Root cause analysis results in stable and safer process at lower cost

The challenge

When our client (a parts manufacturer for food processing machinery) switched from stainless steel 416 to 17-4PH of 45Hrc in their profile surface grinding operations, thermal damage started occurring directly after the material change. The manufacturer turned to INNOGRIND to analyse the root cause of the grinding burn and to optimise their grinding process.

The analysis

We first looked at the grinding process during operations. It appeared that a lot of air was entering into the filtration system, which was adversely impacting the cooling, lubricating and flushing properties of the coolant fluid. In addition, the porosity of the grinding wheel was too low, as was the coolant speed. as such. Health-impacting chemicals were being used in the coolant, which also have detrimental effects on machine life.

The findings

Using Barkhausen Noise Analysis we were able to detect and measure thermal damage. It appeared that there was a variation of 400% on the product surface.

The solution

We took five easy and highly effective measures:

  1. We eliminated the use of harmful anti-foam additives by stabilising the coolant and combining it with water instead of dangerous additives.
  2. We cut back the amount of coolant flow from 238 l/min to 153 l/min, by putting in place optimum-fit INNOZL nozzles.
  3. We advised our client to purchase a smaller pump for lower energy consumption. Payback time: a mere 7 months.
  4. We optimised flushing of the grinding wheel to stop clogging.
  5. We provided our client with manageable and measurable data to allow them to track their performance.

The result

Our solution ensured that the client regained grip on its grinding processes. Key advantages for our customer have been:

  • Elimination of harmful additives in coolant
  • Stable coolant and production process
  • Better quality products: close-to-zero rejects
  • Continued quality management thanks to INNOGRIND’s Process Maintenance Program




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