With estimates as high as $1.3 million per hour of downtime, automotive plants have some of the highest downtime costs of any industry. The last decade has seen the continued proliferation of automated, autonomous manufacturing in the industry. But does such reliance on advanced machinery mean instant savings? In an industry known for its hardworking people, do machines mean profit?
For many automotive plants, the answer is “yes.” And as Bill Gates once said, “The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.” If the plant in question is already efficient, the automated manufacturing equipment employed in the auto industry will complement the diligent and intelligent work of its people, achieving better output through even greater quality, efficiency and productivity.
Yet, amidst the hum of every operation built on the blended labor of humans and machines lurks a certain danger. With so many working parts – many of which leverage hydraulics and lube oil fluids to function – the very machinery enabling high performance becomes a risk.
According to Fluid Power Journal:
Of all the oil-lubricated assets found in industrial plants, hydraulic systems are by far the most sensitive to contamination. Put simply: kept clean, they should run reliably; allowed to get dirty, it’s likely that problems will occur. The reason for this sensitivity stems from the unique components used in hydraulic systems. From pumps to valves, cylinders to motors, clearances are tight, making even the smallest particle or water droplet a potential problem.
Pall Athalon™ hydraulic and lube oil filters lower that risk by protecting the machinery in which they are installed. With advanced media that maximizes filtration area and increases flow-handling capability while reducing overall size, Pall Athalon™ filters maintain the required fluid cleanliness levels necessary to protect hydraulic equipment.
Athalon™ filters prevent problems with an industry-leading Betaxc > 2000 filter efficiency, the highest-performing filter available today. This enables customers to reach target cleanliness more quickly than the alternatives. But it’s not just initial performance that should be measured in analyzing the performance of filters, it’s the ability to maintain cleanliness over time under constant use.
Automotive engineers and maintenance professionals seeking to maintain plant uptime, increase productivity, and protect assets need a solution that cleans and extends the life of hydraulic fluids. How Pall does it with its Athalon™ product is a story of good design and technology.
It starts with the filter media, made from inorganic fibers that are securely bonded into a fixed, tapered pore structure with high resistance to system stresses. Then, ‘laid-over pleating,’ enables more filtration media area in a filter element envelope. The unique pleating structure creates a uniform flow, while maintaining industry leading cleanliness and levels. And Athalon’s stress-resistant technology ensures that the media will provide consistent filtration performance over extended use. The superiority of the Athalon™ product is stunning.
In a comparative performance study, Pall Athalon™ filters saw minimal uptick in particle count after 90% of life. In contrast, competitors saw consistent spikes in particles that were much higher as they approached the end of their service life. Automotive manufacturing equipment utilizing these competing filters are at risk of malfunction and downtime due to fluid contamination.
Fluids are the lifeblood of machinery. When unhealthy, machinery will collapse; the cleanliness of the fluids is essential to their sustained, reliable life. Of all cost efficiencies available in the optimization of automotive manufacturing, cheap filters are a false economy. But with a solution like the Athalon™ filters, existing fluid contamination problems can be remedied quickly and contamination-related failures and downtime virtually eliminated.