Category Archives: Mass Finishing

Mass Finishing Machine Settings Series, Part 2 – Determine Imbalance Weight Settings for Consistent Results

Specific mass finishing applications are developed through processing trials. Once defined, users should not deviate from the determined machine settings unless necessitated by work piece or process changes.

Rosler partners with clients to provide testing in our global Customer Experience Centers to demonstrate our capabilities on a specific work piece and to calibrate machine settings. Determining the exact machine settings requires considering and testing multiple factors.

Vibratory Systems

The most common drive systems in mass finishing are vibratory. This refers to actual finishing machines such as rotary, tub, and linear continuous flow vibrators as well as auxiliary equipment like screening systems, vibratory conveyors, buffers, etc.

In all of these cases, the speed of the vibratory motor or the electric motor driving the imbalance unit(s) may have to be adjusted as well as the setting of the imbalance weights.

Vibratory weight plates

The angle between the upper and lower imbalance weights determines the movement of the media and work piece mix within the machine.

The number (mass) of imbalance weights determines the processing intensity (amplitude). More weights produce higher intensity while fewer weights deliver lower intensity.

Cutaway diagram detailing vibratory motor parts including upper and lower imbalance weights and the electric motor
Vibratory motor diagram

Setting Imbalance Weights

The movement of the media/work piece mix is always opposite to the motor direction. Typically, the motor runs clockwise and the media/work piece mix runs counter clockwise.

In some instances, the motor can run clockwise and counterclockwise including the Rosler “R” machines and gate clearing in Rosler “Euro” machines.

Half-circle metal plate weights on the top and bottom of the motor must be positioned with respect to each other. For a basic setting, the bottom weight plate must be turned 90 degrees forward of the top weight plate, in a basic setting.

Imbalance weights locations and settings within a vibratory motor
Imbalance weights locations and settings within a vibratory motor

When setting imbalance weights, it is important to understand the impact of changes. For example, increasing the lead angle will make the media/work piece mix travel around the work bowl faster. Decreasing the lead angle will have the opposite effect, slowing movement.

Typical lead angles range from 70 to 120° and can be observed by checking the gauge on the top of the motor shaft.

image showing vibratory motor lead angle gauge
Vibratory motor lead angle gauge

Within the imbalance weights, the top weight controls the travel speed of the media/work piece mix around the work bowl. Adding additional weights to the top will increase the travel speed while decreasing the spiral speed in the work bowl.

The top imbalance weight controls media and workpiece speed around the work bowl as represented by the red arrow while the bottom imbalance weight controls the spiraling speed of the work bowl contents.
The top imbalance weight controls media and workpiece speed around the work bowl as represented by the red arrow while the bottom imbalance weight controls the spiraling speed of the work bowl contents.

The bottom weight controls the spiral speed of the media/work piece mix in the work bowl. Conversely to the top weight, adding additional weights to the bottom will increase the spiral speed but also decrease the travel speed around the work bowl.

Action Points

Regularly checking a mass finishing machine’s settings including motor speed(s), setting of imbalance weights, work station angles, etc. to ensure they are as initially established will produce better results and protect the systems ROI.

A vibrocope sticker on the work bowl allows for a quick check of the processing intensity. Additional information can be found in our Using Vibrascope to Measure Amplitude v. Frequency in Vibratory Bowls blog post.

photo of a vibroscope sticker
Virboscope sticker

Additionally, if repairs require drive motors to be disconnected, make sure that they are rewired correctly and are not running in the wrong direction.

If the machine settings must be changed, carefully follow the instructions in your operator’s manual or consult the manufacturer for assistance.

If not already integrated, installation of a frequency inverter for precise setting of the drive speed of your machine may be available as an upgrade, providing additional control and oversight.

The Rosler Way

Rosler goes beyond developing mass finishing machines to provide operational insight and guidance for the lifetime of our machines as well as consumables and service. Contact us to discuss your needs and our capabilities.

The Mass Finishing Machine Settings Series also includes Part 1 – Improve Machine Function with Proactive and Responsive Observation, Calibration.

Customer Experience Centers Offer Free Surface Finishing Insight & Solutions

During more than 80 years in business, the Rosler team has gained extensive experience in shot blasting and mass finishing for a variety of industries.

In addition to the machinery and consumables we provide, our Customer Experience Centers enable us to demonstrate Rosler’s expertise by processing your samples with settings and requirements tailored to your needs.

Sending your work pieces to one of our 11 test centers around the world is an important step in achieving the perfect surface finishing process.

Learn what to expect from Rosler’s Customer Experience Centers and get the most out of your partnership with Rosler from Sales Representative and Interim Product Manager of Turbine Blast Equipment Zack Murray and Mass Finishing Product Manager Michael Salyers.

What to Expect as a Customer

To achieve optimal processing results, we carry out sample processing step-by-step.

With an emphasis on finding a better way, our process includes:

Continue reading Customer Experience Centers Offer Free Surface Finishing Insight & Solutions

Mass Finishing Machine Settings Series, Part 1 – Improve Machine Function with Proactive and Responsive Observation, Calibration

Even if the finishing media and compound/water are managed perfectly, without a well-functioning machine a mass finishing process is doomed to fail. Focusing on a few essentials will ensure that a mass finishing machine is performing as intended.

From machine settings to preventative maintenance and troubleshooting tips, Rosler has the experience and insight to keep mass finishing machines running efficiently.

The Right Machine Settings

The speed at which a machine is running is critical to the success of a finishing process.

If the machine is running too slow, the finishing results, deburring/edge radiusing, surface grinding, etc., might not be achieved at all or only after excessively long processing times.

If the machine is running too fast, the work pieces may be damaged by scratching, nicking, or bending. Excessive speeds will also cause the media to wear much faster without the benefit of shorter cycle times. Beyond speed, other machine settings must be taken into consideration based on the specific machine type.

Continue reading Mass Finishing Machine Settings Series, Part 1 – Improve Machine Function with Proactive and Responsive Observation, Calibration

Non-Foaming Plastic Media Optimizes Finishing Process

While the optimization of mass finishing processes mostly focuses on the machinery utilized, Dörfler & Schmidt Präzisionsfinish GmbH (Dörfler & Schmidt) has shown that a simple shift such as using a different media can create significant process optimization.

By switching to a new, non-foaming plastic media from Rosler, the post-processor achieved improved process stability, productivity, and efficiency.

Meeting Varied Needs

Founded in 1998, Dörfler & Schmidt offers a wide range of surface finishing including deburring, edge radiusing, surface smoothing and polishing, creating matte and textured finishes, descaling, and cleaning.

The family-owned business located in Kammerstein, Bavaria, works with automotive, machinery building, electronics, medical engineering, jewelry, and a variety of consumer goods customers.

Continue reading Non-Foaming Plastic Media Optimizes Finishing Process

Orthopedic Implants, Part 5 – Mass Finishing Offers Medical-Grade Polishing

Mass finishing is a highly versatile finishing technology that can be used for a wide variety of different surface treatment operations including those in the medical industry. As a result, it is no surprise that mass finishing processes are utilized at practically every manufacturing stage for all kinds of orthopedic implants.

With decades of experience, Rosler leverages mass finishing technology and develops equipment to meet the tight tolerances required for orthopedic implants.

Common Finishing Processes

Mass finishing is a grinding system, utilizing the pressure between the media and work pieces, combined with the constant “rubbing” of the media against the work pieces. This generates a grinding and polishing effect, leaving a smooth surface finish that can be as low as Ra = 0.8 microinches (0.02 μm).

For the comfort of patients and effectiveness of the components, orthopedic implants must be finished to precise specifications.

Continue reading Orthopedic Implants, Part 5 – Mass Finishing Offers Medical-Grade Polishing

Mass Finishing Process Water, Part 2 – Maintain Adequate Drainage to Protect Your System

Numerous functions and calibrations factor into developing a precise and stable mass finishing process. From media and compounds to work piece characteristics and processing times, successful finishing requires each process aspect to be carefully monitored and evaluated. When it comes to process water flow rates, poor drainage from the machine can cause quality control issues as well as equipment damage and costly downtime.

While simple in their function, drains play an integral role in regulating the flow of process water out of the machine. With the exception of intentional “flooding” of the process bowl for sharp work pieces, the same amount of compound and water entering the machine must be flushed out again. Otherwise, contaminants in the form of dirt, media, metal fines, and, frequently, oil will accumulate in the process water. Since this buildup can cause the finishing process to deteriorate and even collapse, mass finishing machines must have sufficient drainage!

With more than 80 years of experience, Rosler can expertly design mass finishing technology and troubleshoot issues to protect your system for the life of the machine.

Machine Features

Most mass finishing machines, including rotary and tub vibrators and drag‐, plunge‐, and surf‐finishers have special drainage screens built into their work bowls. High-energy centrifugal disc finishing machines differ since the “dirty” process water is evacuated through the gap between spinner and work bowl.

Drain types used in rotary vibrators.

Made from plastic such as polyurethane or stainless steel material, these drains must allow process water and media debris to be flushed from the system while retaining usable media mix and the work pieces.

Continue reading Mass Finishing Process Water, Part 2 – Maintain Adequate Drainage to Protect Your System

Mass Finishing Process Water, Part 1 – Understand When to Balance Flow or Flood the Process Bowl

Maintaining the correct compound and water flow rate into a mass finishing machine is essential for the stability and success of a process.

If inadequate compound and water are supplied to the machine, results will be more extreme and lead to unpredictable processing times, ineffective finishing, dirty work pieces after finishing, glazed media, and, potentially, a total collapse of the process.

Excessive compound and water flow can be equally problematic. Too much water and compound will slow down the movement of media and work pieces in the machine or cause a complete stop.

For example, in rotary vibrators the typical spiral movement of the media/work piece mix will give way to an uncontrolled shaking. In centrifugal disc machines, the rotating spinner will slip under the media/work piece mix with no movement at all.

Longer processing times, poor finishing results, and even a complete collapse of the process can occur.

For the best results and stability, Rosler understands that the flow rate of compound and water into the machine must be equal to the flow rate out of the machine.

Continue reading Mass Finishing Process Water, Part 1 – Understand When to Balance Flow or Flood the Process Bowl

Centrifuge Technology, Part 5 – Potential Issues and Remedies for Water Recycling

Trial and error are often the origin of innovation. As such, mass finishing and centrifuge technology have been advanced by building upon what worked and avoiding what didn’t.

With more than 80 years of experience, Rosler has extensive engineering knowledge and troubleshooting skills. An overview of the top three issues centrifuge water recycling systems experience along with possible remedies are summarized here. As always, trust a partner such as Rosler to consult on your specific issues.   

Excess Oil in the System

Too much oil may be carried into the finishing system by the work pieces, for example, in stamping operations.

The excess oil will negatively affect the mass finishing process. The media might become “glazed” causing longer processing times and poorer finishing results. In addition, the finished work pieces may also be contaminated with oil residue.

Possible remedies include cleaning of the work pieces prior to mass finishing, for example, with an industrial washing machine, or switching to an alternative oil type that can be better emulsified by the compound for better discharge from the process water.

Continue reading Centrifuge Technology, Part 5 – Potential Issues and Remedies for Water Recycling

Mass Finishing Water & Compounds, Part 2 – Precise Water Flow, Dosing Drive Results

A number of factors contribute to mass finishing success. Machinery, consumables, compounds, and process water must be evaluated individually and as a whole to create optimal results and stable process conditions.

When considering the flow rate of compound and process water into the processing bowl of a mass finishing machine, careful calibration is required based on the machine type and size, finishing task, condition of the raw work pieces, and process water conditions.

For example, high‐energy machines require a much higher flow rate than vibratory finishing systems. Similarly, work pieces heavily contaminated with oil, grease, and/or dirt require more compound and water than less contaminated work pieces.

Water flow and compound dosing rates are usually determined by processing trials in the test lab of the equipment supplier. Once a finishing process has been defined, the user must make sure that the established water and compound flow parameters are precisely maintained. This requires a well-calibrated and well-maintained dosing system.

At Rosler, we draw upon more than 80 years of worldwide experience to create and maintain effective mass finishing systems and deliver precise results. Our ability to do so is thanks, in part, to understanding the importance of water flow and compound dosing.

Continue reading Mass Finishing Water & Compounds, Part 2 – Precise Water Flow, Dosing Drive Results

Mass Finishing Water & Compounds, Part 1 – Identifying, Correcting Hard and Soft Water Issues

Achieving the desired surface conditions in a mass finishing process requires the machinery, consumables, compounds, and process water to work together in a balanced manner. Independent of the other process elements, the process water itself must be evaluated for hard and soft water issues.

Rosler has more than six decades of experience designing mass finishing machinery, supplying consumables and compounds, and developing processes. Understanding the ramifications of too hard or too soft process water is a key to our success.

Classifications and Measurements

Depending on its geological source, the water used in mass finishing processes may have varying mineral content levels, specifically calcium and magnesium carbonates, bicarbonates, and sulfates. A high amount of mineral content is used to classify the water as “hard”, whereas low mineral content classifies it as “soft”.

Continue reading Mass Finishing Water & Compounds, Part 1 – Identifying, Correcting Hard and Soft Water Issues