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Manufacturing in India Embraces MQL Technology Print E-mail
Written by Amitabh Varma   
Monday, 26 May 2008

When metalworking is there, can metalworking fluids be far away?

It is difficult to imagine machine tools efficiently milling, drilling, or tapping without a generous flow of coolant. Coolant is required for managing thermal stability of the machine tool, the cutting tool, and the work piece; apart from performing other tasks. 

MQL Crankshaft under machiningCoolants, however, come at a cost. Improper coolants escalate production cost. Coolant related costs can rise up to a fifth of total machining costs as per some studies. And, with coolants comes the additional responsibility of procurement, inventory maintenance, filtration, separation, disposal and record keeping as per environment protection laws.

Avoiding coolants totally or partially, and replacing them with bio-degradable lubricants has been contemplated for quite some years. Some top-notch manufacturing plants in advanced countries practice near-dry machining. MQL, or machining with minimum quantity lubrication, aims at heavily reducing coolant costs while being friendlier to the environment and the workers. The absence of high pressure coolant pump saves about 50% energy. Moreover, the tool life is claimed to increase dramatically, as per the data below for 90 mm holes:

Time per hole (sec)
Life between regrinding (number of holes)
HSS drill
Gun drilling
Carbide long drilling MQL
600 - 700

MQL Cut section of machined crankshaftA leading Japanese automobile manufacturer, while establishing manufacturing plants in India, has already ensured the incorporation of MQL technology. A fleet of BFW machines has recently been supplied to the plant in fulfilment of the Rs.6 crore order.

BFW machines manufacture the crankshaft of the sedan. The total solution is provided through a combination of horizontal machining centre Vega and special purpose machines. The operations include facing and centring, reference point notching, pin and web milling, counterweight milling, oil hole drilling under MQL, and flange end and pulley end operations.

BFW is also serving similar orders from leading manufacturers in India, who are interested in embracing the MQL technology.

That a top Japanese automobile manufacturer reposed its faith in Indian machine tools for its state of the art facility is encouraging. BFW officials are upbeat on the development. They enthusiastically recall the satisfaction on the faces of the Japanese buyers after the successful hundred hour full running test of each machine. They are also happy about being part of a breakthrough in India that results in a bundle of benefits for the manufacturing industry.

Amitabh Varma
Head – Marketing Services, Bharat Fritz Werner Ltd.


Last Updated ( Monday, 26 May 2008 )
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