Shop Cleans up Oil Room with Storage and Dispensing System

Last year, DuPage Machine Products replaced the sprawling, inefficient and unorganized 55-gallon drums with the centralized storage and dispensing system from The IFH Group.


Being organized works wonders for a shop. As a result, efficiency and effectiveness are achieved, making customers, employees and managers happy. Some shops, such as DuPage Machine Products in Bloomingdale, Illinois, get a little help from a 5S program that assists with identifying and storing items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining a new order. Basically, it keeps the area neat, clean and orderly.

DuPage, a manufacturer of precision turned parts for mobile hydraulic, automotive and specialty applications, stores and dispenses a range of cutting oils, and hydraulic, gear and grinding oils, as well as cleaners and solvents, to keep its machines—including CNC multi-spindle and single-spindle lathes, rotary transfer machines, numerous secondary operation machines, and honing and grinding equipment—running efficiently.

A roadblock in the 5S process for DuPage, however, was the outdated 55-gallon drums on the oil room floor that were used to store and dispense the company’s lubricating oils and other fluids. The drums took up a lot of space and were messy. The drums and pumps required tipping, cleaning, switching and replacing, along with the added cost of drum deposits. According to the company, inventory was a guessing game that sometimes resulted in product shortages or costly extra drums of back-up products. The drum pumps would often leave two to five gallons of product in each “empty” drum, which wasted money.

DuPage’s CNC manager, Tom Rains, contacted Angelo Lalagos of Fleetwood Industrial Supply in Addison, Illinois, and asked him if he could provide a better solution. Fleetwood is a distributor for The IFH Group, a company that invented the concept of the centralized and automated fluid storage and dispensing system designed to replace 55-gallon drums. 

“He showed me a brochure from The IFH Group that I had given him years before and asked me what I could recommend,” Mr. Lalagos recalls. 

Mr. Lalagos and IFH recommended one of IFH’s standard systems, the HDM 16-101160, which consists of four rack-mounted rows of four 65-gallon containers each. Mr. Rains was intrigued.

The system incorporates 3/4-inch valve arrangements, sight gages for precise inventory control, an easy-to-reach timer controlled transfer unit and a spill containment pan. Every container is clearly labeled. In addition, the system is compact, occupying only 32 square feet of floor space. In contrast, nine 55-gallon drums required about 120 square feet of floor space and hold less product.

In October, DuPage replaced the sprawling, inefficient and unorganized 55-gallon drums with the centralized storage and dispensing system from The IFH Group.

“It’s compact, clean, easy to get fluids in and out of, and a space saver,” says Mark Devine, materials manager at DuPage. “There’s no wasted material, and it has improved our inventory control. Our employees really like it.” 

The system has eliminated drum tipping, pump cleaning and replacement, and slashed product retrieval time from 50 to 70 percent. Everything is neater, cleaner, more compact and more efficient, according to Mr. Devine.

“If everything’s in order, it makes people’s jobs a lot easier and the company more efficient,” he says. “In fact, we’re considering getting another IFH system.” 

For more information from DuPage Machine Products, visit dupagemachine.com

For more information from The IFH Group, call 309-752-3217 or email ljking@ifhgroup.com.