3 Tips to optimise your deburring process

3 Tips to optimise your deburring process

In many manufacturing processes, deburring metal components is critical to the overall process because it can affect productivity and quality, both of which affect the end result. Deburring sheet metal helps to simplify the assembly of components, while also ensuring greater edge strength - and, in some cases, a more uniform finish.

If your workpieces require a large number of operations, it is certainly one more reason to consider switching from manual to automated deburring. Especially in high-volume production applications where manual deburring of parts is difficult and time-consuming.

So how can companies optimise the automation of a deburring process? We list some ultimate practices to achieve cost-saving results and improve your productivity.

Tip 1: Limit variations in your workpieces as much as possible

Burrs are raised edges or sharp pieces of material on the part that can occur in various ways during the manufacturing process. They are usually produced by tools used in the upstream process, such as during CNC machining or sheet metal forming and laser cutting. The deburring process removes these pieces and smoothens rough edges.

Precisely because the different types of machining tools used also wear out, the burrs can also become rougher over time. Because the quality of the tool influences the geometry of a burr and its root thickness.

The first important step is therefore to stabilise your upstream process as much as possible by replacing or re-sharpening your cutting tools in time. This considerably reduces the variation of the incoming workpieces during the deburring process. This results in improved quality of your finished product as well as a longer lifetime for the deburring machine.

Tip 2: Understand the materials and components

The type of material and the requirements of the finished piece have an impact on the deburring process. Certain materials, such as stainless steel, are more difficult to deburr than cast iron or aluminium. When materials require greater aggressiveness to deburr well, it is necessary to use longer processing times and abrasives with coarser grits.

In addition, the choice of the right deburring tool also depends on the specifications for surface finish, edge finish and edge radius. Bear in mind that different applications also require different deburring tools. For example, in a first operation we are going to remove the vertically raised burr with a sanding belt, then remove the sharp edges and apply a radius with rotary top brushes, and finally clean up and give the workpiece a line finish using a Scotchbrite sanding belt. These different operations can be automated in a single machine run.

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Tip 3: Choose the right machine settings

Setting up an efficient deburring process also requires selecting the right operational settings. The direction of the workpiece, the throughput time and the motor power are all important considerations in the process design.

Reaching the burrs easily and efficiently is a common challenge, especially for sheet metal with internal contours or variable relief. Here, it is advisable to work with flexible flap brushes. Due to their great adaptability to internal and external contours, burrs, bores and cut-outs, not a single burr is missed out. Proper machine setup ensures that the flap brushes have unobstructed and perpendicular access to the entire workpiece surface.

One metal is not the same as another ... As already mentioned, it is necessary to understand the type of material. Because one metal requires a more intensive finish than another. This affects the throughput time in the machine. So take this into account when setting the conveyor belt speed.

It is important that the motor has sufficient power for the intended work. When a tool has insufficient power, the motor will jam under the load at a lower speed and produce poor results. A quality machine is therefore worth its weight in gold!

Optimise deburring

Automated deburring can offer significant benefits, including reduced costs and improved process consistency, in a range of manufacturing applications. Following these steps can help optimise the process for efficiency, quality and productivity.