Better Coolant Recycling a Big Saving for Caterpillar

By Joseph R. Fonseca
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

 

The coolant collecting and recycling system is projected to save Caterpillar Undercarriage Xuzhou Ltd. (CUXL) nearly 600L of coolant each year and reduce hazardous waste disposal by 20 tonnes annually. What’s more, the facility could save more than $11,000 in the first year alone, with savings climbing even higher as product volume increases.

This is the way CUXL's Quality Manager Lake Lian describes an outdated machining coolant collecting system that has been costing one of our Undercarriage facilities in China more than $10,000 per year in waste disposal fees alone. With an increased focus on sustainability and social responsibility, CUXL employees were looking for opportunities to reduce waste, improve environmental processes and cut costs. They found one in the track link machining process.

During the CUXL track link machining process it is common for a cutting coolant to be mixed with steel chips. That coolant is a chemical that needs to be disposed of safely. Currently, the CUXL facility spends about $1,500 per month to dispose of the waste liquid. Employees there say it’s a burden we’ve had to bear to produce our product and safely dispose of the waste products produced in the process. However, Lian’s group knew there had to be a better way.

Chemical Engineer Yang Wenfeng and Facility Engineering Supervisor Mark Ma put their heads together and came up with a plan to reduce these costs and promote sustainability at the same time. They started by analyzing waste coolant from machining. Then Wenfeng and Ma designed and built an underground coolant collecting system and coolant recycling system. Logistical Supervisor Hans Yuan and Chemical Technician Tao Zhou also supported the project through transporting waste liquid and chemical analyzing. The team modeled the system after one in AsiaTrak (Tianjin) Ltd., another facility in China, to speed things up. The system was up and running by the end of 2013, and is already paying off.

The collected coolant is now filtered, pumped back to the cycling system and recycled for the next machining process. Lian, along with the facility manager for CUXL and other employees are excited to finally have a solution to a problem that has plagued CUXL for months.

“It reduces original coolant consumption,” facility manager Link Lin said. “Most importantly, we reduce waste disposal quantity significantly and support sustainable development greatly.”

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

Larger Tankers May Offer Better Return Chances

Investors looking for returns in the tanker markets can invest their capital in a variety of ways. Should an owner invest in a VLCC or an Aframax? How about an

US Plans to Shut Royalty Loophole on Coal Exports

U.S. coal companies will no longer be able to settle royalties at low domestic prices when they make lucrative sales to Asia according to reforms proposed by the Interior Department on Friday.

Hapag-Lloyd Completes CSAV Merger Capital Increase

Hapag-Lloyd completed the planned capital increase of EUR 370 million (approximately $452.5 million) as part of the business combination with the Chilean shipping

Environmental

NZ Report: Human Error to Blame for Rena Grounding

New Zealand's Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) published its final report into the grounding of containership Rena in October 2011. The TAIC’s

Costa Rica Approves APM Terminals Project

Port operator APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's A.P. Moller-Maersk, said on Friday Costa Rica's environment agency had approved the construction of its Moin Container Terminal project.

NOAA: US to See More Floods from Sea Level Rise

Most of U.S. coast may see 30 or more days a year of floods up to 2 feet above high tides. By 2050, a majority of U.S. coastal areas are likely to be threatened

News

Port Workers in Argentine Grain Hub End Strike

Port workers in part of the Argentine grains hub of Rosario lifted a work stoppage on Friday, only a day after they went on strike over demands for higher year-end bonuses, a union official said.

Madsen to Chair Norway’s Research Council Executive Board

Henrik O. Madsen appointed chairman of the executive board of the Research Council of Norway   DNV GL president and CEO Henrik O. Madsen was appointed as chairman

Larger Tankers May Offer Better Return Chances

Investors looking for returns in the tanker markets can invest their capital in a variety of ways. Should an owner invest in a VLCC or an Aframax? How about an

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1390 sec (7 req/sec)