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Tumble vs. Vibratory Finishing

Both methods are used in “mass finishing”.  “Mass finishing” is a fancy term used in the metal finishing industry, referring to the production of large quantities of parts at one time, thus reducing the cost per piece.  Many end results are completed by mass finishing, including rust removal, scale removal, burnishing and deburring.  It is also used for polishing/brightening surfaces.




Tumbling, or barrel finishing simulates the motion of rocks tumbling down a hill.  To get this effect, parts are placed inside a barrel along with water and compounding agents.  The barrel is rotated causing the parts to tumble upon themselves creating friction.  This friction results in the deburring of the part.  Media is often added to increase this friction, shortening cycle times/improving efficiency. 




Vibratory finishing simulates a corkscrew effect.  To get this effect, parts are placed, along with media and compounds into a vibratory bowl.  The parts corkscrew through the media while grinding against one another, resulting in deburring and/or polishing of the mass of parts.

Various vibratory equipment is available.  There are round bowls, tubs, and flow through machines.




Both processes have their pros and cons.  Vibratory finishing is usually more automated, reducing some labor needs and costing.  Delicate parts that may be damaged in the tumbling process are normally vibratory finished.  Large parts as well, usually perform better in a vibratory setting.  It can also hold tighter tolerances.  However, vibratory finishing is usually the more expensive process due to equipment and process costs, as they wear media much quicker.




At Latem Industries Limited, we have been running both processes for over 40 years.  Lean on our experience to assist you with coming up with the best, cost-effective process for your mass finishing needs.

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Nylon 11

Nylon 11 is a polyamide and bioplastic member of the nylon family of polymers.  So what exactly does that mean?  Nylon 11 is produced using castor beans and the polymerization of 11-aminoundecanoic acid…hence the name Nylon 11.  In its usable form, it is a fine powder that can be applied by dipping in a fluidized bed, or spraying.  It is extremely durable and has an array of thermoplastic characteristics.


Nylon 11 is 100% bio-based.  This means that it is derived from living organisms, which gives it many potential uses.  It can withstand significant impact as well as being resistant to abrasion.  On top of being an overall “tough” coating,  it is also chemical and corrosion resistant.  It also performs well in extreme temperatures, from -40F to 266F.  Nylon 11 is also excellent in sea water applications.  Tests have shown that it prevents corrosion in sea water for up to 20 years.  It has a low coefficient of friction and is not subject to UV deterioration.  It can assist with BSR (buzz, squeak, rattle) and provides a nice glossy finish.


Due to the many benefits of Nylon 11, it is used in many industries, including:


  • Automotive – clamps, brackets, connectors, brake lines, wire forms
  • Medical – catheters, forceps, defib paddles
  • Architectural – fences, railings, handles
  • Agriculture – attachments, tools, hangers
  • Marine – underwater pipes, impellors, housings
  • Industrial – Wire forms, hangers, pulleys, rollers, fans


Because of its impact and abrasion resistance, its chemical defense as well as its hygienic properties Nylon 11 has many uses as a metal coating.  Latem Industries Limited has been applying Nylon 11 for well over 15 years with outstanding results.


Interested in more information on Nylon 11?  Contact Latem Industries Limited for any questions you may have.  We will be happy to assist. 

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Coated metal items


Plastisol is a PVC-type coating in plasticizing liquids. At room temperature, Plastisol is a liquid; when heated or cured, the liquid turns to a flexible, rubber-like barrier.


Once applied, Plastisol coating is practically indestructible, making it ideal for numerous high-impact applications.


Why Use Plastisol?

Plastisol coating is renowned for extreme corrosion resistance, but there is much more to it than that.


This coating is tough, making it nearly impossible to damage with impact – it will not chip or fray. Plastisol is often applied to components as a preventative measure to reduce wear or eliminate rattling. It also boasts impressive chemical resistance.


Although it is a PVC-based coating, Plastisol has a soft, almost rubberized feel. It is comfortable and easy to grip and boasts terrific sound-deadening properties. It can be used to reduce the wear on parts and eliminate rattling.


As an insulator with high dielectric strength, this coating also many electrical applications, including electrical sheathing.


How Is It Applied?

Plastisol begins as a fluid mixture of PVC particles and additives. In this non-processed liquid state, it can be poured into a mold or applied in a dipping process. Plastico Industries utilizes several carousel lines and a small monorail line for Plastisol dip coating.


The product is first preheated in an oven. Once the product reaches the determined temperature, it is lowered into the Plastisol solution. The product is coated and then returned to an oven for curing, which converts the liquid to its hardened state.


The thickness of the coating can be controlled by the temperature to which the product is preheated. The higher the preheat temperature, the thicker the coating. Lower temperatures deliver a thinner coating.


Is Plastisol Applied to the Whole Product?

The process of applying Plastisol allows for unlimited flexibility in coating.


In most cases, Plastisol is applied to the whole product, creating an indestructible seal around the piece. When customers ask for only a small portion of a product to be protected with Plastisol, the product is partially dipped to the desired coating requirement and then cured.


So, How Durable is It?

Plastisol offers many advantages not found in other coating options. It delivers a lifetime of protection to the product and is flexible in its composition.


Hardening agents can be added to deliver a cured hardness up to a Shore durometer rating of 90, which is harder than the plastic on a hard hat, while UV inhibitors protect against fading from the sun’s damaging rays.


Additionally, Plastisol has natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties and can even be formulated to meet FDA food grade requirements.


What Industries Use Plastisol Coating?

Plastisol bonds well to any metal substrate when properly primed and its extreme durability makes it the coating of choice for applications across every industry. The applications for coated products are wide-ranging. Industries that use Plastisol coating include Forestry, Mining, Aviation, Automotive and Heavy Machinery.


Its flexibility also lends this coating to small and delicate products. Locksmiths understand the advantages of a Plastisol coating, as even the tiniest of lock picks receive this durable coating solution.


Plastisol is also the coating of choice for outdoor municipal playground structures. With its extreme durability, UV protection and sound deadening properties, it’s no wonder why most playground equipment is coated with Plastisol!


To discover more about the many advantages of Plastisol and to receive a no charge quotation for Plastisol coating, visit our web site or call us at 1-888-664-9998.



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Nut, blots and washers


Nearly all metal components require some surface preparation before it can be coated, painted, plated or welded. Degreasing is an essential step in the surface finishing process for automotive, electronics and other manufacturing application, as any foreign contaminant can affect the adhesion of a coating or the quality of a weldment.


When parts need to go through several stages of cleaning and pre-treatment, a conveyor wash system is up to the challenge! We at Latem Industries have recently added a conveyor wash of our own, so here’s what you should know about this finishing solution.


What is a Conveyor Wash System?

It’s not simply a parts washer! The conveyor wash is best described as a multi-stage surface preparation system: the ultimate in flexibility for both cleaning and treating parts.


Parts requiring high corrosion protection, such as exterior automobile parts, appliances and office furniture, require multiple stages of cleaning. The precise number of stages depends upon the customer’s finish specifications and the complexity of the parts to be washed prior to powder or liquid coating, electrocoating or welding.


The conveyor wash system is designed to clean and protect parts of almost any size. The cleaning chamber itself can be as much as 50 feet in length to ensure each and every part is perfectly cleaned and protected.


The conveyor wash can accommodate parts that are up to 6 feet in width, 4 feet in height and 15 feet in length! It’s a fully dynamic washing solution for parts of any dimension.


How a Conveyor Wash Works

The conveyor wash is a continuous flow-through system. As the parts pass along the massive conveyor wash, they are first treated with a chemical wash, followed by a rinse, then a rust inhibitor before reaching the final blow-off and drying stages.


  1. Wash Stage - 360 degrees of clean! As the parts pass along the conveyor, powerful jets clean the parts from all directions. We use a proprietary chemical wash created at Latem Industries.
  2. Rinse Stage - Using clean RO water, the parts are rinsed to remove both the chemical wash and any remaining particles of grease or grime.
  3. Rust Inhibit Stage - Parts are immersed with rust inhibitor that coats and protects the parts from corrosion. At Latem Industries, the parts are treated with our own proprietary rust inhibitor.
  4. Blow Off/Dry Stage - Powerful air jets blow off any remaining liquid. The parts exit the conveyor clean and protected!

The speed of the conveyor can be adjusted to meet the customer’s specific cleaning requirements.


Our Conveyor Wash Services

For over 40 years, Latem Industries has offered our customers many wash options for removing contaminants from parts. Our leadership team continually searches the market for new and improved processes that drive efficiencies to best serve the needs of our customers.


That’s why we’ve expanded our parts washing operations to include a large conveyor wash system - capable of cleaning and preparing steel, aluminum and plastic parts up to 6 feet wide, 4 feet tall and 15 feet long!


We understand and appreciate that when our customers are faced with a finishing challenge, they look to Latem for an immediate solution. Contact us to learn more about our conveyor wash and other metal finishing services.


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Explaining Finishing Compounds

What are Finishing compounds? 


Finishing compounds are a mixture of liquid or dry powder chemicals used in water, with media, to perform a variety of tasks. 


This list of tasks include:


  1. Removing scale
  2. Removing tarnish/oxidization
  3. Conditioning water
  4. Controlling pH
  5. Assist in separating and cushioning parts, providing lubricity
  6. Prevent corrosion
  7. Cooling parts
  8. Control foaming
  9. Cleaning parts
  10. Assisting in emulsifying oils, grease, dirt, etc
  11. Controlling part color


Each of the above factors can play a major role in processing products.  For instance, in some machine processes, foam can be beneficial by assisting in protecting fragile parts from damage by acting as a cushion between the parts.  Whereas in a different machine process, foam can be the enemy.  It can reduce or completely eliminate the finishing action of the media. 


There are a number of ways to add compounds to a machine.  The two most common are a batch method and a flow-through method.  A batch addition is mostly used on closed machines.  Think of it like a washing machine or dishwasher.  The machine is loaded with a compound and water, and once the process cycle is over, the compounds and water are purged.  The flow-through system pumps measured doses continually at a pre-determined flow, which continually drains as the cycle runs.


Determining the type and amount of compound can be just as important as determining which process and media to use.  Too much compound can eliminate the aggressiveness of the media, extending cycle times substantially.  Too little compound can result in incomplete cleaning, damaged parts, smut build up, lessened corrosion protection, etc. 


Let Latem Industries Limited assist you with your Finishing Compound needs.

Contact us today

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Vibratory finishing

Vibratory finishing is a process used in many industries. It is commonly used in aerospace, automotive, orthopedic implants, firearms, medical and the oil industry.


The vibratory finishing process is the movement of a mass of parts combined with media, water, and compounds within a machine. This process has several benefits. It can be used with both heavy and light parts, as well as fragile parts. It is cost efficient and significantly reduces manual labour. This finish produces consistent finishes from lot to lot. As well, it reduces surface imperfections thus improving the overall cosmetic look. It is also amazingly effective in abrading inside deep cavities or hollow parts.


Compounds are used to assist in cleaning and burnishing. Water is the medium which binds them all together and assists in cleaning. Too much water can significantly reduce the effects of the media. Media varies by type, size, and shape. All three are especially important when determining the process. Larger media can give a rapid cut, but if the media is too large, it can damage the part, or not get into the tighter areas. Media that is too small can become lodged in the part or break off and leave debris in the part. If the media used and the part being processed are too close to the same size, separating the two will become an issue. Media shapes help with getting into corners and cavities. There are cone shaped media, ball shaped, pyramid shaped, triangle shaped, cylindrical as well as others. The media type is usually found by trial and error, even with experience.

Media can be made from plastic, steel, ceramic or organic materials. Plastic media performs well when cleaning softer metals like brass, zinc, and aluminum. Plastic is also commonly used on die-casted parts. Steel is a widely seen media. It has a long lifespan and can be used on steel, aluminum, brass, etc. However, special equipment may be required due to the weight of the steel media. Ceramic media is the most common. It works well polishing and grinding, and can be used on softer metals, hard metals, plastic, and stainless steel. Organic media, such as walnut shells is commonly used in the jewelry business as well as on soft alloys. Organic media such as corn cob can be used to clean or dry parts.

Let Latem Industries Limited’s 40+ years of experience assist you with your vibratory finishing.


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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!

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Cleanliness is next to Godliness

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!

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Can burnishing help you?

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.

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Plastisol Coating for Farmers

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 for more information.



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