CLOSED ON: 02 NOV 2019  |  REWARD: INR 2,00,000
Reward money is paid in exchange of legally acquiring the solution, implementing it to solve the problem and meeting the success criteria. Milestones for paying the reward money would depend upon the complexity of challenge and maturity of the proposed solution, which would be discussed with the solver as soon as the proposed solution is selected by us.

Short Description:

Develop an environment-friendly and cost-effective solution for quick and effective removal of oil from machined watch cases.

Challenge Details

Machining of watch case blanks (configuration: round & shaped) is carried out to house various components of the Watch. For example, in round cases, Turning & Drilling operations are carried out to house:

  • Mineral glass
  • Dial
  • Movement & movement holder
  • Back cover - by turning
  • Winding stem
  • Strap - by drilling

The machining operations are carried out on CNC Turning lathes & special purpose drilling machines. Neat Cutting oil is used as coolant while machining to prevent overheating of cutting tools and to ensure longer tool life. During production, an in-process inspection must be carried out at regular intervals to ensure Quality. In-process inspection is carried out by inspecting 5 units in every 100 units produced.

Pegasol is used as a cleaning solvent at each machining station/line to remove the oil from the machined components and facilitate for in-process inspection with the help of measuring instruments. The benefit of using Pegasol solvent is that the components dry quickly (less than 5 secs drying time) and there is no residual oil film left behind on the component.

However, Pegasol has negative impacts of lower flammable point/flashpoint (-15 oC) and comes under special government licensing. Also, prolonged usage or repeated exposure can cause damage to skin & organs. An alternate solution to Pegasol will eliminate significant Fire and health hazards.

Options Tried:

  • We have tried dipping the component with Liquid Soap Oils and using compressed air to wash away oil film, but the drying is not effective, traces of oil are left behind, and takes more time to dry.
  • We are also now trying out with Benchtop Ultrasonic cleaner – the tank of the tabletop ultrasonic cleaner is filled with DM water and Soap oil. 

Solution Requirements:

  • This can be a modification to the current inspection process or can be a replacement of the cleaning agent.
  • The alternate solvent should allow 100% elimination of oil from machined components to facilitate for in-process inspection.
  • The surface of the components must become dry within 5 seconds.
  • The solvent should allow easy handling and storage.
  • It must be environmentally safe and should not pose health hazards to operators.
  • The unit cost of an alternate solvent should be less than INR 70 per liter.


Have any query or need more clarification about this challenge?