Advanced Grinding Solutions Ltd

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Advanced Grinding Solutions of Coventry has announced its partnership with the premier Italian manufacturer of Filtration systems; Comat.

Chris Boraston, MD at AGS, explains the rationale behind the new joint venture:

"We have been importing a wide range of grinding and finishing machinery into the UK for decades and have previously mostly relied upon the choice of the machine builders that specify filtration units for their machines. This has worked reasonably well but has proven to be problematic in recent years because either UK based support for the filter units was non-existent or if it was, we found it increasingly difficult to get good and fast support because most UK based distributors of filter systems are usually excluded from the purchasing process as filters are mostly bought turn-key directly from machine makers. Thus UK based distributors of filter units were therefore highly reluctant to help us when there were problems. For us good customer support is critical and so we needed to find a solution.

It transpired that Rollomatic, who are our biggest agency and supply many tool grinding machines into the UK every year, were working closely with Comat and we were given excellent references for their systems and we therefore arranged to visit their works near Milan to understand more about them and were delighted by what we learned.

Comat manufacture super-filtration systems that deliver ≤ 2-3 μm filtration quality (making oil cleaner than unused oil as supplied new) and importantly do so throughout the entire working cycle whilst minimizing lifetime running costs and maintaining maximum coolant consistency.

Importantly for us and for our UK end users, the Comat filter systems use their Intelligent Performance Technology that allows them to be remotely monitored in real-time during the manufacturing processes and customers filter systems fine-tuned by Comat to ensure that the optimum filtration quality is obtained at all times. Of course, remote diagnostics is part of this and overcomes most of the issues we had with other filter units. Furthermore depending upon the model the Comat filter units can be monitored, controlled, and optimized by integrated controls or externally by PCs, tablets or smart phones.

Satisfied in that not only are these systems amongst the very best available and that they have serious advantages in the remote monitoring and diagnostic support, combined with lower running costs, then we were very happy to reach agreement with Comat to partner with them here in the UK and we already have made our first few sales into the UK market."

Today, more than 20,000 machine-tools use Comat Filtration Systems, with more than 120,000,000 litres of metal working oil being super-filtered every single day. Comat operate globally and have a 30-year history in developing the most advanced filtration systems that are available. Comat's Superfiltration Technology uses continuously regenerating filtering media (diatomaceous earth, cellulose or other vegetable media), to ensure that particles larger than ≤ 2-3 μm are removed from cutting fluids and the fluid is maintained at a stable desired fixed temperature. Oil that is filtered by Comat systems does not need to be replaced and many clients report that they have never changed the oil for up to 20 years (save top-ups due to oil loss). Main applications for these filter systems include tool grinding on Rollomatic and similar grinding machines and also on turning machines and automatic lathes.

The filters media needs to be re-generated once per day for full production/heavy stock removal applications and this takes just 15 minutes or so and the machines do not need to be stopped whilst this is carried out. If the system is fitted to a grinding machine used for regrinding cuttings tools then re-generation of the media would only be required every 1-2 weeks.

Remarkably so the filtration levels from the Comat systems are so high that new virgin oil has to be go through several regeneration cycles in order for it to meet the finer filtered quality of older/used oil that is within Comat filter systems. The low cost media used in Comat systems is very cheap and as there are no cartridges, paper rolls or expensive candles to replace; Comat filters offer the lowest running costs of filter units.

Today 80% of sales are for Comat EVO systems that offer 24/7 monitoring and are equipped with a facility whereby the system when registering any issue will send an email/alarm warning to both the end user and to the Comat HQ to inform them of a problem. This said Comat units are extremely reliable and a check-up maintenance visit is only recommended every 2 years. During such a visit the history of all parameters since installation or the last service check can be recalled and the system optimised when necessary to suit grinding or turning processes that may have changed slightly over that time.

Comat ECO systems are the basic version of Comat filter units and are offered to cost conscious customers that want highly economic solutions and do not want Comat's automatic remote diagnostics support. However, these systems of course still offer the same very high level of filtration and ongoing reliability.

Comat filtration systems ensure a higher and more consistent quality of machined components, increased lifetime of cutting fluids, reduced machine wear and importantly bring about an increased lifetime of grinding wheels and cutting tools. From small stand-alone systems to support a single grinding machine or lathe with a capacity of 60l/min up to centralized units that can cater for up to 12 grinding machines or 25 lathes with a capacity of over 1,000 l/min; Comat have solutions. Cost studies have shown that Comat systems are considerably cheaper to run than other systems that use candles or a series of cartridge type filters whose running costs are up to 4 times greater. Furthermore these universal filtration systems can handle any type of contaminant including brass, carbide, ceramics, glass, HSS, special aerospace and medical alloys and PCD etc.

Comat continues to expand and today has a production facility of approx. 4,000 m² with a further office area of 1,000 m² at their base near Milan and their filtration systems will be making their UK debut on the AGS stand at Mach 2020 and may be seen earlier at the forthcoming EMO exhibition in September on the Comat stand A7 in hall 7.

The advantages of the Comat systems are clear; they offer large reductions in running costs, they filter oil to the very highest levels, they offer a constant quality of filtration, and thanks to their ability to be remotely checked and monitored offer hassle free ownership.

AGS via their website www.advancedgrindingsolutions.co.ukor on 02476 22 66 11.

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