The oil filter is an essential component of an automobile. It cleans the oil going to the engine, helping to protect it from damage.
Regularly changing your car’s oil filter prolongs the life of the engine.
But have you ever asked yourself how the filters are made?
What steps are involved, and what materials are used to manufacture them?
The Oil Filter Manufacturing Process consists of various steps, both automatic and manual.
In this article, we will trace the steps, from when the steel sheet is stamped to when the finished product is packed into boxes.
S1.Oil Filter Steel Sheet Cutting
The first step in the production of an oil filter is cutting of the steel sheet. As the steel sheet passes through the cutting machine, specific sizes that are required for the filter-making process are cut.
The threaded plates that form the thickest parts are cut from a 2mm thick sheet while the tapping plate, outer casing, and the upper-end cover are cut from a sheet of thickness between 0.25mm-0.5mm.
S2. Stamping the Cut Sheets
The stamping process involves steel sheet blanking, extraction of the outer casing, stamping of the base plate and the end cap of the filter element. Most of the metallic parts of the filter are made at this stage of the filter making process.
We use 100T-300T automatic press punching machine of high speed and stability to continuously produce the various metal parts of the filter.
We also have more than a dozen 50-200T Punching Machines to increase production capacity and output in order to meet the needs of different types of production
a.Making the Oil Filter Housing/Canister
The oil filter housing is made out of a circular steel sheet which is stamped 1-2 times depending on the size and requirements of the product. After the rough molding process, excess metal is cut off for a clean body.
The last process to make the canister is painting and printing it according to customer requirements. Painting is done not only to improve the visual appearance, but it also plays a role in rust prevention.
b.Filter Base Plate Making
The base plate is composed of a tapping plate and a bottom ring. After stamping, the tapping plate needs to be threaded. This is done in the automatic threading machine, after which it’s put in the automatic spot welder together with the bottom ring and welded together to form the base plate.
c.Making Filter Element End Caps
The filter element end caps are stamped and made using an automatic punching machine.
d.Making the Filter Bypass Valve
The bypass valve is riveted to the bottom end caps of the filter element. For this, a worker takes the die, spring, bottom end caps, and places them in the automatic riveting machine. The machine does the work of riveting the lower end cap assembly.
e.Making the Center Tube
Making the center tube starts with cutting the sheet metal into the specified size. After that, another machine perforates the cut tin-plated steel sheets and rolls them into tubes. These are the finished center tubes and are ready for the next stage of the filter making process where it will be inserted in the pleaded paper core.
S3. Oil Filter Element
The filter element making involves preparing the paper for pleating and assembling the element. It consists of the following steps.
a.Paper folding and Pleating
First, the machine prepares the paper to a size that can fit inside the canister. The operator adjusts the width, height, and number of folds on the folding machine according to the instructions. Then, the pleating machine automatically pleats the prepared paper.
b.Filter Paper Clipping
After the pleating process is over, the pleated paper ribbon is cut into set lengths, and each part is folded into a cylindrical shape, with the ends being fastened with a clip.
c.Placing the Center tube
The center tube is then placed in the paper core, and the tangled filter paper is evenly bundled together with a rubber band. All this is done manually by workers.
d.Filter Element End Caps Glue Injecting
An automatic glue injection machine glues the inner sides of the end caps, in readiness for joining them to the filter paper. The operator then bonds the filter paper to the upper and lower end caps and keeps the folding distances even.
e.Filter Element Curing
Finally, the bonded paper core is transferred into the curing oven for curing.
S4. Oil Filter Assembling
First, a worker puts the base plate into the assembly line, loads the anti-drain back valve into the base plate, and then places the filter element on the base plate. The worker then puts the support spring on the filter element core, followed by the filter canister on the filter assembly. Finally, using a seamer machine, the filter edges are folded down to form a rim.
S5. Oil Filter Testing
The test phase begins when the filter is assembled.
The filter is placed on a test bench and connected to an air outlet. A water tank is then raised to cover the air filter with water and an air valve opens automatically. The filter is then observed at a fixed pressure for more than 15s.
The quality inspector visually checks whether there are any bubbles in the water. No bubble means a qualified product. Otherwise, it is a non-conforming product and needs to be reworked.
The filters that have been tested are all wet, so they have to go into the drying process. After drying and removing the moisture, they can enter the packaging stage. (If you are testing using a dry side leaker, you do not need to dry the filter.)
S6. Packaging the Finished Oil Filter
a. Silkscreen printing: Filters that have passed the test are transferred to the automatic screen printing machine for automatic silk screen printing.
b.Screen printing ink: The screen-printed filter is passed through a conveyor belt and into the oven to dry the screen printing ink.
c.Coding: After the silk screen printing and drying are complete, the product is transferred from the conveyor to the automatic inkjet printer for automatic coding.
d.Applying anti-rust oil: After the coding stage, the filter is automatically transferred from the conveyor belt to the automatic oil equipment for anti-rust oil treatment.
e.Plastic film sealing: Finally, the operator sends the filter into the automatic film machine to automatically put the plastic film.
After the final process of manufacturing the oil filter, the tested product is packaged for delivery to the customer.
This is the product you get when you buy a new oil filter for your car.
The filter is ready to do the work of cleaning the oil circulating through your car’s engine.
Meanwhile, back at the factory, the process to manufacture more filters continues.