What's new
What's new

Stamping Oil Supply

Oct 30, 2023
I recently started a new job as a department manager for a metal stamping company. This new employment has brought with it a slew of concerns that I was not made aware of. For starters, there was no training system in place for any new hires. That's a whole different topic. Anyway, I'm expected to order and keep stamping oils for the machines to run production without running out of oil. The oils, such as hydraulic fluid, were only ordered whenever someone thought they needed to order some without any type of reason. The stamping fluid is on a blank P.O. system, so basically, two 55-gallon drums were delivered every two weeks. This is absolutely insane to me because, at one point in time, we had over 8 55-gallon drums of oil at the facility, and oil was still coming in. Now they expect me to implement a number of systems because none were in place previously. This facility has a total of seven progressive-style presses; all presses have an oil roller-style system. When the coil stock rollers through the rollers, oil is dripped onto the steel, and the amount of oil applied is up to the operator who is running that line. I finally talked the company into getting a spray-type system for two of the progressive machines. This did help reduce the amount of oil used, but I'm having a hard time trying to determine the amount of oil that should be kept in the factory. I started a Kanban system for oil so that when I got a certain number of Kanban's, I would order and replace. My calculations show that we should basically keep roughly six of the 55-gallon drums in house. When I tried to put these systems in place, I was met with resistance due to their high expense. The upper management seems to think that in the past we had kept three to four 55-gallon drums in house, and they seem to think that's enough. So, I'm simply wondering if this resistance is the result of my own ignorance, if I'm overlooking something, or if my upper management should not be in their current position. I'm not getting any assistance from upper management, and I don't have anyone else to ask for help. I have so many projects and tasks going on, with two full-time shifts, and I oversee 40+ employees. I have no other management people in my department, just myself. I do have two shift leaders who are on the floor just to make sure machines stay running, but other than that, I'm on my own. When creating the Kanban system, I created an Excel sheet with some simple calculations. I attached a screen shot of my Excel sheet with the calculations, and I tried to add comments and descriptions to help prevent any confusion. Just to help clarify, there are a total of seven progressive-style presses. With my information, one 55-gallon drum of stamping oil will last on average 5~7 business days. They only want to place an order for two 55-gallon drums at a time; I don't know why they only ordered two drums at once. When they do place an order for the two oil drums, it takes our oil supplier five business days to arrive at the factory; that's average. Anyway, if I used a 55-gallon drum within a 5-day period, I attempted to break it down into pieces used per day just to work in my calculation. If anyone could give me some advice or just double check my calculations to see if I made an error, or have any ideas or suggestions, or am I just overthinking this whole thing.
I forgot to add that the reason I'm bringing this up is due to the fact that we have run out of oil. We had to overnight ship drums of oil to the factory, which is not cheap. This is part of the reason I wanted to increase the amount kept in house. That's when I was hit. We haven't had to keep that much in house in the past, so why now?
The formula is
AK = (SM + (TV x WBZ) + SZ) / SB
My calculation

AK= number of Kanban's needed in the system.
SM= Delivery quantity
TV= daily consumption
WBZ= = replacement lead time
SZ= Safety stock
SB= = quantity per container


  • Screenshot 2023-10-30 100512.png
    Screenshot 2023-10-30 100512.png
    31 KB · Views: 3
Last edited:
The conversation you need to have to with your management goes something like this:
1) We know what our average consumption is, and are taking some action to reduce it and make it even more predictable.
2) Our oil suppliers have considerable variation on lead times. Here are the numbers we have observed.
3) To avoid hideously expensive overnight deliveries on the one hand, and equally expensive line outages on the other hand, we need to stock in-house enough to carry us over the worst case supplier delay.
4) This stock is a buffer, not a multiplier on every order. Once we build up the buffer, we continue to order at the average consumption rate. So our costs remain the same after we build up the buffer.
5) So we have a choice: We can make our costs predictable by building a buffer in-house at what amounts to a one-time expenditure, or we can run a risk of unexpected outages which will be extremely expensive to deal with. Which do you want? Predictable costs, or unpredictable large emergencies to pay for?
This is why I don't ever want to be in charge of anything....I would tell them, "Look you jackasses, you hired me to run the show so let me run it and get lost." I've noticed most jobs in life are enjoyable...until you have to create reports to show jackasses just why you have done a great job for them. The way I see it, if they weren't jackasses they'd be able to recognize a good job without your proving it constantly. There comes a point where you realize they don't want someone to do a good job for them...they want someone to supervise.
If you do manage to convince them that the buffer is necessary, remember that if there is a longer than normal delay in a delivery and the buffer is growing low, you need to re-order before the present order comes in.
It all works beautifully, till you discovered there’s only one supplier and the liquidator just chained the doors up.
( yes that happened)
Ensure you have more than one supply, play them for price and delivery.
3 is better btw.
Consumption on rolling mills was temperature dependent, don’t forget that, summer/winter consumption may differ considerably.
Cold oil, high viscosity is carry over, heaters possibly could reduce consumption.
Random thoughts from the retired.
This seems really silly to me. How much could it cost to keep a few spare 55 gallon drums of oil on hand and never run out again? Its not like buying too much milk and having it spoil. The big waste of money just happened and it was from not having enough oil on hand.

No amount of spread sheet calculations will fix this.