Mass finishing machines are workhorses of industrial finishing operations, combining engineering expertise and often a hefty price tag. When preformed according to manufacturer recommendations, preventative maintenance can make a big difference in the length of time between design and decommissioning.
Not convinced? Think of your mass finishing equipment like a vehicle. What would happen if you never checked the air pressure in your tires, changed the oil, or replaced the brake pads? Eventually your vehicle would leave you stranded on the side of the road through no fault of its own.
Mass finishing equipment manufactured by a proven expert such as Rosler is just the same as a vehicle that didn’t get the care it deserved. Without preventative maintenance, your high-dollar investment will break down. However, by performing preventative maintenance according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, your equipment will operate like a well-cared for vehicle, extending the life and return on your initial investment.
Diesel or unleaded fuel, anti-lock or drum brakes, manual transmission or automatic, preventative maintenance varies by vehicle type. Here are considerations for preventative maintenance based on your specific mass finishing equipment type.
Vibratory Bowl and Tub Models
Vibratory bowls and tubs are designed to house workpieces as agitated media finishes the pieces through vibration. While polyurethane provides a great lining material for exposed surfaces, bowls, and tubs, wear inevitably occurs over time.
Preventative maintenance recommended by Rosler includes:
- Every 6 months: Inspect surfaces for signs of wear. Once the liner depth is less than 5mm or 3/16 inch, contact Rosler for relining.
- Every 2 months: Inspect compound dosing pumps for hardness and to ensure that proper dosing is occurring. Check for kinks in the line also.
- Every 500 hours – Prevent motor failure in the vibratory mechanism, by visually inspecting the springs and tightness of clamping nuts of imbalance motor as well as checking compressed air hoses.
- Every 300 hours: Lubricate the machine base.
- Every 200 hours: Clear drains to remove any media lodged in the area and perform any necessary cleaning.
FKS (Centerless Disk) Models
FKS Centrifugal Disk Finishers require specific maintenance to ensure that media and effluent can be properly separated during processing.
Recommended preventative maintenance intervals include:
- Every 20 hours: Inspect seal gaps to maintain even gap distances. Doing so will prevent small pieces of media lodged and excess wear. This can be accomplished using a feeler gauge to go around gap. While this test is very easy to conduct, problems can be expensive to fix.
- Every 200 hours: Check drains. Lubrication instructions vary depending on if the machine is direct driven or belt drive. For belt drives, the tensioning belt should also be checked every 200 hours.
- Every 500 hours: Check electrical connections and pneumatic airlock lines.
- Every 2 months: Inspect dosing systems and hoses.
- Every 12 months: Run out seal gaps and inspect shaft sealing rings.
Benefits of a Tune-up
While scheduling preventative maintenance may seem like an obstacle to uptime, it is actually an investment in the machine’s productivity and longevity.
Well-maintained mass finishing equipment provides a stable process and prevents long machine downtime when fixes are needed. By identifying problems and anticipating repairs, your operation can have a plan ahead of time including stocking parts.
Reviewing the suggested preventative maintenance program from the equipment manufacturer and having parts on hand based on time intervals can greatly reduce your downtime when repairs are needed.
Not sure what you need or when to check? Rosler can suggest what parts you should stock and specific maintenance checks to your equipment.
Beware of Road Conditions
The aggressiveness of the media and work pieces
used in a given mass finishing set-up will affect wear rates. Using the wrong process, media, or compounds may lead to unnecessary waste. Be sure to talk to an experienced manufacturer about the expectations for your machine based on its specific process.
Much like a vehicle, don’t wait for a check engine light to alert you of an issue with your mass finishing equipment!
The Rosler Way
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Post written by:
Rosler Metal Finishing, USA
Team Leader – Process Lab
Email Marty or call him at 269-441-3692