Page 51 - MetalForming March 2016
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 A mineral-oil fire can spread quickly.
passenger cabin. Working to meet this demand, press-hardening operators have added production lines. The increased activity exposes the industry to a greater number of fires and explo- sions. These fires and their aftermath have become a cause for concern from the boardroom to the plant floor, and have resulted in the following:
• Loss of capital;
• Loss of production;
• Costly repairs;
• Injury or loss of life; and
• Loss of ability to deliver components.
Developing a Risk-Control Strategy
To mitigate the negative effects of fire and explosions on safety and pro- duction, many press-hardening oper- ators are taking a fresh look at hydraulic fluids that offer increased fire resist- ance—water glycols (HFC) and water- free fluids (HFD). As they evaluate alter- natives, operators must consider a range of factors including the cost to convert to a new fluid and the longer- term total cost of ownership. OEMs and fluid suppliers can help to evaluate overall costs and benefits of a conver- sion to these fluids.
Risk Assessment in Action— A Case Study
A case study shows how a conver- sion might proceed. The press-hard-
ening lines at a large stamping company had experienced a number of fires resulting from rup- tured hoses and leaking couplings that deposited oil onto hot work sur- faces. In 2012, one fire resulted in worker injuries and more than one week of downtime, cost- ing the company more than $6 mil- lion in damages. The gravity of the situation convinced
management to take immediate action to reduce a fire risk. The management team solicited supplier proposals and evaluated available solutions to identify their best option from both a technical and financial perspective. Its approach weighed the positives and negatives (see Table 1—Fire-Reduction Solutions).
Management concluded that the safest and most cost-effective alterna- tive was to replace the mineral oil cur- rently used in press-hardening opera- tions with a synthetic, water-free, HFD-U fluid. Though costing more than mineral oil, the HFD-U fluid offered the best overall value, lowering fire risk and improving safety without costly equipment changes or increased maintenance costs.
After deciding on an HFD-U fluid, management narrowed its choice of fluid suppliers and specific products to trial, and ultimately selected Quaker Chemical Corp., Conshohocken, PA, and its QuintoLubric 888-46 fluid.
“This fire-resistant, water-free hydraulic fluid had the properties our customer needed as well as compati- bility with its existing equipment,” explains Ronald Knecht, Quaker Chem- ical’s global business development manager–fluid power, who oversaw the conversion and trial period on one press-hardening line. “The customer soon recognized that it was taking the right path to reduce the risk of fire and
Roller Lubrication
The MiniCoater line of roller coaters places lubricant on coil stock before it enters the die. Computer control allows the MiniCoater to dispense the correct amount of lubricant on each cycle of the press. Individual manifolds can be             
MetalForming/March 2016 49
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