If your shop specializes in metalworking of any kind, you’ll need to develop smart, cost-effective ways to deburr each part. Fast and efficient metal deburring can help you maximize staff productivity, boosting your bottom line and your capacity to quickly serve clients or customers. And while many metalworkers understand this important concept, few have the industry expertise needed to design and implement optimized deburring processes for their production line.
Here at Timesavers, we take pride in offering metalworkers all of the resources they need to excel with their production systems. For more than 70 years, we’ve been manufacturing durable, fully customizable metal sanders and deburring machines that are designed to thrive in even the most demanding work environments. In the act of working with metalworkers spanning the country, we’ve learned a great deal about the best ways to streamline the deburring process. That’s why we’ll be taking a few minutes today to discuss four very simple tactics you can use to improve your shop’s deburring systems. But before we jump in, it may be beneficial to run through some of the basic aspects of deburring first.
What is Deburring?
Deburring is the process of smoothing the rough edges of a metal object or component. Whenever a piece of metal is cut or drilled, it creates a number of small, sharp burrs that can snag other materials or handlers. To eliminate this defect, metalworks utilize special tools (commonly referred to as “deburrers”) to shave off any remaining burrs, leaving a clean and smooth product. While the purpose of each deburrer is the same, metalworkers employ a wide range of different tools—ranging from large industrial machinery to handheld sandpaper—to smooth out their metal parts.
Now that we’ve covered the essentials of metal deburring, let’s go over a few straightforward strategies you can leverage to make this process faster and safer.
1. Consider Automatic Deburring
After their machine finishes cutting a plate or other part, many metalworkers will manually deburr it while waiting for the next piece to finish. The problem with this approach is that no human can match the pace or consistency of an automated deburring system. Hand grinding your metal parts to deburr them requires large amounts of time and effort, slowing down your production process. Deburring parts by hand also leads to different finishes for each and every product, lessening the consistency and overall quality of the components you finish. Last but not least, manual grinding can cause repetitive-motion injuries over time, making it a safety risk for metalworkers.
If you’re looking to maximize the efficiency, consistency and safety of your deburring processes, then we recommend that you consider automated deburring. Automatic deburring machines can finish metal parts substantially faster than hand grinding systems while also ensuring a smooth, uniform finish on every piece. If you want to learn more about how automatic deburring can benefit your shop, then be sure to read through this article from The Fabricator. It details how one of our industry-leading slag grinders enabled one of our clients to deburr twice the number of metal parts during each work shift.
2. Employ Cutting Fluid
Cutting fluids are special lubricants designed specifically for metalworking. These products are usually sold as oils, but they also come in the form of gels, pastes and aerosols. In relation to metal deburring, the purpose of cutting fluid is to mitigate the levels of resistance and heat between the metal and the deburrer. Over extended periods of use, metal deburring machines generate massive amounts of heat, more than conventional air cooling can handle. This often forces metalworkers to shut down their deburring systems to allow the tool to cool down in order to avoid chattering and friction damage. When applied to these machines, cutting fluids act as a lubricant and a coolant, allowing your grinding operations to operate for much longer. Cutting fluids can also enhance the speed of deburring while reducing tool wear and friction, resulting in faster and more cost-effective part processing.
3. Use Rotary Brushes for Metal Parts With Surface Coatings
If your shop focuses on producing metal parts with cladding, zinc or laser film surface coatings, you’ll likely find that most deburrers damage these coatings. That’s where rotary brushes come in. These multi-directional brush machines uniformly deburr and finish the edges of laser-cut, punched and machined parts in a single pass, saving you time and money. More importantly, these machines are relatively harmless to metal surface coatings, allowing you to increase the efficiency of your deburring system without compromising on quality.
4. Deburr and Finish Simultaneously
One of the biggest production mistakes metalworkers make is splitting up finishing processes that can be completed at the same time. With the right equipment, you can deburr and finish your metal parts simultaneously. For example, our LYNX Series is a very popular option for customers needing a straight grain finish while also deburring sharp edges; this is accomplished by configuring the machine with a combination of belt and brush heads. Machines like this one can save your shop significant amounts of time and effort by completing two essential finishing steps at once, boosting process efficiency and profitability.
Interested in learning about other handy tips your shop can use to effectively deburr metal parts? Then be sure to call or message Timesavers. You can also send us a message if you would like to pick up or learn more about one of our deburring machine models. We would be more than happy to provide you with any other support you need to find a deburring system that perfectly suits your production needs and goals.