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Container with oil

As good in production as in the frying pan

February 25, 2021

At the Vetlanda factory, rapeseed oil has been used in production as a substitute for paraffin oil in the past year.

A test that proved to be good in many respects, not least from the work environment aspects. Joakim Windmuller, Mats Carlsson and Jörgen Hultqvist were behind the idea and are telling about the benefits they have experienced since they changed from paraffin oil to rapeseed oil.

For a long time, paraffin oil has been used to lubricate knives and saws in production at the Vetlanda factory. The problem with paraffin oil is that it creates a lot of smoke when heated, and if you do not have proper ventilation, it creates bad air for the employees in production. In addition to the enormous amount of smoke that paraffin oil releases during use, there is also a certain fire risk when using the oil. But now when you change the paraffin oil, and use rapeseed oil instead, there is less smoke and you minimize the risk of fire when using the same amount of oil. Now they have also started to lubricate the sawdust with rapeseed oil during the last week, which they feel works well.
The idea of replacing the paraffin oil has been there for a long time, but they did not have a good substitute until they came up with rapeseed oil. A number of different substitutes have been tested, but some of these have been more harmful than paraffin and there have been no sustainable solutions. But then after a morning meeting a few years ago, it was said that they might try using rapeseed oil instead of paraffin and a solution was found.

When they first came up with the idea, they went to the grocery store and bought rapeseed oil to test the theory of rapeseed oil as a substitute. Nowadays, they collaborate with the Sapa restaurant and thereby buy rapeseed oil for production.
In addition to the practical advantages of using rapeseed oil instead of paraffin oil, there is also the economic aspect. According to Jörgen, a can of 10 liters lasts almost 3 months, which in turn is almost twice as long as a similar can of paraffin oil. So, if we are going to list the benefits of rapeseed oil, we get:

  • Less smoke, better air
  • Better working environment
  • Uses less oil in relation to production
  • Lower fire risk
  • Experienced as less wear on saw and knife

Work forward

For the future, Mats, Jörgen and Joakim feel that it would have been interesting to have someone do a follow-up in the production that measures levels in the smoke and measures the use to see concretely if / how much better it actually works with rapeseed oil. Right now, they can only go on what they see, which is less smoke, less use of oil over time and, apparently, less wear on the saws. A good initiative by the Vetlanda factory which will hopefully have a long-term, positive, effect for both employees and production.

About paraffin oil

Paraffin oil is a white mineral oil and is actually called Marcol 82. It is classified as hazardous to health according to the safety data sheet, and prolonged exposure can cause irritation to the skin and eyes.

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