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Lubricants may be essential to the manufacturing process, but it is easy to take them for granted. Below, we asked industry suppliers to discuss their focus and how they provide added value. Also presented is a quick look at wet-lube application, an updated primer on filtration technology that starts on p. 54, followed by lubricant entries in the Products section.

Aztech Lubricants LLC USA Aztech Lubricants LLC specializes in the formulation of EZDraw, EZCoat, EZFeed and EZClean products (see p. 63) that include the production of calcium, sodium and potassium stearate drawing powders, RP oils, ship out oils, drawing oils, vanishing oils, cleaners and precoats (both enhanced borax and borax free).

Aztech Lubricants’ Jonathan Anderson and Michael Colvin at Wire Expo 2018. Founded in 2005, Aztech Lubricants has more than 100 years of cumulative expertise in wiredrawing and wire lubricating formulation. The main operation is our 40,000 sq-ft-plant in Wayne, Oklahoma, which has an in-house laboratory for QC and R&D. Outside the U.S. we have manufacturing and distribution partnerships in Colombia, India and South Korea. We maintain sufficient inventory levels at all times on our core products, thereby enabling us to ship most orders the same day or the very next day. It’s important to have infrastructure but it’s just as important to listen to customers. For one company in the


welding wire industry, that led to us developing a finishing draw lube that helped them eliminate a processing step and reduce their product cost by 11%, a project that embodied the spirit of trial-and-error and a lot of communications and teamwork. We are also working with this same customer to develop a packaging oil to give them arc stability and feedability as well as shelf-life to help them better serve their customers. We offer lubricants by the truckload for some customers, but we are also willing to make a 40-lb box or a gallon of specialized products. We do in-plant training seminars for managers, engineers, supervisors and operators. We talk about wiredrawing lubricants (because that’s what pays our bills), wiredrawing, problem-solving and safety. We use plant-based and renewable sources when feasible, and our line of reduced dust products is growing fast. We can also supply customers with products such as EZPliers cutting tools (pliers made for wiredrawing), and AZWipe spiral brushes. Just trying to help your wire mill any way we can. Jonathan Anderson, president, Aztech Lubricants,

Baum’s Castorine Co., Inc. USA Ask what we focus on most at Baum’s Castorine Co., Inc., and you likely would get a different answer depending on who from Baum’s Castorine responded. The tricky part is that there are some aspects we can control and there are some we cannot, which leaves us some we can at least influence, and that’s where we have to focus. It’s best to start with what we can’t control, and that’s elements such as our cost for raw materials and the energy costs for the production process. Our goal has not changed since we started in 1879: to provide a quality product at a competitive price. What we have to do is control our operating costs, and there are many hurdles and roadblocks

Looking for more lubrication savvy?

Baum Castorine’s Mike O’Herien and Tim Whitcombe at Wire Expo 2018. that come up from time to time. Some hurdles are regulatory, such as new restrictions on certain ingredients, and some are simply administrative burdens that only add cost


with little benefit. Lately, logistics have become somewhat of a challenge, both inbound and outbound. Our focus on service includes educating users on best practices in an effort to recognize and minimize any upset conditions, allowing them to keep their costs in-line. To do this often requires one to be well versed in other adjacent processes, so we are experienced in bunching and stranding and the electroplating process. That knowledge provides additional benefits to our customer base. For example, one company’s maintenance department was managing the lube tanks, and due to excessive wire breaks they were dumping the emulsion prematurely. We helped set up a wire-break program that saved and categorized their breaks to determine the root cause. Using the data, we saw that the inclusion wire breaks occurred while running 34 AWG, but they were using copper only graded to 30 AWG. Once we explained that, they made the necessary changes and saw a 30% drop in wire breaks.

‘Spot-on’ advice regarding the lube needs for mechanically descaled wire rod Wire Lab Co. (WILCO) is best known for its mechanical descaling equipment, but the U.S.-based company also supplies related wiredrawing aids. Below, President Rob Fulop notes the challenges of applying powdered lubes to mechanically descaled rod. A lubricant company may offer the optimum product for a given dry-drawing application, but how it gets applied makes a big difference. Wire Lab Co. (WILCO) became aware of this in our early days when we set out to complement our mechanical descaling equipment. In the development of wire rod mechanical descaling machinery, we found that contrary to acidcleaned rod, drawing mechanically descaled rod would require help due to the lack of any carrier coating such as lime or borax. For any wire drawing operation the application of lube at the ripper stage is all-important because the rod surface at that point is rougher, which is good news in that the surface is better able to accept the lube that has to carry all the way through the drawing dies in the break down machine. What happens when that lube film is reduced as it goes through additional dies? The wire takes on a brighter finish, a clear indication that there is less lubrication. So, when exactly is the tipping point reached that cripples a drawing process? It all depends on how

many reductions are to be made, and the drawing speed, as this can be a limitation that results in premature die wear, wire scratching, high wire heat (elevated tensile) and trouFulop blesome wire breaks. One can argue the merits of acid pickling versus mechanical descaling—and there are some applications where acid-pickling must be used—but for end products where mechanical descaling is feasible, we have seen an increase in recent years in the number of companies that choose to avoid acid-pickling. Of note, in the early 1970s, WILCO developed a lubricant applicator that not only applied more lube to be “taken” by the wire rod, it allowed additional lubricant to be applied at one or more stages in the subsequent drawing process. See p. 59.

SEPTEMBER 2018 | 43


Visit, click on “resources,” and then “WAI HardWired,” where you can find two free presentations produced by Blachford Corporation: Lubrication Maintenance Parts 1 (dry powders) and 2 (wet lubricants).

WJI September 2018 Feature Sample  

Lubricants may be essential to the manufacturing process, but it is easy to take them for granted. Below, we asked industry suppliers to dis...

WJI September 2018 Feature Sample  

Lubricants may be essential to the manufacturing process, but it is easy to take them for granted. Below, we asked industry suppliers to dis...