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At One IMTS Pavilion, Clean Is the Word

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Machine Components, Cleaning, and Environmental pavilion focuses on cleaning and green technologies, among other topics

In manufacturing, a shop can have the most-up-to-date cutting machines operating at the fastest speeds. But it still needs to deal with chips and fluids. That’s where the Machine Components, Cleaning, and Environmental pavilion at IMTS comes in.

“Customers need to meet lower limitations of metals, such as zinc and lead,” said Tim Hanna, vice president of business development for PRAB (Kalamazoo, MI). What’s more, he said, it’s necessary for customers “to reuse their wastewater or minimally send it to the sewer. Therefore, this is challenging to our industrial customers across the board.

“PRAB is working with its customers to provide the necessary processes and technologies to assist with these new limitations and solve the application challenges,” he continued. “We will be dedicating a portion of our IMTS booth to introduce new processes and technologies for this purpose.”

Eriez (Erie, PA) has a similar view. “Environmental and budgetary concerns continue to play a major role in fluid filtration and recycling,” said Darrel Milton, manager, filtration systems, Eriez HydroFlow. “Customers want proactive solutions to eliminate waste, extend machine and cutting tool life and save on recycling costs and replacement of cutting fluids. They are also looking to minimize environmental liability.”

As a result, he said, “There is more emphasis today on recycling and metal recovery. Where fluid recovery is required, choosing the right filtration equipment to eliminate tramp oil contamination, for example, is critical to long-term savings and operational efficiency.”

Environmentally Friendly

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A PRAB system for processing water in action.

Customers also are looking to “environmentally friendly fluids with a focus on green technologies and flexibility in cleaning,” said David Melton, marketing manager of Cleaning Technologies Group (Cincinnati). “The environmental side of cleaning will always progress into using more green and neutral-based cleaners for the safety of operators.”

Sanborn Technologies (Walpole, MA) markets its UF line of membrane filtration systems such as the UFV750 Ultrafiltration System. It has been in business for more than 35 years and has evolved with industry changes.

“Sanborn first developed its membrane systems as a means of disposing of spent coolants,” said James West, general manager of North American filtration for Sanborn. “Back when coolants were not as stable as they are today, disposing of large volumes was a problem since they were classified as ‘oily wastewater.’ Our ultrafiltration systems could remove the emulsified oils and suspend solids, resulting in a ‘clean’ wastewater that could be discharged to the sewer.

“In the early 2000s, we started seeing more diverse wastewater applications,” he continued. “At IMTS 2016, the vast majority of companies visiting our booth to look at our ultrafiltration systems were looking for a solution to recycle mop water or floor scrubber water.”

The executive said the company “has redesigned our core UF product line to include options specifically developed for mop water/scrubber water applications. Unique to membrane recycling systems, oily mop water can be processed to recover water and detergents while removing oil to less than 100 ppm and 100% of the suspended solids without using any disposable media.”

Product Improvements

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An Eriez HydroFlow Superfiltration machine.

Other companies with IMTS displays have also moved to improve their product lines. Eriez HydroFlow worked with Comat S.r.l. “to bring superfiltration technology to North America in 2016,” Milton said. The Comat Superfiltration System, he said, is now used “on thousands of machine tools. The technology is opening up new opportunities for these customers by eliminating restrictions on the type of metals they can filter, decreasing operating costs and reducing labor requirements.”

The company has also introduced a new version of its SumpDoc portable inline fluid reclamation machine. “The updated unit is…small and lightweight enough to allow an operator to push SumpDoc quickly and easily from location to location,” he said.

At Cleaning Technologies, “We continue to improve products and develop new technologies to meet the customer demand for tighter tolerances and better surface finishes,” Melton said. “This would include control software to help in monitoring the cleaning process and filtration systems to be able to meet the customer demand from a very high-pressure washing system that creates high volumes of fluids that need to be cleaned.”

PRAB’s Hanna said the company “is now offering more robust membrane technologies in our ultrafiltration and micro-filtration products, in combination with Chelate breakers that assist with lowering the metals content of customers’ wastewater.”

Utilizing IMTS

The exhibitors at the pavilion have different strategies of utilizing the IMTS setting.

“IMTS is our most important and most effective marketing expenditure,” said Sanborn’s West. “Most of our customers are repeat customers or find us by word of mouth. Most of the customers visiting our booth at IMTS will be ones that looked us up and planned to stop by.”

Melton of Cleaning Technologies said his company “can provide process analysis, cleaning formulas and the equipment to clean many different types of materials. We will be displaying some of our new technologies at the show that will apply to a job shop to a very high precision demand along with the latest in automation.”

PRAB is making marketing efforts with e-mails and print advertisements ahead of IMTS. “At the show, we have a large and unique booth, good graphics and knowledgeable salespeople to staff our booth,” Hanna said. IMTS remains important to PRAB, he said. “We analyze that question each time we sign up for IMTS and are again committed for the 2018 event.”

Eriez has “created an interactive trade show exhibit designed specifically with IMTS in mind,” Milton said. “Besides demonstrating our products, we have included a series of interactive videos allowing booth visitors to view products in action.”

The show “gives us a chance to engage with our customers and hear about issues they are facing,” he continued. “This interaction helps us recommend solutions to meet those needs and work on improvements and new product offerings to meet potential future needs. The feedback we receive at IMTS is invaluable to advance product research, development, and implementation.”

Manufacturing Engineering’s IMTS Machine Components, Cleaning, and Environmental pavilion coverage of products continues in the August Digital IssueClick here to see more products that will be showcased in this pavilion.

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