PDJ Vibro Blog
Read the latest news, developments and views from mass finishing specialists PDJ Vibro Ltd.
Galvanometers for laser beam steering and scanning in surgical, analytical and other applications include a precision-machined housing in which the stator moves. At the Poole factory of Westwind Air Bearings, which manufactures galvanometer components for its US parent group, Novanta, these coil housings are CNC turned from mild steel bar to within grinding tolerances.
Many fencers around the world including winners at last year’s Olympic Games in Rio use weapons manufactured by London firm, Leon Paul Equipment. What many of them may not realise is the level of expertise that goes into ensuring that the foils, epees and sabres are finished to a very high standard.
Peterborough subcontractor Westcombe Engineering has installed a new manufacturing cell to produce increased quantities of a family of aluminium engine components for Perkins Engines. It comprises a Haas ST-30 CNC lathe with short bar feeder, a Blast Wash top-loading washing machine and a vibratory bowl finishing machine from PDJ Vibro, the second to be installed in the factory.
Leading vibratory finishing specialist PDJ Vibro will promote its comprehensive range of new and refurbished bowls, barrels and high energy centrifugal equipment, as well as the vast range of consumables on offer and the company’s repair and subcontract finishing services.
PDJ Vibro will present the two sides of its business at Advanced Engineering UK. One is its new and used finishing machine sales activities and the other is its contract finishing service. Both are designed to make life simpler for manufacturers that want to minimise manual work and move towards automating the finishing process for health and safety reasons and to improve consistency.
High-end manufacturing solutions for the aerospace engineering sector are provided by Bowmill Engineering from several factory units on the Nuffield Industrial Estate in Poole. In the finishing and assembly department, machined parts are deburred carefully using a variety of finishing practices. In April 2016, the company decided to augment these by installing a PDJ Vibro EVT-320 vibratory trough alongside its existing vibratory bowl machine, which was at full capacity.
While the humble rumbler is often consigned to a dark corner in a factory and is one of the least likely machines to be replaced until it collapses, there is much more to vibratory finishing than meets the eye, as PDJ Vibro will explain to visitors attending the TCT Show + Personalize this year (28th and 29th September 2016, NEC, Birmingham).
30% reduction in scrap leads to 3-month payback on vibratory bowl. Post Brexit, UK manufacturers will be cultivating more and more business from outside Europe. One subcontractor that already exports one-third of its output, nearly half to China plus some to the USA and Canada, is Stroud-based Truturn Precision Engineering.
Problem-solving approach to vibratory finishing
While the humble rumbler is often consigned to a dark corner in a factory and is one of the least likely machines to be replaced until it collapses, there is much more to vibratory finishing than meets the eye, as PDJ Vibro will explain to visitors attending MACH this year.
Factories with metalcutting machines invariably use vibratory finishing equipment to remove burrs and sharp edges from components. If parts have been laser-cut from sheet metal, however, deburring and surface enhancement are sometimes secondary. The main purpose of the rumbling action can be to stress-relieve case hardening in the heat-affected zone (HAZ) around the component edges.
Winning a contract to machine large batches of two aileron parts from solid aluminium for the Airbus A320 presented Gloucestershire subcontractor, Norman Precision, with the problem of how to finish the complex components economically, as they require a large amount of hand deburring. The solution was the purchase of a PDJ Vibro 60-litre, bench-top vibratory finishing bowl...
Descaling and deburring as well as superfinishing of motorsport gears are the latest subcontract services being brought in-house. Since the mid-1980s, All Gear Services has been making high quality gears and related products for motorsport gearboxes and commercial applications. A variety of materials is processed, from case hardening steel through stainless steels for marine use to aluminium for pulleys.
Braintree subcontractor, J Reeves Engineering, which specialises in machining and fabricating components and assembles from sheet metal and tube, took delivery of a vibratory trough deburring machine from PDJ Vibro at the beginning of this year (2015). It joins a twin vibratory bowl finishing and drying system from the same supplier that has given reliable service for more than 20 years.
Having installed a 120-litre capacity vibratory finishing bowl from PDJ Vibro in January of this year, Rob Bennett, director of subcontract CNC machinists, Scot Bennett Engineering Limited, decided in May that he had ordered a machine of less than optimal specification. At the outset he had not appreciated the value of having automatic separation of finished components from the abrasive medium when processing is complete.
Established in 1989, Nova Racing (www.novaracing.co.uk) is one of the only companies to supply racing gearboxes to the British superbike grids. At its Partridge Green factory in West Sussex, a pair of vibratory bowl finishing machines from PDJ Vibro is employed to polish nearly all of the gears and shafts, after they have been machined and hardened, in a process referred to as superfinishing.
Preparation time for painting plastic components cut by one-third
To assist companies that are considering finishing 3D printed parts automatically using vibratory bowls, guidelines have been prepared by Ogle Models and Prototypes, a leading design and model making bureau based in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.
Introduced at MACH-2014 the new economy range of vibratory bowl and trough finishing machines has become so popular they now exceed demand for older machines.
Family-run subcontract machinists, Mathison Engineering, specialises in producing 316 stainless steel marine fittings in quantities ranging from one-off prototypes to high volume runs. Accounting for around 80 per cent of turnover, the products are to be found in vessels all over the world, but mainly around the coasts of Europe, the US and Iceland.
When global materials engineering company Morgan Advanced Materials needed a new vibratory finishing bowl, the company turned to PDJ Vibro for a solution. Morgan manufactures high specification, technically complex components for a wide range of applications, from military to medical, transportation and petrochemical.
Vibratory cleaning and surface preparation brought in-house, together with engine test, in major investment programme. A £1 million expansion of activities at the Lincoln works of Turbine Efficiency has seen the installation of two stands for testing powergen gas turbines after they have been stripped down, repaired and rebuilt.
To complement its high-end vibratory finishing and polishing bowls, a new range of three competitively priced models will be unveiled by PDJ Vibro on stand 5601 at MACH 2014. With process chamber capacities of 300, 150 and 75 litres, the machines are priced about 25 per cent lower than the company's existing bowls. Nevertheless, the new models are built to a high specification. They have a durable, stress relieved bowl with cast polyurethane lining, driven by a heavy-duty, three-phase electric motor.
Mass finishing is increasingly becoming the best way to finish components confining hand finishing to the history books. Vibratory finishing is a mass finishing process used to burnish, deburr, clean, radius, de-flash, remove rust, brighten, surface harden, surface improve and edge break.
Quality of finish – Probably the most important question; what quality of metal surface finishing do you need to ensure your product meets its technical requirements? Parts for the construction industry may not need to be finished to 0.03Ra but parts for Formula 1 do. Are you doing enough to keep your contract?
While at first glance vibratory deburring may seem somewhat a niche market it should be noted that even an enormous range of mass produced metal, plastic and even (in some cases) wooden components require deburring. The UK has been the home of vibratory deburring. These machines are also a standard solution for the manufacturing community internationally.
"The vibratory and centrifugal finishing processes are new to us and even though we carried out thorough practical trials with PDJ before we introduced the machines, there was still some scepticism here about the extent of their capabilities as surface finishing tools for the type of work we undertake. I’m glad to say that practice has demonstrated that the scepticism was unfounded."
Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) specialist – 3T RPD Ltd, based in Newbury – has recently installed a vibratory finishing machine from PDJ Vibro, to complement its surface finishing capability.
Leading vibratory finishing and component polishing specialist, PDJ Vibro Ltd, has recently expanded its warehouse, demonstration and subcontract centre in Milton Keynes. The facility features what the company claims is the UK’s most comprehensive range of new and refurbished vibratory, barrel and centrifugal surface finishing equipment – with more than 120 machines and around 70,000kg of abrasive media in stock.
PDJ Vibro machine enhances surface quality of woodworking lathe components. The small town of Axminster in Devon, perhaps best known as a major carpet manufacturing centre, is also the location of Axminster Tool Centre Ltd – the UK's largest supplier of tools and associated equipment and consumables for the woodworker, carpenter and craftsman, many trade professionals and, increasingly, the metalworking specialist.
Marine wind turbines are particularly susceptible to corrosion as a result of widely variable weather conditions and constant salt-spray. Their surface finish obviously has to be tough enough to cope with this environment and ensure a maximum working life.
One of the UK’s leading specialists in 3D printing – Central London based, Digits2Widgets – has enhanced its range of surface finishing services with the recent installation of a vibratory finishing machine from PDJ Vibro Ltd. The new machine is dedicated to the high quality polishing of Nylon SLS parts and produces a very smooth, ivory-like finish.