Long-term plant-based solution

Mollet Präzisionsmechanik AG, a family business working in the field of precision mechanics and medical technology, had an issue with the metalworking fluid. Approaching Blaser Swisslube was the beginning of a new chapter.

With its approx. 20 employees, Mollet Präzisionsmechanik AG is doing everything it can to fulfil all of their customers’ wishes and requirements. The Swiss family business headquartered in Lengnau, Canton of Bern, specialises in the customized manufacturing of medical instruments and the production of highly resilient workpieces in the field of high pressure and laser technology. It manufactures surgical instruments, mainly from medical chrome steel, using many different technologies. These instruments are used in the areas of external fixation devices, positioning jigs and reconstruction and bending systems.

Production managers at Mollet AG were experiencing issues with the metalworking fluid they were using. It was especially their employees’ skin irritations that were giving them cause for concern. “Our main goals were eliminating those skin irritations, as well as achieving a longer emulsion life,” Marcel Mollet, the company’s CEO, explains.

We had been in touch with Blaser Swisslube for quite a while, but in 2016, we intensified our contact. “We sought to get in touch with Blaser’s specialists in order to tackle the metalworking fluid problem,” Daniel Mollet, the CTO, remembers.

Utilising all available resources

Under the supervision of Blaser’s application engineer Martin Haas and in close collaboration with Mollet AG’s experts, all parameters were discussed, followed by a comprehensive analysis. Which machines cause the biggest problems? Which materials cause the most difficulties when it comes to machining? Which tools are used and what is the expected tool life? What is the quality of the water used? What attributes does the ideal metalworking fluid need to have?

The Liquid Tool

“The analysis phase was very intense. We turned over every stone and utilised all available resources,” says Martin Haas. “After considering all factors, the choice of the right metalworking fluid can be the – immensely important – last part of the puzzle. The so-called Liquid Tool can ensure that everything interlocks and lead to a significant increase in productivity.”

Following a detailed analysis and based on many years of experience, the application engineer Martin Haas suggested using the Vasco 7000 metalworking fluid. “Vasco 7000 offers a high stability and a good compatibility for people and machines. The metalworking fluid’s base is made from vegetable oil and therefore from renewable raw materials,” Haas explains. Vasco 7000 is a high-performance product that is very well suited for materials that are difficult to machine and for complex production processes in the field of medical technology. The natural polarity of the oil molecules ensures an excellent performance, and the compact lubrication film makes the metalworking fluid resistant to high pressure and temperatures. The Vasco product line is recommended in particular for high-strength and tough steel, as well as for machining titanium.

Successful trial period

August 2016 saw the first machine being filled with Vasco 7000 – the beginning of a several weeks long trial period. Marcel Mollet: “During the test phase, we extensively tested the performance of the new metalworking fluid. This was very important for reaching a decision.” Soon, it became apparent that the newly chosen metalworking fluid was an ideal match for Mollet AG’s production processes: After it had become obvious that the solution did not irritate the skin and had a much longer tool life, in February 2017 the company began to use it for all their machines.

Excellent results

Meanwhile, the metalworking fluid has been in use for an entire year without any problems. “This means that the tool life of the metalworking fluid was increased significantly. This also allowed us to lower the cost of metalworking fluids,” Daniel Mollet says. The skin irritations are now definitely a thing of the past. Daniel Mollet: “Thanks to the new metalworking fluid, we were able to massively improve the work safety in the production hall.”

Mollet Präzisionsmechanik AG and Blaser Swisslube will continue to review the production processes and make long-term improvements