“Build a better mousetrap, and the world will beat a path to your door,” words attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, means that even if there are established methods of doing something, an improved method will garner success. It may or may not be true with mousetraps – there are over 4,400 U.S. patents for various designs. The tried-and-true spring loaded bar on a small wood plank seems to still be the most popular by far, however. Likely due to its simplicity, availability, and low cost.
There are also a good many machines on the market to clean & filter machine tool coolant. Some are made to be permanent attachments to the coolant sump for continuous filtration. Others are made for portability, and are used to pump out the sump, filter the coolant, and pump it back in. These can be impressively comprehensive, and that’s often reflected in the knowledge required to operate them, as well as the price tag.
Like anything else, if you need all the “bells and whistles,” I’m sure those machines are worthy every penny. If you just want clean coolant and you have a few minutes to spare every week or so, look no further than the EXAIR Chip Trapper System. Here’s how it works:
- Roll the Chip Trapper to your machine.
- Pump the coolant out of your sump, stirring it with the pickup wand to get chips & debris sucked up with the coolant.
- Pump the filtered coolant back in to your sump.
- If you’ve got another machine tool, roll the Chip Trapper over to it, and repeat. If not, you’re done. Unless the Filter Bag’s full, in which case, you’ll want to empty it for the next time.
The vacuum hose (1) is attached to the barbed connection of the Chip Trapper (2). The directional flow control valve on the top of the drum (3) and knob on the pump (4) are set to the “fill” position. The air supply valve is opened to permit compressed air at 80-100 psig (5.5-6.9 BAR) to flow through the pump which pulls the liquid through the hose, then into the reusable filter bag (5). When all liquid is in the drum, the air supply is turned off. The filtered liquid can then be pumped out by setting the directional flow control valve on top of the drum and the knob on the pump to the “empty” position. Once the air supply valve is opened, the air pushes the liquid back through the hose while all solids remain in the reusable filter bag.
There’s no moving parts, and it’s compressed air operated, so there’s nothing to wear out or burn out. If you keep on top of emptying and cleaning the Filter Bag, the Chip Trapper will operate darn near indefinitely, maintenance free. Oh, and to explain why I started this blog with the quote I referenced, the folks at Design News Magazine thought it was so innovative, they gave it their “Golden Mousetrap” Award when we rolled them out. Since then, we’ve incorporated three sizes for 30, 55, and 110 gallon drums. We also developed a High Lift version that generates 180″ H2O suction lift, for when the standard Chip Trapper‘s 96″ H2O lift isn’t enough.
EXAIR Corporation has a long history of making compressed air products that help a wide variety of industries get the most out of their processes, and the Chip Trapper is one of the most visible, and successful, examples of that. If you’d like to find out more, give me a call.
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