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2019.10.09 Work environment, Environment, Trends, Economy

Profitability through improved work environment and sustainability

FluidWorker 100 offers a new method for the machine industry to improve work environment and profitability, in applications with process fluids used for metalworking, quenching and washing.

The message around the new UV-based technology naturally focus on the ability to avoid exposure to harmful biocides. The financial implications are not as obvious, and are not always thoroughly analyzed and presented. Generally, a cost of new equipment must be financially justified by thorough analysis. Below is an attempt to describe an overall view of the contributing elements.

Hidden costs

Research implies that typically 8-16% of total manufacturing costs directly or indirectly relates to management of process fluids. Generally, top management does not track these costs, and different departments share ownership of them. Many CEO’s or CFO’s probably would benefit from a deeper review of this area, and some would find significant potential to improve profitability.

One can easily identify some costs, while others are less obvious and therefore rarely measured. The purchase costs of fluids and biocides is no problem to follow-up, but few registers the costs to store, move, fill, measure, empty, clean, store again, dispose etc. Furthermore, what are the costs for disrupted production – for example, when a cutting fluid unexpectedly must be replaced due to bacterial degradation?

Industry is becoming aware of the fact that the cost of using the new generation metalworking fluids is significantly higher. To offer acceptable bacterial resistance of the fluids, with less biocides, suppliers on average specify 7% concentration instead of earlier 5%, which actually equals a 40% increased purchased volume. FluidWorker can reduce this cost through longer fluid life and recycling.

Corporate Social Responsibility

In a complete analysis, you also have to estimate costs of a more complex nature. On such a list, you will find the administration of hazardous chemicals and waste, sick leave, transfer of staff due to allergies etc. How do you value work related health hazards? This must be a consideration for top management of companies with high profiled ambitions on corporate social responsibility (CSR). There is reason to believe that there is an untapped financial opportunity to review MWF management in the context of Health, Safety and Environment (HSE).

Improved economy for single machines

Stand-alone (“single”) metalworking machines run higher risk to suffer from disruptions due to bacterial growth. Many production sites invest in central MWF systems, which allow fluid parameters to be more effectively monitored and controlled. FluidWorker 100 keeps the fluid in good shape in single systems as well. Investing in a central system may not always be the most optimal setup.

What is then the economics of installing FluidWorkers? Using average data, expressed by many production and maintenance managers, a state-of-the-art financial calculation shows good profitability. This is even without inclusion of all the mentioned “soft” factors, like sick leave etc

Introducing new technology

History shows that the introduction of innovations is a challenge, and the process follows a certain pattern – the “S-curve”. Introduction generally is slow and characterized by resistance, and with a few “early adopters” that test and evaluate. The competitive machine industry is inherently risk adverse. Production processes are fine-tuned and have evolved in small steps. New technology must be analyzed in-depth before introduction. If accepted by the pioneers, the S-curve predicts a tipping point where the new solution becomes a generally accepted option.

With the strong sustainability trends and support from world leading companies like Quaker-Houghton, Volvo, SKF, Sandvik, SSAB, Danfoss, Ford, Siemens etc., we are confident that we are close to a tipping point where FluidWorker transforms into a standard.

Use our savings calculator to find out how much you can save with  FluidWorker!

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Ulf Arbeus
Ulf Arbeus

Ulf är VD för Wallenius Water Innovation och har mer än 15 års erfarenhet av företagsledande befattningar inom miljöinriktad verkstadsindustri, med huvudsaklig inriktning mot produktutveckling och innovation. Ulf is managing director for Wallenius Water Innovation and has more than 15 years’ experience of management positions in environmentally-oriented industries, mainly within product development and innovations. Ulf ist Geschäftsführer von Wallenius Water Innovation und verfügt über mehr als 15 Jahre Erfahrung in Führungspositionen in umweltorientierten Branchen, insbesondere im Bereich Produktentwicklung und Innovationen.

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