Thursday, November 4, 2021
Metal finishing is a necessary step in numerous manufacturing industries. The finishing process has a substantial impact on the function, appearance and longevity of manufactured metal parts. The decision on whether to use metal finishing services in Canada or outsource the job overseas can also impact the final product.
Why choose a Canadian metal finisher? For some manufacturers, the choice may ultimately be a financial once. But there are other factors to consider when weighing the benefits of Canadian metal finishing versus finishing overseas.
1. Lead Time Required for Metal Finishing
Many metal finishing operations overseas are fast and efficient, able to process mass quantities of parts in a short time. But we can too! Having parts finished overseas will always require a much greater lead time. There are no “rush orders” when your parts are an ocean away.
Canadian metal finishers can allow greater flexibility. The closer proximity to Canadian manufacturers means it’s feasible to accommodate unexpected orders or last-minute changes. Thousands of parts go through our factory floor and out the door each day, and our customers know we can get the job done when time is of the essence.
2. Transportation Costs
Whether you are manufacturing in Canada, or your end user is in Canada, having parts finished overseas can often mean greater transportation costs, especially when you’re dealing with large quantities of heavy metal parts. Also, packaging costs can increase in order to avoid damage, rust, etc.
In the current economic climate, it’s hard to predict how duties and tariffs could change in the future, turning a lucrative overseas partnership into a financial headache.
Choosing a Canadian metal finisher provides far more clarity and stability in terms of cost.
3. Environmental Benefits
Today, the metal finishing and coating industries are more environmentally-friendly than ever before. However, they can still result in harmful by-products.
The metal finishing often follows a parts-washing process, which frequently involves the use of chemical solvents and cleaners. Depending on the finishing method of choice, the finishing process itself can produce wastewater, effluents, spent process solutions, and air emissions.
Here in Canada, metal finishers must conform to stringent industry standards and environmental regulations that ensure any waste is disposed of as safely as possible. Canadian metal finishers are also doing their part to achieve our provincial and national climate goals.
Unfortunately, this level of environmental protection is not a guarantee with metal finishers overseas.
4. Clear Communication
Email and VoIP technology has made it possible to communicate with foreign partners in an instant. Despite these advancements, miscommunication remains a problem for many Canadian manufacturers when it comes to outsourcing. Again, if your manufacturing plant or end-user is in Canada, it behooves you to use a Canadian finisher due to the easy access and visitation distance.
5. Canadians Get the Job Done Right
Fact is, there’s no part of the metal finishing we can’t do in Canada. Canadian manufacturers who choose local finishers enjoy the benefit of a skilled, stable business partner get the job done to order.
Over the years, Latem Industries has continuously improved and expanded our operations to meet our customers’ changing needs. We’re proud to be a Canadian metal finishing company that support numerous North American manufacturing industries. We are ISO approved, we are participants in Controlled Goods and we are a member of the MFJSA, (Mass Finishing Job Shop Association).
Let Latem Industries Limited be your Canadian Metal Finisher. Contact us today!
Thursday, October 7, 2021
Never has this been more prevalent than today. Everyone is cleaning their hands repeatedly per day, making sure surfaces are wiped down, etc. due to this COVID pandemic. Just like in every day life, cleaning is also required in the industrial field.
Working with hard, non-absorbent materials such as metals and plastics often results in needing to get the materials cleaned. What can contaminate these surfaces you ask? Well, a myriad of things can cause you to require cleaning. Contaminates can include dust, dirt, oils, rust, fungus, algae, grease, bacteria, lime scale, fingerprints, compounds, flux agents and so on.
Latem offers varies cleaning methods but today we will focus on ultrasonic cleaning.
Ultrasonic cleaning has been around since the 1950’s and has been used industrially for decades, particularly to clean small intricate parts and to accelerate surface treatment processes.
Ultrasonic cleaning is a process that uses high-frequency sound waves transmitted through liquid to scrub clean the surface of immersed parts. It can clean using just water, however, use of solvents appropriate for the object to be cleaned and the type of contamination present enhances the effect. The high-frequency sound waves agitate the liquid solution of water or solvent, and this agitation produces high forces on contaminants adhering to substrates like metals, plastics, glass, rubber, and ceramics. This action also penetrates blind holes, cracks, and recesses. The intention is to thoroughly remove all traces of contamination tightly adhering or embedded onto solid surfaces. Ultrasonic cleaning can be used for a wide range of workpiece shapes, sizes and materials, and may not require the part to be disassembled.
Industrial ultrasonic cleaners are used in the automotive, sporting, printing, marine, medical, pharmaceutical, electroplating, disk drive components, engineering and weapons industries.
Do you have something you need cleaned? Give Latem an opportunity!
Thursday, September 9, 2021
Burnishing is a method of polishing and hardening the surface of a part. Latem Industries Limited burnishes parts through the process of ball burnishing. In this process, the part is brought into contact with steel balls. The harder burnishing balls run against the surface of the softer part, evening out microscopic peaks and valleys. This reduces the roughness average or RA, while hardening the surface and producing a shiny finish. While other processes can chip away at the surface, burnishing uses the tendency of metals to deform under stress. This process in known as cold flow. It results in a smooth texture and a shiny surface with superior strength.
Metals that are commonly burnished include brass, bronze, aluminum, stainless steel and copper. Burnishing is often used to finish automotive parts such as pistons and transmissions parts. It is also widely used in non-automotive parts such as plumbing fixtures and valves. Decorative parts as well as jewelry are often burnished for the high shine it generates.
As mentioned, burnishing does more than just polish and shine. By condensing the structure of the metal, it increased hardness. A burnished part can range from 50%-100% harder than an unfinished part. This also makes it more resistant to fatigue failure, as well as offering increased corrosion resistance. In addition to increasing the visual of the part, it can also remove small surface imperfections.
Can burnishing help you? Give Latem a chance to shine! Contact us today.
Thursday, August 5, 2021
We're not farmers, and it might be a bit of a stretch perhaps, to say that we are in the ag business, but we do serve a number of agricultural manufacturers. And that number is growing in leaps, both with our coatings, and on the other side of our plant, in metal finishing at Latem Industries.
What We Do
Plastico Industries has been a preferred tier 2/3 supplier to the automotive market for many years. If there is one thing working with this large group has taught us, it is the need to be versatile, to constantly challenge ourselves, and to be ready to react, and even more importantly, to be proactive. It is this way of thinking that drove us into unchartered territory when we made a significant investment in 2016, a new plastisol coating line.
We'd already been working with plastisol since well before the turn of the century, however, not with a line of this magnitude. We had been in discussions with a local playground recreation company for a number of years. This new line would deliver everything this customer needed, and, with significant capacity still left over, would also open new potential for us. Some might say it was a bit of a risk, but we believe it was one well worth taking.
In the movie Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner turns his crops into a full sized baseball field due to a recurring message from above, that tells him "if you build it they will come." 'They' refers to ghosts of the 1919 Red Sox. He built it, they came, great movie!
We didn't hear any voices, however, we did believe that if we built it, they would come. We have yet to be disappointed, as not only have we broken new ground in the recreation business, but our appetite for more has also taken us to the farming community.
Perfect for the Pig Pen
What makes this line of particular interest to the farming community is that it is the perfect coating for flooring often found in swine operations. Our high durometer, food grade plastisol provides a solid, yet considerably softer coating to the bare iron grate floors. It also warmer to the touch, and provides more comfort than bare, or even powder coated steel.
Plastico Industries uses a primer that bonds the plastisol securely to the substrate, providing further protection from wear, peeling and chipping. Our plastisol is also resistant to a wide variety of liquids, fluids and chemicals, which also makes for easier clean-up.
Chickens Love Us Too
One other pleasant surprise with the capacity of our new line is out ability to work with the poultry industry. From cage flooring to boundary screens, Plastico Industries has had the distinct benefit of working with manufacturers we might not have seen just a few years ago.
Welcome to Our Barn
The agriculture and automotive industries continue to be two of the most significant players in Canada's economy. While Plastico has forever been a preferred supplier in the car business, it is a welcome feather in our cap to be part, or a much bigger part, of the farming business.
Our barn is centrally located, just off of the 401 in Cambridge, and within our operation, you'll find several coating lines, not just in plastisol, but also a black paint line as well as a nylon dip and spray operation.
One major benefit in working with Plastico Industries, is our complete pre-prep services, available through Latem Industries, our parent company, conveniently located at the other end of our plant. From shot blasting for surface preparation to washing and vibratory finishing, we offer the distinct benefit of working with a single-source supplier.
Visit us at www.plastico.ca for more information.
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
We are excited to share that we have recently purchased more equipment to offer even more services to our customers.
Latem Industries Limited will be installing several new shot blasting/shot peening equipment over the next couple of months. These machines will allow us to widen our services in ceramic media blasting, directional blasting as well as tube and pipe blasting.
Shot blasting is a set of technical processes designed to remove various impurities from metal surfaces. We use it to clean contaminants like dirt and oil from mass quantities of parts at once. It’s also a highly efficient method of removing metal oxides like rust or mill scale.
Shot blasting is an important step in preparing metal parts for painting, powder coating or other coating methods that require a clean surface in order to adhere. It is practically mandatory in many industries, including the automotive, metal manufacturing, aviation, shipbuilding industries, as well as foundries and the production of welded structures.
Latem Industries utilizes various methods to meet our customers’ specific shot blasting requirements. Here are a list of blasting options at Latem:
1. Tumble Blasting
Tumble blast machines are comprised of either a rubber or steel belt that’s driven within an enclosed blasting cabinet. Metal components are placed into the blasting cabinet in batches, where they are continuously impacted by one or more high-pressure streams of abrasive materials (called shot or blasting media.)
We can vary the type, shape, size and density of the abrasive materials to achieve different results. The metal abrasives we utilize in tumble blasting include steel grit, steel shot and glass bead. One of the new machines currently going in will incorporate ceramic media.
During the tumble blasting process, the metal components are also continuously bumping against each other to help knock off surface contaminants and defects. Some of the advantages of this type of blasting is a consistent finish, with competitive pricing as many parts can be ran at once.
2. Index Table Blasting
Index table blast machines are comprised of a blasting chamber with a large, circular turntable and several smaller ‘satellite’ tables attached to the turntable’s surface. The table indexes under a stream of blast media, cleaning the part.
Index table blasting allows us to process rotationally symmetrical shapes in large batches. The operation is well-suited for components that are fragile and cannot withstand the impact of hitting against each other in a tumble blasting operation. Some of the common applications include cleaning, finishing and deburring of axles, draft shafts and gear assembles.
3. Conveyor blasters
Conveyor blasting is when the part is fixtured on a belt or hung from a hook and sent through a blast chamber. Multiple blast wheels fire media at the part from multiple angles to ensure complete coverage. Ideal for larger and/or longer parts. Tooling can be built to run multiple pieces per hook, making it very efficient as well.
4. Conveyor blasters for pipe and tube
Similar to the above conveyor blaster, the part is fed through a blast chamber where multiple wheels are firing media at the part. The difference on this line, is that the part is rotated as it goes through the blaster to ensure 100% coverage on all sides of the part when doing shot peening. This ensures no weak spots on the steel part. This is another new machine that is going in over the next couple of months, furthering our abilities to help our customers.
Thursday, June 10, 2021
Edge flash formed on various molding and die castings are often removed by mass finishing equipment. Castings are usually trimmed in a die. The resulting thin fins and flash around the edges are removed, and radii which could not be built into the die are generated. Residual sand, cold shots and similar surface imperfections can also be removed during processing. The type of metal, ceramic or plastic and the condition of the workpiece will determine type of media and specific process required. Soft metallic or resin bonded media are usually preferred for processing zinc and soft aluminum castings, with buffered liquid compounds or soft abrasive compounds to avoid gouging or impingement of parts. Metallic media or ceramic media with a low cut rate are used on harder metals, in conjunction with liquid or abrasive compounds, depending on the degree of surface refinement required.
At Latem, we employ blast deflashing and ultrasonic deflashing.
Blast deflashing is a traditional way to deflash metal pieces. The blasting equipment sprays metal shot or grit on the part surface using high pressure and speed. The metal shot abrades flash away from parts. This method can be used for all materials and parts with a low surface appearance requirement because deflashing process produces a rough surface. The pros of this method are that the deflashing equipment can be designed for an automatic line with a transport belt. It also can be used as a manual spray gun. The flexibility of this method makes it suitable for mass production and small handling. The con to this method is that it may not be suitable for parts with a high aesthetic surface requirement due to its strong abrasion of the part surface.
Ultrasonic vibration deflashing comes from ultrasonic cleaning technology. The ultrasonic energy generated by an ultrasonic generator is transmitted to mechanical energy that forces water into a very high vibration mode that, in turn, deflashes the part.
The ultrasonic vibration method is suitable for metal as well as plastic components. It is not appropriate for rubber material because of the material’s toughness. The benefit of this method, is that the deflashing effect for plastic materials shows good deflashing results without damaging the part surface. The disadvantage is that it has issues with some materials (rubber), and in some cases is not strong enough to remove the wanted flash.
Blasting deflashing is an effective and efficient method for parts with low surface quality requirements. It can be used for all types of materials. Ultrasonic vibration deflashing is an efficient and comparatively economic way to deflash. It can be used for metal and plastic parts that are not too soft.
To learn more about blasting deflashing, please contact us.
Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Nylons have been around since the early 1940's and were the first commercially successful synthetic thermoplastic polymers. Nylon falls under the category of polyamides which include both natural substances (silk) and synthetic materials (thermoplastics). Due to their characteristics, nylon is widely used in such fields as Aerospace, Automotive, Medical and many others. In 3D printing, nylon has become the most widely used material. As for the numbers that follow the abbreviation PA (which stands for Polyamide), it simply indicates the number of carbon atoms in the material. Nylon powder coating is widely used to protect a variety of metal substrates such as steel and aluminum. It is applied either electrostatically or in a fluid bed. It protects a wide variety of applications from corrosion to impact and abrasion.
What are PA11, Nylon PA12 made from?
Nylon PA11 is a fine bioplastic polyamide powder. The material is among the rare bio-based engineering plastics made out of renewable raw materials derived from vegetable oil, mainly castor oil. It is produced by Arkema, under the trade name Rilsan, from castor beans.
Unlike PA11, Nylon PA12 is a synthetic whitish fine powder derived mainly from petroleum sources. Nylon PA12 has many manufacturers which include Arkema and Evonik, whereas PA11 is only manufactured by Arkema.
What are the properties of PA11?
PA11 has properties quite similar to Nylon PA12. However, PA11 has a lower environmental impact, consumes less non-renewable resources to be produced, and has superior thermal resistance. Indeed, PA11 is stable to light, UV, and weather. It is also characterized by good elasticity, high elongation at break and high impact resistance. Moreover, it has an excellent resistance to chemicals, especially hydrocarbons, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, fuels, detergents, oils, fats, mineral bases, and salts.
What about Nylon PA12?
Nylon PA12, on the other hand, is exceptionally strong even when temperatures dip below freezing. It is characterized by high strength, stiffness, strong resistance to cracking under stress, and an excellent long-term constant behavior. Furthermore, with a lower concentration of amides (nitrogen-containing organic compounds) than any other commercially available polyamide, Nylon PA12 absorbs very little moisture, has an excellent resistance to chemicals including hydraulic fluids, oil, fuels, grease, salt water, and solvents, dampens noise and vibration, and is highly processable.
What are their typical applications?
Nylon is the material of choice for the most demanding applications due largely to its unique combination of thermal, physical, chemical and mechanical properties. The result is an outstanding cost to performance ratio. Another unique quality of Nylon is that it meets autoclave requirements, making it ideal for the medical industry.
As mentioned earlier, it can be applied via electrostatic and fluid bed methods. Latem uses both methods.
When we apply our Nylon coating electrostatically we spray the part with a dry powder that is fluidized with air and then is post cured. Electrostatic Spray is generally applied at a thickness ranging from 1.5 – 15 mils (thousandths of an inch).
The Fluid Bed Nylon coating is applied through a dip process where the part is preheated and dipped into a dry powder that is fluidized with air and then post cured. Fluid Bed vinyl is generally applied at a thickness ranging from 5 to 40 mils (thousandths of an inch). Typical coating application temperatures are usually in the range of 180°C to 250 °C (360 to 480 °F).
Nylon based powders are recommended for both interior and exterior applications.
To find out how we can help, please contact us.
Thursday, April 8, 2021
What is the difference between shot blasting and shot peening?
Shot blasting is used primarily to improve a surface finish, whether that improvement means removing rust or preparing a part for coating. Shot peening is used primarily to remove residual stresses from a part, therefore strengthening it, and enhancing the shelf life.
Shot blasting or peening Stainless Steel?
Parts can be blasted with glass, ceramic, organic material, plastic and steel media. All the different media’s have their pros and cons. However, if the process or specification requires steel shot to blast or peen the stainless steel, oxidization/rusting will occur afterwards on the stainless steel part.
You would think that stainless steel is exactly that – stainless. What makes stainless steel stainless? In a word, chrome. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron with a minimum of 10.5 percent chromium. Chromium produces a thin layer of oxide on the surface of the steel—the “passive” layer—that prevents surface corrosion. When shot blasting/peening with a steel media, the carbon steel media used embeds contaminants into the stainless steel. Unprotected carbon steel rusts when exposed to air and moisture. This iron oxide film (rust) is “active” and accelerates corrosion by making it easier for more iron oxide to form.
One way to eliminate this issue, is to blast/peen the stainless parts with stainless steel media. By doing this, no contaminants are embedded into the stainless part, and thus, no rusting. However, only stainless steel parts can be blasted in stainless steel media. Should you blast a carbon steel part in stainless steel media, you will contaminate your media, which will in turn contaminate future stainless parts. Stainless steel media is very expensive in comparison to carbon steel media, so most mass finishers do not have machines loaded with stainless steel media, and if they do, the price reflects this as they are limited in the jobs they can run in that machine.
Another method to solve this issue is passivation. In stainless steel, passivation means removing the free iron from the surface of the metal using an acid solution to prevent rust. When the surface iron is removed, the other components of the alloy (primarily chromium, often nickel as well) are left behind as a surface layer over the underlying steel. Upon exposure to air, these elements react with oxygen to form an oxide layer that protects the rest of the steel from corrosion. solutions, bleach or salt (oceanic environments) all will contribute to the need for passivation of the stainless steel.
Call Latem for your stainless steel shot blasting or peening. We are the experts.
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
Nearly all metal components require surface preparation to clean and remove oil, grease or smut from the surface.
Degreasing is an essential step in the surface finishing process of manufacturing automotive parts, appliances, electronics and other applications. As metal components are often coated, painted, plated or welded, it is critical to remove any foreign contaminants that may affect the adhesion of a coating or the quality of a weldment.
Mass finishers have several fast, cost-effective ways to clean metal components at a mass production scale. However, not all oils are created equal. It is important to select a part-specific mass washing method that will remove grime efficiently without damaging the underlying parts.
Latem Industries offers a wide range of component cleaning processes to meet virtually any requirement. These are four of the industrial parts washing methods we use in our mass finishing operations:
1. Auger Wash
Our auger washer uses a screw-turning like motion to push parts forward through a wash, rinse, optional rust inhibitor and dry cycle.
First, components are loaded into the auger. Next, we add solvent-based or solvent-containing cleaning agents designed to remove water-insoluble substances such as grease, oils, waxes, tars and fats.
The components then begin a long, spiral of washing and rinsing. Once the cycle is complete, the parts travel through an in-line drying oven and are then off-loaded.
The auger wash is ideal for washing large quantities of smaller components. However, due to the aggressiveness of this method, it is not as well-suited for delicate parts.
2. Ultrasonic Wash
Ultrasonic washing uses cavitation bubbles created by high-frequency sound pressure waves to agitate a liquid. The components are placed in a basket and lowered into a transducer, which creates ultrasonic waves. The combined force of the agitation and cleaning agents creates pressure to force oil, grease and smut adhering to metal to be removed.
One of the advantages of ultrasonic sound waves is that they penetrate through cracks and recesses to completely clean every facet of a part. Ultrasonic wash is also ideal for delicate parts, as the cleaning is created solely by sound waves. In addition to cleaning metal components, this versatile part washing method can clean components made of plastic, ceramic and glass.
Latem Industries’ ultrasonic wash department includes two ultrasonic stations: one for general cleaning purposes and the other to achieve specific cleanliness specs. Our technicians use a state-of-the-art particle analysis system to ensure parts are completely clean at a microscopic level.
3. Conveyor Wash
As the name suggests, this mass washing method is completed on a conveyor line. Components are hung onto the line and then travel through a cleaning chamber that uses high-pressure wash from all directions to remove contaminants.
Conveyor washing is incredibly versatile as it can accommodate both large and small components. In fact, components up to 4’ tall and up to 15’ long can simply and easily be cleaned in conveyor wash.
3. Belt Wash
Similar to conveyor washing, however, not all parts can accommodate being hung on a conveyor, due to configuration, weight or other factors. These parts are then put on a belt that travels through the cleaning chamber. The part is blasted from all sides by high pressure wash.
Ask the Mass Finishing Experts
From large and complex to small and delicate, Latem Industries offers a cost-effective solution to remove contaminants from any component.
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Shot peening is the process used to harden, and improve the fatigue life, of metal objects.
For centuries, man has been using force on metal to improve fatigue life. We are all familiar with Hollywood movies showing blacksmiths repeatedly hammering metal to improve its strength. Shot peening is similar as it is a mechanical process to repeat that desired effect of the blacksmith.
Different machines are used in shot peening; air blast or wheel blast, but all have the same end result. In shot peening, small spherical balls are directed toward the surface of the metal object. These balls can be made of ceramic, glass, cut wire or steel. Upon impact, the balls create tiny craters/dimples on the metal. When a group of these balls/shotsimpact the surface they generate multiple indentations, resulting in the component being encased by a compressive stressed layer on the metal surface.
This induced compressive stress layer increases resistance to fatigue (including corrosion fatigue, stress corrosion and cavitation erosion) while also helping to resist the development and propagation of cracks.
The surface residual compressive stresses created by shot peening will differ depending on factors including the intensity and coverage of the peening media. Intensity is measured with an ‘Almen Strip Test’. This test includes blasting a size-determined strip of metal with the media and measuring the deformation of the strip. Using a formula and graphs, and repeating the process one can determine intensity. Coverage can be measured multiple ways to ensure complete coverage of the area requiring peening. All shot peening specifications will list the required intensity and coverage.
Not enough coverage or too weak of intensity will not sufficiently harden the metal. Too much peening will result in excessive cold working of the surface of the workpiece, which can lead to fatigue cracking. It is therefore important to take account of the material properties alongside the peening intensity and exposure time.
In addition to these applications, shot peening can be used for sand removal in foundries, descaling, and surface finishing for castings used in engine blocks and cylinder heads.
The process is also widely used to relieve tensile stresses created through work hardening in aircraft repairs. Where processes such as grinding can create tensile stresses, shot peening can replace these with beneficial compressive stresses. Depending on factors such as shot quality, material, intensity and coverage, shot peening can increase fatigue life by as much as 1000%.
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November 4, 2021
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