining access to the sump fluid.
Some machine tools have easy access to their sump while others have enclosures that make the machine more difficult to clean. A high-end sump cleaner does not need complete access because they come with multiple tools that can be used to access your machine tool sump from different angles and directions.
Find The Right Tool(s)
Speak to your sump cleaning sales rep or manufacturer about the access you have to your machine tool sumps and see what tools they provide to make cleaning your sump easier and faster. If the right tool is not provided, then have a discussion with the sump cleaner manufacturer about developing a tool that works best for you. If you have a need for a different tool, there is a good chance other companies will also have a similar need.
No Excuses – Clean That Sump!
Now that you know the importance of cleaning your metalworking machine sump and that there are tools out there built with the purpose of making this once “dirty” and time-consuming job relatively clean and simple, there are no excuses to neglect your sump!
A high-end sump cleaner can help reduce your sump cleaning downtime by a factor of five or more. When cleaning your sump takes less than one hour, you are more apt to schedule them more often. This will help reduce the amount of rework because the cutting tools are getting the proper fluid for cooling. Another advantage to cleaning more often is you will have less sludge in your machine tool at cleaning time which, in turn, will speed up the time it takes to clean your machine tool.