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:
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
Let’s say production
has been steadily building over time. How do you know if it’s time to evaluate
the process for improvement?
Mass finishing experts suggest examining the final finish accomplished by the process and its ceramic or plastic media and compound usage. Processes in need of optimization will not achieve the desired finish in an acceptable timeframe and will use more media and compounds than necessary.
As we established in Part 1 of this series, identifying and maintaining an optimal media mix is essential to realizing optimal mass finishing results. Rosler Metal Finishing understands that our equipment must work in tandem with media to provide you with the desired finishing 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 media consumption factors in order to maintain an optimal media mix.
What are the Factors of Media Consumption?
Media consumption and wear rates depend on ten key parameters. These rates change if even one of the parameters below change. Therefore, quoted wear rates and cut rates are relative values only.
Media usage can only be estimated, the actual consumption can only be determined by the end user under exact process conditions.
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.