When most companies take on capital expenditure projects such as purchasing mass finishing equipment, very careful attention is paid to investing in the most productive, cost‐efficient equipment as possible to achieve the best possible quality. Operational efficiency is often another story.
Once the equipment is up and running routine takes over and less attention is paid to keeping the equipment operating at its peak performance. Whether the machinery is never calibrated to reach its fullest potential or the on-going process is not carefully monitored once the process is dialed in, lacking operational focus can be costly and counterproductive. Figuratively speaking, poorly managed mass finishing operations are pouring money down the drain!
Rosler works with its clients to ensure that our machinery delivers initial success and continues to provide precise, repeatable results long into the future by promoting operational attention and heading off costly mistakes.
Consequences of Inattention
For mass finishing processes, the lack of operational focus may take many forms individually or simultaneously, including:
- Reduced capacity because of processing times becoming unnecessarily longer.
- Overall poorer finishing qualities.
- Unstable processes with erratic finishing.
- Work pieces requiring additional reprocessing and higher rejection rates.
- Equipment not providing expected results and return on investment.
Such operational deficiencies can cost a lot of money in the short-term when it comes to meeting client expectations and standards as well as the long-term life expectancy and usefulness of the process and machinery utilized.
Identifying Issues and Opportunities
Careful monitoring of the key process parameters, quick correction of any process abnormalities or “trouble shooting,” and regular preventive maintenance will ensure that a finishing process runs as intended in a cost‐efficient manner.
Of course, this should not prevent a company from looking for further improvement and optimizing its current finishing operation. Technical upgrades or new, improved media and/or compounds may have become available for existing equipment which could help increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve the finishing quality.
When working with a trusted partner and mass finishing expert such as Rosler, upgrades and advances can often be implemented without completely overhauling a process or purchasing entirely new systems.
Optimizing Mass Finishing Operations
Achieving the best results from a mass finishing process requires understanding the interaction between the various process components, including:
- The finishing machine itself.
- Compounds (liquids, recycling, powder, grinding, polishing, dry polishing, and cleaning/degreasing) and process water.
- Media – whether ceramic, plastic, or polishing and drying.
The success of mass finishing depends on the successful pairing of machines, media, and compounds/water.
The desired finishing results – deburring, edge radiusing, cleaning (de‐oiling, descaling), and surface smoothing and/or polishing – can only be achieved if these process components are carefully calibrated with each other. More than a dozen factors are in play in a mass finishing process and enough complexity to warrant involving experts with experience.
Process water from the finishing machine must also be addressed and monitored for optimum results. Depending upon the work piece’s material and original condition as well as the processes performed and consumables used, process water may be contaminated with media and metal fines, chemicals from the compounds, and even chelated metals.
Before the process water can be discharged to drain or re‐used in the finishing process, it must be cleaned with a centrifuge.
The Rosler Way
With more than 80 years of experience, the Rosler team and worldwide Rosler Group have the knowledge and expertise to help you optimize your mass finishing process throughout the machine’s life cycle. Whether you have our equipment or a competitor’s, contact us for advice, sales, and service.