Updating a process to meet increased production demand is a cost-effective way to not only improve your processing times and results, but also increase and prolong your equipment’s usefulness.
Let’s say production has been steadily building over time. How do you know if it’s time to evaluate the process for improvement?
Mass finishing experts suggest examining the final finish accomplished by the process and its ceramic or plastic media and compound usage. Processes in need of optimization will not achieve the desired finish in an acceptable timeframe and will use more media and compounds than necessary.
Increasing production demands without reconsidering the process can trigger finishing issues and lead to extra processing time and expense as well as rejected components. As more parts are processed, media begins to wear more quickly. As the media to component ratio decreases, part-on-part impingement is likely to occur and damage surfaces.
In these cases, a more aggressive media with a higher cutting ability may solve the problem by producing the desired finish in a shorter cycle time. By lowering cycle times, the required media to component ratio can be achieved eliminating part-on-part contact and ineffective deburring.
A process-oriented, experienced manufacturer such as Rosler can help you evaluate your current media type, workpiece properties, process time, and results to suggest an alternative media for optimized performance.
Reactive Problem Solving
Not all finishing problems are a result of increased production. An increase in processing time and scrap parts, poor finish, using too much water, and creating too much foam can also signal processing issues brought on by other known or unknown causes.
If you’re not getting the desired finish on your components, reviewing the mechanics of the machine should be your first step.
Mass finishing experts suggest reviewing the machine to answer the following questions:
- Are the drains clogged?
- Has the movement of mass in the machine changed?
- Is the water/compound mix flowing properly?
- Are there bad valves or plugged compound valves?
- Is the liner intact or is a tear creating a dead spot where media is trapped?
If the machine itself and its mechanics check out, the process should be examined carefully to identify an area in need of optimization.
Process-related concerns include media that has glazed over and the presence of excess foam in the machine and/or too much water trapped by clogged drains.
Evaluating mechanical and process efficiencies will not only help identify process problems, but also reduce processing costs. For example, maintaining the correct compound usage will reduce unnecessary consumption and ensure that components are processed more efficiently and with fewer rejects.
A Learning Experience
Mass finishing is an art and a science. No one knows that better than Rosler. When you lose track of that balance, mistakes are bound to happen. Whatever your process optimization needs are, you can count on Rosler Metal Finishing to find a better way. Contact us today to start the conversation.