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Our Commitment to Quality

At Latem Industries quality and speed to market guide our decisions each and every day. Our quality processes are built around strict guidelines that were initially developed for the automotive industry. While our customer base spans a large number of industry sectors, we apply many of the elements of PPAP, Production Part Approval Process, to our quality standards.

 

Quality - Where does it start?

 

Latem recognizes that quality is essentially the outcome of every interaction we have with our customers and their products. In order to meet the needs of our customers we first must have an innate understanding of the challenges they face in order to create and execute the most efficient and cost effective solution. Our quality team is involved with every aspect of our business. In essence, quality does not begin or end anywhere but rather, is a perpetual mandate within our organization.

 

Creating Solutions - In order to best meet the requirements of our customers our internal quality process begins with customer supplied samples. Our quality team reviews these samples along with all customer supplied drawings and specifications. We then consider several key criteria for optimal processing including the size of the product, shape or geometry, material composition, material thickness, weight and the application of the part.

 

Trial Process - Once the best possible solution is developed, we then process the customer supplied samples on a no charge basis. These samples are then returned to our customer’s quality team for inspection and comment. Once approved, the production process is recorded within our quality system and we ready for production.

 

Production- Exacting Standards for Quality Consistency

 

Our commitment to quality is shared by every employee at Latem Industries. Our quality team developed several standards that ensure that our customers products are processed exactly as required every time, these processes include;

 

Control Plan - the Control Plan is created by our quality team and provides the operator or inspector with the information required to properly control the process and produce consistent results. It includes instructions regarding actions taken if a quality issue arises.

 

The Control Plan is used in conjunction with an inspection sheet or checklist and helps assure quality is maintained throughout process by establishing a standard for quality inspection and process monitoring.  Control Plans are living documents that are periodically updated as the measurement methods and controls are improved.

 

FMEA - Failure Mode and Effects Analysis - is a structured approach to discovering potential failures that may exist within our process. Failure modes are the ways in which a process can fail. Effects are the ways that these failures can lead to waste or defects for our customer. Failure Mode and Effects Analysis is designed to identify, prioritize and limit these failure modes. Simply put, its an analysis of understanding what could go wrong in order to ensure it doesn’t happen. It’s planning NOT to fail.

 

Quality Inspections - In order to ensure we meet our quality criteria each and every time, ongoing inspections and audits are completed throughout the process. There are 4 levels of audit that ensures we deliver consistent quality each and every time.

 

Level 1

Trained Operators - each process operator is trained to perform quality audits throughout the processing. Many of our operators have more than 30 years experience and are skilled at identifying potential quality issues.

 

Level 2

Production Supervisors - our production supervisors also preform quality audits throughout and at the conclusion of processing our customers products.

 

Level 3

Quality Team - Our quality team audits and signs off on process completed prior to returning the products to our customers.

 

Level 4

Layered Audits - Senior management regularly audits completed processes to ensure our customers expectations are met.

 

Our quality team utilizes several tools to inspect and measure the results of our processes. These are used in conjunction with any customer supplied instruments. These tools include;

 

  1. Vernier Caliper - a measurement tool used to monitor thickness, depth and diameter of processed parts
  2. Digital Thickness Gauge - Used to maintain a thickness specification
  3. Plug Gauge - Ensures the diameter of a hole or opening in a product is maintained throughout processing
  4. Durometer Gauge - Measures the hardness of a product after processing
  5. Tensile Tester - Determines the tensile strength or breaking point of a product
  6. Micrometer - Delivers an accurate measurement of a product
  7. Scanning Electron Microscope - Determines the amount of particulate that remains on a product after processing

We are the industry leader in mass finishing and coatings due largely to our relentless pursuit of uncompromising quality. Our complete team focus on quality combined with our experience means you will receive the Perfect Finish- each and every time.

 

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten – Benjamin Franklin​

 

 

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Mass Finishing 101: Shot Blasting and Other Metal Finishing Methods

 

After a metal workpiece is punched, pressed, cut or formed, there are often flaws or remnants on the piece that does not meet quality requirements. These remnants include sharp points of metal (burrs), sharp edges along the radius of a component, and roughness on a component’s surface.  

 

In mass production, it is cost and time-prohibitive to correct the flaws of each individual workpiece by hand. Instead, manufacturers use methods such as shot blasting, vibratory finishing, tumble finishing (barrel tumbling) and harperizing to remove the flaws from hundreds of parts en-mass. Mass finishing is a crucial part of the metal manufacturing process. 

 

What is Mass Finishing? 

 

Mass finishing is a term to describe an abrasive process that allows for bulk or mass of components to be economically processed in large quantities. Generally, the components are made of metal, but other substrates can be processed in this fashion as well.  

 

In addition to deburring and edge breaking, mass finishing methods can be used for surface smoothing or polishing, removal of oil or contaminants, and descaling after heat treating.  

 

Why Mass Finishing?

 

Almost all components need refinement before they can be assembled by workers or handled by the consumer. Mass finishing delivers a low-cost alternative to finishing components by hand.  

 

Mass finishing also delivers a consistent result every time, whereas hand finishing is subject to the accuracy of the finisher labour intensive. In all cases where there is a large volume of components, mass finishing is a significantly lower cost than labour-intensive hand finishing.  

 

The consistent result of mass finishing also helps products meet quality standards. 

  

How Mass Finishing is Accomplished 

 

Vibratory Finishing - The components are placed in a massive bowl that holds abrasive media and cleaning agents. In operation, the bowl vibrates at an exaggerated rate, causing the media to turn up and down while rotating in a circular motion. The components travel with the abrasive media. Over time, the combination of rotation and vibration smoothes the edge and surface of a component while removing burrs. 

 

Tumble Finishing - The components are placed in a large barrel that also holds abrasive media and cleaning agents. The barrel rotates in a circular motion and the components and media roll together. This abrasive action is ideal for removing burrs, and the aggressive action of tumbling is well-suited to durable metal parts. 

 

Harperizing The components are placed in chambers holding media and cleaning agents, and the Harperizer creates a tumbling process that uses G forces to finish parts. Harperizing can clean and polish parts in a much shorter period than conventional tumbling and vibratory finishing. Because of the G forces produced, harperizing can reach areas conventional tumbling and vibratory finishing cannot reach. 

 

Shot Blasting - The components are placed in a chamber, where small particles of metal are shot or blasted at the component’s surface. Shot blasting can be used to remove edges and smooth the surface of components. It is also an effective way to remove rust formation or chemicals left behind from the components forming process. Shot blasting is commonly used to create an even and consistent finish for components that have been diecast in steel or aluminum. 

 

What is Finishing Media? 

 

Media is the abrasive material used to clean and finish components. The composition of media may be ceramic, plastic or steel. The media itself comes in a variety of shapes to meet specific cleaning requirements. Common shapes are oval, triangle, star, pyramid and ellipse. 

 

Learn More About Mass Finishing 

 

Latem Industries has been in the mass metal finisher in Cambridge, Ontario since 1997. To discover more about the many advantages of mass finishing and receive a no charge quotation for your mass finishing requirements, contact us online or by phone at 1-888-664-9998. 

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The Dirt on Grime: Industrial Parts Washing Methods

 

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 automotives, 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 three of the industrial parts washing methods we use in our mass finishing operations: 

  1. Auger Wash 
  2. Ultrasonic Wash 
  3. Conveyor Wash 

1. Auger Wash 

Imagine the agitator on an old school washing machine turned on its side and 20 feet long. With this thought in mind, you now have the idea of how an auger wash operates.   

 

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, 20’ spiral of washing and rinsing. Once the cycle is complete, the parts are off-loaded to an in-line drying oven.  

 

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 loaded onto the line and then travel through a massive, 50’ 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. 

 

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. 

  

To discover more about the many options we offer for cleaning your components and to receive a no charge quotation, contact us online or by phone at 1-888-664-9998. 

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Removing Mill Scale from Steel Surfaces

Steel surfaces can sometimes exhibit residual mill scale as a side effect of the production process. Though not harmful in and of itself, the presence of scale is detrimental in conditions where corrosion is likely to occur, and it must be removed before a workpiece can be given a protective coating.

 

Shiny steel parts

 

This post discusses the role of mill scale in the steel production and coating process, including the fastest way to remove mill scale from surfaces.

 

Identifying Mill Scale

Mill scale (often known simply as ‘scale’) refers to the thin, flaky texture that forms on the outer surface of hot-rolled iron oxides and metals. It is a by-product of manufacturing hot-rolled metal plates and sheets, occurring as the surface oxidizes during the heating, conditioning and hot rolling processes.

 

Scale has a distinctive blue-grey colour and a flaky or powdery consistency. It is not a continuous layer, but rather a thin, uneven coat (1mm thickness or less) of mixed iron oxides that chips easily on contact.

Unlike rust, which forms over a long period of exposure to oxygen and moisture, scale forms on all steel and iron products that are hot rolled. The only way to prevent its appearance would be to manufacture them in an inert atmosphere.

 

Mill scale is not in itself harmful to the workpiece. In fact, in the short term, a layer of scale helps to protect the metal’s surface from corrosion and other negative atmospheric effects. The problem begins when the mill scale breaks – which, given its brittleness, is practicably inevitable during handling, storage or transportation.

 

Why Mill Scale Must Be Removed

Scale is very fragile, and the moment it cracks, it turns from a protective barrier to a detriment.

 

Mill scale is less reactive than the steel surface it covers, acting as a cathode to the more reactive material underneath. Once the scale coating breaks (which occurs easily) and moisture comes through, the presence of the scale iron oxide accelerates the corrosion process at the breakage point.

 

The presence of mill scale is also a hindrance to applying paint or powder coating, which adheres poorly to scale. Left in place, the scale will eventually chip and break the coating’s surface, allowing moisture to penetrate.

 

It is wasteful to apply a protective coating over a workpiece covered with mill scale. For this reason, scale removal is an indispensable step in the pre-coating process.

 

Removing Mill Scale from Iron or Stainless Steel

To achieve a smooth, durable coating, mill scale must be removed from an iron or steel workpiece before application. This is true for powder coatings, paints and other finishing techniques meant to protect the surface from corrosion.

 

Shot Blasting, a method used to clean, strengthen and polish metal, is a fast and cost-effective way to remove mill scale. This service is normally carried out to prepare the surface of steel before applying any coating. Having the steel prepared by shot blasting is generally considered to be the most important factor affecting any corrosion protection system or coating.

 

At Latem Industries, our diverse line of wheel/suction shot blasting equipment includes monorail, tumble blast, swing table and conveyor to suit your blasting needs.

 

Latem carries a wide range of shot and grit to service your needs, including:

  • Scale Removal
  • Shot Peening
  • White Metal Cleaning
  • Rust Removal
  • Deflashing of Castings
  • Commercial Clean
  • Uniform Finish
  • Prep Prior to Paint

For further information on shot blasting, or to request a free quote for shot blasting in Southern Ontario, please contact us.

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Getting the Rust Out: Metal Finishing Solutions for Rust or Corrosion

Imagine processing and shipping thousands of parts to your customer – only to discover your shipment was rejected due to rust.

 

Rust or corrosion is a significant issue in manufacturing facilities large and small, impacting resources and increasing operating costs. Rust is difficult to prevent and nearly impossible to anticipate on manufactured parts.

 

Remove rust and corrosion

 

When rust occurs, leading manufacturers look to Latem Industries for metal finishing solutions. Here’s how we can help.

 

So, What Exactly Is Rust?

Rusting is the common term for corrosion of iron and its alloys, such as steel.

 

Rust is an iron oxide (usually a red oxide) that forms when iron and oxygen react in the presence of water or air moisture. There are several types of rust that form under different circumstances and are distinguishable visually and by spectroscopy.

 

Surface rust can be spotted or flaky and does not protect the underlying iron, which enables the oxide to grow. With enough time, oxygen and moisture will eventually convert an iron part entirely to rust and disintegrate it.

 

How Latem Solves the Problem

Latem Industries uses various processes to remove rust or corrosion from processed parts:

The best process for removing rust from mass quantities of parts is often determined by the extent of the corrosion and the geometry of the part.

 

For minor rust problems around your home or workshop, you can try using this simple home solution: salt + lime. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on the rust, then squeeze the lime over the salt until it is soaking. Let the mixture sit for 2-3 hours and then remove the rust with the lime rind. This can also be done with a lemon, but we like the salt and lime a little more because they double as margarita ingredients.

 

Mass Metal Finishing Solutions for Rust or Corrosion

Latem (metal spelled backwards) has the capacity to clean away rust from millions of parts daily. Whether the part is the size of a thimble or as large as a sheet of steel, we have the best processes available to quickly and cost-effectively remove rust.

 

Once the rust is removed, we treat each and every piece with a rust inhibitor.

 

So, when rust impacts your operations, call Latem or use the easy Get a Quotation link on our web page.

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Meet Latem’s New Parts Washing Equipment: The Universal Cleaning System & Jomesa Cleanliness Analysis

Latem Industries has acquired two new systems to enhance and extend our parts washing services.

 

universal cleaning system

 

The Universal 81W cleaning system is a modular design parts washer that utilizes both ultrasonic cleaning and high-pressure immersion. It is suitable not only for removing oil from mass-produced parts but also for the fine cleaning of assembly parts.

 

In conjunction, we have also purchased our first particle analysis system: the Jomesa HFD4 (High Focal Depth) Cleanliness Analysis System. This state-of-the-art equipment is a fully-automated particle analysis system for measuring, counting and categorizing contamination on filter membranes. It can detect metallic, non-metallic, or fiber contamination at a microscopic level, allowing us to demonstrate our results with precision testing and proof of cleanliness.

 

We’re eager to combine these two systems to meet and exceed your parts cleaning needs. These investments reinforce our pursuit of perfection in parts washing and ultrasonic cleaning.

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Latem Industries is Proudly an ISO 9001:2015 Certified Metal Finisher

The team at Latem Industries is proud to announce our recognition as an ISO 9001:2015 certified metal finisher. We’ve worked hard to implement processes and produce results that meet these rigorous quality standards.

 

 

For Latem Industries (and our metal coating company Plastico Industries), ISO 9001:2015 certification means:

  • Latem Industries’ top management demonstrates leadership and commitment to upholding a Quality Management System that meets ISO 9001:2015 standards.
  • Our Quality Management System comprehensively addresses risks, opportunities, changes and quality objectives.
  • We have plans and processes in place to meet our customers’ requirements for our services.
  • All our employees have the training and resources they need to support our Quality Management System.
  • The roles and responsibilities necessary to uphold this commitment have been assigned, communicated and understood.
  • We continuously monitor, measure, analyze, and evaluate our Quality Management System with an aim to improve wherever we can.

Below, we’ll explain why being an ISO 9001:2015 metal finisher matters to us and our customers.

 

ISO 9001:2015 Certification: What Does it Mean?

The ISO is the International Organization for Standardization, an independent international organization that sets quality, safety and efficiency standards.

 

These standards apply across all industries, products and services, including metal finishing. The ISO is recognized worldwide and endorsed by both the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

 

ISO 9001:2015 is the latest revision to these standards. ISO 9001:2015 provides a clear roadmap to guide companies like Latem Industries in meeting (and surpassing) customer expectations and regulatory requirements.

 

Being ISO 9001:2015 certified is something that matters both to us and our customers. Internally, it demonstrates our commitment to the quality and consistency our customers expect. That means delivering exceptional metal finishing services and customer service that goes above and beyond what our customers expect.

 

When you see that a company has earned ISO 9001:2015 certification, you can trust that their promises are backed by a universal quality management process.

 

Latem’s ISO 9001:2015 Certificate

How do you know if a company is ISO 9001:2015 certified? A Certificate of Registration like this one.

 

This certificate demonstrates that Latem Industries’ Quality Management System and processes passed an independent audit by an accredited certification body. Our audit was conducted by The Registrar Company, a trusted certification body accredited by the ANSI-ANQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).

 

ISO 9001:2008 vs. ISO 9001:2015

If you’re already familiar with the previous standards set in 2008, you’ll find few changes in the ISO’s current criteria. What has changed is:

  • New structure (expanding from 8 clauses to 10)
  • Renewed focus on top-level accountability, involving the highest levels of management in implementing and maintaining ISO standards
  • Emphasis on risk management throughout the organization, using the system as a preventative tool that encourages continuous improvements to process
  • More flexibility for organizations like Latem Industries to develop ISO documentation in a format that meets our needs as a industrial metal coater
  • Alignment with other key management system standards

Work with a Certified Metal Finisher

Latem Industries is proud to produce results that meet internationally-recognized quality standards. Start working with an ISO 9001:2015 certified industrial metal finisher today.

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5 Economic Benefits of Choosing a Canadian Metal Finisher

Metal finishing is a necessary step in numerous Canadian 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.

 

5 Economic Benefits of Choosing a Canadian Metal Finisher

 

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 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 are more agile. 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. Duties and Transportation Costs

At first glance, the cost of finishing parts overseas may appear more affordable than metal finishing in Canada. But there’s more to it than the base cost of the finishing project.

 

Having parts finished overseas means greater transportation costs, especially when you’re dealing with large quantities of heavy metal parts. Using a foreign finishing service also incurs duties that are non-existent when you do metal finishing in Canada.

 

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. The fact that you cannot see the finisher’s operations first-hand means that errors and misunderstanding might not surface until it’s too late to make changes.

 

Miscommunication can still happen in Canada, of course. But taking the barriers of language and distance out of the equation allows for smoother ongoing communication and more certainty for the manufacturer and metal finisher alike.

 

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 Canadian manufacturing industries. 

 

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Latem Industries acquires Peen & Clean from ADS Group

 

Latem Industries Limited, Canada’s leading provider of metal finishing services, has announced its acquisition of Peen & Clean, the metal finishing division of the ADS Group, based in Hamilton, Ontario.

 

Latem Industries is relentlessly seeking to enhance our value position with our customers while reducing operating costs and maintaining our exceptional focus on quality. The acquisition of Peen & Clean enhances Latem Industries unique set of tools to deliver a single source solution to our manufacturing partners.  With this acquisition, we fortify our resources and maintain Latem Industries position as the leader in the metal finishing industry.

 

About Latem Industries

 

Canada’s Mass Finishing Expert. Latem Industries helps its customers to solve the most challenging metal finishing requirements.

 

For over 40 years Latem Industries has been the solution for manufacturers in Ontario and beyond. Based in Cambridge along Hwy 401, the 80,000sq.ft. facility holds the capacity to process up to 15 million parts per month.

 

The process portfolio includes vibratory finishing, shot blasting, shot peening, machine tumbling, ultrasonic cleaning, burnishing and polishing, machine tumbling and parts washing.

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Will Barrel Tumbling or Vibratory Finishing Damage My Metal Parts

Mass finishing technologies like barrel tumblers and vibratory machines enable us to finish massive quantities of parts in a short time.

 

However, some customers raise concerns about the impact mass metal finishing will have on their products. Will barrel tumbling or vibratory finishing cause damage to metal parts?

 

 

An experienced mass metal finisher will understand the measures one must take to avoid damaging the parts during the finishing process. These considerations include:

  • Choosing the correct finishing method for the part
  • Selecting an appropriate media
  • Filling the chamber with a proper media-to-part ratio
  • Adjusting machine settings

With proper preparation and media selection, metal parts should survive the barrel tumbling or vibratory finishing process unscathed — save for the imperfections the process is designed to remove.

 

Mass Metal Finishing: Vibratory Finishing vs Barrel Tumbling

Vibratory finishing and barrel tumbling are methods of preparing metal parts for coating. Both processes are widely used for polishing, burnishing, de-scaling, de-flashing, radiusing, and deburring services.

 

The difference between barrel tumbling and vibratory finishing is how the machines create the friction required to remove imperfections from the metal parts.

 

In barrel tumbling, the parts are placed in a tumbling barrel along with finishing media (small pieces of metal, ceramic, or other materials) and compounds (like cleaners and polish). The barrel rotates at a set speed, causing the parts inside to tumble against the media and each other.

 

With vibratory finishing, the parts, media and compounds are placed into a tub, and instead of spinning like a barrel tumbler, the tub vibrates rapidly. The vibration causes the parts and media to rub together.

 

For some parts, the force of barrel tumbling is necessary to get a good, clean finish; in other cases, barrel tumbling is too harsh, even with a lighter choice of media. Vibratory finishing is generally easier on parts than barrel tumbling. The correct choice depends both on the part and the desired finish.

 

Choosing the Correct Finishing Method

The shape and size of the metal parts in question is a significant factor when choosing the correct finishing method that won’t cause damage.

 

Simple shapes, like spherical and cube-like parts, can often withstand barrel tumbling with no risk of damage. More delicate parts (with thin pieces, small details, protrusions or openings) tend to be better-suited to a vibratory machine.

 

Selecting an Appropriate Media

To produce a quality finish, the finishing media must be able to reach all surfaces of the part without causing damage or becoming lodged in gaps or crooks. There is a wide variety of finishing media available for all different types of parts and finishes, the most common of which are made of steel, ceramic, or plastic.

 

Lighter, smaller media are usually more appropriate for delicate parts, while sturdy parts can go into the barrel with larger, heavier materials.

 

Media-to-Part Ratio

In addition to rubbing against the parts to remove imperfections, media acts as a cushion that prevents parts from hitting each other too forcefully inside the machine. If there is not enough media between them, the parts will collide and potentially take damage during the finishing process. Delicate parts call for a higher media-to-part ratio.

 

Machine Settings

Barrel tumblers have adjustable rotation speed, and vibratory machines can vibrate faster or slower depending on the machine’s settings. The person operating the machine must choose settings that fit the job.

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