High-Volume / High-Quality Mechanical Metal Finishing In Today’s Manufacturing Landscape

Precision Finishing Inc. designed & constructed a bespoke, 40,000 sqft. finishing facility in Quakertown, PA. The facility was up and running in June 2017 with state-of-the-art equipment, processes, and capabilities from the previously constructed facility in 1955.

PFI Facility

The new building was purpose-built to support the company’s business strategy to work with customers in providing certified subcontract finishing and secondary services, as well as engineer processes, supplying finishing materials and engineering turnkey system solutions to their customers. This strategy culminates in the company’s tagline: “You Do It -or- We Do It.”

Precision Finishing00058

The production area consists of 15,000 sqft., with new and upgraded finishing equipment. The manufacturing area for the Chemtrol Industrial Compounds® product line comprises of 10,000 sqft., with warehousing/shipping area of 10,000 sqft. The offices with conference rooms and a cafeteria total 7,500 sqft for administration and customer services.

Vibe Tub

The production facility’s design increases visibility, safety, quality, and efficiency from the previous location. From manual batch processing capabilities to fully automated in-line processing equipment, the facility adheres to a strict ISO quality program ranging over extensive part types, materials, and sizes: Stampings, extrusions, weldments, additive manufactured components, castings, powdered metal components, forgings, precision machined components, drawn parts – weights parts ranging from ounces to 1000’s of lbs. in steel, aluminum, composites, copper, brass, tin, titanium, Inconel, stainless, superalloys, ceramics, and more.

“One of the keys to successful quality and volume project management is process control” comments Jeffrey Bell, Technical Process Engineer, at Precision Finishing Inc. “We continuously monitor and log equipment data points ranging from differential pressures, dust collection, amplitudes, temperatures, air quality, equipment wear and more… as well as incoming and outgoing part specifications based on several variables set in the initial process development. We continually assess the latest technologies to ensure that processes in the facility are optimized to meet proper specifications.”

Gauge
Monitoring differential pressure helps determine filter health and keeps the size of the media within specification for consistent roughness values and part-to-part uniformity.

In addition to pressure monitoring, proximity sensors are used with some equipment to automatically feed abrasive when a specific amount of media is consumed, keeping a consistent grain size specification. The use of technology allows operators to focus more on part quality to lower rejection rate and increase operational efficiencies.

Control Panel

Custom designed control panels are outfitted to many of our vibratory processes. These units are fitted with variable speed controllers, timers, and PLC units for multiple step processing, rinsing, directional control, draining, and internal separation dam control.

These panels ultimately help to dial in a process for optimum processing parameters. Operators can manipulate RPM, amplitude, water levels, and dosing requirements to handle a huge array of part requirements.

Conveying

Bell elaborates, “Automation is definitely not everything, and everything doesn’t need automation, however, when it makes sense, we will do what we can to make it happen. Consistency and reliability are extremely important when dealing with critical tolerancing and part quality. Many processes can benefit from some level of automation, even if it is as little as ensuring you have a good quality digital timer that won’t accidentally stick on like its analog counterparts can do.”

Precision Finishing - Compressor Room

A major key to their blast finishing operation is high quality compressed air. The system was purposefully engineered to produce pure, consistent compressed air, with numerous contaminant removal procedures before the air reaches any blast or blow off unit. Twin 100 horsepower compressors feed refrigerated air dryers that condense moisture out of the air column, reducing ambient humidity in the feed lines as well as redundant oil coalescing filters. If moisture and oil were present, blast media can bind up and can leave residue on the parts being processed.

Additionally, secondary moisture and oil coalescing units are fitted to each blast unit, doubling the redundancy ensuring clean, residue-free parts. The entire air transport is constructed with 2” diameter aluminum piping to accommodate a high volume of air flow. Aluminum piping is necessary to eliminate the threat of iron contamination from the more common black iron pipe.

Air Tank

Precision Finishing’s compressor room and two, 1,500-gallon compressed air storage tanks feed the entire facility with energy efficient utility air.

Bell explains, “With our commitment to technology and automation, we can continually focus on process improvement. Core competency is a value to many customers, so when we are performing finishing operations at such a high level of quality and consistency, to them, it can remove the threat of in-house rejections without the need to train and improve on a technology that is taking away from “what they do.” Of course, when it makes sense, capital equipment acquisition is necessary…however, when the option exists to invest in a secondary or primary operation, primary operations help grow business and bring new products to market. Finishing is our core competency, and when customers transition to subcontracting from in-house processing, they find that their part quality increases, rejection rates fall, and now have more workforce to devote to improving their core.”

“When a customer is considering outsourcing a process, and they visit our facility, it is an eye-opening experience for them.” states Bell. “From the high part production capabilities to the wide range of part sizes, finishing specifications, and cost savings, they can see value in having Precision Finishing becoming a strategic partner in their manufacturing value chain.”

Precision finishing also offers shot peening, shot blasting, spray washing, ultrasonic cleaning, inspection, packing, and facilitation of secondary operations such as heat treatment, anodizing, painting, plating, and passivation, with a regular pickup and delivery service, serving much of the surrounding areas.

This entry was posted in Chemtrol, Deburring, Fabrication Job Shop, Finishing Compound Formulations, Finishing Process, Isotropic Finishing, Mass Finishing, Part Washing, Recycling Vibratory Waste Water, Shot Peening, Vibratory Compounds, Vibratory Equipment, Vibratory Finishing, Vibratory Process, Vibratory Washing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.