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Creative Shop Solutions

One-pass processing

By Julie Sammarco

A grinding and deburring machine saves time, funds and energy for job shops

October 2011- Numbers are critical. For job shops, debating whether to purchase equipment has a lot to do with potential savings in business costs and the initial price tag. Those numbers can mean the difference between investing in new equipment or trying to achieve results with existing tools.

Mike Sandsmark, facilities manager of General Sheet Metal Works, South Bend, Ind., purchased a grinding and deburring SBM-L machine from Lissmac Corp., Waterford, N.Y., after having great experiences with a different Lissmac machine. He says the SBM-L is helping the company save costs on labor and consumables when dealing with scratches and burrs. The machine uses abrasive media that moves perpendicular to the feed direction. Less consumables are needed, resulting in savings.

“Our consumables costs have dropped significantly,” says Sandsmark. “Our supplies for finishing parts have been reduced by $5,600 and labor has been cut in half in the first year of use. The L also does edge rounding and grain on parts, which some of our customers require and we have always had to outsource prior to purchasing the L.”

Grinding costs for one worker doing oxide removal or edge rounding by hand can cost between $18,000 and $25,000 per year only in consumables, says Thomas Weinfurtner, vice president of Lissmac, Bad Wurzach, Germany, the parent company to the U.S. subsidiary in Waterford, N.Y.

Time and energy are other factors in job shop savings. The machine is capable of running for longer periods of time with a larger amount of lasers, allowing for higher productivity, says Weinfurtner. “Our machine can deburr the same amount of parts in just two to three hours that one laser can cut in eight hours. That gives great potential to save,” he says.

The SBM-L can be adjusted to process only material that is needed, lowering the amount of energy required to operate the machine. And according to Sandsmark, training workers isn’t time consuming. “To train someone on how to use it would only take about an hour, maybe an hour and a half,” says Sandsmark. “We can change out the grinding belts in about three minutes. The edge-rounding belts take about 30 minutes to do all four. Everything is fairly quick.”

Sandsmark has experienced excellent service from Lissmac and says the company was very accommodating. There were other options to choose from when Sandsmark was looking for a grinding and deburring machine, but he chose Lissmac for a simple reason: “They know what they’re doing,” he says.

Equipment evolution
“When you look at the history of sheet metal processing, there was always something new coming out that made it easier. First it was punching. Then it was the automation of punching. Then there was a laser. There was a 3 kW then a 6 kW, then there was oxide removal and edge rounding,” says Weinfurtner. “So it’s always a challenge to create machines that can do more for each customer. What’s the next step?”

For Lissmac, the SBM-L is the next step in processing sheet metal. Lissmac’s method of simultaneously grinding, deburring and edge rounding on inside and outside contours of punched, laser and high-definition plasma-cut parts on both sides in a single pass eliminates the need to turn parts over and process them for a second time.

“It’s a faster machine because you can process both sides in one single pass,” says Weinfurtner. “With all other machines you have to flip your parts over and run them through the machine...or you need two machines. With the L, it’s only one machine, so it’s saving people a lot of money by not having to buy the other machine.”

The consistency of the quality of parts produced by the SBM-L, capable of deburring and edge rounding parts up to 2 in. thick, also is improved. Because many people use workers to do deburring, the machine removes the possibility of human error. FFJ

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Sources

  • General Sheet Metal Works
    South Bend, Ind.
    phone: 574/288-0611
    fax: 574/288-0647
    www.gsmwinc.com
  • Lissmac Corp.
    Waterford, N.Y.
    phone: 518/326-9094
    fax: 518/326-9098
    www.lissmac.com
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