Following a meticulous evaluation and analysis of your operations and the subsequent product recommendations, free samples of our precision-engineered manufacturer's chemicals are sent to your facilities for intensive on-site testing. For some operations, a drop-in fluid replacement may be the solution. In these rare cases, on-site testing prior to full implementation is not necessarily required. However, we always recommend testing our products to guarantee the ongoing success of your operations and the quality of your manufactured components.
It is our desire to be on-hand for all testing procedures. That way, your questions may be answered immediately and concerns allayed prior to full implementation. If you choose, it is our pleasure to have a member of our technical staff on hand as well. Chemical testing and implementation is not like working in a kitchen, where too many hands spoil the soup. In our industry, we have found that the more eyes and minds are part of the testing process, more desirable outcomes, confidence in the products and comfort with the upcoming changes are the positive results.
Some manufacturers prefer to carry out all rigorous testing without ICC representation on-site. In this event, we are always available to answer any questions you may have, discuss testing methods and deliberate over the results
When testing metal-forming lubricants such as straight and soluble drawing and stamping oils and high speed stamping lubricants, it is critical that the ideal concentration range be determined beforehand (for synthetic, semi-synthetic or water-soluble lubricants). That way, changes may be made in small increments based on observed results. Are your parts wrinkling? The solution is too rich. Are your parts breaking, galling or scoring? The concentration is too lean. Once you are making good parts, the lubricant test may be deemed successful...for the moment.
Once the operational concentration range has been established, economical computations may be performed to determine the cost-effectiveness of this metal-forming lubricant choice. Over the long-term, factors such as tool and die life, bath life, bio-stability and operator friendliness may be observed. Only then will we discover whether or not your new metal-forming, drawing or stamping lubricant checks all the necessary boxes.
Metalworking operations can be finicky. Minute metallurgical differences between manufactured components may drastically affect variables such as tool life and part quality. Therefore, comprehensive testing of any machining and grinding coolant—as a necessary compliment to the tooling—must be performed to verify its efficacy. Again, a pre-determined concentration range of synthetic, semi-synthetic and water-soluble coolants must be agreed upon prior to on-site testing. This way, incremental changes may be made to hone in on the ideal operational concentration range.
Initial success may not be a harbinger of long-term performance. The most important and costly aspect of machining is undoubtedly the tooling. Extending tool life is one of the best ways to reduce the costs of machining operations. With this fact in mind, only medium- and long-term testing can prove the efficiency and performance of metalworking fluids. Bath life, bio-stability, operator friendliness and long-term operational costs must also be evaluated prior to the full implementation of any metalworking, machining and grinding coolant.
The performance of vibratory and burnishing fluids can make or break a manufacturing operation. As with cleaners, the three-legged stool of vibratory operations consists of time, temperature and concentration. Reduce one, and the others must be increased to compensate. For example, if short cycle times are required, solution concentration and temperature (if applicable) must be increased to accomplish the stated goals. Those goals may include the removal of burrs and scale, rust and corrosion protection and the desired luster of processed components.
On-site testing of these formulations is usually short-term, as the results are immediately observed. Long-term attributes may include cleanliness of the machinery and media, as well as reduced operational costs.
On-site testing of cleaners is perhaps the most comprehensive of all testing procedures. Many variables can affect the outcome. They include factors such as the nature of the soils to be removed, nozzle pressures and belt speeds (spray washers), exposure times, temperatures, types of parts to be cleaned, types of subsequent operations (applications of conversion coatings or rust inhibitors), change-out intervals and desired bath life, post-processing methods of storage and handling, and even the types of packaging materials.
As with metal-forming lubricants and metalworking fluids, determining a concentration range prior to testing (where applicable) will make the process much easier. Small changes in solution concentration may be made based on observed results. Similar to vibratory and burnishing fluids, outcomes are immediately observed, thereby reducing the duration of on-site testing. However, in order to determine the effectiveness of a recommended cleaner, medium- and long-term testing may need to be undertaken.
This is one area where short-term testing is simply not possible. In most cases, a rust inhibitor is tested on-site to verify whether or not a recommended formulation is compatible with existing operations.
Once parts have been coated as necessary, processed components are then shipped to our laboratory and independent laboratories for verification of performance. Additional tests such as those performed in a humidity cabinet and/or salt spray apparatus are required prior to full implementation. And finally, approval by your customers must be given before a change may be made. Shipping processed components to your customers in order to prove performance will no doubt be mandatory.
For those manufacturers that are part of the automotive supply chain, a PPAP (Product Part Approval Process) will also be undertaken to gain the confidence of your customers. Throughout all this, ICC is your willing and enthusiastic partner.