As we have learned during recent world events, outside factors can have a significant impact on your ability to maintain a largely manual process. Though automated mass finishing and shot blasting machinery does require some human intervention, it can often be operated with a minimal headcount and limited human contact.
In previous blogs, we have explored how an automated-first posture can help you to gain significant efficiencies, lower costs, and increase your competitive advantage. We have also looked at the balance between automation and the environment and have discussed ways that you can mitigate environmental impacts of operating automated mass finishing and shot blasting machinery.
We now conclude our Automation Blog Series with best practice examples of automated mass finishing and shot blasting machines Rosler offers and the associated accessories and components available to help in building your next-generation automated processes.
When it comes to high-volume production of complex aluminum die-castings, Kovolis Hedvikov a.s. (Kovolis) is a sought after partner by numerous car manufacturers and their suppliers. To expand its capacity and achieve more flexibility in the overall manufacturing process, the company purchased a continuous flow vibratory finishing system from Rosler designed to handle a wide work piece spectrum and custom engineered to fit into the available space at the customer’s premises.
Founded in 1816 as an ironworking operation, Kovolis has focused entirely on aluminum die casting since 1945. Today, Kovolis produces components from nine different aluminum alloys weighing between 7 oz (200 grams) and 18 lbs (8 kg) with different casting technologies including vacuum investment casting and rheocasting.
Their product range includes brakes, power steering systems, turbo chargers, and compressors for air conditioning systems. Kovolis customers are renowned car manufacturers and tier-1 suppliers that also utilize the company as an important partner for product development, machining, heat treatment, and surface finishing services.
Rosler Metal Finishing has decades of experience in the forge and foundry industries, especially when it comes to mass finishing for die-casted work pieces.
Our Forge & Foundry Blog Series continues with an overview of our top five mass finishing machines for precise cleaning of die castings.
Standard Rotary Vibrators
Media and parts are placed into a circular processing bowl in standard rotary vibrators. The energy from a vibratory motor causes the media and parts to freely tumble over each other. Some models are equipped with an internal separation device for separating the finished work pieces from the media.
Rotary vibrators can be used for batch and continuous feed processing.
Rosler’s standard rotary vibrator models include the models EC, Euro, A, and R.
Ideal Work Pieces — Small to fist-sized die-castings such as shoe buckles, furniture fittings, gear shifter forks, electrical components
Technology has transformed almost every aspect of life and the shop floor is no exception. As explored in previous Automation Blog Series posts, Rosler Metal Finishing believes automation represents the new norm in mass finishing and shot blasting. In the face of increasing competition, manufacturing interests will continue to demand lower cost, higher efficiency, and greater flexibility from their chosen surface finishing partner.
Though it would appear that any downsides of automation are outweighed by its benefits, there’s a delicate balance to be struck when it comes to a symbiotic relationship with the world outside of the machine. Having previously discussed how human effort and ingenuity will work in harmony with automated processes, we now turn our attention to environmental considerations—namely, how automated machines used in mass finishing and shot blasting can impact the earth’s resources, and how manufacturers can mitigate that impact.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development notes that the rise of automation has thrust us into a “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” citing energy use, resource use, and ecosystems as the three most critical factors to watch as more automated processes are implemented.
These are important considerations, given that manufacturers often are targeted in headlines about waterway pollution and even global warming, but responsible manufacturing practices can help avoid the most egregious impacts and keep manufacturing operations in compliance.
Finding a solution to our clients’ needs is nothing new for Rosler, nor is combining multiple solutions into a single finishing system. Take our work with Polish brake pad manufacturer Lumag Sp. z o.o. (Lumag), for example.
When they faced the challenge of de-oiling, deburring, and surface roughening brake pad carrier plates as part of their punch press process, they turned to us for a cleaning and mass finishing solution.
Upon its founding in 1988 by Marek Zak, Lumag specialized in the production of brake linings. As the company implemented its own brake pad manufacturing technology, their products and offerings evolved. In addition to achieving enormous technological progress and applied engineering solutions, Lumag amassed a collection of machinery in need of constant upgrades and integration.
In order to meet the continuous rise of quality and safety standards for its brake pads for drum and disk brakes for commercial vehicles as well as brake pads for passenger cars and motorcycles under the trade name Breck, Lumag needed a partner with automotive expertise who could combine multiple solutions in a single system.
Our Forge & Foundry Blog Series continues with an overview of our top 10 shot blasting machines for precise, repeatable finishing results with die casted work pieces. Our shot blasting technology includes batch and continuous options.
Continuous Shot Blasting Machines
RMBD Continuous Tumble Belt Machine
The high-capacity, continuous feed RMBD features an innovative tumble belt work piece transportation system that simultaneously processes and transports work pieces through the system.
As previously discussed in our Automation Blog Series, building a robotically assisted process requires evaluating your surface finishing system along with its problems and goals and selecting the right machine and consumables. Automating a mass finishing or shot blasting process also requires selecting the automated hardware that will best achieve your overall goals and provides the most efficiency in terms of time and manual labor.
An experienced partner such as Rosler Metal Finishing can provide insight and advice on the numerous material handling tools specially designed or adapted to mass finishing and shot blasting process improvement.
Work Piece Loading Systems
Including skip loaders, lift and tip loaders, vibratory feed hoppers, and other tools, work piece loading systems are ideal for small- to mid-sized work pieces handled in bulk.
True to our mantra of “finding a better way…” Rosler Metal Finishing is constantly working to optimize our consumables. These improvements and additions to our offerings improve process stability, cost efficiency, and productivity of surface finishing processes.
From media composition and compounds to wastewater handling, Rosler is dedicated to constant enhancement in the area of consumables as well as our mass finishing and shot blasting technology.
One such example is Rosler’s development of a plastic media with the grinding and non-chip characteristics of ceramic media. Minimizing the risk of work piece damage, this range of high-density plastic media exactly achieves this frequently requested combination.
Our Forge & Foundry Blog Series continues with an overview of our shot blasting machines most frequently used on these specific types of work pieces.
It is important to understand your work piece and process requirements including whether components will be processed continuously or in batches. When it comes to finishing forgings, non-sand castings, and powdered metal components, our shot blasting machines are divided into three categories based on how the work pieces are fed into the machine: continuous, batch, and specially engineered shot blasting machines.
Continuous Shot Blasting Machines
RMBD Continuous Tumble Belt Machine
The high-capacity, continuous feed RMBD is available in a heavy-duty version for large forgings and castings, which is equipped with 6 x 40 HP turbines, a steel-slatted work piece transport belt, and a magnetic separator.
Taking time to evaluate your process needs as a whole will help you and a trusted partner such as Rosler determine what machine and consumables will best suit your automation needs and goals.
How do I choose the right machine?
Selecting the right machine is the most critical step to ensure the success of any automation project. Without the right machine, your automation process is sure to fail or produce disappointing results.