Tag Archives: Mass Finishing

Orthopedic Implants, Part 1 – Surface Finishing Enhances Component Life, Function

Fueled by more active lifestyles and increased life expectancy,the market for knee, hip, and other replacement body jointsis on the rise. With more than $19 billion in annual worldwidesales, implants for joint reconstruction make up nearly 40 percentof all orthopedic product sales.

Thanks to significant advancements in materials and new or improvedsurface finishing technologies, today’s artificial hips andknees can last more than 20 years, giving the recipient decadesof comfort and agility.

Parts that are finished using modern mass finishing and shot blasting methods play a key role in extending the lifespan of orthopedic implants.

Rosler has extensive experience in these processes which often include cleaning, deburring/edge radiusing, surface smoothing, post-casting surface preparation, machining, CNC grinding, and, of course, final finishing. These finishing technologies make big differences in the quality and performance of such products.

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Polishing Processes Benefit from Pre-tumbled Media

Media selection is key in any surface finishing process since these consumables are essential “precision tools” required to achieve the specified finishing results.

Whether you are developing a new mass finishing process or changing process parameters including different work pieces, process times, and requirements, partnering with an experienced expert will help you in evaluating all process parameters.

With decades of experience developing mass finishing machines and manufacturing media and compounds, Rosler is an excellent source for guidance. In some cases, pre-tumbled media may be suggested.

What is Pre-tumbled Media?

After production, some types of pre-polishing and polishing media are pre-tumbled by the manufacturer. This process breaks sharp points and corners off individual media pieces to create smoother edges.

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Avoid Media Glazing to Prevent Process Inefficiencies, Breakdown

Media plays an essential role within a mass finishing process. Whether ceramic, plastic, or polishing and drying, optimal media mix and conditions must be maintained to produce precise finishing results.

“Glazing” occurs when the surface of the media becomes contaminated with metal fines and other debris from the work pieces. As a result, the media becomes very shiny and frequently looks like a piece of aluminum, brass, steel, zinc, etc.

Because glazed media completely loses its original surface properties, it no longer has any grinding effect. Instead, glazed media creates a sort of uncontrolled burnishing. It also retains dirt and other particles which are then deposited on the work pieces.

The image above depicts (from left) media states include clean, heavily glazed, partially cleaned, and fully cleaned.

Rosler has more than 60 years of media production experience. In that time we’ve seen—and corrected—countless examples of ineffective surface finishing as a result of media glazing.

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Centrifuge Technology, Part 1 – Water Cleaning Systems Replace Outdated Methods

Before the “dirty” process water coming from a mass finishing operation can be discharged to sewage, it must be cleaned to meet the legal discharge limits for hazardous materials. Likewise, for cycling the water back to the mass finishing process, the process water must also be cleaned. Uncleaned process water would cause a mass finishing process to collapse very quickly.

Rosler has more than 80 years of surface finishing expertise. In that time, we’ve developed countless efficiencies in both the design of our equipment and the processes they support. Centrifuge technology has long been an effective and cost-efficient tool, not only for cleaning the process water, but also for reusing it for the actual mass finishing operation.

Previous Cleaning Methods

To a large extent, this technology has replaced traditional waste water cleaning methods. Until recently, the most common cleaning systems for mass finishing applications were settlement tanks and flocculation (“floc & drop”) systems.

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Mass Finishing Media, Part 3 – Why Discharging Undersized Media, Maintaining Media Levels Are Crucial

Mass finishing processes are effective because the motion of media against work pieces transforms the surface of the work pieces. The deflashing, descaling, edge rounding, polishing/smoothing, cleaning/oil removal/degreasing, and/or grinding effects change the surface of the media itself along with the work pieces.

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.

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Mass Finishing Media, Part 2 – Tips for Measuring Media-to-Work Piece Ratio

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.

Building upon our last post on the series about navigating the complex media selection considerations, Rosler’s team of experts now discusses tips for determining the best media-to-work piece ratio.

Basic Rule of Thumb

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.

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Mass Finishing Media, Part 1 – Don’t Navigate the Complex Selection Process Alone

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.

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Forge & Foundry, Part 12 – Media and Compound Selection, Effluent Handling Drive 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.  

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Mass Finishing Success Requires Constant Operational Focus

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:

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Automation Part 7 – The Top 3 Mass Finishing and Shot Blasting Machines

Rosler understands that automating aspects of your mass finishing and shot blasting processes has never been more critical.

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.

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