Jul 10, 2013 Düsseldorf / Germany
Innovative production process for high-performance lubricants
Henkel has commissioned a new production line at its Scheemda facility (Netherlands), the company’s most important European site for the manufacture of die lubricants/release agents and specialty surface coatings. Thanks to innovative technology employed in grinding the graphite feedstock, the plant is now able to manufacture high-performance lubricants for the automotive and electronics industries with higher quality and bigger capacity. As a result, the production process has been optimized in terms of both flexibility and stability, as well as delivering tangible sustainability improvements.
Henkel’s investment in Scheemda (Netherlands) serves to reaffirm its leading role in the metal processing lubricants market and in driving the ongoing effort to further improve the associated manufacturing systems. The advanced technology incorporated within the new production line increases the plant’s overall manufacturing capacity, enabling it to better serve growing market demand for its products. From Scheemda, Henkel supplies the European and international automotive markets with lubricants used in the hot and warm die forging process of parts of all shapes and sizes. “With the new production line, we are able to offer an innovative manufacturing process that also secures the long-term supply of high-performance lubricants. Thanks to this ultra-advanced plant, we have improved process control – and thus stability – in production, while ensuring that our customers receive a reliable product of the highest quality,” explains Simón Cabeza, Product Line Manager Automotive Cleaners and Lubricants at Henkel.
High-performance metal processing lubricants
Following a test phase of several months’ duration with incremental production volume increases, the investment project was brought to a successful conclusion in June 2013. Since then, Henkel has mainly been using the new production line for the manufacture of its Deltaforge F-31 die lubricant and release agent, which will from now on be distributed under the brand name Bonderite L-FG F 31 AN. This aqueous graphite dispersion is used to spray the forging dies with lubricant in order to ensure an optimum tool fill, controlled material flow and easy removal of the product from of the die cavity. The lubricant protects the dies used in hot forming processes – in which the forged parts can reach temperatures of between 1,100 and 1,300 degrees Celsius – thus reducing thermal fatigue, therefore increasing their service lifetimes. Particularly in the case of tools and dies that have long been in use, high-quality lubricants are of critical importance. At locations such as sharp edges at which fast metal movements occur, thermal stresses occur that can be particularly detrimental to die strength. During the forging cycle, moreover, huge forces are brought to bear on the material. Ultrafine graphite particles ensure the fast formation of a uniform lubricant layer, optimally protecting forging dies used in the manufacture of, for example, crankshafts, axle stubs or heavy forgings.
Reductions in energy consumption and wastewater volumes
Thanks to this advanced production technology in Scheemda, graphite as the basis for the lubricant can be ground to the very small particle sizes with better control as was previously the case. Moreover, the energy requirement for the production of this high-performance release agent is also now lower, as are the wastewater volumes produced during the manufacturing process. Plus, improved grinding technology now applied means no chemicals are required. Hence, this investment in the site not only contributes to sustainable development but also means a more efficient energy and disposal management.
For more information, visit our website www.henkel.com/automotive.
Forging lubricants are used in closed-die forging in order to ensure an optimal tool fill, controlled material flow and easy removal of the product from the die cavity.