Thanks to its many technical advantages and “gentle” application, wet blasting is a versatile and fast-growing segment of the shot blasting field. Achieving precise, repeatable results with any wet blasting process requires understanding both its principles and real-world uses.
With decades of experience and the latest in engineering expertise, Rosler understands how to develop efficient wet blasting machines and consumables. Learn more about wet blasting technology as we begin our five-part Wet Blasting Technology Series.
How Does Wet Blasting Work?
Wet blasting is a water-based method of shot blasting utilizing abrasives that are particularly suited for the finishing of delicate, precision-produced parts.
For transmission components like gears and shafts, shot peening has become an indispensable step in the overall manufacturing process.
With the RWT swing table machine, Rosler developed a modular equipment concept that can be easily adapted to different technical requirements and offers a maximum in process stability paired with absolutely repeatable peening results and high cost efficiency. One of the numerous customers within the automotive industry utilizing the RWT is an Asian automotive supplier.
As part of a capacity expansion for minivan transmissions, this customer increased annual production to 40,000 units and decided to carry out the required shot peening operation in-house instead of subcontracting it to an external job shop.
The specifications called for a system that can handle around 560,000 single work pieces per year, including 15 different types of gears and shafts. Each work piece type required the development of a specific peening program based on drawings and various work piece materials.
The importance of the media selection in any surface finishing process cannot be emphasized enough. These consumables are essential “precision tools” for achieving the specified finishing results.
Selecting the right media is a complex task. That’s why you should consult an expert such as Rosler for guidance.
Even after a mass finishing process has been established, the media status must be constantly monitored and, if necessary, corrected. When different work pieces are processed or finishing tasks are altered, exchanging the currently used media type with another may be required.
Careful and collaborative media selection is crucial to a mass finishing success.
Regardless of the industry, the selection of media and compounds utilized in mass finishing can elevate or hinder finishing results. The handling of effluents – used process water – also factors into a process’ efficiency and end results.
With more than 80 years of experience, Rosler understands the demands of the forge and foundry industries specifically and how to achieve precise and consistent finishing results by combining the latest technology, well-designed machines, and consumables.
This installment of the Forge & Foundry Blog Series highlights how careful media and compound selection along with proactive handling of effluents assist in producing mass finishing efficiencies.
Ingredients for Success
Media and compounds are more than just “rocks” and “soap” thrown into a mass finishing machine. Instead, these consumables are sophisticated tools that can make a mass finishing process a success or a failure.
When most companies take on capital expenditure projects such as purchasing mass finishing equipment, very careful attention is paid to investing in the most productive, cost‐efficient equipment as possible to achieve the best possible quality. Operational efficiency is often another story.
Once the equipment is up and running routine takes over and less attention is paid to keeping the equipment operating at its peak performance. Whether the machinery is never calibrated to reach its fullest potential or the on-going process is not carefully monitored once the process is dialed in, lacking operational focus can be costly and counterproductive. Figuratively speaking, poorly managed mass finishing operations are pouring money down the drain!
Rosler works with its clients to ensure that our machinery delivers initial success and continues to provide precise, repeatable results long into the future by promoting operational attention and heading off costly mistakes.
Consequences of Inattention
For mass finishing processes, the lack of operational focus may take many forms individually or simultaneously, including:
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.