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?
Manual or automated – it’s time to review your processes – there are still metal finishers out there hand finishing parts leaving their own individual stamp on each item. With staff numbers having been cut to the bone and competitors leaving the business those firms that are left are finding they need to up their game. Components need to be finished quickly, more consistently, with fewer rejects and often a 24/7 output is needed. Only an automated metal surface finishing machine can achieve this.
Consumable supplies – Getting the right mix of abrasives and chemicals is crucial to the end result. So it’s useful to get consumables from a quality outfit that has the knowledge to advise you what to buy and how to use it. Serious consideration should also be given to using a dosing pump. Why? Because to go to the expense of buying the right metal finishing machine and then allow human error to cause the machine to clog up with soap and debris makes little sense. Firstly the metal parts will come out dirtier than when they went in, next damage to parts will occur and finally down-time.
Environmental issues – Finishing metal does not have to be an environmental black spot. Noise can be combated by acoustic lids, centrifugal disc finishing machines can have changeable rings, dosing pumps can be used to prevent damage and parts wastage, soap is used as opposed to acid as it bio-degrades in as little as 14 days, centrifugal drying machines can be used to separate oil and coolants so that they can be re-used. The machines themselves require minimal maintenance and when they are eventually scrapped they are virtually 100% recyclable.
Cost – new or used equipment, in-house or sub-contract services? - The key is to get advice from an expert in finishing. Not all suppliers of vibratory finishing machines offer such a service so it’s important to seek out the right supplier. They will be able to advise which vibratory machines are needed to get the best possible results and whether or not used or re-furbished machines could fit the bill. Another service worthy of consideration, if you are in a fix, is sub-contracting. There are a few specialists out there that will offer a same day or next day turnaround finishing service. Bottlenecks in processing could be a thing of the past.