Stories & Features

Coolant Recycling Process Eliminates Truckloads of Wastewater

Feb 7, 2022 by IDEX Health & Science

The dozens of lathe and milling CNC machines used to produce plastic manifolds at IDEX Health & Science (IH&S) in Bristol, Connecticut (USA), require a steady stream of coolant. Fail to contain the heat produced through the computerized, precision cutting process and the plastic will melt.

 utilize Smart Skim machine to recycle coolant onsite
For years, IH&S paid for twice-a-month pickups of coolant wastewater for remediation – enough to fill more than three tanker trucks over the course of a year. With help from a new machine, they now recycle coolant onsite, which has reduced wastewater production by 85 percent, as well resulted in significant cost savings that paid for the new system in less than a year.

The water-based mix includes 3 percent synthetic coolant concentration and now can be reused over and over. Plastic chips and any organics are also removed as part of the reconditioning.

“In the beginning, my team members were skeptical. They didn’t think the recycled coolant would be fresh,” said James Christensen, Site Leader at IH&S Bristol. “Now they think it’s actually better.”

So much for being friends with the wastewater pickup driver. That’s now just a once-a-year event.

Our IDEX Health & Science facility in Bristol, Connecticut (USA) is home to the development and manufacturing of plastic manifolds and fluidic assemblies for the IVD Bio market. These products are used in systems such as DNA sequencers and blood testing equipment. Staffed by approximately 100 employees, our 65,000-square-foot, ISO 9001 certified site houses three key value streams — integrated fluidics, milled products, and turned products. Our experience machining and bonding plastic has allowed IDEX to create techniques that have helped us remain the leader in precision manifold manufacturing and custom plastics for more than six decades.