ActOn Case Studies

Quick Solution for High-Quality Glasses Frame Surface Finishing

In the eyewear production field, achieving a perfect appearance and surface finishing is crucial for assessing product quality. Glasses frame, often considered as jewellery and the most expensive daily accessory, vary significantly between regular and luxury models, primarily in weight. Lighter glasses, preferred for their comfort, require advanced materials such as titanium, known for its ultra-lightweight, flexibility, durability, hypoallergenic properties, biocompatibility, and non-corrosive nature. However, titanium’s hardness makes it difficult to surface finish.

Traditionally, achieving perfect surface finishing for metallic eyewear parts involved tedious, time consuming manual processes requiring high skill levels and extensive workspace for workstations. These manual methods also involved repetitive mechanical movements and toxic polishing compounds.

In this case study we discuss about how dry electropolishing can reduce time, improve results and reduce costs when surface finishing glasses frames.

Project Background

The client is a European Union-based manufacturer, who specialises in producing high-value eyeglasses made from materials such as plastic, stainless steel, bronze, brass, titanium, gold, silver, and platinum. The company is dedicated to continuously seeking innovative technologies to enhance product quality and overcome challenges, ensuring the delivery of flawless eyeglasses.

The customer used manual polishing methods. These procedures were resource-intensive, cost-inefficient, and led to high defect rates and poor final product quality. The company aimed to enhance production productivity and quality of metal eyeglasses. The target was to achieve a mirror surface finish while preserving the original design, especially for laser-engraved surfaces.

Solution: Surface Finishing Glasses Frame in 34 minutes

The customer prepared a batch of stamped eyewear frames and parts (rims, temples) made of titanium, nickel silver, bronze, brass, and stainless steel. These were sent to GPAINNOVA for trials. Then the appropriate electrolytic media was determined based on material type, initial and targeted surface quality, and part geometry. The Engineering Department developed fixtures to hold the pieces without causing shadows or damage, maximising cycle capacity.

The recommended equipment was the DLyte PRO500, a compact machine designed for high-output mass production, processing up to 48 parts per cycle. The defined movement and speed ensured perfect media and electrical flow throughout each piece.

Trials were conducted with varying process times and parameters, measuring roughness in different areas using a profilometer and microscope to detect defects. The best surface finishing results were achieved with dry suspension media, containing gel particles and an electrically non-conductive liquid, protecting the eyeware surface from oxidation. This process, especially suitable for brass and bronze alloys, took 30 minutes per 48-glasses frame batch, with a mass removal of 0.02 grams per part.

Considering a weight removal of 0.02 grams per piece and the full media workbowl capacity of 210 liters (4.04 kg metal extraction for steel with dry suspension media), it was determined that the client can treat 200,000 parts per media charge.

The DLyte Process Benefits

 

  • Offers finishing solution for a wide range of materials
  • Component’s geometry and tolerance is preserved
  • Homogeneous results every time
  • Can reduce the roughness over 80% without side effects
  • Longer lifespan for components
  • Biocompatibility and non-cytotoxicity proved
  • This finishing process implies a production cost reduction of over 60%.

Results

  • The glasses frame were mirror surface finished in approx. 34 minutes.
  • OPEX cost per part: €0.15
  • CAPEX cost per part: €0.55, for 5 years with 168,000 parts/year
  • Customer went from 10 manual buffing stations to 1 DLyte PRO 500
  • The daily output with 1 shift is 672 frames and the annual output with 250 working days is 168,000 units.
  • Parts were finished to client’s specifications, without altering the geometry.
  • DLyte PRO500 offered a high-quality repeatable process.
a quick & cost-efficient solution which improves the surface finishing of glasses frame

Interested in Finding out More?

If you would like to learn more about the process steps and technology used, you can request the Eyeware Case Study.  You can also email our technical team for technical support with your fashion and jewellery components.

Request The Eyeware Case Study

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