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4 Top-of-the-Line Breakthroughs in Mass Finishing Industry

Mass finishing engineered into a modern technology that can easily produce almost any surface finish

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Mass Finishing Industry


Different manufacturing processes, materials, surface finishes and the need for more desirable automation have driven breakthroughs in mass finishing.

This informative article covers mass finishing solutions for heavy and large parts, puts in plain words drag finishing solutions, discusses surf finishing technologies and highlights a couple of different media developments.

Early Ages of Finishing Vibrators:After the first finishing vibrators arrived at the market for sale in the mid-1950s, they were specifically used for ordinary deburring of mass-produced components, generally in the automotive business world.  About 60 years later, massfinishing engineered into a modern technology that can easily produce almost any surface finish, whether it is deburring, defined surface radius, mirror image polishing or surface smoothing.

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During that period, mass finishing was required to make improvements in manufacturing methods, materials, surface quality requirements and production systems.  In these modern times, people are no longer happy with an ordinary deburring job, but they’re insisting on repeatable pre-plate surface finishes and highly polished surfacesof the parts.

One example is orthopaedic augmentations, which are polished and ground by mass finishing.  They have no additional surface finishing phase before being implanted in the human body.


This write-up will discuss some of the most recent breakthroughs that have given a hand to this technology to move forward.

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  • Polishing and Grinding media – showcasing new technical improvements
  • Surf finishing – empowering automatic mass finishing of specific surface areas
  • Drag finishing – a substantial force process to finish delicate components
  • XXL components – heavy and large parts with weights of up to 8,000 lbs.

1.  Mass Finishing Media

Mass finishing media are usually less apparent than the equipment, yet similarly important. Many revolutionary media have made available new options for mass finishing applications.

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Finishing of Exotic and Harder Metals for Different Industries

As new manufacturing processes and materials are created, the mass finishing processes need to adapt.  There are usually a couple of real success stories about the media that have happened recently. Exotic and harder metals used in healthcare and aerospace applications and the requirement for highly refined surfaces have led to the advancement of media that can provide extremely fast cut, yet a very sleek finish as a pre-step to the particular vibratory polishing process.

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Ideal Pre-Polish Finishes

The use of tumbling media has also made many breakthroughs in other industries; This link states everything about such type of media and its uses. The advancement of technologies to blend fine abrasives with the liquid plastic resin carrier substance has led to the production of plastic-type media that induces ideal pre-polish finishes.

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The Use of Media in Mass Finishing Applications

The media has opened the new door to several new mass finishing processes, which in turn became a breakthrough in the finishing industry.  This media can easily be used in any kind of mass finishing application, for example, vibratory bowls, tumble barrels, and tubs, high energy barrel machines, high energy disk systems or even drag finishers.

2.  Surf Finishing

Surf finishing is another dramatically growing mass finishing technique. It uses well-known spin finish technologies. The effective use of robots allows an accurate movement of the components through the particular spinning media mass.  Specific areas of a component can easily be processed to a precise edge radius or finish.

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The Use of Multiple Six-Axis Bots

This surf finishing process includes multiple six-axis bots designed with specific clamping system and a revolving work bowl stuffed with polishing or grinding media.  The robotic system picks up the component and holds it into the spinning media mass.  This media moves around the workpiece. Thisputs a powerful “surfing” impact on the specific areas of the components.

Material Controlling System

The spinning velocity of the bowl can be adjusted to achieve different levels of process strength from mild polishing to intense deburring and surface grinding. The robotic system serves a dual purpose.  It not only manipulates the various components in the media in 6 axes but also works as the material controlling system for a computerised process.  By handling single workpieces, they never come in contact with each other, preventing part-on-part damage and providing full process traceability.

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3.  Drag Finishing

Drag finishing is actually the best finishing approach for top quality components, which should have a perfect finish.

Drag Finishing for Different Industries

These days, drag finishing became one of the most well-known mass finishing solutions, specifically for orthopaedic enhancements and high-value aerospace parts.  On the other hand, drag finishing is also utilised in other industries such as tool holders, propellers, finishing the boat, cutting tools andgears.

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50 Times More Effective Than Vibratory Finishing Machines

Drag finishing machines have a slide carousel with between 2 and 12 rotating stations and a standing work bowl stuffed with finishing media for polishing or grinding.  The particular work parts, installed on the stations, are usually dragged through the media by the slide carousel.  This particular motion makes a very high force between the media and the pieces, producing a high gloss polish andhigh metal removal.  Drag finishers are usually 50 times more effective than vibratory finishing machines.  Quite simply, similar pieces, which require 5 hours in any vibratory machine, can easily be processed and finished in a drag finisher in just ten minutes.

4.  XXL Components

As incredible as it looks, even today, hand polishing and grinding remain the frequent finishing method for heavy, large components.

Ability to Process 8,000 Lbs. Parts

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New vibratory machine types handle components with weights of up to 8,000 lbs. as well as diameters as much as hundred inches. Some other components consist of heavy equipment for wind generators, light weight aluminium airframe components, large bearing races, etc. Most of these components require surface smoothing or deburring, right after the machining operations.

In order to process all the parts, the equipment has to be sized to fit the component easily.  Finishing lightweightaluminium fuselage parts in a tub type vibrator is the right option.   Tubs with a workable length of 30 ft. are produced and are operating around the world. Very large components that are highly processed in tubs in many cases are fixtured to spacer rollers to avoid the large part from mashing the media.


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