When the costs of raw materials rise sharply, implementing strategies for lowering expenditures associated with part production becomes a pathway for preserving profit margins. In metalworking, reducing variable expenses tied to cutting fluids is a logical place to start.
Companies tend to approach fluid management cost-savings in two ways:
Switching to a less expensive fluid may yield a short-term financial gain, but it can also have long-term consequences. If the quality of the cheaper cutting fluid is inferior, finished part quality, tool life, and machine reliability will diminish. Ultimately, this will lead to higher production costs and lower revenue.
That being said, changing cutting fluid management processes can yield bottom-line improvements that are sustainable in the long-term. Centralized fluid recycling systems, for instance, remove tramp oils and suspended solids from contaminated cutting fluids, control bacteria, and adjust fluid concentration to make cutting fluids suitable for recovery and reuse. These automated systems can reduce fluid replenishment costs up to 75%.
Recycling cutting fluids also substantially lowers hazardous waste disposal expenses. Costs to haul away spent fluids can decrease by as much as 90% when a centralized fluid recycling system is incorporated into a fluid management program. Amid high fuel prices and escalating transportation costs, these savings can have an especially meaningful impact on variable expenses.