PM Blog

Deburring Difficult-to-Machine Materials


Not only are hard materials more difficult to machine, they can also pose challenges in other processes, like deburring and surface finishing. Wheel brushes are often good solutions for surface finishing, polishing, deburring, edge blending, and removing contamination like paint and rust. But on harder materials, a wheel brush’s wire filaments can break off or deform, even if they are crimped. Knotted wire options are available for more aggressive deburring, but these still may not be sufficient for today’s hardened steels and alloys. However, wheel brushes with abrasive nylon filaments made of silicon carbide are strong enough to handle aggressive deburring and surface finishing. A diamond grit can also be used for the hardest metals and alloys. 

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By: Lori Beckman 1/9/2020

New Year, New Growth

What do you hope to accomplish in 2020? Is there one big goal that comes to mind immediately, or do you have many small ones? If you’re like me, you made time to sit down at the end of 2019 to create a list of professional and personal goals. Then, you broke down each goal into more detailed action plans that describe the steps you will take to accomplish those goals.

One of my goals for this year is to expand the Parts Cleaning coverage of Production Machining and Products Finishing. As the editor for this section, I am committed to finding valuable and informative articles, news and product technology to share with those of you who machine and clean parts under one roof. Another goal of mine is to learn as much as possible from the people and companies that clean parts on a regular basis by exploring the many facets of this industry in order to bring you the best coverage.

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In-Process Testing in Automated Electronics Production

As the trend toward electromobility gathers speed, electric fuses are taking on a key role, especially in the production of batteries for electric automobiles. The fuses consist of numerous small parts, which must be made in large quantities. Each battery cell requires individual fuse protection, so the total number of fuses in a vehicle can quickly reach 400 or 500. Combined with the strict standards of the automotive industry, these parts can be difficult to produce and test.


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Metrology—the scientific study of measurement—can support an increasingly complex manufacturing world. As metrology experts, we see process-related trends leading to opportunities and challenges ahead.

New manufacturing techniques are creating more complex parts, and design engineers should keep inspection and measurement duly in mind. Technologies such as additive manufacturing or higher-end five-axis machining can create product designs, shapes or tight tolerance features unlike anything before. But too often new product development is designed without exposure to a corresponding method of measurement. Furthermore, some design engineers have never worked in a hands-on manufacturing environment and don’t have a firm understanding of their facility’s capabilities. Some facilities still depend on old inspection equipment, even for newer tolerances or geometries. Some of this equipment was not even accurate enough for the tolerances when new!

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Without corrective lenses, my vision is terrible. I’ve worn glasses or contacts since I was nine years old. My poor eyesight is one of my many flaws, but most of us who face this difficulty are fortunate that a practical and effective solution is available to help us see clearly.

While I’m definitely nearsighted, I try hard to not be shortsighted—that imperfection can be more difficult to fix. I know the importance of looking ahead and planning for the future. This behavior should be habit, incorporated into our routine. But as we head into the new year, it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves to take a step back for a broader view of where we’re headed, both personally and professionally.

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