Experiences with biodegradable cutting fluids

Last autumn, Kiilto launched the first plant-based and environmentally friendly cutting fluids. Jari Heikkilä, Kiilto Industrial Key Account Manager, tells now how the increasingly eco-friendly cutting fluids have been received on the market.

Last autumn, Kiilto launched the first plant-based and environmentally friendly Easycool Futura cutting fluids. The products are the result of Kiilto’s own product development. Made from renewable raw materials, they are not only more environmentally friendly, but are also safer to use and have better cooling and lubricating properties.

Environmental values are particularly important in both large companies and workshops. Easycool Futura cutting fluids are biodegradable, and so they do not need to be treated as hazardous waste and can be disposed of into the sewer system directly. The use of biodegradable cutting fluids is one way to reduce the environmental impact of industrial operations. The products have been used by customers for almost a year now, and the feedback has been positive.

Convenience and satisfaction

The change was welcomed not only by customers, but also by the Kiilto sales team. Switching to completely new types of products brought many new opportunities and challenged the team.

“When new types of chemical products are introduced, the reactions are usually very emotional but very natural”, says Kiilto industrial key account manager Jari Heikkilä. Changes always bring a certain amount of uncertainty, and there is a strong desire to stick to familiar solutions. Heikkilä has met customers several times since the launch of the cutting fluids and has received plenty of feedback about the change.

“It is natural to have even imaginary difficulties when it comes to trying new things. However, the initial reactions of customers after switching to the new products were positive, and they were relieved. The change turned out to be easy. The machines are working as before and the positive feedback from the machinists have increased this feeling even further”, Heikkilä says.

Renewable raw materials, the move away from fossil-based materials and a safer working environment. From the very beginning, these are things that customers have reacted to positively. As always in the case of changes, customers also had questions about the functioning of the process and the smoothness of the change. However, the change has been received positively, and as a transition towards a greener future.

User-friendliness of new products is welcomed

In addition to environmental friendliness, the new cutting fluids also have other properties that customers have been pleased with, namely consumption rate and user-friendliness.

“Vegetable oil esters do not evaporate in the same way or as much as mineral oils, so this reduces consumption. Customers have naturally been pleased with this. The dosing pump should only be adjusted slightly to ensure that the emulsion does not become too concentrated”, says Heikkilä.

The bacterial tolerance of the new emulsions is very good, and no bacterial growth has been observed. The characteristic scent of the emulsion is very mild, and machine working is more comfortable than before as there is less evaporation of machining fluid.

“It was great to notice that at the same time as we have brought new, more environmentally friendly products to the market, we have also made our customers’ lives easier. It is important for us to understand the needs and working conditions of our customers and the environment for which we are creating solutions. Through these products, customers find that the working environment is safer and the working environment itself is more pleasant”.

Kiilto’s efforts to produce environmentally friendly products continues and have been helped along by the good experiences with the new products. The next product to be launched for the technology industry is a new chamber cleaner, for which the Nordic Swan environmental certification is currently being applied for.