As a result, media wears down over time, losing its shape, size, and effectiveness. Known as undersized media, this worn media must be discharged and replaced with fresh media to ensure proper processing and safety.
Whether a process uses ceramic, plastic, or polishing and drying media, Rosler stresses the importance of monitoring media levels and the mix of new and worn media for precise and safe mass finishing results.
Maintaining the right ratio of media to work pieces is essential to achieving precise, repeatable results in mass finishing processes where work pieces and media loosely tumble in the processing bowl.
Ensuring that the work pieces are properly embedded in the media allows the media to perform its designated grinding or polishing function as well as cushioning the work pieces from damage caused by part-on-part impingement.
The standard ratio of media to work pieces is around 3-to-1 by volume – meaning that the mix is 3 parts media to 1 part of work pieces – but the exact ratio varies based on the aggressiveness of finishing required as well as the work piece’s material, shape, size, weight, and delicacy or lack thereof.
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.
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.
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.
The R 150 DL-2 was an excellent choice for LINK’s new “bi-mobil” hip implant. The implant offers patients a higher degree of mobility by inserting a movable PE joint in the acetabular cup. The PE-joint in turn is clamped to the ball of the hip stem. To minimize friction and prevent premature wear, the inside of the cup requires an extremely smooth surface, which can only be achieved with a high gloss polished finish—something the R 150 DL-2 easily achieves where other surface finishing companies failed.
We’ve all heard the saying “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” At Rosler Metal Finishing, we often view automation as the solution—or fix, if you will—for mass finishing and shot blasting processes in need of added efficiency.
Both mass finishing and shot blasting are specialized processes that require a lot of practical consideration. Automating these processes can deliver great benefits to a manufacturer when properly targeted to a prescribed need, but, if the engineers developing the machine don’t understand your challenges, the solution is likely to miss its mark.