The best mass finishing equipment is useless without the proper media. That’s why the experienced engineers at Rosler Metal Finishing pair their quality equipment with the right type and amount of media to achieve consistent results.
Understanding how your machine, the work pieces it is finishing, and the selected media will interact is key to delivering an optimal finish each cycle. Doing so requires understanding why media levels are important, determining and tracking levels, and evaluating media consumption to avoid issues.
How do Media Levels Effect Processing?
Without a proper media level, a machine won’t work properly. Levels that are too high and too low can cause issues that result in poor processing results and unnecessary workpiece and machine damage.
When it comes to mass finishing, amplitude and frequency require balance and careful consideration. Amplitude is a measure of movement and intensity while frequency refers to the rate of repetition.
The wrong amplitude, for example, if it’s too low, can create a lackluster finishing results and longer processing times. If too high it can cause unnecessary wear and tear on the machine.
Creating Vibratory Energy
Whether rotary or tub style, mass finishing vibrators always include these two key components; a work bowl containing the finishing media and the work pieces. Firmly attached to this work bowl is a vibratory drive system generating the energy to put the mass of media and work pieces in motion. The work bowl with attached vibratory drive system sits on a number of coil springs – in some cases on air cushions – which in turn sit on a machine base. The springs, respectively, air cushions allow the work bowl to “free float” up and down within a certain distance.
The force from the vibratory drive system puts the mass of finishing media and work pieces contained in the work bowl in motion. Depending on the type of finishing machine this force is generated by vibratory motors or electric motors driving a shaft with one or multiple imbalance units attached to it.
Imbalance units are made up of a rotating shaft with out-of-balance counterweights at each end of the shaft. Due to its imbalance, the rotating shaft causes an intensive wobbling effect.
Common drive systems in vibratory bowls and tubs include foot motors for small tub vibrators, flange motors for rotary vibrators, and multiple imbalance units with electric drives for large tub vibrators.
Mass finishingmachines 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.
Polyurethane (PU) is an elastomer mix (urethane) material that can be formed into in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and hardnesses. Its uses range from insulation and cushioning to adhesives and car parts and more. PU’s unique ability to withstand tension and compression while maintaining its shape and flexibility makes it a great lining for mass finishing equipment.
The ability to specify the size, shape, and hardness of PU allows equipment manufacturers like Rosler Metal Finishing to build machinery with custom inserts and linings to protect components and enable precise surface finishing as well as relining existing equipment with upgraded lining.
Our expert engineers create a custom blend of shore hardness, PU type, and forming method to produce durable and resilient materials that can withstand the harsh demands and stresses found within mass finishing operations.
Measuring Material Hardness
The shore hardness of PU is measured by the material’s resistance to localized deformation. This hardness or durometer is identified with a durometer tester, which forces a conical shaped indicator into the surface of the material and then measures the depth of the indentation. The scale ranges from 0-100 durometer with many different properties in between.
Vibratory tub finishing is a great alternative to manual surface finishing for the aerospace industry.
From engine components and wings to landing gear, properly designed vibratory tubs can accommodate unwieldy work pieces, reduce production times and back logs, and produce a more consistent finish than manual finishing processes.
Our last blog post provided an overview of vibratory finishing’s role in the aerospace industry.
We now turn to specific applications and machine reports to demonstrate Rosler Metal Finishing’s vibratory finishing offerings and capabilities.
What We Offer
Vibratory tub finishing machines from Rosler can be customized to meet your unique aerospace finishing challenges.
Our most useful features include:
Unload gates with external screening units.
Automatic media return.
Integrated rinse stations for finished work pieces.
Gantry systems for easy material handling of heavy, bulky parts.
Ergonomic equipment designs.
All Rosler tub vibrators are equipped with special vibration dampers to prevent the transfer of vibrations to the immediate environment. In order to keep the noise level below 80 dB(A), the machines are placed in special noise
The aerospace industry demands precision and high quality. The processes used to finish aerospace work pieces should adhere to the same rigorous demands.
Gone are the days when the surface of large structural aircraft components is frequently finished by hand. Thanks to the development of large, powerful vibratory tubs, costly manual deburring and grinding of large aircraft components can now be eliminated by highly controlled mass l finishing systems.
Finding A Better Way
Manual deburring and grinding are tedious and costly. Attempting these types of mass finishing by hand usually causes large quality fluctuations with relatively high scrap rates. Above all, manual processes demand highly skilled labor, which is especially hard to find in today’s economy and tight labor markets.
The lack of skilled labor and manual inefficiencies can lead to severe bottle necks in production and long lead times.
You don’t throw your media out with the waste water, so why would you purchase new mass finishing equipment or muddle through with an inefficient process when optimization can extend the life and enhance the effectiveness of your processing equipment?
Whether a result of increased production needs or in response to poor performance, optimizing your mass finishing process is a great way to reduce operational costs and lower your equipment’s total cost of ownership.
A Proactive Approach
Revising 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?
The mass finishing process creates waste water. This substance known as effluent must be properly processed for reuse or disposal. Centrifuge technology offers solutions for cleaning and/or recycling effluent.
Rosler offers a variety of options to process waste water including flocculation systems and the elimination of vibratory finishing sludge. Each type of waste has unique factors and considerations.
Often overlooked in the manufacturing process, mass finishing can help add value in a variety of ways. Mass finishing can reduce or eliminate manual process steps, improve process consistency, increase throughput, reduce manual labor, and more.
Manufacturing or process engineers in a manufacturing plant do not have to be the expert that knows all the latest details and techniques of the finishing process. They do, however, need to have a good understanding of the basic mass finishing processes that can be applied.
Mass finishing describes a surface finishing method where parts are deburred, smoothed, polished, or cleaned using media (tumbling or vibratory), compounds (finishing soap), and specialized equipment.
Understanding how the different process components, i.e. the machine, media, compound, water, and the incoming part all interact and influence the desired part finish is important. Each of the inputs in itself has a multitude of adjustments and parameters.
In order to achieve the lowest total cost of ownership and the greatest process efficiency, recycling process water used in mass finishing processes is key. Reusing water not only reduces costs in the form of less consumables used, but also enables companies to reduce their discharge and disposal fees by replacing process water less often and complying with water and waste regulations.
Waste water from mass finishing applications is often referred to as effluent and must be cleaned for recycling or discharge.