By: Kathryn Gerardino-Elagio
Productivity, economic efficiency, and machining quality in the manufacturing process depend decisively on the choice of the right coolant. To make this connection visible, International Metalworking News for Asia spoke to Marc Blaser, CEO of Blaser Swisslube, during the company’s Blaser Productivity Trophy event in Singapore. In the interview, Marc delves into the importance of choosing the best coolant and how they can help customers’ produce more parts each time.
IMNA: It is a competitive world out there. How can Blaser Swisslube help its customers produce more parts in a given time?
Marc: We help customers become more competitive by utilising the cutting fluids combined with application engineering to make it a true liquid tool. The liquid tool is basically the result for the customer. We do not just want to provide a liquid in a nice drum or a consumable, we optimise the customer’s machining process to create substantial benefits. In this way, customers achieve higher speeds, feeds, and machining rates, resulting in more parts produced per shift. Our promise to the customer is cost reduction guarantee. Therefore, we want to help them reduce their costs and become more competitive. That is why we do not just call it another metalworking fluid, what customer gets from us is a “true Liquid Tool from Blaser.”
IMNA: You mentioned Liquid Tool from Blaser? Tell us more about this.
Marc: The metalworking fluid from Blaser becomes liquid tool when you utilise the right fluid for the right application in the right way. Our application experts all have a tooling or machining background, and they speak the language of our customers. They visit the customer’s premises and analyse in-depth the manufacturing processes current situation using special lenses or glasses. From there, our application expert can check the tool consumption, scrap rates, and cycle times. Everything that can define the customer’s cost per piece. Once the evaluation is done, our specialist can then suggest a solution based on our experience and expertise. We give the customer a status report on their current production, highlighting potential improvement areas, such as tool wear reduction, lower tooling costs, cycle times, lower scrap rates, higher outputs or lower manufacturing costs, better workpiece quality, and set specific goals how they can be achieved.
Typically, the customer vents and ask why they should use metalworking fluid. So, we run a trial on site and document the guaranteed savings using our recommended solution. We then translate these savings back into financial gains, which are relevant for the customer. The customer gets a specific productivity increase study for this specific manufacturing process. After ensuring that the test results have met our goals, we plan implementation of the new solution, as well as training and support.
IMNA: Many companies are trying to do things in digitalisation. How can you support your customers in this matter?
Marc: First, this liquid tool approach is documented on a platform, which is called, the Liquid Tool Analyser. This data-driven digitalised tool not only allows us to document all the specific values but also create and grow the knowledge and the expertise continuously. In addition to that we also have a digitisation solution in the field of sensors. These sensors can automate real time measurements based on a smart digital platform, which basically goes into the field or into the direction of an automated measurement controlling device. Right now, we are in the phase of testing the release a solution for modular coolant maintenance solution automation because we believe that resources are scarce in that field and competencies limited. Therefore, we want to deliver smart multi-layer coolant automation solutions, which can help our customers maximise the benefit of the fluids they have in use.
IMNA: How do you see the topic of sustainability and how Blaser is helping its customers?
Marc: Sustainability is in our DNA since the beginning of our company. I think it is extremely important that everybody contributes to a more sustainable reality and sustainable environment. We start by selecting the right raw materials with better sustainability footprint, taking out all the ingredients that are difficult to recycle. Using the right formulation ensures less metalworking fluid consumption, which generates the least negative impact on the customer’s premises. Another important thing is to make sure that all formulations can be used over the long period of time without deterioration in quality or performance, requiring fewer metalworking fluid replacement. Because all of that is of course substantially packed on the environment. We see that an optimised formulation is already a benefit in regards to sustainability. The right formulation applied in the right way, creates the least footprint and hand print on the customer’s premises and to the environment.
IMNA: What are the challenges currently in South East Asia in machining field?
Marc: Challenges are everywhere. Your competitor is not only your neighbour, which is in the same industrial park; it can come from anywhere in the world. Companies here in South East Asia (SEA) and all over the world experience rising costs and inflation in different fields. Therefore, the biggest challenge for everyone is to always embrace a holistic view and improve the competitiveness of its own operation in order to stay viable in their specific industry. Companies here in SEA are willing to take a holistic view on manufacturing and competitive machining but they do not just need a supplier of products, what they need are partners who share a similar view and passion for creating better results in a holistically analysed or observed environment. You have complexity rising on one hand and limited resources on the other. You need to find the right combination of competent partners with a similar mindset in order to really bring your own competition to the next level. And this is where I see the challenge here in the SEA market. The cost advantages previously are disappearing because things are also you getting more expensive. Therefore, it is of great importance that companies embrace a more holistic and trust-based partnership approach, choosing and combining the right partners in order to get to their peak performance.
Blaser is not very strong in making nice marketing claims. We are very strong in making real and reliable relevant results for our customers. So, if you encounter any challenges in your machining processes, do not hesitate to ask for our support. The bigger the challenge the better we can perform. We are happy to put our energy, confidence, and efforts to make our future customers even more competitive.
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