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Eaton creates innovative filtration system to clean up coolant

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article image Eaton’s filtration system comprising of a portable cart, a pump and an Eaton FLOWLINE filter with DURAGAF filter bags helps clean up the coolant used in the machine shop

Eaton Filtration  created a unique filtration system consisting of an Eaton FLOWLINE filter and DURAGAF filter bags along with a portable cart and pump to help clean up, recycle and reuse the coolant used in the machine shop.

The filtration system was created for their group company, Eaton Sensing & Controls located in Glenolden, Pennsylvania.

Eaton is a leading supplier of a wide array of components and systems for commercial and military aviation, military weapons, marine, and off-road markets around the world. Eaton Sensing & Controls manufactures various fluid monitoring devices as well as industrial and aerospace components to support this business.

A key component of Eaton's success is a machine shop equipped for the precise cutting of metals with very tight tolerances using computer controlled lathes and other tools. The process requires the use of coolants to keep the high-speed equipment operating precisely and at maximum efficiency.

The coolant is required to be clean at all times for better performance. However, coolant becomes grimy over time with the build-up of oils, metal fines, and other materials that negatively affect the tolerances and finishes of the goods produced.

This required the coolant to be replaced on a semi-annual basis and sometimes more frequently while also creating the problem of disposal of the old coolant with a corresponding increase in coolant disposal costs.

According to David Demarest, environmental, health, safety, and facilities manager at Eaton Sensing & Controls, the company was paying over $200 a barrel to get rid of the coolant as a hazardous waste.

Additionally, the increased volumes of waste would have resulted in the company losing its status as a small quantity generator of waste, and be re-classified as a large quantity generator. Given their commitment to sustainable business practices, Eaton sought a solution to rectify the coolant problem.

Demarest contacted Eaton’s filtration division to devise a filtration solution for the coolant. He worked with Richard Barreto, regional sales manager for Eaton's filtration business to develop a portable cart with a pump and an Eaton FLOWLINE filter with DURAGAF filter bags. Completely self-contained, the cart, pump and filtration system require no electricity.

The filtration system is simply taken to each machine where the coolant is sucked out and put in an empty 55-gallon drum. The coolant is run through the filtering apparatus overnight and completely cleaned up ready for reuse.

Barreto notes that the stainless steel, single-line FLOWLINE filter has long been the choice for industrial and commercial applications similar to those at the Glenolden facility. He explains that the lightweight, fabricated vessel has excellent sealing capabilities to meet the demands of a variety of filtration applications while the DURAGAF filter bags inside are extended life media bags, which work exceptionally well with the coolant.

Eaton Sensing & Controls was able to eliminate the need to dispose of some 44 drums of used coolant each year, equivalent to roughly 20,000 pounds of waste and about $10,000 in disposal cost reductions on an annual basis.

Additional savings of about $3,500 are also being achieved each year thanks to the recycling and reuse of coolant.

The process has been working well for the past three years and continues to benefit Eaton as well as the environment.

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