Why cookie cutter micro lubrication applications are less effective
As a leader in the industrial lubrication equipment industry, MagLube designs and installs custom applications for virtually every customer they have and have been doing so for over 2 decades.
This truly sets them apart from virtually every competitor. Their unique method of engineering, designing, testing and installing each MQL system, for each specific customer’s machine is extremely rare. The reasons they spend the time and resources to do this are simple. They provide the most cost effective and reliable system that performs better than all others in the industry.
While MagLube may be a family owned business, started in 1995… it’s not family sized. They provide state of the art minimum quantity lubrication systems for a wide range of manufacturers across the USA and have recently begun venturing into the global market.
Continued growth in the minimum quantity lubrication industry
Continued growth can be attributed to one thing; When MagLube gets a new customer, that customer never leaves. If you think about it, why would they? In your facility, if you find a more cost effective, more efficient and much cleaner solution for lubricating your machines, there would be no reason to switch back.
Many existing customers were using flood coolant or misting systems. But after discovering how much more effective it was using MagLube MQL compared to flood cooling, they’ll never return to the old methods. Custom applications used in conjunction with MagLube’s series of organic eco friendly lubricants deliver the best lubrication results, for pretty much every manufacturing process there is.
See what one of MagLube’s customers found in this case study Linn Products
In this article, I’ll refer many times to an interview I recently did with JB, MagLube’s VP and head of engineering and custom application design. You can listen that interview audio on Soundcloud. But we also placed it below this article for your convenience.
The various machines that utilize micro lubrication systems
You may be curious what applications or what type of machines are MagLube’s systems used for? I ask JB this question.
So, as a leader in industrial lubrication equipment, what types of machines do you focus on at MagLube?
Almost anything. Almost everything. Bandsaws, routers, mills, lathes, roll formers, benders, punch presses, sanders, grinders, deep drilling, chain lubrication. If there's heat or friction we can help.
Now, is that primarily for metal working?
It's mostly metal working, but it goes beyond that. We are in the wood industry and we are also in chain lubrication. If you can imagine big factories taking chains to move… let's say cars around to a different section of the assembly line, we can keep the chains lubricated to maintain their integrity..
Custom designed and engineered MQL systems for each specific machine
In our interview, this brought to mind just how many different machines there are out there. There are literally thousands. So, I asked how they decide which system to install on which machine?
With so many applications, how do you know which system to build?
It varies, depends on several different variables. First of which is how many points of lubrication is required? That really determines how many pumps or how big that system's going to be. The second thing we look at is how do you want to activate the system? Since it's a pneumatic system there's always air traveling through it, so the system can be activated from a pilot valve or slide valve and manually activated. We can also wire it into the PLC using a 24 volt, 110, 240 dual rated solenoids. It's just depending on; when do you want the system to activate? Say, when a spindle becomes active and it starts cutting metal or when a drill advances or the arm of a bandsaw lowers, that signal can activate our system just so there's not any wasted lubrication and it's only being used when it needs to be used.
Why nozzle positioning becomes so important for maximum efficiency
Now I had a grasp on how the MQL system activated. But I wasn’t exactly sure how and where the lubricant was applied? I knew they use nozzles in the setup, but wasn’t sure how they decide which one to use, or where to install it? So, I dug a little deeper to learn those details.
Okay. So, going a little deeper into that. How do you determine the best nozzle or the delivery system to best apply the lubricant to the cutting tool? Also, does the way you set up those nozzles, does it depend on the different type of ... Like if it's a bandsaw does it depend on that, like how many different teeth the blade ... Does it depend on the type of blade it is? Kind of expand on the nozzles in that set up a little bit.
Well, the nozzles are probably in my opinion the most important aspect to run a successful application. It's also a limitless and evolving part of our business that's putting us miles ahead of the competition. We're up against companies that mainly use off the shelf products and cookie cutter products that might work on certain types of machines. But there's hundreds of types of machines out there that I couldn't see how cookie cutter products could work across the board. That's ... mainly one of the things we became really good at… customizing our delivery systems or our nozzles to specific machines, because you're going to have situations where there's limitations on sizes… or you've got to get into a certain area, that maybe just your typical Loc-Line nozzle wouldn't get into.
Custom designing and building components for Maglube systems
So, once again my thoughts came back to the sheer number and variety of machines out there being used by manufacturers. When you think about all the machines mentioned earlier in the article that benefit from using MagLube micro lubrication… there were CNC machines, bandsaws, drill presses, etc., plus many more. Then, all those different machines are manufactured by several different manufacturers.
So, how can MagLube possibly have the correct system and parts for each and every one of these machines? Well, that’s what you’ll find really separates MagLube from the competition. They take the time and spend the resources to custom build every part needed to assure that every system they provide will perform with maximum efficiency. Here’s what JB had to say about that.
So, when you design something like that, you actually design it… like on a computer program? Then, you literally manufacture and build those parts yourself, in your own shop? Or… what do you do?
We use SolidWorks, which is I think one of the best 3D CAD modeling systems out there. For instance, we deal a lot with machine builders. So, they'll actually send us the files of the machine that they're building. Then I can incorporate a lubrication system and a delivery system into their machine and actually do it blind. Whatever we create on SolidWorks we take that and machine it with our own CNC machine's and machine shop.
So, we're actually able to take the machine and virtually have it here in our office and retrofit what we need to, to make it a successful application.
On site system installation and testing by certified MagLube technician
Personally, I think this is extraordinary. I am familiar with some of their competitors and they don’t go through this customizing process, taking the time and resources to assure the perfect MQL system. As stated earlier… they just use off the shelf… or cookie cutter products and role the dice… hoping it performs “good enough”. Customer service does still matter. MagLube commits to providing the best customer service in the industry.
However, if you’ve ever put a puzzle together… imagine for one minute, when you first pour all those puzzle pieces onto the table. It’s difficult to have even the slightest idea where to begin, and how to build that puzzle. So, thinking about assembling one of MagLube’s micro lubrication systems seems somewhat like trying to put a puzzle together to me. But that’s another reason Maglube sets themselves apart from the competition. They will come to your facility, after custom designing and building your system to install it, test it and calibrate it for your company.
Now, this is one of the huge things that actual differentiates you from a lot of your competition, because a lot of them either they don't have the ability to do this or they just don't take the time and enough customer care to do it.
So at this point, you actually send a rep, a MagLube rep there to actually install it and test it and make sure it's working.
Correct. We want to install it correctly, because I mean, it's one thing to have a system that is going to work and pump lubricant when it needs to, but that doesn't matter a hill of beans if you're not getting the proper delivery system, to actually deliver the lubrication to exactly where it needs to go. You kinda gotta have both of those working hand in hand for it to be a successful application.
Why Maglube organically formulated lubricants perform at top levels
One final subject I wanted to cover is the organic – biodegradable lubricants Maglube has formulated over the years. These lubricants are eco friendly and work to perfection with their own applicators. But I was curious if their lubricants work well on other systems that maybe aren’t Maglube systems. So, I had him talk a bit about that.
A lot of times with your system it's not, more is better, whereas I mean, I'm sure a lot of companies would just sell more and more fluid or lubricant. With MagLube, sometimes actually a lot less lubricant is more effective in actually helping the cutting process. Is that correct?
Used properly, you're going to be using ounces a day. That's all going to be consumed in the cut, no over-spray, dry parts and no stained parts. As opposed to gallons and as opposed to a messy shop that's just flooded with hazardous coolant. So, used properly it's a more dry, safer environment with better finishes and it's really effective in reducing costs across the board. Not only in lubricant uses, but also dry chips have more value. Also, extended tool life saves however much money in the manufacturing process.
Not only that. You have to have a system that works with the machine, that our system's going to do what the machine tells it to, when to activate, when the cut is being made. You need a delivery system that is going to hit every point of lubrication it needs to, accurately and at the right angle. On top of that, depending on what kind of tooling you're using and what kind of metal you're cutting. We've got several different lubricants that ... You know, one works great with aluminum. It's probably the best out there in the market. We've got some that work for more tricky metals like inconel or nickel. We've got lubricant that works with steel.
What are the lubricant names on those?
We've got 300L.
Okay. So, it's MagLube 300L. Is that for the ... Which one is that? What type of metal?
MD200 is our medium duty lubricant and that generally works with just about everything. It's just a general purpose lubricant and it does really well on most all applications. HD is our heavy duty for doing steels, things that have a lot of heat, a lot of pressure. HD's got that extreme pressure additive that will kind of reduce that heat a little bit more and give you a little better cut when you're working with some tricky things.
Our 300A has been great on stamping and roll forming. 300A has been really good on any non-ferrous metals.
Ok JB… well thank you for taking time with me today. This was very informative.
Wrapping up this assessment of MagLube’s custom MQL process
After this deep dive into MagLube as a company, their process, their commitment to customer satisfaction and ability to provide customized – state of the art services to each customer, maybe it’s time to see about using their systems in your manufacturing process?
As you learned in this interview, they’re committed to making sure every machine they provide systems for will run at maximum efficiency. So, if you are a company owner or in the position to make decisions, I suggest making the call today to speak with a MagLube representative. They’ll be more than happy, explaining to you how they can help to transform your manufacturing process.