Does this situation sound familiar to you? Your laser cutter operator unloads finished parts, loads a new sheet, and gets down to grinding burrs and slags off the edges. Once that’s done, he leaves the completed pieces to be picked up by a material handler before starting the process of unloading, re-loading, and grinding all over again.

But what if some parts take longer to deburr than others? What if one operator has a better aesthetic eye than another, leading to inconsistencies in the quality of the finish? What if operators become fatigued?

Automated flat part deburring can alleviate these potential bottlenecks and pitfalls, handling parts from one or more machines and providing predictable, high-quality finishes.

Keep reading to learn more about automated flat part deburring:                                                                          

What Is Automated Flat Part Deburring?

To deburr flat parts, you’ll need a machine with more than one head. If your parts have any edge burrs on leading or trailing plate edges, a single-head machine will leave part of the burr lying horizontally on the leading edge. This compromises the quality of the finish and can be a safety hazard for anyone touching the part.

Multi-head finishing machines are typically better for flat part deburring:Flat Part Deburring

  • First, the initial abrasive belt needs to remove any vertical standing dross (the primary burr). The head will run with the feed, which facilitates better part feeding and keeps operators safe by reducing the risk for kickback.
  • Next, you need to deal with the secondary burrs using a barrel brush (typically non-woven, though sometimes stainless steel can be used) to soften the edges and remove any leading edge burrs. It’s best to use two barrel brushes running counter to each other (clockwise and counter-clockwise) instead of just one. That will round over both sides of the part, completely removing all vertical and horizontal burrs.

Keep in mind that deburring is not the same as finishing. Deburring involves removing raised edges or small pieces of material still attached to a workpiece after it’s been modified, improving the edge quality. Finishing is done to alter the surface of a workpiece, getting rid of any scaling and pitting to achieve a desired result.

What Are the Benefits of Automated Flat Part Deburring?

  1. Increased Safety: Relying on a deburring machine will make the process safer from start finish. First, operators don’t need to be in the work zone and can avoid repetitive motion injuries. Deburred parts are also safer to handle once they’re finished.
  2.  Better Consistency: With an automated process, the quality will be better overall and won’t vary between operators. It will also limit on the amount of rework that’s required.
  3.  Higher Quality Finishes: Deburring pieces using a deburring machine ultimately produces parts that look better.
  4.  Offer New (and Better) Products: If you’re still deburring by hand, your capacity is determined by the geometry of individual parts. Automating deburring increases the amount you can produce and enables you to schedule based on what your machine is capable of accomplishing.

How Do I Choose the Right Machine?

Some factors you should take into account when choosing a deburring machine include:

  • Workpiece Characteristics: These include part size (thickness, width, length, etc.), material (steel, titanium, aluminum, etc.), and coatings (paint, cladding, etc.).
  • Required Quality: In some cases, all you need to worry about is getting rid of a vertical burr. In other cases you’ll need to deliver medical- or aerospace-grade results.
  • Cycle Time: You’ll need to consider things like the throughput you need, number of passes, and machine up-time.
  • Head Configuration: Options include belt only, belt and brush, rotary brush, belt and rotary brush, and more. You also need to think about the number of heads you need (some machines have four).
  • Abrasive: Choosing the right abrasive is central to getting the best performance out of your machine. Pay attention to the type (coated, non-woven, etc.), grade (very fine, 120 grit, etc.), and mineral (ceramic, aluminum oxide, etc.).

Taking these factors into account will help you select the deburring machine best suited to your needs.

Flat Part Deburring Machines from Timesavers

Timesavers has specialized in industrial finishing machines for wood and metal for over seven decades. Its deburring machines are available in a range of sizes (from 9” up to 52”), come with anywhere from one to four heads, and are able to handle materials of different sizes, types, and thicknesses.

For deburring flat parts, the two types of machines you’ll want to consider are:

  • A disc head machine, which is best for smaller parts (down to the size of a penny). It’s available wet (as a vacuum conveyor bed) or dry (with a sticky belt). It facilitates multi-angle deburring, though the edge rounding is limited.
  • A rotary brush, one of the most popular deburring machines currently available. It delivers the best deburring quality, won’t damage the coating, enables complete 360 degree deburring, and can handle parts as small as a playing card.

Whatever your needs—whether it’s deburring small electrical pieces or bigger industrial elements—there’s a Timesavers deburring machine engineered to work perfectly for you.

Do you want to discuss how a Timesavers deburring machine can work for your application? Contact the experts at Westway today!

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