Recently we had the opportunity to work with a leading global supplier of technology metals as well as a manufacturer of complex assemblies and machined products, to improve on their existing mass finishing process to allow them to achieve a more repeatable finish and cope with a higher throughput of parts. The finishing process developed by us enabled our client to deburr 10,000 parts / hour.
The project background
We have been approached by our customer as they required a more effective way to degrease and remove sharpness on Molybdenum parts, before the plating stage. At the time of the initial contact, our customer was finishing 8,000 parts/ batch using a traditional barrel finishing machine and the full process took 9 hours. During the first 8 hours, parts were deburred and degreased and the last hour was used to separate the parts from media. This was not only extremely labour intensive but meant that with an increasing output, capacity was an issue.
A Fast and Cost Effective Finishing Process Using CHE Technology
ActOn carried out the finishing process trials from the beginning in the Centrifugal High Energy machine, as we knew that we needed a quicker process time, whilst also removing the need for a long separating time for separating parts and media.
Hence we carried out the trials in our CHE50 finishing machine, using an abrasive media and liquid finishing compound we manufacture for cleaning & degreasing of ferrous metals. The final finish was achieved in just 45 minutes and we managed to deburr and degrease 10,000 parts / batch. The unload and separation of parts took just a few minutes over an automated vibratory separator which the barrels of the machine unload onto after the finishing process. To ensure parts do not rust post processing, these are ran through a centrifugal drier to remove any moisture.
CHE Finishing Technology Used
As a result of the successful trial the customer decided to purchase the CHE50 finishing technology. The system is HMI/ PLC controlled and it includes 100 finishing recipes which makes the machine easy for the operator to use.
CHE50 machines are equipped with 4 hexagonal shaped barrels. Each of these barrels are loaded manually with parts, media and a water/compound mix as per the recipes set up in the system. The CHE50 also includes an integrated temperature monitoring system to ensure that any overheat within the barrels will result in the machine coming to a stop to prevent any damage to the barrel liners.
This finishing technology incorporates a direct drive mechanism which generates high g-forces resulting in shorter processing times in comparison with vibratory finishing. High Energy finishing can be 15-20 times faster and produces superior finishes. This process time advantage meant that the customer was able to process 10,000 parts in one hour, in comparison with 8,000 parts in 9 hours.
To make the finishing process even more efficient, we integrated in the High Energy system, a Vibratory Separation System. Upon completion of the process, parts, media and the mix of water and compound are discharged from the barrel into the vibratory separation system and separated via the screen.
- Our finishing process enabled our customer to process 10,000 parts in 1 hour, in comparison with 8,000 parts in 9 hours.
- The trials showed a 98% pass rate compared to an average of 93% using the previous finishing process.
- The finishing process produces a repeatable and high quality finished product.
According to Adam Cook’s (Process/Continuous Improvement Engineer at H.C. Stark Ltd ) statement:
“Acton finishing’s professional service and expertise in designing and installing our new HE Deburring process is critical to us delivering the high-quality product that our customer expect.”