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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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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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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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Meet the Industries That Use Vibratory Finishing

Latem Industries has been in the metal finishing business for over 40 years. What started polishing trophies for the family business grew into the mass finishing and deburring service of choice for manufacturers across North America.

 

We’ve serviced a huge variety of parts over the years and had the opportunity to work with all kinds of industries. These are just a few of the industries that use vibratory finishing.

 

Industries that use vibratory finishing

 

What is Vibratory Finishing?

 

Let’s start from the top: what is vibratory finishing? In short, it’s a metal finishing technique that uses cyclical movement to remove sharp edges and rough surfaces from manufactured metal parts.

 

To do this, we place the parts in a bowl or tub along with a large volume of abrasive media (plus water, soap or rust inhibitors in some cases), then fire up the machine. The tub turns and vibrates, causing the media to rub against the part to take the edges off. Edge breaking, burnishing, cleaning, deburring, and polishing are among the metal finishing techniques achievable with vibratory finishing!

 

Depending on the application, cycle times can vary from just fifteen minutes to as long as five hours! Latem Industries has over 80,000 square feet dedicated to our mass metal finishing and specialty coating services, allowing us to process large volumes of parts in a single load. We churn out thousands of finished parts every week!

 

Industries that Use Vibratory Finishing

 

We couldn’t possibly name every industry we’ve worked with, but here are a few of the notable industries that use vibratory finishing to put the final touch on their products.

 

Automotive Industry

 

It’s no coincidence that our mass metal finishing facilities are located in the heart of Canada’s automotive industry. Southern Ontario is home to five significant auto and light truck assembly plants and over 600 independent auto parts facilities.

 

This sector is a vital cog in the country’s economic engine, and Latem is proud to have provided vibratory finishing services to the automotive industry for decades. The auto industry remains one of our largest clients and partners to this day.

 

Sports Industry

 

Another of our notable clients serves as a supplier to the world’s premier hockey leagues, including a few you may have heard of — the NHL and the AHL. Our vibratory finishing services help to ensure their products meets the demand of high-stakes hockey. Latem has serviced the metal channels used to hold hockey boards in place, iron elbows on goalie nets, and (of course) stainless steel skate blades.

 

Fitness Industry

 

Latem Industries has also done the heavy lifting for manufacturers of indoor and outdoor fitness equipment, like stationary bikes, weight plates, and universal fitness machines. Our work with the fitness industry has ranged from vibratory finishing of machine handles to ultrasonic cleaning of smaller components. Our sister company, Plastico, has also worked in this area, providing powder coating services for manufacturers of outdoor exercise and playground equipment.

 

Does Your Industry Use Vibratory Finishing?

 

While Latem Industries specializes in mass metal finishing, we also service smaller batches of parts in some circumstances. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you gain an edge in your industry!

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Five Steps to Prepare Metal Parts for Coating

prepare metal parts for coating

 

When given the proper protective coating, metal parts can function more effectively and last much longer. However, before the coating process can start, an important preliminary procedure is necessary. As the effectiveness of the coating depends greatly on the quality of the surface, not performing pre-treatment means the surface is in less-than-optimal shape. That leaves the metal open to corrosion, adhesion, flash rusting, weld pullaway, and impact resistance issues, the very problems that proper coating prevents. Here are five common pre-treatment steps to prepare metal parts for coating.

 

Disassembly

 

Many different types of parts pass through our facility every year. Some are single pieces, while others consist of several different components. In most cases, the latter requires disassembly, because the coating process will not benefit each part (or could even damage some).

 

Cleaning

 

Just as you would not paint a dirty surface in your home, some parts need to undergo cleaning before coating begins. Pressure washing and ultrasonic cleaners are very effective methods. Extra care is necessary when using cleaning solutions as some metals are especially sensitive. Exposure to the wrong chemicals can create damage that is not visible to the naked eye, but serious enough to compromise both the coating process and the life/utility of the part.

 

Our sister company, Plastico Industries, uses proprietary cleaning compounds that produce excellent results, while also being environmentally friendly.

 

Stripping

 

Even after cleaning, it may be necessary to perform this additional step to ensure an entirely clean surface. Some parts are not new and already have remnants of a previous coating still on them. It is necessary to strip any remaining bits of paint, plastic or another form of finish before applying the new coating. Failure to do so means the new layer will not properly adhere.

 

Outgassing

 

The idea is to make sure you reach bare metal before the coating process begins; outgassing is another way to achieve this. It is not obligatory for all parts, but ones made of cast aluminum or cast iron tend to be more porous. That can allow oil and other contaminants to get inside. Applying the coat with those materials still present undermines the part’s ability to perform and last the expected lifespan.

 

Outgassing involves baking the part in an oven at a temperature that causes the oils to burn off. There is often some smoke generated as a result.

 

Shot Blasting and Shot Peening

 

Shot blasting involves the high-speed projection of steel shot at the material chosen for coating. The shot permeates the surface, and this dislodges the foreign matter. The blasting media used varies depending on the type of metal being treated and the desired finish.

 

Shot peening will also clean the surface of parts scheduled for coating. With this process, the shot performs the same function as a ball-peen hammer. Both of these processes have the added benefit of strengthening the metal, thus reducing the likelihood of corrosion, cracking, and stress failure.

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5 Metal Manufacturing Flaws Vibratory Finishing can Fix

Metal fabrication and manufacturing has come a long way. Today, we have technology capable of cutting, bending, and assembling huge quantities of metal parts for thousands of applications.

 

However, despite much refining over the years, manufacturing processes are not flawless. Metal parts often come off the line with problems in the form of sharp edges, rough surfaces, and protruded metal burrs in corners and edges.

 

These are some of the metal manufacturing flaws vibratory finishing can fix.

 

metal finishing 2

 

Metal Burrs

 

Some burrs are too small to see with the naked eye, or fix manually. While these flaws don’t necessarily render a part non-functional, they can compromise both the integrity and appearance of the part. Other burrs are large and firmly attached to the piece, requiring aggressive mechanical force to remove.

 

There are three main types of metal burrs vibratory finishing can fix:

 

  1. Roll-over burr: One of the most prominent types of burrs, a roll-over burr is an unwanted piece of material at the end of a cut. Roll-over burrs form when material is pushed out of the tool’s path instead of being sheared off. They are more likely to occur on pliable or ductile metals, like copper, especially when the cutting edge is dull.
  2. Poisson burr: Named for Poisson’s ratio, a Poisson burr occurs when metal bulges outward under the strain of the cutting tool, creating a raised edge rather than a smooth cut. It often appears when turning or drilling a piece.
  3. Tear burr: As the name implies, a tear burr is material that tears loose from the workpiece. A dull blade is a common culprit of tear burrs, as the metal wraps around the dull corner and tears. Tear burrs most often occur in punching operations.

 

Vibratory finishing finds the metal parts processed in a bowl or tub along with an abrasive media (ceramic, plastic, or steel). As the machine vibrates, the media continuously rubs against the part to remove the burrs. Since it does not involve barrel tumbling, vibratory finishing is ideal for softer metals.

 

Roughness

 

Rough surfaces on metal parts are more difficult to clean than smooth ones. Additionally, if the part needs any kind of surface treatment (such as plating, paint, or chemical coating), it will require more material to achieve the desired coating thickness. Vibratory finishing can smooth out the surface for a burnished finish, almost resembling the appearance of polished metal.

 

Sharp Edges

 

Shearing metal often produces sharp points or edges. These areas can pose a hazard to the people who handle the parts, especially when working in close quarters and high-traffic areas. Sharp corners of conductive metals also tend to concentrate electrical charge, increasing the risk of the part creating unwanted static discharge. Vibratory finishing breaks these edges to create a uniform finish that is easier to handle and less prone to malfunction.

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