MAG Powertrain is installing a Minimum Quantity Lubrication (MQL) machining system at the Ford Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan. This is the second MQL system without any wet machining operations at the plant. A hybrid system is also in place to produce aluminum transmission cases, converter housings and valve bodies for Ford’s six-speed transmissions.
The new MQL system is scheduled for completion by the end of 2007. According to the company’s press release, MQL systems reportedly yield yearly savings of approximately 30,000 gallons of coolant oil with water reduction of more than 250,000 gallons, and large reductions in requirements for compressed air usage. In a MQL system, a fine oil mist replaces the traditional coolant flooding used to lubricate and cool the cutting tool and workpiece. Chips are evacuated through the use of an integrated vacuum and safety system. Property algorithms work together with temperature monitoring to eliminate heat-related distortion.
The new system at the Van Dyke plant will include 52 MAG Powertrain SPECHT horizontal 4- or 5- axis machining centers, designed for medium- to high-volume production applications. Each operation can have its own lubricity level as opposed to a centralized coolant system. The machines can also be moved easily as production requirements change. MAG Powertrain designs and builds manufacturing systems for automotive, diesel and heavy industrial machinery.