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Worker Health and Safety Improved with Aerospace Coolant

The aerospace industry has stringent requirements for parts manufacturers, but that does not come at the expense of employee health and safety. NWI Holdings, based in Wichita, KS, provides parts for Boeing and Bombardier and works with the standard aerospace metals: primarily aluminum, but also some titanium. Like a lot of aerospace parts manufacturers, NWI has to use coolant that meets their strict quality requirements.

Odor and Mist Affects Operators

NWI's incumbent coolant, while approved for use by Boeing and Bombardier, was causing big problems on the manufacturing floor. The odor caused by bacteria in the coolant definitely affected employees, but even worse, the coolant would break up into a mist when the employees were running Mag3 CNC machines. As a result, this was causing serious eye and lung irritation for the operators.

Because the coolant was foaming, NWI employees were constantly adding defoamer, or in some cases having to shut down production entirely until the machines could be cleaned. The foam, combined with the mist, made it difficult to see the part being cut and to see into the windows of the CNC machine.

Coolant with Tight Emulsion Formula Chosen to Alleviate Issues

NWI knew that it needed to improve operator morale and end the constant cycle of shutdowns to deal with foaming. It brought in and ran tests of several types of aerospace-approved coolant. During the testing, NWI contracted with a third party to conduct an air quality test for approximately two to three weeks, where testers wore badges to measure air quality while the CNC machines were in operation. The results showed that the air quality was improved when Master Fluid Solutions' coolant was in use, versus the incumbent coolant.

The final choice for NWI was Master Fluid Solutions' TRIM MicroSol 590XT, a semisynthetic microemulsion coolant that is approved for aerospace use. It protects sensitive alloys from corrosion, is low foaming and does not require tank-side fungicides or biocides to remove bacteria.

One of the reasons why TRIM MicroSol 590XT is so well-suited to aerospace is because of the tight emulsion formula. This helps the coolant remove heat from the workpiece and the tooling. As a result, it maintains its liquid state where it is easily controlled and runs back into the sump so it can be reused.

Improving Air Quality-and Morale

"After switching over to TRIM MicroSol 590XT, our shop does not even smell like a machine shop anymore because the air quality has improved so much," the production supervisor reported.

NWI reported vastly improved air quality, and that the problems with foaming have been almost completely eliminated. In the one year since the company switched over to TRIM MicroSol 590XT, there has not been a single complaint from any of the employees about the smell or eye and lung irritation.

Ultimately, improved air quality-especially a reduction in mist and foam from coolant-contributes to the health and safety of the workers, and the overall image of the company. With companies like Bombardier and Boeing visiting the locations where their parts are made, it can provide a confidence boost to them to see a shop that does not have mist in the air or slick spots on the factory floor, particularly when they are signing hefty contracts.

For more information contact:

Master Fluid Solutions

501 West Boundary Street

Perrysburg, OH 43551


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