January 25, 2023
Mass Finishing for Food
Mass finishing for food is a reliable mechanical process solution that produces consistent results. Parts for food-grade applications require smooth surfaces to prevent contamination. The mass-finishing process eliminates the risk of bacterial growth and sharp edges, resulting in safe and sanitary food production parts.
Since mass finishing is much more efficient than manual techniques, it can significantly increase your company’s productivity.
How Mass Finishing Works in the Food Industry
Surface finishing removes imperfections such as burrs, scratches and dents from food production parts. Mass finishing is a mechanical process that simultaneously cleans and finishes multiple components. This process smooths surfaces to brighten, descale and polish manufactured parts. The food industry primarily works with materials such as stainless steel, and mass finishing ensures these materials have a clean finish.
Mass deburring is a loose-abrasive process that tumbles or vibrates batches of parts in barrels or tubs filled with abrasive media and water or a water-soluble compound. Finishing media consist of abrasive materials such as the following:
During mass finishing, a chamber spins media and manufactured parts to refine surfaces. The media also keep things in the chamber from touching each other, which prevents damage. Powder or liquid compounds serve various purposes, such as descaling or cleaning workpieces and removing rust. While there are different types of mass-finishing techniques, the process consists of the following fundamental steps.
- Cleaning: The cleaning phase prepares workpiece surfaces by removing any debris, dirt, residue and dust that could hinder the finishing process. This step often removes common residues such as particulate matter and die lubricants.
- Deburring: The deburring stage uses abrasive media to grind unwanted elements, such as machine lines and sharp edges, for a smooth and uniform finish.
- Inhibiting: Applying an inhibitor protects component surfaces to prevent corrosion, rust and oxidation.
- Polishing: Polishing leaves parts with a shiny finish. Dry media such as nutshells are ideal for this step, and it is especially efficient if you use pretreated nutshells with polishing additives.
- Drying: Some mass-finishing techniques use liquid media and require you to dry components to ensure the inhibitor operates properly and prevent corrosion.
Benefits of Mass Finishing for Food
Mass finishing is incredibly beneficial in the food manufacturing industry. While finishing by hand may be the traditional method, mass finishing significantly improves operations with the following benefits:
- Reduced lead times
- Easier surface cleaning
- Decreased part handling
- Repeatable process
- Greater results
- Enhanced competitive position
Mass finishing lets you produce parts faster. By reducing the time it takes to complete tasks, you can decrease costs and operate your business efficiently. The mass-finishing process is much faster and more affordable than manual methods, and it has better outcomes by giving each part a more uniform finish. Mass-finishing machines produce consistent results by treating each product the same.
Implementing mass-finishing processes in your plant can also give you a competitive advantage in the food production industry. By finishing parts faster and at a lower cost, you can increase your productivity and satisfy your customers better than competitors.
Why You Need Mass Finishing for Food
The food industry requires ultra-smooth parts free of small areas where bacteria could grow. Rough surfaces are vulnerable to micro-organism deposits, food residue and sharp edges that could break off under stress. Mass finishing is crucial in the food industry because it prevents bacteria and small fragments from entering the food these parts prepare, ensuring they comply with FDA regulations.
Mass finishing is also crucial because it prevents contamination during product movement and packaging processes. Unfinished extruder screws could collect sticky buildups or small machine component fragments, but stabilizing their edges and smoothing their surfaces allows these screws to move food products safely without risk of contamination.
Seaming rolls are sometimes vulnerable to high friction wear if they perform functions such as can seaming. Finishing and re-polishing these parts can reduce surface friction, protecting their surfaces and extending their service life span.
Packaging becomes more efficient when you mass-finish parts. When producing packaging materials, it’s essential to ensure the molds you use to shape and form parts have smooth, polished surfaces. With polished mold surfaces, your machines can easily release finished items from the molds. All or most products come out of the molds in the desired condition without changing shape, reducing the reject rate.
Types of Mass-Finishing Equipment
Food production companies can choose from various types of mass-finishing equipment. Vibratory and tumbler systems work best for larger parts, while centrifugal systems and spindle and slurry systems typically work best for smaller parts. Before choosing a system for your company, consider the following options.
A vibratory finishing system consists of a vibratory tumbler, which produces a force that rubs parts and media together, removing burrs and polishing the components. This mass-finishing technique typically produces a smoother finish than tumble-finishing machines.
A tumble barrel finishing system uses a rotating horizontal barrel to finish parts. The barrel’s rotation forces the components to slide up and down the sides, causing them to collide and smooth each other’s edges.
Centrifugal finishing systems use centrifugal disc or barrel machines. These machines push abrasive parts and media against the periphery of a tumbler using centrifugal force.
Spindle and Slurry Finishing
Spindle and slurry finishing systems, or flowing abrasive machines, use rapidly moving slurry and a rotary spindle to finish parts and prevent them from colliding with each other.
Trust Advanced Deburring for All Your Mass-Finishing Needs
Mass-finishing equipment significantly improves production plants by providing quality results and increasing efficiency. Mass finishing your plant’s parts allows you to finish a larger volume of parts in less time, reducing costs and lead times.
Advanced Deburring & Finishing manufactures centrifugal and vibratory mass-finishing equipment to help food production plants produce large volumes of parts with smooth, sanitary surfaces. With our quality mass-finishing machines, you can increase productivity and cut costs to finish your products efficiently.
We also offer a comprehensive parts selection, so you can maintain equipment safety, reliability and functionality. Our experts can help you choose the best mass-finishing equipment for your food production needs. Contact our team to learn more about our mass-finishing equipment and choose the best option for your company.