Burrs present a hazard to those who handle parts during and after the manufacturing process.
Burrs can also break off in holes, causing significant problems. Deep oil holes in crankshafts, for example, must be burr-free to prevent small caps or slivers of material from entering the fluid system.
A burr can also have a negative impact on mating parts and how the fit and finish of components and assemblies look and perform.
Customers demand that parts be smooth to the touch, aesthetically pleasing, have holes that are without burrs and, typically, have a nice looking chamfer.
When a hole is drilled, a burr is usually generated. The deburring method can have a major impact on cycle time, cost, quality and customer satisfaction.
In countries where labor costs are low and reducing cycle time is not critical, the most common way to deburr is with a manual scraping tool. These tools usually have a handle with replaceable blades. Hand scraping is time-consuming, but the tools are inexpensive.
However, repetitive use of these tools can increase the chance of long-term injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Cuts, too, are a reality, and the resulting edge consistency will not be as good, compared to an automated tool.
Out of Touch
When burrs are hard to access, such as those in the cross-holes of tubular components, there are more-efficient ways to deburr than by hand. Common methods include applying brushes, mounted points, sphere-shaped rotating tools, flexible abrasives and rotating tools with replaceable HSS or carbide blades or inserts.
Deburring tools can be used in high- and low-volume jobs and can be run on a wide range of equipment, including hand drills, drill presses, manual mills, CNC mills and lathes, and multitask machines.
Some deburring tools resemble one-piece tuning forks: a split design with two cutting “tines” that squeeze together to pass through a hole. In operation, the tool is inserted until it touches the rear of the hole, then on the retract feed it cuts the back of the burr.
The industry, however, offers a better alternative in the form of quick-change blades and inserts, which can be replaced in minutes or even seconds. These eliminate the need to remove the old-style tool and replace it or send it to the cutter grinding department for resharpening. In addition, quick-change designs are more accurate and robust. Some are even adjustable and allow the blades to be changed while the tool remains in the spindle.
When a burr is on a challenging workpiece material and hard to access, the long life and strength of a deburring tool that accepts carbide inserts can be the most cost-effective choice, especially for production applications. Inserts are available with aggressive cutting angles for difficult-to-deburr applications.
Long-reach tools and stubby lengths are readily available, too, and toolmakers can design and produce application-specific specials. For example, they can design tools with fixed pockets to accept chamfer inserts and combination tools to drill, deburr and chamfer in one pass.
Burrs and Beyond
Burrs are classified by size (as shown on page 82). These include micro-, feather- and fence-type burrs, which are referred to as levels 1, 2 and 3, respectively. These burrs can be easily and effectively removed with a single pass of a deburring tool fitted with an HSS or carbide blade. In addition, an adjustable-size chamfer can be dialed in for a great-looking result.
Level 4 is more challenging and may require more-aggressive cutting angles or coated carbide inserts for best results. This level of burr is usually beyond the capabilities of hand-scraping tools or brushes but can still be effectively removed and chamfered in one pass.
Level 5 is like a “hanging chad.” More cutting force is required to detach it, but it can elicit major customer complaints if it isn’t completely removed. It can be removed by application of the proper deburring blade, in combination with a slower feed rate, or by a secondary pass.
The last classification, level 6, is actually beyond the definition a burr. Instead, it is extruded material that is mushrooming from the hole in a way that is typical when drilling low-carbon steel and other challenging materials.
In the case of a level-6 protuberance, the deburring tool will cut the outer portion of the extrusion but generally will not be able to completely remove it. It would be better to switch to a drilling process that leaves less extruded material around the hole. The more cleanly the hole is drilled, the smaller and more manageable the burr will be.
Custom Deburring Tools Ends Hub Hubbub
Skyway Precision Inc. needed a better way to reach the back of an 80-lb. (36.3-kg) component to deburr holes. The nodular-iron component was an 11.6”-dia. (294.6mm) hub with 22 holes, 10 at 0.425” (10.795mm) in diameter and 12 at 1.093” (27.762mm) in diameter.
Plymouth, Mich.-based Skyway was removing the heavy hub and placing it on a workbench to manually deburr the rear of the holes by applying a countersinking tool in an air drill. This method was cumbersome, time-consuming and costly. Not only did the extra handling require additional man-hours to complete the part, but the countersinking tool was expensive and lasted only a day or two.
The company turned to nearby E-Z Burr Tool Co. to design and make a custom 9”-long (228.6mm) tool for the application. To accommodate Skyway’s specifications, the tool ran at a spindle speed of 550 rpm and a cutting speed of 8.8 ipm (223.5 mm/min.) when deburring the 1.093” holes. In addition, the tool gave Skyway the ability to deburr the back of the holes while the hub remained in the machine.
For the smaller holes, a standard-length tool deburred the top and bottom of the holes in one pass. It ran at 1,750 rpm and 11 ipm (279.4 mm/min.)
The E-Z Burr deburring tool saved Skyway 15 to 20 minutes per part and dramatically reduced the injury risk and additional manpower requirements. Eliminating the countersinking tool also saved money. Plus, the tool accepts E-Z Burr carbide inserts, which last a month before needing replacement. This process led to further engineered improvements, such as using a short pilot drill to start the hole and chamfer the top of the larger holes. The pilot hole eliminated the “walking” and tool breakage problems and prolonged the life of the expensive long drill.
—E-Z Burr Tool Co.
Sales Manager, E-Z Burr Tool Co.
Dan Ewing is Sales Manager for E-Z Burr Tool Co., Plymouth, Mich. For more information about the company’s deburring tools, call (800) 783-2877 or visit www.ezburr.com.
Newton, Massachusetts - Sept. 1, 2015 - Fowler High Precision, globally recognized as a leading supplier of high-quality inspection, leveling, control and calibration equipment, introduced the world’s first truly portable direct computer control coordinate measuring machine (DCC CMM) called the zCAT. Weighing only 30 lbs., the zCAT is the only CMM on the market that can take automated, repeatable measurements while being extremely portable. This combination of features makes the zCAT a natural fit for deployment directly in the manufacturing process so that the same person making the part can now measure the part.
Every inch of the zCAT has been designed to ensure portability, ease of use and accuracy. The DCC technology, which sets the zCAT apart from any manual portable CMM today, enables operators to teach the machine what they want to measure and then permit the device to take over with accuracies that rival larger, more expensive, non-portable, conventional CMMs. Complex 3D measurements for quality control can be taken quickly and automatically at the point of production.
The zCAT stands 620 mm tall and 420 mm wide with a 172-mm-diameter base. A rotary encoder in the base supports 360-degree rotation, allowing parts to be nested around the device’s perimeter and measured all at once. An industry standard Renishaw TP20 probe system rotates 360 degrees as well and the horizontal stylus can rotate and orient to the part, so the zCAT can go right where it is needed.
The completely wireless zCAT is powered by a 10.8 volt lithium ion battery that provides enough energy for up to 4 hours of use in the field before needing a charge. In addition, WiFi capabilities let the zCAT automatically and wirelessly transfer data to a PC in whatever format the user requires, including an Excel spreadsheet.
With an intuitive icon-driven touchscreen and built-in ControlCAT geometric measurement software, most users can take simple measurements within 15 minutes of training and put together more complicated programs within a couple of hours. To expand measurement capabilities and lower training time even further, an optional zCAT MK4 3D measurement software is available as well and includes free upgrades and zero licensing fees.
The revolutionary zCAT was invented by Homer Eaton. Eaton, known for his invention of the articulated arm, was looking for a way to bring a highly portable, automated, easy to use, accurate measurement system right to the manufacturing area.
After several years in development, the zCAT was born and promises to change the industry, saving companies significant time and money in the quality control process by reducing inspection backlog and streamlining processes. Because the zCAT is manufactured as a compact, self-contained unit and fundamentally different than existing CMM technology, design and operation, the machine costs less than a conventional CMM and is more versatile than anything on the market today.
Fowler High Precision is currently taking orders for this truly portable DCC CMM. The zCAT, completely assembled in the U.S., is scheduled to ship in September 2015.
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