Saturday, June 24, 2017
Latem serves many industries, however the bulk of our business comes from Ontario’s automotive manufacturers. A lot of our customers are stampers (see picture above – thanks Google). As big and expensive as these presses look, and these are small compared to some of them, they’re not perfect. And to be honest, we love it, because when the die in that press malfunctions, it could mean burrs, sharp edges or excessive oil is left on the part. Either of these scenarios could pose big problems to the stamping facility, because holding up production for their customer, usually an assembly plant, is NEVER an option.
The Superhero of Our Story
Enter Latem Industries in Cambridge, Ontario. We are in the manufacturing solutions business, and for the last 40 years, we have made problems like these, amongst many others, simply go away. It is our sole reason for existence, and we’ve existed for 40 years.
We offer solutions using vibratory finishing, burnishing and tumbling, shot blasting and peening, drum washing and ultrasonic cleaning. All of the above are tried, tested and proven daily as seen in the volume of parts we process weekly, which is well into the millions.
So How Do We Remove Sharp Edges?
Did Clark Kent let the world know he was Superman? We can’t give all our secrets away, but we can tell you this. We have two main processes for tackling this issue. One is to vibe the parts using a mixture of compounds, media and parts. The sharp edges are slowly removed as the parts turn in a corkscrew motion through hundreds, or even thousands of pounds of media.
The other common solution is our barrel tumbling process, similar to, and often mistaken for vibratory. Tumbling is quite agressive, relying on a part-on-part technique to properly finish the parts.
In either scenario above, there are a number of additional factors that will affect results, including cycle time, load size, the right compound and media. At times we even look at what type of water to use, yes water.
How Do We Get Rid of Rust?
We celebrate ‘Rust Season’ like a child celebrates Christmas. Our customers however, not so much, so when that reddish-orange stuff starts to appear, traffic picks up quite rapidly at our shipping doors. We’ll see truckloads of parts every day, all with the same problem…rust.
Latem Industries has a number of processes to solve this problem. Depending on the part, we can shot blast, tumble, vibe, and for that ‘white rust’ found on aluminum, ultrasonic wash will usually do the trick.
How Does Latem Remove Oil?
After stamping, parts often move on to be coated, or straight to assembly. These massive presses use stamping oils in their process, which often becomes a hindrance in the next step. Oil removal may seem like a pretty simple issue to tackle, but it can be tricky. Knowledge is key, because parts still need to be protected. They also need to be turned around extremely fast!
We have a number of washing machines, no not Maytag, to handle these problems. Always part dependent, we can vibe, tumble, ultrasonically clean or use one of our massive drum washers to remove the oils.
Why Does Latem Do All of This?
Because we’re very good at it, and also because we thoroughly enjoy it! Even after forty years however, we’re still learning. As manufacturing processes evolve, so too must we, if we are to continue to solve problems for our customers.
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