More than 60 skilled workers and managers gathered in Velbert, Germany for the first industry event in the field of industrial sanding and polishing at the beginning of December. They enjoyed a lively exchange about the latest polishing technologies and processes.
Technical presentations with a practical orientation provided the participants with first-hand expert knowledge and they took full advantage of the opportunity for networking with experts. There was plenty of time in between presentations to discuss the presented technology topics, trends and innovations in greater depth and to benefit from the practical experience of colleagues from various industries.
Part 1: More economical processes with the latest analysis methods
The first part of the event was dedicated to the analysis of polishing methods and the development of economical polishing processes on the basis of empirical data.
Andreas Lühring, Technical Application Consultant at Menzerna, illustrated that determining the service life of the polishing tools that are used is worthwhile. Significant cost savings potential can be realised by increasing the service life and thereby reducing setup times. This potential can be determined specifically for the respective process and illustrated in gradients using suitable measuring methods.
Rudi Messmer, Product and Application Manager at Menzerna, presented the fingerprint method as a new test procedure that makes it possible to evaluate polishing agents and methods based on performance figures. Performance differences can therefore be identified based on data for the first time. What is known as the fingerprint method uses innovative scattered light measuring technology that enables even more accurate, faster and less sensitive measurement of surface qualities.
Ingo Heindirk, Technical Application Consultant at Menzerna, explained that lead-free brass alloys prescribed by lawmakers for the near future pose a major challenge, especially for the fittings industry. This example illustrated how systematic analysis can be applied to design much more economical sanding and polishing processes, even for surfaces that are difficult to process.
Part 2: Innovations moving the industry
Following a shared lunch, innovations that are driving the industry were on the agenda.
Dr. Lothar Löchte of Erbslöh Aluminium GmbH reported about a novel aluminium alloy and its processing. It is used for highly decorative surfaces, especially in the automobile industry.
The guest presentation of Dr. Christoph Dill was stirring, vividly illustrating how innovations in one’s own company can be purposefully implemented before competitors do the same.
A ground-breaking innovation was discussed with MELT, the Menzerna Liquefaction Technology. This new application method for solid polishing pastes can improve the productivity and quality of automated polishing processes. The Industry 4.0-compatible MELT method combines the benefits of emulsions with those of solid pastes. It therefore makes it possible to automatically apply solid polishing pastes in liquid form.
The final presentation by Dr. Stephan Dech, Development Manager at Menzerna and Mr. Moritz Heil of the Fraunhofer Institute was followed by a stimulating exchange among the participants as well. The spontaneous combustion risk of aluminium polishing wastes was significantly reduced in a joint development project. Highly reactive aluminium particles cause the spontaneous combustion of polishing wastes. Polishing wastes themselves can heat up significantly and ignite when heat accumulates. This repeatedly causes fires in the waste containers of industrial enterprises. The Menzerna Heat Absorbing Technology embedded in the formulation of polishing emulsions can disrupt the reaction chain, thereby reducing the spontaneous combustion tendency by up to 90%.
The feedback of the participants about the event was consistently positive so that a follow-up event is going to be held soon.