Image of Industrial Oil Skimming Reference Guide: Optimize Your Oil Removal Operations

Industrial Oil Skimming Reference Guide: Optimize Your Oil Removal Operations

Industrial oil skimming is a vital process in the efficient and cost effective treatment of fluids such as CNC machine coolant. The waste oil must first be removed and separated before these fluids are recycled or discharged.

This is where industrial oil skimmers come into play. They are mechanical devices operated by pumps or motors that effectively remove tramp oil from your industrial fluids. By automating the initial stages of the treatment process, industrial oil skimmers promote longevity and enhance the efficiency of your fluid systems.

Let’s explore these categories and learn about the different types of oil skimmers available, along with their functionalities and applications.

Industrial Oil Skimming

Industrial oil skimmers mainly utilize a motor-driven circulation of skimming across the surface of the used coolant. The skimming media, which can take the form of tubes, belts, discs, or drums, collects the waste oil and transports it to a collection vessel. While the methodology is similar among these skimming media, their proficiency may vary in different situations.

Therefore, it is crucial to choose the appropriate method that aligns with your specific application requirements.

Remember: All of Zebra's oil skimmers are specifically designed to be easy to install and maintain. They are energy efficient and can be customized to meet the specific needs of our customers.


Belt Skimmers:

Belt skimmers feature a revolving belt made from either polyurethane or stainless steel. The choice mainly depends on the temperature of the fluid. Stainless Steel belts can withstand higher temperatures.

The belt rotates around a submerged pulley in a fixed path. It consistently picks up floating surface oil upon contact. The oil adheres to the belt and directs to a scraper. This scraper dispenses the oil waste into a trough or diverter leading to an oil storage tank. Belt skimmers excel in areas with narrow, deep pits where lateral space is limited. 

Disk Skimmers:

Disk skimmers are stationary devices that submerge the lower edge of a revolving disk to collect oil from the water’s surface. The oil is gathered with wiper blades and directed into an oil storage tank. These fixed skimmers are highly effective in capturing more oil than water.

Nonetheless, if the fluid level fails to cover at least half of the disk’s surface, the pickup rate decreases. This renders disk skimmers less efficient in applications with fluctuating water or coolant levels. Keep in mind that they do work well with chips and fine debris.

Tube Skimmers:

Tube skimmers are designed to be compact and to fit on the side or above the sump tank. This makes them ideal for smaller sumps. This also lets the oil skimmer operate in shallow sumps with low fluid levels.

They employ a free floating tube with a metal washer to keep it submerged. It continuously traverses the water surface. The tube material attracts to floating tramp oil, which accumulates on the tube’s exterior. The oil-covered tube is then pulled through a set of scrapers, transferring the oil into a collection tank. The clean tube returns to the tramp oil to collect more waste in a continuous cycle.

Tube skimmers offer versatility and easy maintenance, with the ability to handle water level fluctuations without any submerged mechanical parts. They function seamlessly as the floating tube design allows it to navigate around coolant debris effortlessly.


The Z17 Coalescer is a recommended choice for individual sumps that operate day and night. Even when the machine’s pump is off, the tramp oil is removed, and the sump circulates. The Z17 Coalescer also has an optional attachment with a floating device called a weir. This effectively removes floating oil and other materials on the surface of the sumps. As the oil floats over a lip, it enters a trough. Then it is transferred to a storage tank for recycling or disposal. This gravity-fed system ensures a continuous flow of oil removal. Weir skimmers offer versatility in floating oil and material removal. Although, keep in mind that they pick up more coolant compared to other oil skimming options.


Selecting the Right Oil Removal Device

Choosing the most effective oil skimmer for your industrial oil skimming needs is not only crucial for optimizing your plant’s performance but also for making sound business decisions. Each application has unique requirements, which is why it’s essential to have oil removal experts assess your specific needs. They can recommend the best possible solution, whether it includes their equipment or not. At Zebra Skimmers, we offer free application assessments to help you make an informed choice.

Improving your oil removal operations starts with selecting the perfect oil skimmer. Whether you opt for a belt skimmer, disk skimmer, tube skimmer, or coalescer, each device has its advantages and functionalities that cater to different industrial settings. By utilizing these efficient and automated oil skimming solutions, you can enhance the water treatment process, promote environmental sustainability, and reduce operational costs.

To delve deeper into the world of oil skimmers and gain comprehensive knowledge on selecting the ideal solution for your needs, we invite you to explore our blog post, “Oil Skimming 101: 24 Tips for Optimizing Coolant Maintenance of CNC Machines Using Oil Skimmers” Our blog covers various topics related to oil skimming and offers valuable insights to help you make informed decisions.

Take the first step toward improving your oil removal operations today!

Contact Zebra Skimmers to learn more about removing oil from water and to benefit from our expertise in industrial oil skimmers. Let us assist you in optimizing your processes and achieving your operational goals.



About Zebra Skimmers:

Our mission has always been simple. It is to provide the metal working industry with the oil skimmers and metalworking fluid management systems they need to complete jobs quickly and efficiently. Innovative and affordable solutions have gained us many accolades. Our continued growth is due in no small part to our excellent customer service… Not to mention our satisfaction guarantees and the performance of our tools.

Among our diverse options of oil skimmers and metal working fluid management systems, you can expect to find: