The technology centre at metalworking fluid specialist Blaser Swisslube’s head office in Hasle-Rüegsau (Switzerland) has recently undergone a major expansion making it a world leader in developing new machining expertise based on its range of high performance cutting fluids.

At over 300 m2 the extended technology centre is where Blaser makes use of numerous machine tool technologies to test its metalworking fluids under a variety of conditions. The result is a series of machining strategies that will enable customers to increase productivity and extend cutting/machine tool life. The facility is also available to replicate the conditions found on customers’ premises, providing added value by optimising productivity and economic efficiency, as well as the quality of their machining operations.

In addition to the ‘close-to-reality simulation of production situations’ to test metalworking fluids on an incredibly diverse range of materials, the facility can also host machining seminars in collaboration with customers, universities, colleges of advanced technology, or trade associations. At these events visitors witness, first-hand, how innovative machining technologies and the latest materials are tested with various metalworking fluids. They will then experience how these are then optimised and developed even further.

In excess of £ million has been spent over the past 12 months to bring the centre to its current level. This has seen the installation of an extended machining capability, including two five-axis machining centres, a turn/mill centre, a five-axis tool grinding machine and two new CAD/CAM workstations. The aim was to achieve optimum conditions for simulating and testing the latest machining technologies. An aim, which the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Marc Blaser, sees as fully achieved: “This investment enables us to provide our customers with even better levels of support, and to help them improve their productivity and economic efficiency, as well as to optimise the quality of their machining operations.”

The facility is already proving its worth with two recent development programmes providing convincing evidence that highlight the fact that the potential for metalworking fluid has to influence the manufacturing process is often underestimated. In one test Blaser was challenged to improve the tool life when pocket machining titanium TiAl6V4 components. The only change being to use Blaser metalworking fluid. The result was an improvement of 30 per cent increase in tool life compared to conventional metalworking fluid. The test project involved milling two identical titanium components, using the same tool, and with the same cutting data of Vc 160 m/min, fz 0.15 mm, ap 25 mm, ae 0.9 mm. Prior to testing the Blaser Metalworking Fluid the tool could only machine 1.5 components before it required changing due to the breakdown of the cutting edge. With the Blaser fluid the tool machined two complete parts without reaching the previously defined tool life criterion of edge wear of 0.2 mm.

Similarly, Blaser worked alongside the Technical University in Aachen to investigate the cycle time for drilling a series of 8 mm diameter holes, 200 mm deep, in 42CrMo4 + QT 1000 MPa tempered steel.  By applying changes to the machining parameters, metalworking fluid delivery and changing the fluid to a Blaser water-miscible product [Which cutting fluid was used?] with no tendency to foam, the cycle time was improved by a factor of 18 from three minutes per hole to ten seconds. The elimination of foaming in the metalworking fluid was vital to the success of this project as air bubbles in the emulsion reduce the effectiveness of the coolant and also reduce the flow rate.
“Both projects demonstrate that the three factors of productivity, economic efficiency and machining quality depend in large part on the choice and quality of metalworking fluid and on the expertise of the machining specialists,” says Marc Blaser.  In addition to the quality of the metalworking fluid the advice available for its application is vital and the technology centre will be used to further develop the technical expertise of Blaser specialists teams in sales, R&D, and in Customer Service in order to ensure that Blaser continues to provide real tangible benefits. “This technological expertise transforms our cutting and grinding fluids into a liquid tool, and into a precisely engineered solution to meet the specific needs of each of our partners.”

A short video of the deep hole drilling test can be found here: http://www.muvihd.ch/blaser/tieflochbohrung/en/index.htm

Do you have any questions or would you like further information? If so, please do not hesitate to contact Jemtech (UK) the sole distributor of Blaser Swisslube products in the UK & Ireland.