Wogaard And Seco Tools extends Technical Partnership

Initially, Seco Tools gained significant results from the installation of a Wogaard Coolant Saver which led to the units being installed across all of the production machine tools and the formation of an engineering partnership between the two businesses. This partnership has now been extended to include the recently launched Keep-it-Covered swarf bin covering system from Wogaard.

A diverse range of machine tools on the shopfloor at Seco Tools UK Technology Centre in Alcester, Warwickshire are used to produce bespoke cutting tool bodies and additional ancillary items for its customers in the aerospace, motorsport, medical, marine, power generation and general precision engineering sectors.

Engineering Team Leader, Alan Fellows, explains the rationale behind the installation of the new covers: “We have adopted a ‘5S’ approach to attain the good housekeeping required as part of a global drive from Seco for its business hubs. Aiming for aesthetic appeal to create a workshop that is closer to laboratory cleanliness rather than an engineering shopfloor environment, where a sense of pride in the workplace.

“The new Keep-it-Covered initiative from Wogaard has certainly helped us achieve this, and as a secondary consideration has also reduced the risk of fumes escaping into the atmosphere.”

Such has been the success of the Wogaard Coolant Saver since it was introduced to the cutting tool specialist that when Managing Director, Jason Hutt, approached Seco with the concept of the new skip covering system, the company was very keen to discover more.

“Based on the results achieved by the Coolant Savers within Seco’s workshop the staff were willing to listen to some suggestions of what could be done with the covers to improve the housekeeping along with proposed costings,” says Jason Hutt. He made some detailed measurements and produced some preliminary covers to which Seco wanted to add a brand logo for the cutting tool business along with some machine specific Coolant Saver access points and so on.

However, it was not without any challenges as Alan Fellows recalls: “We have a diverse range of machine tools and subsequently that means a variety of swarf receptacles and the new covers need to match them. Only two covers are the same the remaining covers are bespoke to each machine type, and the interface between the swarf conveyor and the bins proved a challenge on some of the machine tools, but Wogaard worked at these and achieved the results we were looking for.”

Initially there was resistance from the shopfloor as it was perceived that the covers would make it more difficult to gain access and empty the full swarf containers. “The reality is the covers can be removed and replaced in a matter of seconds, the time required is not even measured in minutes,” states Alan Fellows. “And, the viewing windows in the covers let us check the swarf level without disturbing the cover seal.”

Although the covers were effectively developed exclusively for this application the time between the initial measurements being taken and the covers being delivered for fitting was very reasonable and Alan Fellows points out that the results are even better than anticipated.

He concludes: “They have not been installed long enough for us to comment on their longevity, however the material and product quality certainly seems robust enough to last in operation. We just have to ensure we take the swarf out regularly so it does not backup into the covers, and the viewing window certainly help us keep on top of this.”

Visitors to the popular Seco Tools’ manufacturing best practice event ‘Inspiration Through Innovation’, held on the 9th and 10th October 2018, will be able to the new Keep-it-Covered swarf bin covering system in operation.