The latest addition to the machinery portfolio at Enfield-based Rimex – a specialist in the production of metal sheet finishes – particularly polished, embossed and coloured stainless steel sheet products, is a bespoke Timesavers 72 Series 1600-HL ‘hairline’ finishing system from Ellesco.
“Although many of our European customers prefer a satin finish on sheet for internal architectural features, ‘hairline’ is extremely popular in the Asian market,” says Nick Barnes, sales director at Rimex. “We have been able to supply hairline product in the past, but it wasn’t straightforward and we had to modify/reset existing machines, which added time and cost. Our investment in a bespoke machine from Ellesco and Timesavers to achieve that finish has streamlined the whole process.”
In order to deliver a hairline finish on the 72 Series 1600-HL, the abrasive belt moves at a slow speed, around 0.6-2 mm/min, while the material passes beneath. The effect is to create a continuous ‘scratch effect’ from one end of the sheet to the other, a finish that is seen as more aesthetically pleasing for internal architectural features such as elevator doors and internal walls.
Production director at Rimex, Richard Watson, says: “We are now focusing on creating a standard hairline finish, using a grit size that gives a softer look to the surface that meets all the standards for external cladding, where the roughness tolerance has to be less than 0.5 Ra.”
For further information www.ellesco.co.uk
Whether traditional or new manufacturing processes are involved, none of the available technologies make it possible to produce component surface finishes in the required quality.
Process steps such as deburring, rounding and cleaning, as well as targeted functional or decorative surface finishing, are thus indispensable. Solutions by means of which these tasks can be executed reliably and economically will be presented at Deburring Expo 2019 in Karlsruhe on 8-10 October.
Parts manufacturing is currently faced with new tasks in numerous areas. Due to more and more complex geometries and finer structures, machined, formed, primary formed, forged, sintered and moulded workpieces are not only resulting in stricter requirements where actual parts production is concerned, but also during deburring and surface finishing. The technical cleanliness of components is an essential quality criterion in many sectors, including automotive, aerospace, machine building, medical engineering, metrology, sensor technology and drive technology, as well as electro-mobility.
“Reliable deburring, during which extremely fine burrs and flash must also be removed depending on the degree of required cleanliness, is a fundamental prerequisite for complying with cleanliness specifications,” explains Hartmut Herdin, managing director of fairXperts GmbH & Co. KG, promoters of Deburring Expo.
Furthermore, in some cases, surfaces are required that minimise friction, wear and noise, and which make it possible to enhance performance and extend service life. Downstream processes such as joining, sealing, coating and assembly also necessitate burr-free, and in some cases, rounded edges, for various reasons. And thus for example, in the field of sheet metal processing, deburring minimises the risk of injury due to sharp edges and reduces tooling wear for edging and straightening machines. In addition, good deburring and well-defined edge rounding make it possible to enhance painting quality at the edges.
For further information www.deburring-expo.de
Today, the gold standard for titanium implants features textured surface on all areas where integration with bone needs to take place.
Traditionally, these functional textured surfaces have been achieved through the use of grit blasting (also known as sand-blasting), either alone or in combination with chemical etching. However, laser texturing replaces a random process such as blasting or etching, with a digital one.
Pulses of laser light, often delivered in a nitrogen or argon shield gas environment, are directed at the material surface. The laser heats and modifies the metal, creating local surface deformation. Pulse duration, measured in nano-, pico- or femtoseconds, is very short and the impact location and pattern are precisely controlled with an end result that is repeatable, clean, requires no consumables, needs no secondary handling, and does not require 100%
The use of laser texturing allows a surface to be structured/textured with a precise, repeatable pattern and enables both product engineers and manufacturers to design in and meet more exacting specifications for roughness. Multiple different textures can also be applied on the same device without any need for masking, while elements such as 2D barcodes or other UDI features can be easily integrated.
A key criterion in the quality of a laser texturing solution is the ability of the system to correctly compensate for curved surfaces. Most commercially available systems introduce errors when applying a texture to curved geometry. However, GF Machining Solutions’ laser texturing machine tools make use of advanced software to allow the texturing of even the most complex surfaces.
For further information www.gfms.com
GE certification for mass surface finishing has been gained by Fintek. Adding to its existing AS9100 and AS9001, the new certificate is an important milestone for the company as it continues to expand its subcontract surface finishing services in the aerospace sector.
Fintek is engaged in pioneering work with several aerospace component manufacturers, working closely with them to eliminate production bottlenecks where hand and traditional finishing methods are not able to achieve higher quality surface finishing requirements in shorter times.
Of particular concern for many aerospace parts manufacturers is the unseen damage caused by manual deburring using small power tools. These can sometimes cause accidental nicks that lead to fatigue, possibly with catastrophic consequences. Another hand-finishing issue is missed burrs that are subsequently peened over. Again, peened burrs can become sources of component failure.
Key in addressing these issues has been the introduction of controllable stream-finishing systems by OTEC Präzisionsfinish. Fintek, which represents OTEC in the UK, has been able to develop special processes to dramatically improve the efficiency and, importantly, the quality of surface finishing for aerospace manufacturers. Typical components benefiting from superior and more consistent surface finishing includes turbine blades, extremely thin parts, gear wheels, fasteners and even cutting tools.
To accommodate additional stream finishing units and meet demand for these processes, Fintek is planning to extend its existing facility.
“These are exciting times as much of the R&D work we have undertaken with Formula One teams is proving to be adaptable to aerospace, and we can offer manufacturers mass-finishing options to boost productivity and quality where previously they did not exist,” says Jonathan Dean, managing director. “GE certification is another step forward for us.”
For further information www.fintek.co.uk
Vollmer used its recent VDays event at the company’s world headquarters in Biberach, Germany to present its latest Vgrind 360E to over 400 customers that came from around the globe.
Introducing the new tool grinder, business development manager for the Vgrind 360 and Vgrind 360E, Andreas Weidenauer, discussed the benefits of the machine, which can process tools up to 100 mm in diameter, with a length of 360 mm. The presentation included an overview of the build quality that touched on the polymer concrete machine base for vibration absorption and reduced thermal expansion. With low thermal conductivity, the Vgrind 360E generates less thermal expansion throughout its robust 2100 kg structure.
Upon this base is the C-axis concept that provides the absorption and elimination of deformation and vibration through the top and bottom bearings in the twin grinding spindle configuration. Competitor machines with just a single bearing carry a higher risk of deformation and vibration, says Vollmer.
Underpinning the dynamics, kinematics and thermal stability of the Vgrind 360E, Vollmer has integrated an internal oil-based coolant cycle for cooling both the spindles and the motors. The temperature is maintained as a constant between the internal coolant oil cycle and the grinding coolant liquid due to a plate heat exchanger. This attention to detail increases the thermal stability of the Vgrind 360E and, as the oil runs through internal cooling cycles, the risk of damage or contamination through leakage is reduced.
The C and A axes have been configured with direct-drive torque motors to improve the dynamics of the Vgrind 360E. Indeed, the A-axis spindle rotates at a speed of 450 rpm as standard, with an optional 1000 rpm unit for specialist applications.
For further information www.vollmer-group.com