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Have you ever had to toss out a whole batch of parts or components due to rust?

 

As a manufacturer, it’s on you to deliver parts and components that are strong, safe and corrosion-free...which can, unfortunately, force you to scrap parts or components affected by rust at your own expense.

 

It’s common knowledge that metals containing iron or steel are susceptible to corrosion. You’ve seen firsthand how a batch of components left exposed to air, moisture and oxygen can develop a layer of rust in no time.

 

The longer the exposure, the faster the process of oxidation occurs, especially under humid conditions!

 

Faced with this challenge, manufacturers like you trust Latem Industries to effectively remove rust and ensure manufactured parts perform better for longer. Here, we’ll review the advantages of vibratory finishing for rust removal by Canada’s Mass Finishing Experts!

 

Vibratory Finishing ‒ a Powerful Rust Removal Solution

 

Vibratory finishing processes are terrific for improving the surface of metal and removing dangerous burrs or sharp edges.

 

In addition to improving their safety and performance, vibratory finishing is highly effective at removing rust from manufactured parts or components.

 

Because it is a mass finishing process, vibratory finishing is a cost effective way to improve and protect large quantities of parts at the same time.

 

How Vibratory Finishing Removes Rust

 

Vibratory finishing processes consist of an operation in which cleaning compounds and specially-shaped media, along with rust removal compounds, are placed into a massive vibratory bowl. The size of the bowl can range from single-digit cubic foot machines to massive units well over 100 cubic feet! The rusted parts or components are then added into the bowl.


As the vibratory process begins, the machine and its contents vibrate at an accelerated rate (in the range of 900 to 3,600 vibrations per minute.) The vibratory action causes the contents of the bowl to move in a corkscrew pattern, pushing the finishing media up against the parts and components. As the parts or components brush up against each other and the media, their surfaces are cleaned of dirt, oil and rust.

 

Through proper process and media selection, it is feasible to finish a massive volume of parts in a relatively short period of time. Vibratory finishing is by far one of the most efficient and effective ways to remove rust in big batches!

 

In terms of its intensity, vibratory finishing falls somewhere between barrel tumbling and centrifugal finishing. Since there is no tumbling of parts, the process is a bit less aggressive (although no less effective) than tumbling. Vibratory finishing is ideal for parts and components made of softer metals that would be susceptible to distortion or stresses in a tumbling process.

 

Once the process is complete and the rust is gone, special rust inhibitors are added to the vibratory bowl to ensure the parts and components are protected from recurring corrosion.

 

The Best Way to Eliminate Rust

 

Left unchecked, rust can quickly and seriously compromise the safety of any structure, vehicle, or machines with iron or steel components.

 

Corrosion causes a weakening of parts as it slowly eats away at and degrades the strength of the steel. It also negatively impacts the painting or coating of steel due to a lack of adhesion on the unstable, rusted surface.

 

That’s why manufacturers like you turn to Latem Industries. We have lent our rust removal expertise to countless industries over the years, including manufacturers of automotive, sports and fitness products. Our ability to process several thousand parts at once means the cost to remove rust is negligible on a per-piece basis.

 

Contact us to learn about the many solutions we offer that add value to your business cycle!

 

 

 

 

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Most people see a Plastisol-coated part and assume it was a simple thing to do.

 

Just a quick dip in a vat of liquid plastic and, like magic, the part comes out with a bright, flawless coating. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

 

Well, like most things in life, coating parts in Plastisol isn’t as simple as it might appear! Few people realize the amount of work it takes ‒ not to mention the variables that must come into play ‒ to get the perfect coating.

 

In fact, it’s rare that any two components are coated in exactly the same manner!

 

Here are just a few of the questions you’ll need to answer (and trials to overcome) if you’re aiming to achieve the best Plastisol coating, including:

  1. Will the part be fully or partially coated?
  2. Which areas of the part must be coated?
  3. What thickness and hardness is required?
  4. What about colour?
  5. Any special end-use requirements?

1. Will the Part Be Fully or Partially Coated?

In a dip coating process, the component is attached to the equipment (either by hanging the component or fixing it to tooling) and then lowered into a bath of liquid Plastisol.

 

If the component is to be fully dip-coated, we need to know which area of the component will be allowed to have an uncoated touch mark or bare spot from the tooling used to hold it. This information determines how to hang the part for immersion.

 

Depending on the footprint of the equipment’s dipping area, the way in which we hang the component can greatly influence throughput and go a long way in determining the cost of Plastisol dip coating.

 

2. Which Areas of the Part Must Be Coated?

Along the same lines, we need to know which portion of the component will be coated and which will be exposed and which when the part is to be partially dipped. From there, it can be determined whether the best course of action is to:

 

Hold the component on the undipped area for immersion;
Trim Plastisol from the component after coating; or
Incorporate masking into the dip coating process.

 

Again, these factors go a long way in determining the cost to run the part!

 

3. What Thickness and Hardness Is Required?

Plastisol can be applied thick or thin, depending on the part’s application. Generally, the thickness achieved through a dip coating process ranges from 0.75mm to 2mm.

 

The formulation and curing process can be adjusted to achieve hardness ratings between 5 Shore A and 80 Shore D.

 

4. What About Colour?

Plastisol comes in a number of standard colours including black, red, white, blue, green and yellow. Since we make our own Plastisol in-house here at Plastico Industries, we can manufacture custom colors to suit your specific needs. This also lets us control the process from start to finish, cutting back both on waste and additional distribution channels!

 

5. What Will Be the Component’s End Use?

The remarkable durability of Plastisol coating makes it ideal for a huge variety of applications, from the eliminating BSR in the automotive industry to the military, agriculture, and even the home markets. Knowing the component’s eventual destination and use allows us to customize the substance to meet special requirements such as UV protection, food grade standards, and durometer requirements.

 

Other Dip Coating Trials and Tribulations

Once these basic questions are answered, we can come up with a process that will achieve the best possible results for the component in question. That’s where we really get down to business! Some of the other factors to consider when formulating a full or partial dip coating process include:

  • Drips: Depending on how the part is attached to the tooling, drips can occur during the dipping process. Before the process begins, it must be determined where on the component drips are acceptable and whether we can trim them off later.
  • Pooling: If the part is concave or cup-shaped, Plastisol can pool in the inward areas, where it will become too thick and not cure properly.
  • Tooling: Will the existing tooling work for this process, or will new tooling have to be made? This, too, will ultimately impact the process’s overall cost.
  • Curing: Parts must be preheated, dipped and then cured. The preheating and curing temperatures are determined based on the part’s raw material, size and thickness. If the product needs to be preheated for longer, or requires a longer dip time, this will shore up the cycle times and influence cost via throughput.
  • Packaging: Once the part has been processed, we need to know the packaging and labelling requirements. Will it require any special testing or certification?

All in all, it’s safe to say that the Plastisol coating process is not nearly as clear-cut as you’d think! There’s a whole lot you need to consider before, during and even after the component is coated.

 

That’s the advantage of having 20+ years in the business...we’ve seen it all, so we know exactly how to tackle the many trials, tribulations and pitfalls of Plastisol. Our team handles all the nitty-gritty details so you don’t have to!

 

Questions? Need a hand? Reach out to us online or call us toll-free at 1-888-664-9998.

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Washing is a crucial step in the process of preparing parts for coating or welding. For many types of parts and components, ultrasonic cleaning is the safest and most effective way to get the job done.

 

However, since ultrasonic cleaning is just one of many different parts washing methods at your disposal, you’ll want to understand how it works before deciding whether it’s the best solution for you!

 

Here are our answers to the most frequently asked questions we get about ultrasonic cleaning: how ultrasonic cleaning works, when it’s ideal, and whether it’s really effective compared to the more heavy-duty alternatives.

 

What Is An Ultrasonic Machine and How Does It Work?

Ultrasonic machines use transducers and electric ultrasonic wave generators to generate high-frequency sound waves.

 

Typically, the transducers are made from piezoelectric crystals, which change in size when electrical voltage is applied.

 

These devices effectively convert electrical energy into mechanical/sound wave energy, which radiates through a cleaning tank or ‘tub’ in the ultrasonic machine.

 

How Does Ultrasonic Cleaning Work?

The high-frequency sound waves generated by the transducers and wave generators are transmitted in a liquid solution of water and solvent base, causing cavitation.

 

Cavitation is simply the implosion of the solution molecules resulting from the transmission of high-frequency sound (pressure waves) through them. This extremely high pressure variation over a very small area causes a great deal of agitation on the surface of parts submerged in the solution.

 

The surface agitation or “micro-scrubbing” in an ultrasonic cleaning system is highly uniform throughout the surface (including blind holes and part internals) since the agitation is formed in the solution in which the part is placed. This allows the part or component to be cleaned inside and out, regardless of its geometry!

 

To break it down step-by-step, the ultrasonic cleaning process goes like this:

 

  1. Place the part(s) you want cleaned into the tank of the ultrasonic machine.
  2. Fill the tank with enough liquid (water or a cleaning solution) to submerge the part(s).
  3. Close the tank and activate the ultrasonic machine.
  4. Inside, the transducers and electric ultrasonic wave generators cause the tank to vibrate and produce cavitation. This pressure forces dirt, rust and other contaminants loose from the part(s).
  5. About 5 minutes later, the tank’s contents are clean and ready to be coated!

 

Which Parts Are Ideal for Ultrasonic Washing?

Virtually any kind of part or component can benefit from ultrasonic cleaning, but it’s the more fragile or complex parts that were really made for this method.

 

Unlike vibratory or tumble cleaning, the gentle-but-thorough ultrasonic cleaning process does not force the parts into contact with one another. As a result, there is no change to the parts’ appearance or composition. Tumble cleaning and vibratory cleaning, on the other hand, are both purposely aggressive processes that benefit from the parts making contact with each other and/or the finishing media.

 

Ultrasonic wash is also ideal for single large components. At Latem Industries, our ultrasonic tanks can accommodate parts up to 4’ long and 2.5’ wide.

 

Can You Remove Rust With An Ultrasonic Wash?

Latem Industries has a proprietary process that allows for the removal of rust from parts or components using ultrasonic wash. As rust or corrosion can occur on virtually any part, the ultrasonic wash quickly and efficiently removes rust from fragile parts or those with complex geometries.

 

In fact, ultrasonic cleaning not only removes corrosion, but also completely neutralizes rust, returning the parts to their original, perfect finish!

 

Need Ultrasonic Cleaning? Talk to Canada’s Mass Finishing Experts!

From large and complex to small and delicate, Latem Industries has a cost-effective cleaning solution for every component. To discover more about ultrasonic wash or receive a no-charge quotation, contact us online or by phone at 1-888-664-9998. We look forward to helping you get the perfect finish!

 

 

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3D printing, once considered the stuff of science fiction, is finally here! The potential applications of 3D printing are practically endless: from modeling and prototyping to direct production of custom parts.

 

But there’s an important catch: almost all 3D printed parts require some secondary finishing before the part is ready for its next stage.

 

The truth is, 3D printing is still in its infancy. It needs some help in order to truly be viable for mass production. And Latem Industries, always looking forward, is here to assist!

 

3D Print Finishing: Smoothing, Refining and Adjusting

The 3D printing process builds a three-dimensional object from a computer-aided design (CAD) model, usually by successively adding material layer by layer. This is also known as additive manufacturing, in contrast to subtractive manufacturing (CNC machined parts).

 

These parts are usually manufactured in small batches, in a relatively quick time frame. The parts can range from basic shapes to intricate patterns. 

 

 Finishing may be required to:

  1. Change the appearance of the surface
  2. Smooth out the surfaces of the part
  3. Improve its life cycle
  4. Adjust size and shape

What’s The Best Way to Finish 3D Printed Parts?

There are multiple methods or techniques that can be used on 3D printed parts.  The best method depends on the raw material of the part, the requirement needed and pricing.  Latem Industries offers several different processes to finish 3D printed parts.

 

1. Shot Blasting

Most companies use manual sanding to smooth out the surface of a 3D printed part. However, this is not very time efficient, nor can you sand interior or hard-to-reach areas 

 

Shot blasting is a much quicker, more thorough option that can easily reach difficult areas. In a shot blasting process, the 3D parts are placed in a chamber and blasted with small particles. The particles gradually smooth out the parts’ surfaces and remove rough edges.

 

Blasting will give you a uniform finish with a matte surface. Blasting also increases adhesion of coatings that may be applied to the 3D part. 

 

2. Shot peening

Similar to blasting (and often done using the same shot blasting machines) shot peening will strengthen the part and help to extend its expected life cycle. 

 

Shot peening removes tensile stress and replaces it with compressive stress, making the surface stronger. Imagine a blacksmith hammering a metal object, i.e shield, sword or horseshoe. This is how peening was performed manually! 

 

In a shot peening process, the 3D printed parts are bombarded with smooth, round shots that act as tiny ball-peen hammers. Gradually, the surface of the parts become stronger and more resistant to cracks or fatigue. We can also use shot peening to give the parts a textured surface.

 

Latem has machines to do this automatically, shortening process times, which in turn reduces cost.

 

3. Vibratory Finishing

Vibratory systems allow you to process and polish small or delicate 3D parts singularly or in batches.

 

In a vibratory finishing process, the 3D printed parts are placed in a large bowl containing abrasive media and cleaning agents. The bowl vibrates to agitate the media while rotating in a circular motion. This gentle motion polishes the parts while smoothing their edges and surfaces.

 

Depending on the raw material, it is possible to polish your 3D printed components to a very shiny or even mirror-like surface!

 

4. Tumbling

Tumbling is ideal for small 3D-printed parts post-processing. In a barrel tumbling process, the 3D printed components are placed in a large barrel that also holds abrasive media and cleaning agents. Multiple parts are run at once, gently rubbing against one another, or other media, resulting in a smooth finish. 

 

The benefits of tumbling include speed, consistency and versatility: depending on your choice of abrasives and media, it can be used to produce a wide range of finishes. The process can take minutes up to hours depending on the product and the finish required.

 

Mass Finishing 3D Printed Parts

Need to give your 3D printed components a finishing touch? At Latem Industries quality and speed are our priority! Contact us online or call us toll-free at 1-888-664-9998 to find out how we can help you improve the finish of your 3D parts.

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Latem Industries has mastered a set of manufacturing processes that allow us to finish huge quantities of parts at once. Industries such as medical, aerospace, furniture, automotive, agricultural and 3D printing all use these processes as a means to get the precise finish they’re after.  The most common term for this work is ‘mass finishing,’ but we like to boil it down to a much simpler idea: problem-solving. 

 

Mass finishing is all about solving the problems that come up during mass production, including imperfections like burrs and contaminants like rust or oil. It can be used to radius, deburr, remove rust, polish, break edges, harden or clean manufactured metal parts. 

 

Mass finishing methods include:

 

Barrel tumbling and vibratory finishing, using cyclical motion to move large quantities of parts against one another and in some cases an added abrasive. This finishing media can be made from many materials, including aluminum, ceramic, walnut shells and steel. 
Shot blasting and peening, throwing tiny steel pebbles (called shot) at the parts with incredible velocity.
Parts washing, cleaning parts of dirt, rust, oils and greases.

 

Often, a liquid that includes cleaners or abrasives is added to assist or speed up the process.  A rust inhibitor may be used as well to inhibit corrosion.

 

These techniques can be rolled out using either batch system, continuous systems or a combination of the two. Deciding which of these systems to use is an important step in solving your manufacturing problems as quickly and smoothly as possible.

 

Batch Finishing Systems

Batch systems are those in which many parts are loaded into a machine, processed, then removed before the next volume of parts is added. 

 

When there is more than one finishing process to be applied, each group of parts is moved from one batch machine to the next. Say your machines can only process 10 parts at once. You can debur the first batch of 10 in one machine, then move that batch to another machine to be washed while a second batch of 10 is deburred in the first machine.  

 

Continuous Finishing Systems

Continuous systems (also called through-feed systems) are those in which parts are loaded into the machine at one end, and a finished product is offloaded at the other end.  

 

Unlike a batch system, parts are not moved from one machine to the next in batches. Instead, parts can be fed into a single machine continuously and automatically moved from one step to the next. Several continuous finishing machines can work together for variations in workflow.

 

Some finishing machines, known as multi-pass systems, can be used either as a batch or a continuous system.

 

Batch vs. Continuous Finishing

Depending on the parts and finishing methods in question, batch and continuous systems both have their advantages and disadvantages. 

 

Advantages: continuous finishing

One of the biggest advantages of continuous system is the ability to spot errors in processing and adjust quickly.
Continuous finishing systems are faster and more efficient overall. There is constant progress and no downtime between batches.

 

Disadvantages: continuous finishing

Continuous finishing isn’t well-suited to parts that require many or more complicated processing steps.
Parts that have very strong burrs or intense radiusing do better in a batch process.

 

Advantages: batch finishing

Batch finishing machines use less floor space than continuous systems.
Some processes and parts, such as heavy deburring of hard-to-machine alloys, can only be accomplished in batch finishing machines.

 

Disadvantages: batch finishing

The downtime between batches can increase the cost of processing very large orders.
If there is an error in a batch process, it has likely affected all the parts in that batch, which can mean more wasted material.

 

Choosing the Best Mass Finishing Method

Latem Industries has extensive experience using both batch and continuous-style systems, offering you a plethora of options to meet all your mass finishing requirements. We’ve been at it for over 40 years! Contact the experts at Latem Industries for help achieving the precise finish you’re after.

 

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Shot peening is a time-tested method of enhancing and strengthening the surface of steel. It is employed as a practical and cost-effective way to extend the lifespan and performance of metal parts in numerous industries.

 

By introducing residual stress on the surface in a controlled manner, shot peening creates a compressive pressure layer that is more resistant to cracking, fatigue, and oxidation.

 

How Shot Peening Works

Shot peening entails blasting the part with shot (small beads of metallic, glass or ceramic particles) with sufficient force to create tiny indentations in its surface. Each shot acts as a tiny ball-peen hammer loaded with enough kinetic energy to cause plastic deformation - meaning the metal bends slightly on impact but doesn’t chip or fracture.

 

When this happens, an area of stress is created on the surface of the part. The material directly beneath the indentation, meanwhile, resists and becomes compressed. Each indentation makes the surface of the material stronger and more resistant to cracking.

 

This process repeats thousands of times during shot peening, gradually building up a strengthened stress layer that encases the entire component!

 

Shot peening is typically a cold working or cold forming process, meaning the metal is shaped at room temperature or at least below the recrystallization temperature. Other cold working processes include burnishing, roll forming, embossing and extrusion. 

 

Shot Peening or Shot Blasting?

Shot peening is similar to shot blasting...but differs slightly in process and end result.

 

Both operate by the mechanism of plasticity, changing the surface of the part while minimizing the amount of material removed in the process. However, shot blasting is most often used to clean and prepare components prior to coating. Shot peening, on the other hand, is used to make components stronger.

 

How Shot Peening is Applied

Shot peening is used to compensate for tensile stresses that occur during machining. Parts that have been through processes like grinding, milling, bending and heat treatment can often benefit from shot peening.

 

Compressive surface stresses can protect machined components from numerous performance issues, including:

  • Resistance to stress corrosion cracking: Microcracks do not form so readily in materials that are under compressive stress.
  • Improved fatigue resistance: Depending on the geometry and material of the part, shot peening and improve fatigue resistance by up to 1000%.
  • Improved oxidation resistance of nickel-based alloys: These alloys have wide applications in the aerospace, marine and chemical industries.

Parts that are commonly shot peened include:

  • Crankshafts
  • Gear wheels
  • Connecting rods
  • Automotive gear parts
  • Coil springs
  • Turbine blade
  • Airframe components
  • Suspension springs

How to Measure Shot Peening Results

Shot peening results are measured using an Almen Strip test. 

 

A flat test strip is placed in the shot chamber to absorb the intensity of the blast, causing it to deform into an arc shape. The height of the arc directly relates to the intensity of the peening blast and the resulting compressive stress. 

 

The intensity (i) of the shot is critical, as overpeening can lead to detrimental effects. Other shot peening parameters include:

  • velocity (v) (for wheel machines) or the peening pressure p (for air blast machines)
  • peening intensity (see results section)
  • mass flow (ṁ)
  • coverage
  • exposure time (t)
  • impingement angle

Our Shot Peening Services

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 shot peening and our other metal finishing services.

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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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