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Establish a safe and comfortable working environment in the factory by measuring the “Oil mist concentration”MEIYO ELECTRIC Co.,Ltd

2019.03.21

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Light scattering type “Oil mist sensor” that uses infrared light. A pulse drive method is used for the detecting element to realize high sensitivity and high-speed response

Points to remember

  • Apply the technology cultivated with ships and develop applications for other fields
  • Respond to the request for “Improvement of the factory work environment.”

“Oil mist” generated at the machining sites of metal parts is considered to be an important problem that affects the working environment, productivity, and environment around the factory. Regulations for reference values and measurement obligations have not been established, but steps are being taken to strengthen control by setting self-regulated values independently at plants supplying automobile parts.

Oil mist refers to oil floating in the air and can be broadly divided into two types. One is “Oil agent particles”, in which the lubricating oil used for metal processing is divided into fine particles and scattered on striking the workpiece or tool. The other is “Oil smoke” released by the heat generated during machining. There is a concern that this oil mist may contaminate the equipment and air in the plant with oil over a long time, which may also affect the health of employees. Measures such as devising manufacturing methods and installing devices that collect the oil mist are essential at the manufacturing site.

The “Oil mist sensor” developed by Meiyo Electric Co., Ltd. is useful to measure the oil mist concentration in such situations.

The company was initially founded as a manufacturer of peripheral sensors for ship engines. They have gained the top market share in Japan by devoting themselves to technology by developing various measuring instruments for ships. One of their main products is the “Oil mist sensor”, which measures the oil mist in cranks of diesel engines and ships.

When lubricating oil is heated to a high temperature, oil mist is generated in pasts such as cranks of ships. It is essential to monitor the “Concentration of oil mist” in ships to prevent severe accidents because the risk of explosion or fire on the ship significantly increases if the amount of oil mist generated exceeds a particular value.

The company developed the oil mist sensor for factories responding to the demand for using its oil mist sensor, which plays a significant role in securing marine safety, in factories such as metal processing sites. Based on the self-regulated values of factories, the sensor was designed to detect oil mist (about several mg/m3) levels that cannot be detected visually. During development, the company struggled to create a stable, low-concentration environment for adjusting the sensors. The sensor did not require strength like the products used in ships, and instead, the focus was to make the sensor lightweight, compact, and easy to install at any location.

Oil mist generated in the metal cutting process. A wide range of values can be measured from low to high concentration. It is compact and can be installed at any location.

Many factories measure oil mist using the “Dust meter”, but with this method, only intermittent measurement is possible.
The oil mist sensor developed by the company continuously monitors the quantity and fluctuation of oil mist in the environment. By connecting the sensor to a device such as a data logger or buzzer, the variation of the data can be recorded, or an alarm can be sounded when the oil mist concentration reaches the upper limit.

The device installed inside a machine tool. It is easier to understand the changes for each work content or conditions by quantifying the concentration of oil mist

They have delivered samples to the factory which made the inquiry and confirmation tests are in progress. In the future, the company plans to collaborate with manufacturers of oil-mist devices for research and utilize the results for product improvement. Oil mist collectors are operated continuously in metalworking factories, but if the operation and power of the collector are controlled depending on the concentration and working conditions, then it will lead to energy saving.
One of the essential factors in manufacturing is the theme of improving the working environment. The company which has excelled in the field of “Marine” wants to contribute to the field of “Land” with their technology.

Interview Date: February 14, 2019

 

company information

Since our establishment in 1936, encouraged by studies of advanced technology in the field of electrical machinery and electronics, we grew as a manufacturer of marine instruments. We are highly evaluated in Japan and overseas for various sensor technologies, and we have an extensive track record for their usage. We shall continue to strive so that we can provide technology cultivated in the ship industry to different fields.

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