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LIQUID TOOL FOR TOOL LIFE OPTIMISATION Holistic approach optimises process & tool life

Jan 19, 2022

Swiss tool and instrument manufacturer, and Blaser Swisslube agreed on a collaboration with ambitious goals to optimise tool life in the PB’s plant. Blaser offered a holistic approach under the ‘Liquid Tool’ banner and promoted a change of coolant. The aim was to optimise processes, increase tool life and reduce production costs. The case study elaborates on how a test phase, which helped PB Swiss Tools achieve the ambitious goals that it had set and how, since then, its collaboration with Blaser Swisslube has expanded to include further production processes.

What started with the production of nose rings for taming oxen in the village blacksmith’s shop in Wasen, Switzerland’s Emmental region, evolved over the years into a global and innovative company synonymous with tools and medical instruments that are unrivalled for their precision and durability: PB Swiss Tools. The tool manufacturer’s history can be traced all the way back to 1878. It has been manufacturing tools since 1940 and the medical products since 2013. Today, specialists in more than 80 countries choose PB Swiss Tools when their work needs to meet the highest quality standards. 180 employees in Wasen and Sumiswald manufacture 12 million tools and instruments each year. More than two-thirds of these are exported all over the world.

Offering a holistic approach

Blaser’s brand ambassador, Titan Gilroy and coolant Synergy 735 caught the attention of PB Swiss Tools representatives at the Prodex exhibition in Basel. PB Swiss Tools’ Production Manager, Patrick Gehrig, was particularly interested in the holistic approach taken by Blaser Swisslube – increasing productivity and optimising costs through the use of the Liquid Tool. “A visit to PB Swiss Tools’ shop floor was arranged to discuss potential collaboration,” explained Hans-Peter Dubach, Application Engineer, Blaser Swisslube.

This visit was entirely consistent with the overall approach adopted by Blaser Swisslube. In addition to the talks and discussions, all the production details were closely examined. Dubach mentioned, “This included an analysis of the water quality, the tools and machines used, as well as the materials processed. We looked at all the upstream and downstream processes and identified potential for optimisation throughout: machine cleanliness could be improved and the lathes were oily & sticky. We also believed that we would be able to improve tool life.”

The experts at PB Swiss Tools set themselves the goal of optimising processes, increasing tool life and reducing overall costs in collaboration with Blaser Swisslube.

Following on from the detailed analysis, Dubach recommended using crystal-clear coolant Synergy 735 with deionised water. “This water-miscible and oil-free coolant allow for flawless surface quality, thanks to optimum additives. The rinsing behaviour is excellent, and the machines and tool surfaces are easy to clean,” mentioned Dubach. The Synergy 735 also allows for a clear overview of the machining process and is characterised by a neutral odour and excellent skin compatibility. The minimal foaming means the coolant is also ideally suited to high pressure systems.

Improved tool life

The new coolant was tested initially on a lathe over a period of three months. The results spoke for themselves: Tool life was increased by around 10%, with process reliability remaining at the same level. The top-up rate was almost halved, which had a positive impact on overall costs. Both tool and coolant costs could be reduced. All process times have been observed.

What’s more? The improved cleanliness of the tools and machines was enough to convince the managers at PB Swiss Tools. Patrick Gehrig, Production Manager, PB Swiss Tools was already looking to the future, “We rely on our coolant partner, Blaser Swisslube, and are committed to making continuous improvements in other areas.”

Following on from this successful collaboration, further processes have already been tackled, aiming to optimise their results. These include new grinding processes, the use of cutting oils, the introduction of lubrication charts and streamlining of the range of lubricants. PB Swiss Tools and Blaser Swisslube will continue to strengthen their collaboration in future.

Courtesy: Blaser Swisslube

Test us. It’s worth it.

Image Gallery

  • Tools and instruments of the highest precision and durability are manufactured at the headquarters in Wasen and Sumiswald

  • These tools and medical instruments from the Swiss Emmental are distributed to over 80 countries worldwide, equipping production lines in a wide variety of areas, & provide valuable service in operating theaters

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