Since 1983, company MetalTech in Weesp, Netherlands, has been processing metal and synthetic materials into precise mechanical parts and modules. Besides this, Peter van Leeuwen's company produces Topseal packaging machines of all sorts and sizes. MetalTech customers are from the medical sector, the film industry, mechanical engineering and the food industry.
MetalTech processes mainly aluminium on 13 high-quality CNC machines, 4 of which are robotised. Three horizontal milling machines are frequently used to process cast aluminium. Processing the cast aluminium often leaves an unsightly burr that requires rework. This is done manually, after the product has been taken from the machine - a task that is neither efficient nor interesting. Director Peter van Leeuwen likes to describe the situation as follows: "Ideally the parts would come out of the machine fully finished. If one of our automated machining centres produces 300 parts at night you do not want to deburr all of these manually the next day. Often this work is left undone."
Manual deburring is a tedious, labour-intensive task that takes 8 minutes per housing.
Peter Van Leeuwen, always on the lookout for ways to speed up processing operations whilst maintaining the same quality level and using a minimum of staff, found out about the new GARANT disc brushes from a Hoffmann Group brochure. The brushes are suitable for finishing flat parts directly on the machine, immediately after the machining process: precise deburring, edge rounding, finish machining after milling and processing of surfaces like e.g. sealed and contact surfaces.
Normal brushes have been on the market for a while, but many metal-processing companies hesitate to use them as they do not deliver consistent quality.
Jonne Treur, Head of Department at the Hoffmann Group: "Unlike other brushes, the GARANT disc brushes deliver consistent results. This is due mainly to the design of the individual bristles. They are interspersed with fine abrasive grit. When they are used, new abrasive grit is continuously exposed, ensuring that the performance of the brush remains constant right until the very end.“
MetalTech contacted the Hoffmann Group and carried out tests with the GARANT disc brushes - these tests delivered very good results. They involved the production of 400 cast aluminium housings for fall protection equipment. These are spray-painted after processing – and must therefore not have any sharp edges.
The result convinced Peter van Leeuwen: "The brushes made the razor-sharp edges very smooth. They are perfect for deburring and do not change the dimensions of the components, which obviously is very important."