Gear Manufacturer Expands Business Through Neo-Synthetic Coolant

his company continually strives for perfection and, in fact, has won several awards for exceptional performance in production gearing. Its prototype gears launched Xerox copiers and helped the moon buggy navigate the surface of the moon.

Case Study From: 10/1/1997 Modern Machine Shop

Rochester Gear (Rochester, New York), an important manufacturers of small- and medium-size gears, is recognized for its excellent product quality. The company continually strives for perfection and, in fact, has won several awards for exceptional performance in production gearing. Its prototype gears launched Xerox copiers and helped the moon buggy navigate the surface of the moon.

Each step in Rochester Gear's manufacturing process must be meticulous, extending to the method by which its gears are cut to precision with machine tools. Such tools as computer numerical control (CNC) lathes must maintain certain characteristics to successfully work with the range of metals used in producing gears. With that in mind, Rochester Gear recognizes the importance of a coolant that can preserve and extend the life span of its tools, and, in turn, increase overall productivity.

Its choice: Controlant 650NS, a neo-synthetic coolant from Oakite Products (Berkeley Heights, New Jersey) designed for heavy-duty machining and grinding of metals, alloys and composites. This "neo-synthetic" coolant designed for all metalworking applications, Controlant 650NS is said to display the characteristics of conventional petroleum oil-based metal cutting compounds, while maintaining classic synthetic attributes.

Founded in 1925, Rochester Gear cuts most types of gears, including spur and helical gears, as well as straight, spiral and hypoid bevel gear sets. These products are found in a wide variety of end-use applications, including portable mixers; check-sorting machines; off-road vehicles; meat processing equipment; and peripheral aircraft equipment, to name just a few.

With an eye toward gaining a competitive edge, Rochester Gear recently upgraded its coolant of choice to Controlant 650NS, from Oakite's neo-synthetic series. Dan Bailey, Rochester Gear President, attests to the company's extreme satisfaction with the results. "We have found Oakite's Controlant 650NS to perform well with a wide variety of and often-times tough machining applications in our CNC turning centers. Its neo-synthetic properties provide our tools with the perfect amount of lubricity, anti-rust and anti-foaming capabilities," he notes.

Controlant 650NS has been developed through Oakite's proven metalworking fluids technology to improve film boundary characteristics and chip cutting capabilities while reducing friction during metal-to-metal contact. These qualities, according to Bailey, are critical to Rochester Gear's turning processes. "Controlant 650NS' excellent lubricity enables the tool to cut steel up to one-half inch in depth with speeds up to 3500 rpm. As a result, we can manufacture products more rapidly. The faster we can make raw material into finished product, the more productive we are. And, the more competitive we will become."

The neo-synthetic characteristics inherent to Controlant 650NS enable Rochester Gear to achieve high-quality surface finishes on an extensive array of metals, including pure nickel—a metal which Mr. Bailey says the company has developed a particular expertise in machining.

"Nickel is tough to machine and achieving smooth surface finishes can be difficult because it is very abrasive and wears away at tools very quickly. Nonetheless, customers request gears made from nickel because of its non-corrosive characteristics," Mr. Bailey notes. "We now respond to these needs by machining nickel with a high degree of accuracy into pump gears for the chemical industry. We weren't able to do this before using Controlant 650NS."

Unlike other coolants, Controlant 650NS, is free of petroleum oil and chlorine. Mr. Bailey says this eliminates many potential concerns associated with disposal: "Controlant 650NS is easily disposed of when cleaning out the sump—and at half the cost of chlorinated solutions."

Mr. Bailey adds that Controlant 650NS has another important feature. It minimizes dermatological concerns for workers. "Oakite's coolant features antibacterial properties," he states. "Worker morale is enhanced and, in effect, Rochester Gear increases productivity because hand protection, while still recommended, is not a necessity." MMS

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