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31. August 2015

MAXFLOW CS 1000: Precision in the luxury watch industry

A premium manufacturer located in the Swiss Jura produces mechanical clockwork components for world-renowned manufacturers of luxury watches. The precision of these components depends to a great degree on the plates, also referred to as the 'platines', which are processed repeatedly using double-disk face grinding technology. The company was looking for a new filter system to filter the cooling lubricant for the double-disk face grinder that would combine a small footprint with high performance and cost-efficiency. A further core challenge was to ensure the required surface roughness of 0.8 µm for the surface of the platines. This called for filtration of the cooling lubricant with a filtration rate of 5 µm at a throughput rate of 220 l/min. The MAXFLOW compact filter system made by GKD – GEBR. KUFFERATH AG fit the bill perfectly.

At the Swiss luxury watch manufactory, precision in every detail is the order of the day. The basis for the processing of the platines are 50 x 50 millimetre rectangular brass plates with thicknesses ranging from 0.7 to 4.5 millimetres. After each work stage – machining, milling or drilling – there is a grinding pass in which the platines are face ground to the respective depth in a double disk face grinder. Efficient filtration of the cooling lubricant for the double-disk face grinder makes a significant contribution to compliance with high standards of quality and process reliability. The prime task of a filtration system in precision processes like this is to keep the cooling lubricant at a high level of purity for as long as possible. It was on the recommendation of the manufacturer of the grinding machinery that the maintenance manager of the clockwork manufactory contacted GKD. The arguments for the choice of the MAXFLOW CS 1000 with integrated briquetting were its compact construction in stainless steel and the filter discs made of stainless steel wire mesh specifically configured for the particular customer’s process. These guarantee long service life, low maintenance costs and corrosion resistance. In addition, the tried and tested MAXFLOW concept also provides filtration to the required fineness of 5 µm at a throughput rate of 220 l/min – and that without the use of any filter aids. The system deployed at the clockwork manufactory has two filter packages, each with two static filter discs, a round tank system with integrated dirt tank and a lifting pump. The compact filter is connected to the manufactory’s central cooling system, which is fed with 14 to 15° C cold water from a nearby stream. To compensate for the temperature difference, GKD installed an intermediate cooling coil with an independently operating temperature regulator. The filter discs are fitted with process-customised multi-dimensional YMAX® type mesh and vertically installed in the filter head. The filter cake of milling waste and aluminium oxide dust that builds up is detached from the filter discs per automatic backwashing, pressed in the system’s integrated briquetting unit and ejected as dry briquets. This also ensures considerably lower loss of cooling lubricant through entrainment. Also impressive: the Maxflow’s ease of maintenance. The filter package is exchanged once a week, requiring just 15 minutes. With the previous system, exchanging the filters took up to three whole days. These significant savings of both time and money are reinforced by the excellent performance reliability of the filter system: it runs non-stop five days a week in two shifts.

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