Farewell to Burrs

It is inevitable to have burrs on the cutting or hole-drilling edge during the milling while milling parts. The size of burr is usually relevant to tool wear condition, feeding and rotary speed, material properties, cutting fluid, etc. The left burrs on the workpiece not only could get operatives scrapped, but also could lead the dimensions exceeding the tolerance. Therefore, CNC manufacturers all regard burrs as a huge enemy against workpiece quality. Previously, APPORO shared a case study on deburring the die casting parts. In that case, burrs formed on account of reamer wearing, and after APPORO promptly renewed the reamers, conducted a full inspection, and removed the burrs, we coped with the quality crisis.

Most burrs on the end/edge of the parts could be removed on the CNC machine through chamfering(*Ref). However, some have to be manually removed as the burrs are where the machine can hardly perform, resulting in the high overall manufacturing cost. If you ever encounter the above situation, take a look at two concrete cases below. See how APPORO make excellent use of decades of experience in CNC manufacturing to overcome all kinds of challenges.

Across Milling Burrs

Basically, milling is about cutting round bar materials into required ID/OD dimensions with high-speed rotary tools. If we are to mill flat surface onto the cylindrical side of round bar materials, the CNC milling machine should be installed with driven tool holders, where face milling cutters are mounted. When it comes to the step of face milling on the side, the round bar stops spinning and aligns the face milling cutter with the part to be machined. Then, the milling cutter starts spinning in right/down or left/right direction to side mill the workpieces, until the depth and width across flats are as required.

 

but highly possible to cause burrs at the end of the flat surface.
We use two cutters to precisely and quickly face mill the rod, but highly possible to cause burrs at the end of the flat surface.

 

From the poppet stem photo above, the head of this OD 8.0 mm workpiece features 7.0 mm width across flats. In other words, the surface has to be 0.5 mm in-depth on one side. First, APPORO used two cutters with 7.0 mm space in-between to face mill the 8.0 mm OD with symmetry from the end of the workpiece, in the same direction with the axis. The processing was precise and quick, but highly possible to cause burrs at the end of the flat surface, which was also around the edge of finish part of the workpiece. As there were not sufficient tool holders in that CNC lathe machine, it was impossible to remove the burrs on the machine. In that way, APPORO could only manually remove the burrs with a pneumatic deburring tool. However, the inconsistent force exertion led to the uneven chamfers and the disqualification.

To manually remove the burrs with pneumatic deburring tool led to the uneven chamfers.
The inconsistent force exertion led to the uneven chamfers marked by red arrows. The undercut marked by red circle is very rough due to the fact that the cutting tool is worn out.

 

When APPORO reviewed all the milling process, we decided to substitute a better CNC lathe machine with more functions, installing face milling tools in its driven tool holders on the side. So, we can machine the 7.0 mm across flats directly. When the 0.5 mm deep surface is completed on one side, the C axis of the lathe machine rotates by 180 degrees and machines 0.5 mm deep surface with an end mill. In the following, APPORO uses the chamfering tool to remove the burrs from the four edges. After this adjustment, APPORO stays away from the risk of inconsistent force exertion of manual deburring and enhances the production efficiency.

To mill the across flats and remove the burrs directly on a powerful CNC lathe.
To mill the across flats and remove the burrs directly on a powerful CNC lathe machine.

 

Burrs from Hole Drilling on Slopes

Generally, after hole drilling, noticeable burrs formed around the edge of the exit surface. If there is still enough space around the hole, chamfering to deburr is still available. However, if the exit surface is not perpendicular to the hole, meaning that the exit surface is a slope or curve, chamfering is not an option to deburr. Here are some alternative plans we can adopt:

1.) Blast

Using the momentum of the high-pressure gas to strike the surface of the workpiece. Available to polish the surface and deburr with evenness and efficiency. However, after blasting the surface could turn slightly matte.

2.) Tumble

The tumble theory applied to have tooling rub against the workpiece with high frequency. Available to polish the surface and deburr with evenness and efficiency. Unavailable for overlong/overweight workpiece or workpiece with external thread.

3.) The universal deburring tool

A unique chamfer tool with its cutter and spring attached. It allows removing the burrs around the edge on both ends at a time. Unavailable for hole under 3mm ID.

Can’t figure out how to deal with the nightmare of burrs? It is time to contact APPORO now. APPORO is going to help you overcome all the problems in manufacturing, based on our experience for decades in this field!

 

*Ref: Learn more about Chamfering.

Fine Blanking Press Can Save 90% of Manufacturing Cost

How to reduce the cost of production?
Instead of using poor-quality materials, look for advanced production techniques!

Stamping is a manufacturing method which shapes sheet materials rapidly through procedures like shearing, blanking and bending. Stamping features the precise, mass, economic and effective production that it can produce fast and repetitively. We will talk about the difference between regular stamping die and fine blanking press later. Before, APPORO also shared a case study on progressive stamping die here: https://www.apporo-cnc.com/news_detail.php?menu_s=400&sn=52&page=0

The cut edge of a finished product of regular stamping die is usually rough and deformed with obvious cracks, and of parts with more thickness this condition becomes more apparent. This happens because when regular stamping dies function, they push the punches to bend and cut the materials, and then remove the finished cut part or waste materials from the sheet materials. If there is a need for precise assembly on the cut edge, a secondary processing work will then be inevitable to fix the cut edge. Otherwise, if there is no need for the precise assembly or cosmetic purpose on the cut edge, regular stamping dies will be an utility option for mass production.

The cut edge of a finished product of regular stamping die is usually rough and deformed with obvious cracks.

For example, the picture below is a counterweight part in a measuring device. As the counterweight part is not for cosmetic purpose and its cut edge is not for assembly, it is appropriate to use regular stamping dies to mass produce.

The counter weight part is made of SPHC materials with 10mm thickness. Manufactured with regular stamping dies, the cut edge of the part is rough with the bend and deformation.


Fine Blanking Press

Fine blanking press provides parts with smooth and vertical cut edge with precise dimension tolerance. Compared with regular stamping dies, the design of dies of fine blanking press has many differences. Take the blanking dies for fine blanking press as an example. There will be V-shaped convex rings designed around the upper stamping plate near the fringe of the cut edge. While blanking, the upper and lower plates will clamp the parts. After that, the blanking punches will fall to cut the sheet materials. Meanwhile, there will be ejectors same size of the blanking punches with counter-pressure below to withstand the sheet materials upward, ensuring that the cut edge of the sheet materials will not bend and deform after cut. Generally speaking, the width of the cracks between the blanking punches of fine blanking press and the upper/lower plates will roughly be 0.5% as much thickness of the sheet materials. That is almost 1/10 as much width of the cracks of traditional stamping dies, so as to prevent the cut edge from tearing.

The pole piece is made of SPHC materials with 6mm thickness. Manufactured with fine blanking press, the cut edge of the part are smooth and vertical, which is not second to the quality manufactured with milling or laser cutting.


With the numerous features above, fine blanking press dies are quite suitable for manufacturing 2-dimensional parts. Also, when it comes to mass production, fine blanking press has an advantage in its low cost compared to CNC milling and laser cutting. As what is stated above, if we use CNC milling for 2-dimensional parts with precise assembly and cosmetic purposes, the parts will have high precision but with high manufacturing cost and low efficiency. If we use laser cutting, although the manufacturing cost is low and the efficiency is high, the dimension precision is lower, only +/-0.2mm tolerances. Besides, it is easy to have burned marks, sharp edges, and burrs on the cut edge when we use laser cutting, so we will need secondary processing to reach enough precision and cosmetic requirements, and the manufacturing costs and procedures will then increase. If you plan to cut down the manufacturing cost, increase the manufacturing efficiency, and have the needs of precise assembly and cosmetic appearance, take fine blanking press into consideration for your projects.

Learn more about stamping: Progressive Stamping Mold: Spacing Limitation

Design Matters (Part 4) – Uneven sheet materials

Uneven sheet materials
Too thin of too thick, uneven sheet materials can be a huge problem.

 

Generally speaking, when it comes to deciding the thickness of sheet materials, the unevenness is often a concern. It then becomes necessary for the sheet materials to have additional thickness, so that we can machine the materials to the required dimensions and at the same time ensure the accuracy of the reference surface and the relative dimensions. Whether the sheet materials are rolled metals or extruded plastics, they all need molds for manufacturing purpose. However, mold precision goes down with time, which could lead to the poor quality of the sheet material surface, as well as the uneven material thickness.

 

Case Study on Uneven Sheet Materials

Recently, APPORO machined a batch of panels by milling, of which mostly are Eurorack & Modular Synthesizers, and delivered them to our Japanese customer. After assembling the panels, they found out the assembly acrylic plates were not completely coplanar with the panels, and turned to APPORO for solutions. APPORO digged into the situation and then figured out it was due to the uneven thickness of the acrylic plates, which resulted in the height gap between the metal panels and the acrylic plates.

 

The uneven thickness of the acrylic plates resulted in the height gap between the metal panels and the acrylic plates.
The assembly acrylic plates were not completely coplanar with the panels due to uneven thickness.

How We Solve Unevenness?

The panels are 1.6mm thickness steel plates with drilled holes, milled grooves, and after powder coating. While the acrylic plates are 3.0mm thickness amber transparent acrylic, of which the outer areas were to milled into 1.4mm in height. Usually, the rest areas with extra 1.6mm lump of the acrylic plates could perfectly match the steel panels. However, only few suppliers provide amber transparent acrylic, and therefore the quality and precision of the molds are not satisfying. Consequently, those so-called materials with 3.0mm thickness are actually with thickness around 2.6-3.2mm, which are of considerably unstable quality. What’s more, even we can find the inconsistent thickness across one plate. After the discussion, our customer agreed to accept the panels with the 1.5-1.8mm gap between the unmilled and the milled surfaces. So, APPORO offered the solutions below for this problem:

1.) Cut the materials into plates from the 3.0mm thickness acrylic sheet materials. Then, checked the thickness of every sheet material, and eliminated the materials with thickness less than 2.70mm and over 3.0mm.

2.) Milled the parts into 1.2mm in height, with at least 1.5mm to 1.8mm lump on the top. So, after the assembly the acrylic sheet might be 0.1mm lower than the panel surface, which could still meet the assembly requirement of the customer.

 

Finally, the technical team of APPORO conquered the difficulties in production, assembly, and etc., helping our customer deal with the tricky situation. Again, APPORO won the trust of our customer and also the opportunities of further cooperation. If you are undergoing similar problems during design or assembly process, send us an email for the technical discussion with APPORO. APPORO will assist you of advancing in the product design.

 

Learn more about the importance of design in CNC manufacturing:

Design Matters (Part 1) – Shrinkage

Design Matters (Part 2) – Coating

Design Matters (Part 3) – Warping

Design Matters (Part 3) – Warping

Undoubtedly, part warping is a nightmare for both manufacturers and customers. It can affect the functionality of a part or lead to assembly failure. Generally, part warping is due to residual stress, which can be highly relevant to the choice of materials, dimensions of the part, and manufacturing conditions.

 

Warped part can be straightened.
Warped part is mainly caused by the residue stress of the material

Read more

Effects of CNC Machining on Part Distortion

With recent increase in demand for more ultra precision machining designs for improving performance requirements, we are facing a great challenge in this kind of CNC machining services. Generally speaking, the greatest challenge when machining these components is part distortion. For instance, removing material up to 80 % on CNC machines to produce monolithic components replacing multi part assemblies has become common in aerospace, automobile, precision instrument industries. These kind of components might have similar appearance features such as thin wall, very long length, etc.

What Is Part Distortion?

Part distortion is defined as the deviation of part appearance from original shape after released from the fixture. Generally speaking, distortion could come from several variables such as type of material, inherent residual stresses in bulk material, residual stresses induced from CNC machining, part design, etc. In the most cases, the dominant factor of part distortion is the inherent residual stresses in the part. In general, these inherent residual stresses usually come from different manufacturing processes, i.e. quenching, stretching forging, extrusions, casting, welding, machining, forming, and etc.

CNC Machining Part Distortion
Residual stresses induced from CNC machining may cause parts deforming.

 

How Can I Minimize Part Distortion?

Distortion is a common challenge in manufacturing industrial components. The suggestions to minimize or eliminate distortion shows as below:

1.) The length to thickness ratio of the part design is lower than 10:1.

2.) Pre-heat treating the metal part prior to manufacturing for stress relieve. For instance, the general stress relieve condition for AISI 4340 alloy steel is at 650-670°C for 2hrs, slow cooling furnace.

3.) As per our experience of CNC machining service, distortion increases with the cutter size at constant feed, speed, depth of cut and material removal rates.

4.) Considering that WEDM process involves being fully-submerged, it imposes nearly no stress on the metal part.

 

With optimized manufacturing process flow, we are able to minimizing any deformation on all the CNC machined parts. Also, to select the suitable cutting tools and CNC machining parameters is of utmost importance. Note that the choice of cutting tools size is key to strike the balance between the productivity and geometrical constraints of the component. By the way, you can learn more about:

1.) Larger Corner Radii Reduced CNC Machining Cost

2.) 4 Things That Will Impact Your Manufacturing Costs

 

 

Chemical Conversion and Anodizing Processes

Both chemical conversion and anodizing processes are surface treatment to enhance the oxidation process especially for aluminum alloy. Aluminum is usually reactive with water or air to form a stable passive layer of aluminum oxide. Actually, this anti-corrosion protective layer can stop the rest of aluminum metal from oxygenating. In the previous articles, you can learn about:

  1. How to avoid the blotchy and uneven anodizing
  2. Anodizing surface treatment for cosmetic purpose
  3. Anodizing surface can sometimes fail

 

Aluminum alloy is becoming the most common used raw material for many industrial application. So, apparently, there are more and more CNC machining services projects in which our customer prefer to use aluminum alloy due to its advantages. Generally speaking, properties which make aluminum alloy popular include:

  1. Light weight but still strong enough: The density of aluminum alloy is about 1/3 of steel. High strength to weight ratio make aluminum alloy good material for many application, such as structural, .
  2. Corrosion resistance: Aluminum alloy can naturally generate a protective oxide coating layer on its surface.
  3. Heat and electric conductivity: Aluminum alloy is an excellent conductor and commonly used material in power transmission system.

What is Chemical Conversion?

Sometimes, we use Alodine as an alternative name for chemical conversion coating which applies chromate to the metal substrate. In the past, hexavalent chromium was mostly used in the immersion bath process for coating, but now it has been prohibited by RoHS Directive. Nowadays, trivalent chromium based coating processes are commonly available for commercial application.

Chemical conversion coating:

1.) Creates an anti-corrosive, durable and electrically conductive surface.

2.)Serves a better surface treatment option for aluminum chassis components due to its electrical conductivity, compared with anodizing

3.) Is a pre-treatment to improve paint adhesion prior to powder coating. The paint can mechanically bond to the conversion coating, but not just sit on top of the surface. Otherwise, the paint will be likely to undergo flaking or delamination from the metal surface.

4.) Can also be a primer prior to anodizing treatment.

We offer MIL-DTL-5541(*Ref.1) chemical conversion coatings which form protective films by chemical reaction with aluminum alloy. Generally speaking, these conversion coatings are categorized by the following types and classes:

Type I: Containing hexavalent chromium. Typically, it appears to be gold or yellow in color, which can be optionally specified as “clear” color (as an alternative to no color). However, Type I chemical conversion coating has been prohibited by RoHS Directive.

Type II: Containing no hexavalent chromium, but trivalent chromium. Typically, it appears to be “clear” color (as an alternative to no color).

Class 1A: Providing increased corrosion resistance and adhesive properties for painted or non painted workpieces.

Class 3: Providing increased corrosion resistance and adhesive properties and maintains electrical conductivity. Color ranges from light to dark yellow or gold.

Chemical Conversion Electrical Mount Base Adapter Plate
Parts treated with Chemical Conversion MIL-DTL-5541 Type 1, Class 1A

*Ref.1: See more about MIL-DTL-5541

Reverse Engineering: From Real Component to Print

Reverse engineering, so called back engineering, is to get the design information from the item already made. Afterwards, to reproduce the item total according to the obtained information. Laser scanner, CMM, profile projector, industrial CT scanning are the most powerful measurement tools for reverse engineering. Furthermore, you can refer to Wikipedia for more understanding about reverse engineering.

At APPORO, we provide reverse engineering service for parts made by CNC machining, stamping, plastic injection, die casting. Generally speaking, we use CMM and profile projector to extract the dimensions accurately from the original workpiece. Below showed a CNC machining service project for our USA client who were asking reverse engineering for Rotary Tattoo Machine components.

Original Sample of Rotary Tattoo Machine Components from USA client
Original Sample of Rotary Tattoo Machine Components

Reverse Engineering Step by Step

1.) To extract the sample dimensions by CMM, profile projector and Venier caliper.

Original samples sent from USA client. Firstly, sent for extracting all the dimensions by CMM, profile projector and Venier caliper. After that, all the dimension information are to create 3D CAD drawing for further CNC machining process. See more about our quality inspection instruments.

Reverse Engineering: Rotary Tattoo Machine - Frame dimensions extracted by CMM
Rotary Tattoo Machine – Frame

Material: Aluminum Alloy 6061-T6

Surface Finish: Red, Black and Silver Anodizing

Type: CNC Milling

Reverse Engineering: Rotary Tattoo Machine - Motor Housing Cap from USA Client
Rotary Tattoo Machine – Motor Housing Cap

Material: Aluminum Alloy 6061-T6

Surface Finish: Red, Black and Silver Anodizing

Type: CNC Milling

2.) From 3D to 2D prints for CNC machine programming

Generally speaking, to convert 3D CAD drawing into 2D CAD print is a must for CNC machine programming. A CAM software can both read and output CNC programming code for production from 2D prints. After that, we will confirm with customer by using the 2D CAD prints marked with dimensions and detailed descriptions. How to make a good 2D CAD print? For instance, various but less view sides of workpiece, detailed but simplified dimensions, marked with important notes if any. After intensive discussions with client, we have reached a consensus to integrate frame components into one part as below.

CNC Machining Services: Rotary Tattoo Machine - Frame for CNC machine programming
Reverse Engineering: Frame

 

CNC Machining Services: Rotary Tattoo Machine - Motor Housing Cap for CNC machine programming
Reverse Engineering: Motor Housing Cap

 

3.) Move to production

At last, the customized jigs, cutting tools and CNC programming were ready for production arrangement. You can visit our website for more understanding about our core service. After CNC machining, the items were sent for with high quality anodizing.

CNC Machining Services: Rotary Tattoo Machine Frame
Frame with Glossy Red Anodizing

 

CNC Machining Service: Rotary Tattoo Machine Motor Cap
Motor Cap with Glossy Black Anodizing

 

APPORO are still working closely with our USA client for cases with innovative new design, whilst improving the cosmetic surface with clear machining action. Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any interesting cases. We look forward to cooperate with you.

Cross Knurling Profile DIN 82-RGV

Standard specification of DIN 82 (link)

 

After CNC fabrication processing, the workpiece is usually with smooth metal surface. Knurling is a manufacturing process to feature straight, crossed, angled, diamond-like lines or pattern onto the CNC components. Generally speaking, knurling can perform better grip for finger/hand operation, plastic injection insert or decoration purpose. Sometimes, we also machined multiple shallow slots or polygonal for same above purpose. DIN 82 is most commonly used knurling spec in CNC turning machining field. For example, DIN 82-RGV is with cross knurling pattern. DIN 82-RBR/RBL is with right/left hand spiral. DIN 82-RGE is with diamond-like 30° cross male knurling.

 

Failure Cross Knurling

Our Belgium textile industrial customer had sent us the original sample made of stainless steel 304. The sample made by Belgium local prototyping manufacturer was with failure knurling surface. See the shorter item in below photo. The measurement of sample was precise and within tolerance, but with bad knurling which was with improper length, too light pattern, and also lack of lead in chamfer at the threaded hole.

Cross Knurling DIN 82-RGV
Cross Knurling DIN 82-RGV Compare Zoom-in

 

The improper length of knurling do bad for its appearance, a customized full length cross knurling tool can solve this issue. Too light patter may result from the CNC programming or limitation of CNC lathe. Moreover, our CNC production lines can easily machine the lead in chamfer on the edge of threaded hole.

Improved knurling

Therefore, we ordered a customized full length knurling tool to meet the required pattern spec of DIN 82-RGV 0.8. An automatic Japaneses CNC turn-mill machine also helps improving the quality of surface and dimensions. Above photo shows the longer workpiece machined by APPORO is with improved knurling pattern.

 

We can offer CNC precision parts with several types of knurling surface, such like straight knurling, cross knurling, diamond-like knurling. Our production lines are also capable of knurling on precision plastics parts. Should you have any inquiry for above knuring surface on your CNC workpieces, kindly send us RFQ for free project reviewing without hesitation.

Aluminum Anodize Coating Failure

Aluminum anodizing is to produce oxide layer on the surface of aluminum parts to improve the capability of anti-corrosion. Actually, we had talked about this topic in previous case study. But, in this topic, we are talking about aluminum anodize coating failure. The failures caused by various issues on a aluminum CNC machining part generally fall into some of the following categories:

1.) exposure to chlorine based solution

Chlorine is very reactive and causes pitting corrosion by removing the oxide layer. Be careful if Chloride ion in a sulfuric acid electrolyte exceeding a critical level of chloride of 80 ppm. Please also notice that chlorine based solvents are for degreasing which may also cause acid pitting.

2.) exposure to very acid or alkaline solution

Solutions, pH lower than 4 or higher than 9, has the ability to break down the oxide layer and make the underlying aluminum susceptible to corrosion. Generally speaking, to rinse completely the aluminum anodize part is the most satisfactory method of eliminating this problem.

Blind holes v.s. anodizing failure

The anodizing failure rate can be high if your CNC aluminum parts featured with blind holes. If the high acidity anodization solution are not well removed from the blind holes, the liquid will flow out and damage the surface of CNC aluminum parts resulted in flaking-off and spots on its anodiizing surface.

 

Below photo showed an aluminum CNC milled part etched by acid residues. The white, dirty, flaking off oxide powder surrounding the threaded hole is gradually getting worse if no further action against it.

Aluminum anodize can be failure on occasion.
Aluminum anodize failure because of acid.

 

Preventive action to against failure of aluminum anodize

As described above, to rinse and clean the blind hole on a CNC aluminum anodize part is the best way to remove acid solution. It is a MUST to take this preventive action to against failure of anodizing.

 

Should you have any questions about aluminum anodize or other RFQ, feel free to send us RFQ for project reviewing.

Inner Thread Machining by Using Fluteless Tap

There are many ways for thread drilling in metalworking. As for external thread, both thread rolling and thread dies are most common used. As for inner thread machining, we generally use taper/second/bottoming three steps thread tapping or fluteless tapping.

Frankly speaking,  to drill a deep and small inner thread on high hardness or malleability raw material is a difficult mission. Thread machining is all about factors. Such as hole diameter, the forming speed and types of drill bet on the responses: torque, hardness, feeding rate, and thrust force of the form tapping process. Fluteless tap is the one of the best tooling for machining inner thread on CNC turning machines.

Fluteless tap thread machining
Thread machined by using fluteless tap

 

What is the Advantages of Fluteless Tap?

Fluteless tapping, so called form tapping. The screw thread is formed by plastic deformation of a working metal under high level of torque. And, well monitored operation processing to avoid tool bit breakage when thread machining.

Fluteless tapping can form a perfect screw thread with no waste material in a pre-drilled hole. Besides, it is kind of opposite style of external thread rolling method. The inner screw thread machined by fluteless tap is with higher strength and less error of pitch diameter. So, we mainly use fluteless tap machining inner thread on aluminum part, brass part and zinc part when in CNC precision manufacturing.

 

Thread Machining in Industrial Application

Let’s consider automobile industrial application as an example. Mechanical components need to have threaded parts allowing quick and precise assemblies and dis-assemblies. The engine heads manufactured with non-ferrous metals have a excellent capacity to deform and maintain an acceptable mechanical strength. As a result, thread formed by fluteless tapping can guarantee perfect full threading and high tensile strength.

 

Inner thread formed via fluteless tapping
Zoom in on the inner thread of cut part

 

However, inner thread machined by fluteless taps have some peculiarities. For example, the appearance of a split crest on the top of the thread. Above phenomenon is directly rely on the initial pre-drill hole diameter. In addition, the smaller the inner diameters, the slighter the split crest on the top of the screw thread after flutless tap forming.

 

the appearance of a split crest on the top of the thread
Split crest on the thread

 

Feel free to ask us if any questions about fluteless tap on CNC precision machining parts. Pls send us your RFQ for free project reviewing.