IMTS 2014: Machine Components, Cleaning, Environmental

These are the goods needed to run your plant, from the parts to service and monitor your machines, to the components necessary for safe and environmentally responsible operations.

The new Green Line Oil Mist Separators from 3nine USA, Inc. (Catoosa, OK) will be introduced to the North American market in Booth N-6285. Handling all applications using a coolant or straight oil in the manufacturing process, the Green Line series of oil mist separators are the most cost effective and user friendly solutions on the market.

For many years now, companies within all industries have looked for ways at becoming “greener” in their day-to-day operations. The socio-economic benefits to do so are numerous. Within the metalworking industry there’s been an increasing awareness given to solutions that offer the shop staff a safe and healthier working environment. One of the on-going challenges in the shop environment is the oil mist created by machine tools and a cost effective way dealing with it.

For the shop staff, the lungs and skin (including nose and eyes) are the organs of first contact for most environmental exposures. Oil mist exposure on the skin can lead to various health conditions such as eczema or oil acne, drying, irritation, and in some cases even skin cancer. The inhalation of oil mist may cause asthma, airways irritation, coughing, stinging sensations in the nose and throat and in some cases even lung cancer. Oily floors, due to settled oil mist, are problematic and can contribute to slip and fall injuries.

An overview and demonstration of Green Line Oil Mist Separators.

Various technical solutions for air purification have been available for many years. These solutions have employed different filter based technologies to collect the oil mist during multiple stages of cleaning the air and they require regular maintenance time and money if the highest stated efficiency level is to be maintained. For 12 years now, 3nine has offered an alternative solution that delivers a constant 99.9 percent purification level down to 1µm without the use of filters and requires minimal maintenance. Now with the further development of the technology, our new Green Line oil mist separators ensure an even higher level of efficiency.

The centrifugal separation technique was invented more than 100 years ago. 3nine developed and introduced the technology for oil mist purification with its first generation of “separators” launched in 2002. “Disc stack” separation uses conical discs that are attached to a rotor which are spun at a high rpm. This rotating disc stack sucks the oil mist from the machine tool cabin and into the separator where the particles coalesce with one another. The radial centrifugal force exerted on the particles move them to the periphery of the disc stack, where they are forced onto the inner wall of the separator. The separated particles (oil/coolant) flow down to the bottom of the separator and are channeled back to the machine tool for reuse.

This separation purifies the air to 99.9 percent down to 1µm. For particles smaller than 1µm, a HEPA-filter is used as a final stage cleaning, ultimately providing 99.97 percent purified air that can be vented into the workshop. To guarantee that the disc stack is kept clean, 3nine has a patented self-cleaning system called CIP (Clean in Place). The CIP uses the machine tool’s cutting fluid to automatically spray and clean the disc stack throughout any shift, which results in a minimal amount of required maintenance throughout the year.

In order to handle applications with the larger particle volumes and heavier particle types associated with grinding and die casting as an example, 3nine introduced an enhanced separator in 2006 utilizing Counter Flow Technology. A fan draws the oil mist through the side of the separator where the larger particles down to10 µm are immediately separated without ever touching the disc stack, the smaller particles are separated in the disc stack and all the fluid is returned to the machine tool for reuse.

Our Blue Line products described above use different rotor and disc sizes depending on the air flow needed, which is based on the cabin size and application being performed by the machine tool. With the new Green Line series, a single rotor and disc size is used for all the separators regardless of the application being performed and works with emulsions or straight oils. For the different air volumes needed to accommodate cabins as they increase in size, additional rotors are added to the separator.

The Green Line series was introduced to the European market in March 2013 and will be introduced to the North American market at the show. The series won the prestigious Innovation Award at the “Salon Industrie Paris” within the category of “security”. This was awarded by a jury of industrial journalists and rewards the creation or use of new technology to improve the protection of operators in the workshop. The product line consists of the Nova, Anna, Lova and Nina units that develop air flow rates from 176 to 704 cfm. They are designed to handle all types of process applications and work with 99 percent of the straight oils or coolants on the market.

Safe and secure working environments help to optimize production time. 3nine oil mist separators provide high purification efficiency with consistent performance coupled with minimal maintenance. These benefits result in the lowest cost of ownership compared to any other oil mist solution on the market today. On all 3nine separators the CIP ensures that the units are automatically cleaned on a regular basis. On all the units except for the Nova Basic, the CIP has an enhanced cleaning program where each time the unit is shut down it is cleaned preventing any particulate build-up.

About the only maintenance that needs to be performed is watching for the separator to tell the machine tool operator that it needs to replace the HEPA filter. With the high rate of particle separation in the disc stack, the HEPA filter will only be loaded with the particles smaller than 1µm thereby providing a long life cycle.

With the Green Line units, replacing the filter is quick and easy. It can be done while the oil mist separator is running by simply opening a side door, taking out the old and inserting the new. 3nine separators can be mounted directly on top of or on the side of the machine tool. There is also a free standing pedestal for mounting close to the machine tool if necessary. All the units are compact in design which facilitates simple installation and saves valuable floor space thereby creating a flexible production environment for when machine tools need to be moved. The mounting options also eliminate the need for expensive piping, on-going maintenance of the piping, reduces the fire risk and the risk of airborne bacteria due to oil deposits in the piping.

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