How do you manage manual vs machine deburring
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    Default How do you manage manual vs machine deburring

    I'm curious how people here balance their time vs the machine's time when it comes to deburring. I've always been under the impression that if the cycle time is longer than the time it takes to deburr, inspect, record inspection and sharp edges can be removed easily then you do them by hand to prevent adding cycle time. If it's a more complex feature or it requires a more consistent finish then let the machine do it and then maybe run another machine or deburr other parts to stay busy and hopefully the day flies by.

    I currently make programs at a shop where the operators only run one machine at a time and often have a lot of down time between cycles. They routinely request edges to be be knocked down by the machine. So I look at the cycle time and compare it to the deburring time and make the call. Often it's a call that the operator doesn't like. Management usually backs me up and I move on with my life while the operator sulks. We always factor in ergonomics and fatigue so it's not like I want the operators to be toiling all day long.

    The company I work for is somewhat large and I'm sure there are bigger fights to fight but I often find myself trying to apply the logic of a smaller shop like the ones I've worked at in the past. Shops where keeping busy is the goal and operators understand and often expect these decisions.

    What are other people's experience with this and how have you managed and overcome these challenges.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robosilo View Post
    I'm curious how people here balance their time vs the machine's time when it comes to deburring. I've always been under the impression that if the cycle time is longer than the time it takes to deburr, inspect, record inspection and sharp edges can be removed easily then you do them by hand to prevent adding cycle time. If it's a more complex feature or it requires a more consistent finish then let the machine do it and then maybe run another machine or deburr other parts to stay busy and hopefully the day flies by.

    I currently make programs at a shop where the operators only run one machine at a time and often have a lot of down time between cycles. They routinely request edges to be be knocked down by the machine. So I look at the cycle time and compare it to the deburring time and make the call. Often it's a call that the operator doesn't like. Management usually backs me up and I move on with my life while the operator sulks. We always factor in ergonomics and fatigue so it's not like I want the operators to be toiling all day long.

    The company I work for is somewhat large and I'm sure there are bigger fights to fight but I often find myself trying to apply the logic of a smaller shop like the ones I've worked at in the past. Shops where keeping busy is the goal and operators understand and often expect these decisions.

    What are other people's experience with this and how have you managed and overcome these challenges.
    Production parts? I would deburr in machine as much as possible, without getting carried away (ie extra setups). This does a couple things IMO.

    1) consistent results (caveman Carl won't turn every edge into a 1/8" fillet!)
    2) better finishes

    I find normally the 'pain' in deburring on the machine is usually the programming and tweaking to get it just right. After that initial pain it is sooo nice to have a (mostly) burr free part unloaded each cycle. Also, keep in mind if deburring is needed before the next setup it is better to just have the machine do it than rely on someone to do it right in order to get the part loaded correctly.

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    Uniform edge breaks and higher morale are more valuable than the five or ten seconds required for machine deburring. Let the operators deburr the complex edges and the machine the rest.

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    Good points. Yes they are productions parts but typically short runs (>100 parts).
    I use software for programming the parts so adding tool paths is very easy for me. It's also easy for me to see the calculated cycle time change with and without the added paths.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red James View Post
    Uniform edge breaks and higher morale are more valuable than the five or ten seconds required for machine deburring. Let the operators deburr the complex edges and the machine the rest.
    Moral is definitely a component in this. As are personalities.

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    My two cents. have the machine do all it can. Ask your people to use any spare time during machine run to keep the shop neat clean and tidy. A neat clean shop helps everyone.

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    when it is one click in the software to break a complex edge, do it.

    If you are programming and setting up and debugging a toolpath on short run parts, forget about it.


    as far as morale is, if it is not tedious, it gives the guy something to do.


    I was gifted a WWII 4 head delta, which sits behind our big VMC, back burring parts is a big part of its job now

    While we all work hard to limit the 'handling' a little bit of handling can help quality, IOW a good worker will notice a change that they might not have just setting it in a bin

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    After receiving my always rusted hex stock that I make 2 1/4" long nuts out of and trying new ways of de-rusting the mess, I say get a machine to do it. Depending on the job the physical wear and tear of de-burring parts can add up. I have a lot of nicks and dings already, just a short time standing using a bench grinder with wire wheels, scothbrite, etc and I end up with an aching back, shoulder, and hands. One of these days I will break down and buy another tumbler or two to handle more volume. Screw hand de-burring, FTS.

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    I'd consider your spindle time as an employee's time. If deburring a part in machine makes the program 5 minutes longer, that's a win if it would take 10 minutes to manually do so. You have to consider how your guys are working though. If they end up just sitting playing on their phones while the machine takes a bit longer to do their work, I'd rethink things. You have to consider it with every job. We've had plenty of parts that it made sense to have the operator doing follow-up ops while the CNC had moved onto the next part, so the run got finished quicker.

    How quickly do you need the job out of the shop (total job time), vs., how quickly do you want individual part ops done (spindle time)?

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    If it's more than a few parts I try to program deburing in the machine. As previously mentioned, no one likes deburring all day and the added cycle time usually isn't enough to make it cost prohibitive. If it does prove to be cost prohibitive, maybe look into tumbling. Making deburing by hand look nice and doing it fast is a very underappreciated skill/art. Most people don't have the ability and/or care to learn to do it well and fast. It's taken me a while to realize I can't expect everyone in the shop to do it as well or as fast as I can. So doing it in the machine makes the most sense.

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    As a programmer I have spoiled most of the operators with deburring parts in the machine. It sometimes takes me longer to create that part of the program but in the long run it worth it on production jobs. I don't want to give them(operators)any excuse to waste time buffing the part to death or getting cut handling a part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawnrs View Post
    As a programmer I have spoiled most of the operators with deburring parts in the machine. It sometimes takes me longer to create that part of the program but in the long run it worth it on production jobs. I don't want to give them(operators)any excuse to waste time buffing the part to death or getting cut handling a part.
    Real knowledgeable programming really can save you money, I agree, but just to be devils advocate here, I have seen another aspect of this become an issue: When the guy doing the programming takes 3-4 days making a perfect program for a part that won't see much volume, when a simple program and some time deburing by hand could have the part out the door in 2 days, that costs you money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    Real knowledgeable programming really can save you money, I agree, but just to be devils advocate here, I have seen another aspect of this become an issue: When the guy doing the programming takes 3-4 days making a perfect program for a part that won't see much volume, when a simple program and some time deburing by hand could have the part out the door in 2 days, that costs you money.
    This is the delicate balance I try and maintain. I like making the software and the machine do the work for me and I enjoy making a pretty part free of burrs but if I see an operator playing on their phone or sitting around doing nothing then start thinking about time management. I'm more likely to then reevaluate that program and see what could be eliminated while keeping ergonomics and fatigue in mind.
    If the additional machine time is minimal and the chamfer tool is going to be called up anyway I leave it in. But I had a recent example where chamfering a set of parts in the machine added 1.5 minutes to an 8 minute cycle. It took about 3 minutes to deburr on the drill press next to the machine. The job was for 200 pieces. So I and the manager thought this move was justified. The operator did not. This is what prompted my post.

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    I should point out I have been using a vibratory tumbler for 25 years. Had as many as 3 at one time

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    I should point out I have been using a vibratory tumbler for 25 years. Had as many as 3 at one time
    We used to have tumblers but sold them because someone here decided it was too expensive to deal with the chemical waste. Now we send tumble work to the company we sold the machines to. The bean-counters are very selective about what jobs we send for tumble which can be annoying sometimes.

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    Sounds to me like you need to have a conversation with everyone about how the shop is run. Deburring on the drill press is currently a no-brainer if the operator is standing around during the cycle. That's a 5 hour difference in the job. If you take the time to explain, the operator should be able to understand that there simply isn't a business choice between those two options, unless he wants to work that 5 hours for free instead of OT. The operator also must understand that he is paid to work, not sit around, and your way goes from 9.5 minutes of wasted time to 3 minutes.

    But as has been said if the machine can do the job and better than the operator, it's worth trying to figure out how to do it from a quality and moral perspective for a repeat or large job. The machine is twice as fast as the operator on the function, and a 9.5 minute block of time is more useful than an 8 minute block of time to go do something else. There just has to be something else for them to do. Move chips, packaging, cleaning, etc help another operator... if there isn't, your way is the only way that makes sense.

    Personally it would drive me crazy working 1 minute and then having nothing to do for 9.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    Real knowledgeable programming really can save you money, I agree, but just to be devils advocate here, I have seen another aspect of this become an issue: When the guy doing the programming takes 3-4 days making a perfect program for a part that won't see much volume, when a simple program and some time deburing by hand could have the part out the door in 2 days, that costs you money.
    I agree 100% and in most cases the deburring does not take that long but on the long production jobs I try to deburr everything. Some of the problems I have see is the operator take the part out of the machine and buff/deburr the part and then put it back in the machine for the second op. There are times when deburring parts he get side tracked and the machine sits. On simple parts of 10 pcs or less I do minimum deburring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCByrd24 View Post

    Personally it would drive me crazy working 1 minute and then having nothing to do for 9.
    That's what I thought! The previous shops I worked at were smaller and if we were running a machine that had to be loaded by hand it meant you were also tended to a bar-fed machine. When I first started that i thought it was a little silly but i soon grew to appreciate it. The nights went to much faster when I wasn't standing around waiting for the cycle to be done.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robosilo View Post
    That's what I thought! The previous shops I worked at were smaller and if we were running a machine that had to be loaded by hand it meant you were also tended to a bar-fed machine. When I first started that i thought it was a little silly but i soon grew to appreciate it. The nights went to much faster when I wasn't standing around waiting for the cycle to be done.
    Multi-tasking is a similar balance. Keep your mind active and avoid dead time, but don't set yourself up to have 1 machine crashing while you are in the middle of tending to the other.

    All together, I think it's a big-picture vs. small picture thing. From my experience, most shop floor guys are really good at monitoring the small picture with things that shave seconds and minutes off of tasks, but can often miss the big picture of how fast the whole shop is getting jobs out, which is most often seen by the suits up front.

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    I hate non-machining time which is why I hate even in machine tool setting, probing, or measuring.
    On the flip side manual de-burr can vary so much across operators as it is a hand done art.
    This skill or care becomes a bigger problem the larger the shop is.
    Who actually measures and trains people on these corner breaks in shape and size? Most machine operators can't use a file correctly without many slaps on the knuckles.
    No idea how you put this art into the standard work instructions.

    When people say in machine de-burring I always wonder if this is a brush or an actual cutter path.
    Bob


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