Inovatec processing lab is parts of R & D center. Bellow, I will make a brief introduction to two general functions the processing lab.
1. Free sample processing lab
Inovatec has rich experience in deburring, polishing, edge rounding, cleaning, de-rusting, descaling of workparts from metal to plastics. Our engineer understands that there is no certain type of media nor compound can fit all applications. The right combination of media and compound together with surface finishing machine is the secret to success. To find the media type with right size and shape, and to select the most suitable compound, after that we will do our laboratory testing with a variable parameter to decide the most cost saving and time-saving process solution for your production.
After parts processing, firstly we make a testing report of detail process including related technical parameters. Then we will send the sample parts back to you with video processing. So you can check with your customer and your engineer for the performance. And advise how we can work together to improve surface quality and productivity.
For details of the procedure please check article to know how to make free sample processing
2. Ceramic Media and Plastic Media OEM
Both ceramic media and plastic media are wearable consumables in mass finishing equipment. Many companies already use the process for years, so they have their existing tumbling media using at the moment. But why we need to OEM or recreate a similar media?
2.1 Increasing cost and pressure to reduce the price
Firstly, production cost in the USA or Europe or Japan is increasing nowadays. Labor cost increases as improving the living standard of the employee. Even though some commodities cost will do down with automation, tumbling media as the customized product is not easy to do so.
However, electronic industry and automotive industry ask their components suppliers to reduce price every year. (One of my customers makes aluminum die casting parts for Seagate, and they require reducing cost 2% each year) Therefore, components manufacturers have very high pressure to reduce cost in production as well.
Tumbling media including ceramic tumbling media and plastic tumbling media is the main cost of the vibratory finishing process. Although the compound is also consumables, because it supplied in concentrate form, when it dilute with water, total usage is only a fraction of tumbling media.
2.2 Strict process change management in production
Secondly, components manufacturer companies have strict process change management. There will be lots of documentation to make if only one parameter to change in production. Besides, components users (for example Toyota, Honda) want to keep parts quality always to be the same, they don’t want to change the process as well.
To conclude, we need to recreate a media with lower cost compared with media manufactured in Europe/USA/Japan. But these media need to have the same recipe with media currently using (made in USA/Europe/Japan). So production process and technical parameter no need to change.
For details of OEM tumbling media procedure please check articles: how to OEM tumbling media
3. Laboratory Equipment
Inovatec operates a parts processing lab that covers a wide range of finishing equipment including vibratory finishing machine, centrifugal disc finishing machine, centrifugal barrel machine and other drying equipment for customer parts finishing. The variety of finishing equipment offer possibility to meet demands of various applications, for example deburring, polishing, ball burnishing, cleaning, de-flashing, descaling etc. Besides surface finishing equipment, the inovatec lab uses analyzing equipment such as the microscope, particle size analyzer and element analyzer for different materials.
|ANALYZING EQUIPMENT||FUNCTIONS AND DESCRIPTIONS|
|Ignition loss testing center for content of abrasive material in tumbling media testing and measurement|
|Raw material inspection element analyze Panalytical 3X equipment|
|Malvern 3000 Raw material Particle size and size distribution analyzing equipment|
|Microscopic testing equipment, for detecting abrasive size and crystalline structure|
|Whiteness testing equipment, testing raw material whiteness value before they use for manufacturing|
|Media testing equipment, which used for media fracture strength checking. During the testing, at least 5 pieces of media are selected. We take the average value of the group to compare.|
|Laboratory baking oven is used for small sample media production. Calculations temperature simulates real production condition. Once small sample gets target wearing and cutting performance, then we move to industrial production in the workshop.|
|Shore Hardness tester can measure media surface hardness. Shore hardness is also an important indicator for tumbling media properties.|