Anthony Screw Products Ltd. is a precision machining company located in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. The company utilizes automatic multi-spindle machines, CNC lathes and mills, and rotary transfer machines to produce a wide range of custom parts including mining, tank and hydraulic fittings, washers, nuts, bolts, pulley hubs, and speaker parts.
The privately owned, family-run business began in 1978 with just two multi-spindle automatics in a 5,000-squarefoot workspace. Today, the company operates in a facility that is more than four times the size of the original location and runs nearly 10 times as many multi-spindles.
Prompted by a move to a new building, company president Rod Anthony and Ken Baxter in plant maintenance re-evaluated Anthony Screw Products’ chip processing and fluid recovery system. A small chip spinner (made by a PRAB competitor) had been used for 12 years. It stood vertically on a ball joint and springs, which needed to be replaced annually. Because of the spinner’s orientation, the equipment relied on gravity to recover oil from the chips and feed scrap bins. This process was not ideal for a number of reasons:
Due to the excessive maintenance, loss of value from materials and general housekeeping issues—the latter being especially undesirable for a company that prides itself on maintaining a clean, efficient, and very well-organized plant—Rod didn’t even bother bringing the old spinner to the new facility. It did not have a shredder and it was not possible to add one to it either. In its place, he wanted an equipment solution that could reduce the size of steel turnings, reclaim the excessive amount of residual cutting oil being lost, and discharge processed chips into a covered roll-off container.
Rod did some investigating on chip spinners with other customers, went looking for solutions and decided on a complete automated chip processing system from PRAB. He knew the PRAB system was the right one for him.
PRAB’s proposed system included a high-level automatic cart dumper that would feed long, stringy turnings into a vertical axis crusher to reduce them to flowable chips. Next, a steel-belt wringer feed conveyor would collect crushed chips and elevate them to a tramp metal separator for removal of accidentally ingested solids. Then, a diagonal shaft chip wringer would separate oil from the chips with more than 600 G’s of centrifugal force before pneumatically discharging the dried chips into a covered roll-off container.
In six weeks, I was buying 12 totes worth $27,000. Now, in the same six weeks, I buy one tote worth $2,250. That is a savings of 11 totes, or $24,750 in six weeks alone. Over $212,000 a year in oil savings. I am in shock along with everyone else in my plant.
Finally, a settling tank would capture reclaimed fluid and transfer it to a holding tank or a separate filtration system, while a re-circulating drag conveyor would return fines to the chip flow to help keep the tank clean. The proposal also included options for loading a second container and filtering the reclaimed oil prior to transferring it to a tote, a bulk storage solution that holds 1100 liters of cutting oil.
In less than a week after Rod approved the proposal, the PRAB team had the equipment in place. Anthony Screw Products quickly began seeing a return on investment that remains pleasantly surprising nearly a year after the implementation of the system.
Extracting more oil from the chips is also paying off with Rod’s scrap dealer. “On average, he is giving me an additional 15 percent in value for dry chips instead of wet chips. That adds up to roughly $24,000 to $28,000 per year.”
Leaving money on the table because of ineffective chip processing and fluid recovery is now in the past for Anthony Screw Products. Wasted floor space because of the large number of totes, housekeeping issues caused by oil on the floor, and constant equipment maintenance have also been eliminated by the PRAB system.
“Before the new system, I was gravity-draining the chips, and we had a lot of extra dumpers hanging around taking up space—at least a total of 70 dumpers instead of 30,” Rod said. “Plus, we had to dump the chips daily into an open bin outside. The handling of the chips was costly and making a mess. With fewer bins sitting around, customers always comment about how clean our operation is.” Rod added that compared to replacing the competitor’s spinner’s ball joint and springs every year, the PRAB solution is virtually maintenancefree.
With more than 25 years of experience working in every position in the plant’s manufacturing process, Rod has a unique and total understanding of the operation. After partnering with PRAB, he has a new appreciation for the value of recycling.
“Costs were killing me before I received the new PRAB system,” Rod said. “I knew recycling was important to the environment, but I never considered it from the standpoint of efficiency and cost savings. But now, I realize it should be one of the first pieces of equipment you look at to solve problems in those areas. It just makes complete sense.”
High-Level Automatic Cart Dumper
Vertical Axis Crusher: Model VAC II
Uses low-speed crushing/tearing forces to reduce long, stringy turnings into shovel-grade chips
Wringer Feed Conveyor: 2.5” Pitch Steel Belt
Tramp Metal Separator: Model R24
Diagonal Shaft Chip Wringer: Model 24AD
Settling Tank with Re-Circulating Drag Conveyor
System Start-Up & Training
Pneumatic Packet for Second Discharge Point PRAB Chip Carts: Model HW-134-8
Step Down Polishing Filter System
PRAB Chip Carts: Model HW-134-8
PRAB is a leading engineer and manufacturer of conveyors, chip and fluid management systems, and industrial water and wastewater treatment equipment. Our customized solutions automate metal handling, reduce labor costs, reclaim and recycle expensive cutting fluids/coolants and maximize return on recycling metals. With our expertise, honed by more than 4,500 installations for the world’s leading OEMs and suppliers, PRAB continuously improves material handling, housekeeping and compliance to environmental rules and regulations within the automotive, aerospace, medical, electronics, defense, off-road and energy markets. For more information about PRAB, visit prab.com.