MICROCERTEC SAS reduces maintenance costs when replacing rotating filter with 3nine’s disc stack technology

Microcertec S.A.S, is a company specialized in the high-precision grinding of advanced ceramics and glass, ultrasonic machining, and laser micro-machining. With a unique excellence in machining advanced ceramics such as  aluminas,  zirconias, carbides and nitrides into intricate shapes, they produce custom-made components for high-tech industries.

Being a pioneer in producing 3D-Ceramic Interconnect Devices (3D-CID), Microcertec SAS’s devices are used worldwide in inertial navigation systems, cooled detector-based cameras, atomic clocks, as well as other high-tech products.

Among their most prestigious projects was their involvement in the making of InSight, the lander sent to Mars to study the planet’s deep interior in order to better understand its formation.

A great amount of ceramic dust is generated by the grinding process involved in advanced ceramics. Mixed together with the water-based coolant used, this dust forms a mist that leaves a sediment in the workshop, which is difficult to remove.

Consequently, Microcertec invested in rotating filters to clean processed air. However, they noticed a pressure drop in the filters shortly after their installation. After just few months, they had become fully saturated.

As the cost and time of maintaining the filters rose, Microcertec’s Maintenance and Security Manager, Marc Bartoli, had to find a solution that could handle their somewhat difficult context. 

I actually found 3nine on the Internet. Watching their video on how their technology worked, I became curious, wondering if this could work for our context. However, given the issues we had experienced with the rotating filters, I was still doubtful whether it would work.

– Marc Bartoli, Maintenance and Security Manager

Indeed, ceramic grinding is considered a challenge when it comes to air purification, given the high number of solid particles generated as part of the grinding process. To solve this, 3nine offered its CIP (Cleaning in Place) solution, which is a patented solution that takes clean coolant to intermittently flush the inside mist eliminator in order to keep the disc stack clean. This prevents clogging and helps separated media to constantly be fed out of the machines.  As 3nine have extensive experience working with grinding applications through customers such as Sandvik, the company’s sales team in France was confident that grinding on advanced ceramics would not be an issue.

Shortly after installing two mist collectors in 2018, Microcertec was convinced that they had found the right solution for their application. As a result, in 2019, the company decided to fully equip their workshop with 3nine’s solution and invested in 15 machines. In the 3 years since then, only two out of the 15 machines installed have had to have their filter replaced. What’s more, a further 22 machines will be installed in 2021, making Microcertec’s entire machine park equipped with 3nine mist collectors.

Producing complex solutions for high-tech products, it is crucial for us to keep evolving and improve our production. Thanks to the minimal maintenance required with 3nine’s offer, we can focus on having a healthy working environment.

– Marc Bartoli, Maintenance and Security Manager