Because of a positive experience with four continuous flow washing machines operating at its headquarters, VIA Oberflächentechnik (VIA) decided to work with Rosler for a comprehensive mass finishing and cleaning operation.
The resulting interlinked system meets the most demanding cleanliness specifications while achieving significant cycle time reductions and cost savings and providing a high degree of operational flexibility.
Headquartered in Lennestadt, Germany, VIA sought an integrated solution for de-oiling, mass finishing, and deep cleaning of stamped and formed parts.
Since its founding in 1996, the job shop company has been one of the leading work piece cleaning specialists in Europe. Its three production locations process automotive and other components.
An in-house laboratory ensures that the treated work pieces are in full compliance with the specified cleanliness demands. Depending on the stringency of the customer requirements, some products are even packed in a dedicated cleanroom.
After extensive cleaning trials with pilot production runs, VIA received a large order from an automotive supplier for volume cleaning of clutch carriers. The company's existing cleaning and mass finishing capacities were no longer sufficient and had to be further expanded.
Rosler mass finishing system
“Right from the project start, it was clear that we would purchase a new mass finishing system from Rosler," said Kai Lechner, Manager at VIA.
"We were not certain about buying the water-based cleaning systems from the same supplier, but after inspecting a fully automatic combined mass finishing/cleaning system that has been successfully running at an automotive supplier for several years, we decided to purchase the complete package from one supplier, namely Rosler," he said.
Utilizing the Rosler team as the single supplier and integrator for the interlinked system provided numerous benefits.
Since Rosler not only produces the finishing equipment, but also the washing systems, our extensive experience in integrating robotics allowed us to provide a turnkey solution for VIA. Based on prior successful partnerships with Rosler, VIA also knew we had the expertise and experience to be responsible for the process, minimizing the need for coordinating with different vendors and providing one point of contact for a complex project.
VIA's new line consists of two cleaning units, a linear continuous flow vibratory inline system, and an automatic process water cleaning system; all supplied by Rosler. The company also purchases its grinding media as well as all cleaning and finishing compounds from Rosler.
“For us, it is a lot easier to deal with one partner who takes care of everything including service and maintenance," Lechner said.
For the de-oiling stage, the clutch carriers are manually placed on the feeding conveyor of the compact spray-rinse washing machine. During the 6-second cycle, they pass through two separate cleaning zones and one blow-off station.
Filtration units and a coalescence separator increase the clean liquid systems' uptime utilized in the initial step.
A single media is used in the various cleaning processes which allows the work pieces to be directly transferred into the mass finishing machine without a drying step.
Deburring and edge radiusing take place in the linear continuous flow vibrator, type R 650/6600 DA. Process water used in the machine is continuously cleaned by an integrated Z1000 centrifuge equipped with fully automatic sludge discharge.
A vibratory separation unit transfers work pieces from the mass finishing machine to a feeding conveyor and the deep cleaning unit parts washing system. To ensure that the work pieces meet the stringent cleanliness requirements of no metallic particles > 600 µm, the carriers are manually positioned prior to entering the deep cleaning unit.
Work pieces then pass through a cleaning zone followed by a rinsing and passivation zone. In these zones, the parts are sprayed with a cleaning solution from above and below. The pressure and volume of the water flow from the upper and lower spray nozzles can be separately adjusted, and the various parameters can be stored as individual programs in the equipment controls.
After passing through a drying zone, the work pieces are discharged.
The operational flexibility of the system allows VIA to utilize the different modules in any conceivable combination. The combined cleaning/finishing system also allows the processing of other work pieces with similar size and shape.
Compared to the pilot production's cleaning process and its numerous manual operations, the new system cuts the processing time in half.
“A big advantage is that after an unplanned delivery stop by the customer, we can resume production much more quickly and can supply the OEM with cleaned work pieces in extremely short lead times,” Lechner said.
The interlinked equipment concept also yielded considerable cost savings by reducing the required manpower for operating the system. It also greatly improved the working environment for employees since they no longer need to move the part bins between different machines, saving them time and effort.
Decades of experience and the ability to design, service, and maintain machines as well as provide the consumables and accessories needed to get the finish you require make Rosler a well-rounded, single source for surface finishing expertise. Contact us to discuss your mass finishing needs.