Deep-drawn functional components are increasingly being utilized in the production of medical and pharmaceutical products. To meet the strict standards for manufacturing and quality management in the field of surface finishing, Hubert Stüken GmbH & Co. KG has relied on mass finishing solutions and consumables from Rosler for more than 30 years.
Founded in 1931, Hubert Stüken GmbH & Co. KG is a family-owned business with manufacturing operations at five locations in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Its product range includes stamped and bent parts, plastic-coated components, and complex assemblies.
Rosler works with Stüken Medical, the company’s medical business division which focuses on medical and pharmaceutical engineering, to meet the increasing demand for deep-drawn metal components.
Andreas Hellman, Manager of the ISO 13485-certified business division, explained, “Components used in the field of medical and pharmaceutical engineering must meet strict quality standards. The same strict standards apply also to the actual production operations. For this reason, we have pooled the required know-how for the development and production of such precision components at Stüken Medical.”
Improved productivity, increased production capacity, better quality, and lower costs—a leading garden tool manufacturer tasked Rosler with developing a new mass finishing system to improve the deburring and polishing of garden shear knives.
Rosler provided a solution in the form of a tailor-made Keramo-Finish® process carried out within a double-batch centrifugal disc finishing machine. Known as the FKS 35.1 A2-So, the system includes fully automatic work piece handling and a two-stage process that deburrs and polishes stamped and laser-cut knives. Work pieces are subsequently dried in an energy-efficient rotary dryer and prepared for the next manufacturing step.
For more than 60 years, the Gardena division of Husqvarna Group has developed a variety of gardening products and tools. The company’s broad product range includes innovative systems for irrigation, soil cultivation, and lawn, tree, and shrub care. Gardena products are used in more than 80 countries worldwide.
To ensure easy and simple handling, produce excellent cutting performance, and guarantee long service life, the Gardena’s shear components are produced with state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies. Stamping or laser cutting of the upper and lower knives followed by surface finishing is an important step.
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.
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.
Machinery and media are nothing in the mass finishing world without the right compound.
A manufactured object can be designed to specifications, but if it doesn’t look and feel finished, it may be rejected. A metal alloy can be structurally perfect, but surface corrosion may make it less presentable. Process water may work well for initial cycles before contaminants wear down its effectiveness over time.
The right compound for a given mass finishing process can solve each of these problems and more.
Super Finishing removes the asperities that are inherent in the manufacturing process. By safely removing these microscopic peaks, the Super Finishing process leaves a much more uniform surface that reduces friction and allows for increased lubrication capability. While the dimensional integrity of the part remains intact, the result is an improved component that will operate at lower temperatures, have increased durability, quieter operation and increased time between maintenance.
Better surface properties on gear teeth and other functional surfaces are responsible for:
reducing friction and wear;
reducing operating temperature, even at high speeds;
eliminating any need for ‘run in’ time and reducing the risk of component failure at the initial stages of its life;
reduction of vibration and noise within the unit, again increasing its marketability and improving its performance;
cleaner lubricant as a result of reduced component wear producing ‘debris’ to pollute the component’s working environment (resulting again in shortening the component life span);
One of the most technically challenging aspects of mass finishing is the ability to effectively treat the internal channels of precision components. This is especially true in industries which face very stringent requirements, such as; automotive, aerospace, tooling and medical. It is essential for these manufacturers to achieve precise finishing results.
Fully automatic operation produces precise and consistent results
A new specialised line of rotary vibrators that do not have an inner dome, which allows for automatic, precise surface grinding, smoothing and high gloss polishing of such specialised components. New DL vibrators allow for fully automatic and reliable treatment of such inner contours, resulting in excellent finishing results, achieved in either wet or dry operational mode. Even with extremely delicate and complex contours the dimensional integrity of the work pieces is fully maintained. Depending on the components, their original surface readings and the selected finishing process, Rz values of as low as 0.1 µm can be achieved.
In this type of machine, one or multiple work pieces may be attached to specially designed fixtures. The complete unit with the attached work piece(s) is then firmly mounted into the DL vibratory finishing system. For certain applications the loading and unloading operation can take place with a pneumatic lifting device, this eliminates the need for entirely removing the media from the work bowl when unloading the fixture with mounted part(s).
The vibratory energy is provided by two high-performance vibratory motors, placed on the outer wall of the work bowl, which is transferred to the work pieces that are mounted to the bottom of the work bowl. The intense vibration causes the processing media to flow through and around contours, internal passages or undercuts in the work pieces, without getting stuck.
Compared to standard vibratory systems, this sophisticated machine design combined with powerful vibratory motors (3,000 RPM) produces a 30% increase in processing intensity, resulting in comparably short cycle times. Adjustment of the imbalance weights and control of the motor speed, with frequency inverters, provides the ability to adapt the processing intensity to match the work pieces and the desired finishing task.
Equipment suitable for a multitude of finishing tasks
DL rotary vibrators are the perfect solution for finishing complex work pieces, such as; housings, pump or fan wheels, blisks, dies and moulds, tools, automotive wheels and a variety of other work pieces. Ensure you have sample processing trials carried out on your components so that you receive a tailor-made finishing solution, with the highest finishing quality, short cycle times and high cost efficiency.
All DL vibratory finishing systems are equipped with an easy to use control panel, which includes process timers. For wet finishing operations, compound and water are fed into the machine with a precise dosing system.
Alloy Wheel polishing has been significantly improved by optimising both the processing times and final results. These improvements have been achieved by mounting two motors on the process bowl, providing a stronger and uniform circulation of the grinding and polishing media.
Conventional machines have only a single motor in the centre and on more complex designed alloy wheels, additional machine inertia is desirable.
Over the decades researchers have searched for optimal and efficient techniques to adequately recondition the surface of stainless steel after it has been subjected to various processes. This article examines the various processes currently used and the surface conditions achieved. An independent study has shown that water jet blasting may offer the best solution in terms of both the degree of smoothness achieved and the avoidance of using chemical products.
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