Cooling lubricant Switzerland: Primary objective is sustainability

Author / Editor: Nadia Hofer / Franziska Breunig

Pump manufacturer Biral has managed to make its production sustainable using different manufacturing processes. This has been made possible by switching to an optimal cooling lubricant from Blaser.

Biral wants to contruct the best pumps.
Biral wants to contruct the best pumps.
(Source: Biral)

Biral AG, the leading Swiss pump manufacturers, was faced with a situation in the production hall that was anything but optimal: An unstable emulsion and unsatisfactory cooling lubricant service life were just the tip of the iceberg. The greatest concern was caused by skin irritations which affected three employees. Through the analysis of the different manufacturing processes and the transition to the optimal cooling lubricant, it was possible to make production into a sustainable process. And what is even more important is that skin problems are a thing of the past.

The best pumps around

Biral AG was founded in 1919 with headquarters in Münsingen. Since then, the company has earned itself a reputation as a manufacturer of state-of-the-art pumps for house technology, municipal services and the industry. 165 employees are dedicated to making the best pumps there. A broad mix of materials is produced: The housing of the pumps is made from grey cast iron. Bronze is worked for various components, then there is the production of aluminium and steel.

The major part of the manufacturing processes at Biral AG - around 80 percent - concerns grey cast iron processing. Aluminium and steel make up about 15 percent, bronze is processed on one machine. “Such a broad mix of materials is not easy to handle” explains Martin Haas, Blaser Swisslube application technician. It was not by chance that the situation in the production hall of the pump manufacturer was anything other than optimal: The service life of the cooling lubricant was unsatisfactory. The emulsion had to be controlled regularly through the inclusion of additives. Three employees complained about skin irritation, triggered by the unstable cooling lubricant.

With this problem before their faces Biral employees recalled a cooling lubricant seminar at Blaser Swisslube. Biral contacted Blaser for a sustainable solution.

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Liquid tool

The Blaser experts examined the situation in the production hall in full detail. “In conjunction with materials, tools and processes, the right tool becomes a liquid cooling lubricant. We wanted to get a handle on the skin irritations by selecting the right product and improve the processes sustainably” Haas said. In the analysis, special attention was given to the material mix: Green discolouration, common in bronze processing, were found. A product therefore had to be found that also met the requirements of this application.

On the basis of experience with other cases, the application engineers from Blaser recommended switching to Blasocut BC 935 Kombi. The water-miscible cooling lubricant oil, based on mineral oil, is free of bactericides and boron, powerful, robust and can be used universally. “Blasocut BC 935 Kombi has excellent properties for the processing of cast iron, but can also be used in a broad mix of materials. And above all, this cooling lubricant is very good for man and the environment” Haas explains.

The results after the conversion are clear to see: The service life of the cooling lubricant solution in use is now a year - without expensive control additives. “This was achieved with the previous product, but only thanks to the massive use of bactericides and fungicides, which are not included in the cost level” reports application engineer Martin Haas.

A sustainable process

“With Blaser Swisslube, we have made a process which did not always function into a sustainable process” said Biral Production Manager Michael Schütz, proudly. “However, the operating costs have increased slightly due to the higher concentration of cooling lubricant. This is an investment that pays for itself and because of which we have no problems at all with skin irritation.” Biral AG and Blaser Swisslube want to continue to optimise production processes together in the future.

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