A Little Knowledge Doubles Productivity

My problem is that we are running out of machine capacity, and my orders are to keep up without investing in a new machine. What are some suggestions to get more production from this equipment—I really need at least 18 loads a day.


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Q. We vibratory finish powdered metal parts that weigh 226 g, are 1.75 inch diameter × 1.25 inch.
These parts take pretty rough action in the vibrator without damage. We perform vibratory finishing on them to smooth the ground edges. The vibrator is a 20 cu ft bowl with internal separation. Processing time is 20 min, followed by separation with an internal screen deck. We get just under two loads an hour, usually 14 loads in a shift.

My problem is that we are running out of machine capacity, and my orders are to keep up without investing in a new machine. What are some suggestions to get more production from this equipment—I really need at least 18 loads a day. N.M.

 

A. I called this reader after receiving his inquiry. I wanted more information, and here is the additional data:

The media is an angle cut cylinder, 3/8 × 3/4 inch, medium cutting ceramic; compound is flow-through that cleans and inhibits; the machine is a brand that allows easy changes to the top and bottom weights as well as to the lead angle. Parts are brought to the machine in boxes and hand dumped into the bowl; after processing, the parts are dropped into boxes that then go to inspection. It takes about 5 min to unload the machine using the internal separator.

We divided the suggestion into three parts: 1) The process itself, particularly selection of media; 2) the operation of the machine in batch mode; and 3) material handling of the parts.

First of all, cylindrical media is seldom a good choice. That’s true in this case because the writer is trying to finish an OD edge, and cylinders take a while to do those surfaces very well. Also, because of the proclivity of cylinders to lodge, they had to use a very small cylinder, thus further slowing the edge breaking action. So, we wanted a better shape, and perhaps heavier media for faster deburring. 

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