What Tumbling System Size Is Right For Me?
Rightsizing is a way to determine what type of resources are needed to meet a manufacturer’s business objectives. In layman’s terms, you rightsize an aspect of your business when you want to figure out how to make it more efficient. It’s a question of: what’s the best way to do this today?
Rightsizing is important because it can give your manufacturing business immediate cost savings and significantly increased efficiencies. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint by decreasing the amount of electricity needed, the quantity of materials required, and the extent of labor needed.
A finishing system is a big investment and an integral part of your production process, which makes it a prime candidate for frequent rightsizing. Choosing the right system and making sure it meets your needs on an ongoing basis, is key. When you rightsize a finishing system, you’re looking at your products’ finishing requirements, operational needs, and company budget. The actual size of a finishing system comes to play a decisive factor in all three of these components.
The size of a finishing system should be influenced by the size of your products, the quantity of parts you need to finish, throughput of production, and cost. For example, a deburring barrel system might be larger than what your smaller products demand, but if the barrel can accommodate larger batch productions (which allows you to get more parts out the door faster), it might be the most sensible solution.
Let’s break down the different types of finishing systems, and their sizes.
Barrel Tumbling Systems
Barrel systems use grinding with applied force, yielding a surface with the desired surface finish. Deburring and polishing barrel finishing systems are highly versatile, and range widely in size. They can be as a small as a few ounces or as a large as a small car. You can typically use them for large batch production runs, heavy loads, steel media burnishing, and drying parts. Because of their ability to be large in scale, barrel finishing systems are a good choice for those with larger parts or high volume manufacturing needs.
Vibratory Finishing Systems
A vibratory finishing system is a rolling action system that’s a good fit for large parts or parts that are particularly delicate. You can find them in bench model sizes for small parts and large tubs for very large parts. Vibratory systems move faster than a free fall and typically have shorter cycle times compared to a barrel tumbler finishing system.
Centrifugal Barrel Tumblers
This type of finishing equipment acts the same as a deburring barrel, but it’s augmented by the presence of centrifugal force. This equipment works faster than barrel, and high pressure is used to remove burrs. If you’re working with smaller parts, this system might be an ideal, as it can be purchased in a small countertop size. These systems are more expensive than standard barrel tumblers but can result in shorter cycle times.
Tumble Blasting Equipment
Tumble blasting finishing equipment tumble parts slowly to provide random exposure to a pressured stream of abrasive media. This type of finishing equipment is best with parts that are two inches or less. If large parts are placed in tumble blasting equipment, there’s a chance they could be dented.
The cost of a finishing system will typically increase as it increases in size. Finding the right size of equipment and the right type of equipment to meet your finishing requirements will help to find the cost savings and processing efficiencies you need to compete in today’s manufacturing environment.
To learn more about rightsizing a finishing system for your business, reach out to Kramer Industries today!