While the optimization of mass finishing processes mostly focuses on the machinery utilized, Dörfler & Schmidt Präzisionsfinish GmbH (Dörfler & Schmidt) has shown that a simple shift such as using a different media can create significant process optimization.
Meeting Varied Needs
Founded in 1998, Dörfler & Schmidt offers a wide range of surface finishing including deburring, edge radiusing, surface smoothing and polishing, creating matte and textured finishes, descaling, and cleaning.
“We have to deal mostly with requests for deburring and edge radiusing,” said Dörfler & Schmidt Management Assistant Felix Dörfler. “For example, on tools like milling tools and cutting inserts we have to create a precise edge radius.
“Other work pieces, such as bearing rings, must have precisely defined surface roughness readings after the finishing operation while jewelry and accessories must have an optically pleasing finish.”
Work piece materials range from metal, plastic, and ceramic to glass and wood in dimensions as little as a fraction of an inch (a few mm) up to 25 in (60 cm).
Working with a Proven Partner
Dörfler & Schmidt operates 33 different machines capable of handling a broad range of different mass finishing and shot blasting technologies.
“To handle various work piece materials, we employ different process water cleaning and recycling systems,” Dörfler said. “For this purpose, we are utilizing five centrifuges, which, like the overwhelming majority of our mass finishing equipment, were supplied by Rosler.”
When it comes to consumables, Dörfler & Schmidt primarily uses Rosler products as well.
“The consistently high quality of the Rosler media and compounds, as well as the excellent process development support and optimization by their Customer Experience Center, are just a few reasons why we’ve relied on solutions from Rosler right from the beginning,” Dörfler said.
“For the deburring and edge radiusing 40-mm-long stainless steel wire segments, we need an excellent grinding performance with a high metal removal rate,” Dörfler said. “However, foaming during the finishing process created a buffer between the work pieces and the media, reducing the grinding effect.
“Therefore, the desired finishing results could no longer be achieved within the prescribed cycle time,” he said.
In addition to Prolonged cycle times and an inability to separate media from finished work pieces after processing, the foaming issue was even carried over to the process water cleaning system, where foam seeped out of the centrifuges, soiling the system itself and the immediate environment.
A Smart Solution
The extent of foaming issues largely depends on the hardness of the process water and can often be remedied with special additives. When the company’s Rosler Sales Agent learned of the problem, he recognized that additives weren’t effective and suggested the newly developed “N” series of non-foaming plastic media from Rosler.
Dörfler & Schmidt subsequently joined a select group of companies who tested the new media series.
Since the non-foaming media version is identical to standard plastic media in identical shapes, sizes, and grinding performances, it could be swapped in without finishing process modifications.
More than a year later, Dörfler & Schmidt is still using the non-foaming media. Impressive results are achieved within the prescribed cycle time and separation issues have also been resolved.
The media switch also greatly simplified the monitoring of the finishing process. Eliminating the need for reprocessing significantly improved the process’ overall cost-efficiency and extended the usable life of the process water, reducing the consumption of additives and contributing to increased sustainability.
“We have been using the non-foaming media in two machines, and we have found that the grinding performance and the wear rate are absolutely identical with the standard version,” Dörfler said. “The new media helped us to make our processes more cost-efficient without affecting the quality of the finishing results.
“For this reason, we will switch more plastic media types to the non-foaming version.”
The Rosler Way
All standard Rosler plastic media varieties have been available in non-foaming “N” versions since 2021, adding to the more than 15,000 equipment and consumable products we offer. Contact us today to discuss your mass finishing challenges and our solutions!