Blog - Latem Industries


NEWS

Divider line


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.

 

TUMBLE FINISHING

 

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

 

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.

 

COMPARING AND CONTRASTING THE TWO MASS FINISHING TYPES

 

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.

 

WE HAVE BOTH

 

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.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

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.

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

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!

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

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.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

 

Finishing is an essential step in preparing fabricated metal parts and components for assembly and/or sale. The quality of the finish, including the application of protective coatings, will have a monumental impact on the product’s ultimate performance and longevity.

 

In other words, you need a mass finishing and coating partner you can trust, without fail, every single time.

 

We are proud to offer key advantages that will not only improve the quality of your products but help you cut costs and streamline your production as well!

 

1. One-Stop-Shop For Mass Finishing & Mass Coating

Latem Industries offers a full range of mass finishing processes, including parts washing, ultrasonic cleaning, blasting, peening, vibratory finishing, tumbling and sanding. We have close to a dozen vibratory units, multiple barrel tumblers, blasting and peening machines, two drum washers and what is quite possibly the largest commercial ultrasonic cleaning set up in Ontario.

 

Through our sister company Plastico Industries, we can also offer you numerous mass coating solutions. All our coating processes, including spray nylon and dip nylon coatings, Plastisol coatings, and Polyarmor coatings, are engineered to meet demanding automotive, heavy equipment and military specifications.

 

2. Smooth Pick Up and Delivery

Our 45,000 sq. ft. mass finishing and coating facility is conveniently located just off Highway 401 in Cambridge, Ontario. You’ve probably spotted our big blue sign on your commute!

 

Because of this location, we are able to offer shipping at a very competitive rate from the Kitchener area to the Greater Toronto Area.

 

For help with your trucking needs, call our Logistics Department 519-740-0292 ext. 247.

 

3. Industry-Leading Staff Expertise

With an ever-changing workload, experienced staff is a must. We invest in our employees through continuous education and training to stay ahead of the curve on all our processes and equipment.

 

You can count on Latem for a consistent, time-efficient finishing process each and every time.
 

4. Flexibility On Process and Volume

You’ll benefit from our flexibility in both sides of our businesses! Plastico and Latem Industries run two shifts a day, and many of our employees are cross-trained on a vast array of equipment and processes. This flexibility enables us to offer finishing and coating services for small runs, one-offs and prototypes in addition to mass production.

 

5. High-Quality Assurance

We have achieved recognition as an ISO 9001:2015 certified metal coater and finisher, demonstrating our commitment to the high level of quality and consistency our customers expect. Our most recent ISO audit was conducted in 2019 by The Registrar Company, a trusted certification body accredited by the ANSI-ANQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).

 

See the ISO 9001:2015 Certificate of Registration for Plastico Industries and Latem Industries Ltd.

 

6. Experience and Technical Capability

Latem and Plastico have been in business for a combined 50+ years, polishing our processes and rounding the burrs that have come up along the way. We have plenty of experience putting out every kind of ‘fire’ that can pop up in mass parts manufacturing: sharp edges, rust, oil...the works!

 

Whether you’re dealing with a common manufacturing flaw or a brand-new product, you can count on us to come up with an ingenious solution.

 

7. Rapid Processing Time

You’ve got deadlines to meet! Finishing and coating are just two parts of a much bigger picture, and we know you can’t afford any delay.

 

With our well-trained staff and ample equipment, we’re able to commit to speedy processing times. We’re heavily automotive-based, so we’re well-acquainted with tight turnaround and the need for urgency.

 

Let our scheduling department impress you with what we can do!

 

8. Location, Location, Location

Did we mention we’re just minutes off the 401 in Cambridge, Ontario? Latem set up shop here for a reason! Not only are we able to deliver impressive shipping rates throughout the Greater Toronto Area, but we’re located in the heart of Southern Ontario’s manufacturing centre.

 

Latem Industries is proud to be the premier metal finisher in Southern Ontario.

 

9. Transparent, Competitive Pricing

To put it simply, we wouldn’t have stayed in business this long if we weren’t competitive! From closely watching efficiencies to improving processes and cycle times, Latem Industries is committed to offering competitive rates that help keep your production costs in check.

 

10. Environmentally Aware

Did you know our nylon powder coating is derived from Castor bean oils? Our Aquence coating is also environmentally sustainable, containing no heavy metals and very few volatile organic compounds (VOCs.) We also have an extensive wastewater treatment system that’d make a small city jealous!

 

Plastico and Latem Industries are committed to sustainability and constantly improving our environmental awareness.

 

At Latem Industries, we can say with confidence that you can count on us for your coating and finishing needs. You don’t have to take it from us - ask any of the hundreds of North American manufacturers who partnered with us over the years!

 

Call us at 1-888-664-9998 or reach out online to learn more about our mass coating and mass finishing services in Southern Ontario.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

During the hazy, lazy days of summer, most folks are thinking of relaxing on the beach or by the pool. 

 

Not us. 

 

At Latem Industries, our summer focuses on removing rust that has unexpectedly occurred on our customer’s parts and equipment.

 

Why? When the atmospheric conditions are right, rust can form on unprotected metal from the humidity alone. Humidity-based corrosion is something that keeps us busy all summer long.

 

Unfortunately, many of our customers aren’t even aware of humidity-based corrosion until the rust has already occurred. Don’t let it happen to you! Here’s what you should know about preventing and removing rust and corrosion caused by humidity.  

 

How Humidity Affects the Rate of Corrosion

How does humidity cause corrosion? That’s an important question in the mass metal finishing and parts coating industries. To prevent and manage humidity-based corrosion, we have to first understand how it works.

 

Metal corrodes at a much greater rate under humid conditions. This happens because the moisture-saturated air reacts with oxygen and electrons on the surface of the metal. The longer metal components are exposed to humid air, the faster they will generally corrode.

 

This type of atmospheric corrosion can occur when the amount of moisture in the air reaches critical humidity, which is the point at which water no longer evaporates or gets absorbed from the atmosphere. In most conditions, this happens at 80% relative humidity (RH). 

 

But it’s not simply the humidity that causes corrosion; it is the change in temperature along with a significant increase in humidity that causes moisture to form on parts. There are two ways this can happen.

 

First, the relative humidity increases along with the temperature. Humidity changes during the day largely depending on the temperature. You’ve surely experienced this first-hand on a muggy summer afternoon. Every 50°F (10°C) increase in the temperature can double corrosion activity.

 

Second, when a surface cools below the temperature of the surrounding air, moisture will form on the surface as condensation. This is likely to happen in most manufacturing facilities as the temperature within the facility cools overnight. Later, when the sun comes up and the temperature rises again, humidity causes moisture to condense on cool, metal surfaces.

 

The higher the relative humidity, the smaller the temperature difference needed for condensation to form...which sets the stage for corrosion to occur.

 

How to Prevent Humidity from Creating Corrosion

In a perfect world, we would keep all our precious equipment in a climate-controlled facility that is never affected by the humidity. Of course, most of the metal parts we process aren’t meant to stay in a bubble, so we have to find other ways to protect them.

 

The simplest and most cost-effective way to protect parts from humidity-based corrosion is to seal them against moisture. This can be accomplished by placing large quantities of parts in Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor packaging, which slowly releases an anti-corrosion compound to protect exposed metal surfaces from corrosion. 

 

Humidity is also an important factor in the surface preparation and application of protective coatings. A high-quality powder coat can seal the surface to guard against corrosion. However, many coatings are not designed to protect metal from high humidity and may even be detrimental in some cases. 

 

How to Remove Humidity-Based Rust

What if the corrosion has already occurred? There is a significant expense and loss of revenue when you are forced to scrap processed parts due to rust.

 

Fortunately, scrapping parts is seldom the only solution! It’s possible to clean rust from almost any manufactured metal part quickly and cost-effectively, then treat them with a rust inhibitor to prevent it from happening again.

 

Latem Industries uses various processes to remove rusted areas from processed parts:

  • Shot blasting (often the most efficient method of rust removal)
  • Vibratory finishing
  • Barrel tumbling
  • Ultrasonic washing

The best process for removing rust from mass quantities of parts usually depends on the extent of corrosion and the geometry of the part. Latem has the capacity to clean away rust from millions of parts daily. Whether the part is the size of a thimble or as large a sheet of stainless steel, we have the best processes available to quickly and cost-effectively remove rust.


So, when rust impacts your operations, call Latem (Metal spelled backwards!) or use the easy Get a Quotation link here.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

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.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

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.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

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.

Subscribe to this Blog Like on Facebook Tweet this! Share on LinkedIn

Contributors

Blog Contributor Portrait
Mike Zinger
44
May 9, 2022
show Mike's posts
Blog Contributor Portrait
Generic Administrator
1
March 23, 2020
show Generic's posts
Blog Contributor Portrait
Traffic Soda
1
August 30, 2019
show Traffic's posts

Latest Posts

Show All Recent Posts

Archive

Tags

Everything Parts Washing Shot Blasting and Peening Tumbling Vibratory Finishing Prevent Corrosion Aquence (A-coat) Nylon Dip or Spray Plastisol Dip News Ultrasonic Cleaning Finishing Compounds