One and done

By Gretchen Salois

Above: Setina found its push bumpers and partitions and weapons storage were rusting, prompting the manufacturer to rethink its deburring methods.

A single-pass process quickens pace without forfeiting quality

November 2015 - When one of the suppliers Haas Automation Inc. used for its sheet metal processing needs went out of business, the company brought the process in-house rather than seeking a replacement. 

The Oxnard, California, company purchased all assets the defunct business had on hand and discovered that when finishing its own material, it needed to trim labor costs. 

“Deburring requires a lot of labor with a man standing there at all times,” says Joe Krivda, director of machine shop operations-sheet metal at Haas. “One of the machines we were using to help increase deburring efficiency could only grain the material on one side, leaving a sharp edge, which still required some manual deburring. We had to run the blanks through twice if we needed to process both sides. We wanted something faster and more efficient.”

Haas vetted viable options and decided on the Lissmac SBM-L G1S2 because it can edge round on both sides simultaneously instead of having to turn sheets over and run them through deburring multiple times. Haas employees often had to deburr certain parts by hand, such as its stainless steel tool racks, resulting in inconsistencies. “The burr may have been removed but the aesthetics of the part were less than desirable,” Krivda says. “We wanted a nice consistent edge break.”

FFJ 1115 deburr image1

The steps include laser cutting the blank, moving blanks to a milling machine and then to a brake for bending. “There was a lot of material handling and if a mill is busy, parts would have to wait for a machine to open before finally being processed and moved to the brake,” Krivda explains. “We thought there had to be a better way.”

After running a few samples through a Lissmac deburring center, Haas found it could eliminate the secondary mill operation as well as reduce the gauge since chamfering the edge on a mill was no longer necessary. “With the Lissmac, the material comes off the laser and straight into the Lissmac with corner edge rounding which can be done without removing the laser PVC coating. It also has a light sanding belt so we can run a light grain finish if required,” Krivda says. “Before the Lissmac, we had multiple operations and a lot of material handling. Now it is right off the punch and into the Lissmac, saving a day and a half of processing time.” 

Haas must frequently remove sharp edges prior to secondary operations. Running a standard batch would normally take two employees about 12 hours each to complete. With the Lissmac, one employee can get the job done within an eight-hour shift, says Krivda. Even as it deburrs both sides of a blank simultaneously, it sets multiple parts on the feed belt at once.

Haas manufactures CNC machine tools and the tooling racks used on the machines help increase operator efficiency. Consuming industries range from energy to aerospace and just about every manufacturing sector, adds Krivda.

Tool racks are hung on machine enclosures or from control pendants. Applications vary from job shop machining centers to dental offices that create dental prosthetics. “We have produced machines that can be equal in size to an automobile all the way down to something you can push through your office door,” Krivda says. 

Making the most of time

Setina Manufacturing in Olympia, Washington, found the carbon steel it used to build police vehicle equipment—including push bumpers and partitions and weapons storage—was rusting. Each needed to withstand nature’s elements without corroding.

“We did our research and figured out the solution to the problem included multiple steps,” recalls John Lauritzen, operations manager at Setina. “Besides a pretreatment, we realized we needed complete edge rounding. No matter what material you’re painting, if that thin area isn’t completely smooth, the part is rejected.” 

Setina experienced a common problem: spotty paint adhesion. “Ten years ago edge rounding was not seen as a necessity, the way it is today,” says Dan Cudney, Lissmac sales manager for the western U.S. “As technology advances, companies have to meet tougher requirements. If edges aren’t rounded, that’s where failure of paint adhesion starts.”

FFJ 1115 deburr image2

Lauritzen conducted salt spray tests for about 500 hours and found the rounded edges from the Lissmac machine held up to the necessary quality standards.  Lauritzen says Setina chose the Lissmac because it had a single-pass machine that could round the edges on all sides of the part. “We couldn’t afford to have customers asking us why the racks were rusting,” he says.

Demand for Setina’s racks continues to grow; the company is building a second factory down the road. As soon as raw materials are cut to order, Setina runs blanks through the machine, bends it on press brakes and forms the part to spec, Lauritzen says. 

The CNC-controlled Lissmac SBM-XL G2S2 has two S-block edge rounding belts and two grinding belts each, on the top and bottom, which deburrs parts on two sides in a single pass. That ability is “the standout difference between Lissmac and other offerings in the marketplace,” says  Cudney. “Our SBM machines are easy to operate. They come in 39- or 59-in. widths. These machines can keep up with a very high volume of parts being processed on a daily basis, such as in job shops.” 

Lauritzen at Setina Manufacturing agrees the unit is easy to use. “Operators [input] preset cues. Most of our materials are 1⁄4 in. [thick] so there’s a lot of repetition.”

An increasing number of companies recognize the benefits of automated deburring but many still perform it by hand, according to Cudney. “It’s a dusty and dirty process” and workers’ health is a concern breathing in that dust. Lissmac machines contain most of the generated dust. “Deburring by hand also involves extensive labor and consumption of grinding media. When comparing a manual to an automated process, the cost and time savings can make a big difference.”

For Haas Automation, producing 1,000 racks a month is high volume, says Krivda. “What used to take a week or more to get out the door now only takes a matter of days” because of single-pass deburring.

Edge rounding resolved Setina’s rust issues because the Lissmac seals in corrosion resistance. “With edge rounding there is an additional layer to protect the carbon steel from corrosion,” says Lauritzen. “It’s been a big deal for us.” FFJ



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