Many manufacturers continue to use the same process that was installed together with the original equipment and from the same supplier. While the old adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is sometimes understandable, it is unwise not to be aware of the developments that have been made in the field of surface finishing media. Switching suppliers has the benefit of not just potentially lowering the cost of consumables, but also learning about the latest innovations.
New Vibratory Finishing Developments
Awareness of recent process developments and new techniques will help understand how to apply the correct media/process for your application that can result in the following benefits:
- Increase productivity and quality of surface finish
- Achieve tangible/achievable objectives
- Reduce process times
- Improve surface finish
- Reduce waste water treatment costs
- Improve customer satisfaction
- Improve costs, media per kg vs running costs
- Reduce media consumption
For example, many are not aware of the recent developments in “dry finishing media”. For some applications this has replaced the conventional wet process. In these instances favourable savings can be realised as liquid compound and water are not required, and therefore no waste water treatment; additional savings come from packaging, transport, and disposal, etc. Because Vibratory Mass Finishing is an established technique, occasionally there is a perception that the processes are crude and little development made, this cannot be further from reality especially when it comes to process and media development. While often the carrier of the new development is a traditional machine, the selection of the correct media combined with a good understanding is the key to a successful Vibratory Mass Finishing process.
Whether the media to be used is a conventional ceramic or plastic, dry or other alternative media, it is important that the following criteria is considered:
- Vibratory Mass Finishing: Application variables
- Surface finish required (roughness Ra etc)
- Metallurgical structure of the components
- Start condition of the components
- Volume/number of components to be processed
- Size and dimensions of the components
- Pre/Post processes or operations
- Sensitivity of the components
Vibratory Mass Finishing: Factors that influence media selection
- Wet or Dry
- Ceramic, plastic or other
- Will the media size selected lodge in any holes or recesses, either when it is new or worn?
- Grade: Polishing, Abrasive, Super-Finishing etc.
- Single or Multi-Stage process
- Will the shape/size contact all the required areas of the component?
- Can the shape/size selected be automatically separated at the end
of the process?
When used correctly and with knowledge and understanding, Vibratory Mass Finishing can dramatically reduce finishing costs and enhance the functionality and appearance of a wide range of components.