The experts in lubrication technology
Optical streak sensor IFX

Application of optical streak sensors in air+oil lubrication systems

Sensors can be mounted in retrofit procedures in order to verify the working of the air+oil mixers that have been previously installed. In this case they are mounted directly at mixer outlet.
Please consider that in this case the sensor controls a flow that is never steady because the lubricant dosing, in single-line systems, takes place cyclically at timed pulses.

So we have to distinguish between a dynamic type control (signal at every lubrication cycle) or static control (signal nearly uninterrupted).
We have the following options:

  1. Dynamic control: with sensor type IFX-S08 mounted inside the mixer (MVF-AX)
  2. Dynamic control: when the sensor (type IFX-C04 or C06) is outside the mixer, but at a distance of max. 10 cm.
  3. Static control: when the sensor (type IFX-C04 or C06) is outside the mixer and it is positioned to a distance of more than 1 mt.

In cases 1 and 2 the sensor will respond changing the status (LED green and then red) at every lubrication cycle, advising that the lubricant dosing took place properly. In case 3, the signal (green LED) is always on, provided that the lubricant flow rate (the oil streak) is enough and uninterrupted: for example, with a sensor positioned at 3 mt. from the mixer and a lubricant volume of at least 300 mm3/h, with an air flow not higher than 50 Nl/min.
A lower quantity of lubricant volume, or a higher air flow rate, can cause an unstable signal owing to a too limited and irregular flow for the optics of the sensor, but however valid for the needs of the lubrication point. This must be taken into consideration reasonably in the signal control management.
On the basis of the experience consolidated in the practical field, it is preferable to recommend a dynamic control, since this type of control is independent from the dosed volume and guarantees the control of every single cycle (“miss shot”).

The static control is used as redundant control, as guarantee of the lubricant presence in the final part of the pipes (see also video clip “redundant sensor”)

Related products

New MWM unit model ZFX for a 100% reliable lubrication process

The new air+oil lubrication system presented by MWM Schmieranlagen sets new standards for minimal quantity lubrication of bearings in high-speed/power spindles for machine tools.

The integration of patented optical sensor technology with digital pressure sensors  allows 100% control of all important parameters. Moreover a dedicated PLC, connected with multipolar connection, allows automatic management of lubrication parameters and control system, in order to ensure a 100% safe lubrication.

The system provides a visual and instrumental feedback, through a simple alarm signal, for communication with machine.
This ensures a reliable MQL at starting and 100% safety during operation.

The system is provided with a mixer type MVF-A with integrated optical sensors (International Patent) available in versions from 1 up to 6 outlets.


ZT Pro Lubrication system for spindle test benches

MWM oil+air lubrication system for spindle test benches

With manual selection of 1 up to 9 lubrication points.

Equipped with oil+air mixer MVF-A, with internal optical oil streak sensor (European Patent Certif. N°2427301).With programmable electronic control unit.

The ZT-Pro lubrication unit is a complete system which produces the oil+air mixture, to feed different type of spindles with easy selection of the lubrication outlets number. The selection of the lubrication points is possible through switches placed on the front panel. The unit is controlled by a PLC which allows a precise programming of lubrication cycles.
The unit is completely assembled on a plate and has filters both on the air line and on the oil line. Specifically designed for maintenance and testing of spindles.

The functional control is ensured by optical oil streak sensors and pressure sensors inside the mixer. The integration of patented optical oil streak sensor with digital pressure sensors and advanced PLC functions allows 100% control of all important parameters.

This feature provides a reliable oil+air minimal quantity lubrication and a 100% safety during tests.

Visual and electronic feedback with simple warning signal is available to the machine control, for external communication in case of failure.

Download the presentation flyer

MWM, spindles lubrication, oil+air lubrication, ZT Unit, spindle test benches, lubrication for spindle test benches.


Overview of MWM solutions seen at the last BIMU 2012

  The 28th BIMU in Milan showed a very qualified offering of Machine Tools. MWM solutions were present on many machines, with the most advanced units of minimal quantity Air & Oil lubrication units and systems.

Hall 13 on stand B16-D17, SIRMA presented the CNC lathe CINCOM K16E-VII, with 5 axis (plus 2 axis C). It was fitted with a LUBRIX 500 system for Internal Minimal Quantity Lubrification in the deep drilling tools.            

Other applications of MWM Air+Oil units for high performance spindle bearings were installed on the machines in MANDELLI SISTEMI Stand D05 and VMS Stand A08
Hall 9 on Stand C07 PEAR presented the Work center EC1220 for relatively big pieces which require high quality finish and high precision. This is a moving portal machine with a 3 axis movement spindle.
This machine is equipped with the latest generation of MWM Oil+Air unit for spindle bearings lubrication.
With SL-PRO 100% Safe Lubrication concept, for MQL spindle bearing lubrication; the SL-Pro (100% Safe Lubrication Process) combines the integrated optical sensors mixer MVF-A with double level digital programmable pressure sensors.
Visible was  also the multitasking Inteo-Micro* working centre, for micro milling and turning also equipped with MWM A+O unit.
PARPAS Stand B10 presented the new boring machine INVAR which includes unique technological innovations and satisfies requirements of high precision.

It is equipped with a special custom made MWM A+O minimal lubrication system, to satisfy all the challenging requirements of the precise and monitored minimal lubrication pf spindles and axis. With the MWM A+O mixers MVF-A with integrated optical sensors (MWM international patent).

Other applications of MWM systems were installed on Work centres and big Boring Machines in Hall 9.


* The European project Integ-Micro is an ambitious initiative that can build 5 new platforms to redesign the state of the industry, this special attention from the European Commission is due to the fact that the micro-machining technologies play a increasingly important role in various industries, from electronics to biomedicine and others, and are considered strategic for the development and growth of the European manufacturing















26 April 2021

The MWM Air+Oil lubrication system is used for the protective lubrication of the master gear, which can have different tooth widths.

10 March 2021

For applications in industrial plants, in oil mist systems, where it is necessary to control the lubricant quantity supplied to the lubrication points.