The modern American manufacturing sector is truly enormous. In fact, if it stood alone, it would be the world’s eighth largest economy based on GDP, and it contributes some $2.17 trillion to the American economy. Many factories and workshops across the nation today are building everything from home appliances to cars to furniture, and any factory will need the right tools and supplies for a job well done. These supplies vary, such as burnishing tools, surface finish reamers, lathe tables, and even canisters of pressurized gas for laser cutter heads. What is a burnishing tool used for, though, and what is the role of a lathe table? Such tools can enhance the dimensional accuracy of metal products, make them more attractive to the eye, and other benefits, and no factory is complete without them.
The Role of Burnishing Tools
Many produced items today are made of metal or at least have metal components in them somewhere, and metal needs some work before it’s ready for the final product. Metal can be cut and drilled and welded, but it can also be burnished. Put simply, burnishing tools have round, hard surfaces that will roll across a metal surface, applying intense but even pressure on the metal surface as it goes. No chemicals or heat are needed for this, just the pressure. Why do this? Burnishing tools can compress the metal a bit more and make it tougher, and in fact, burnishing tools can boost metal’s surface hardness 50-100%. For many finished products, that reinforced hardness is essential, and it is only possible through burnishing tools.
And that’s not all; burnishing can make a metal surface more shiny and smooth, and overall more attractive to the eye. Many of today’s products are advertised as having burnished surfaces, and some used items can be burnished again to smooth out their blemished surfaces and restore their aesthetic. Jewelry can also be burnished, and rings and other jewelry can be placed in a rotating drum that’s filled with metal bits that scour off imperfections from gold and silver jewelry.
Using Lathe Tables
Burnishing has an essential role to play in manufacturing, to be sure, but lathe tables are also important. Take note that when wood or metal items are machined (cut, drilled, welded), there will often be upraised imperfections in the material as a side effect of that physical work. These are known as burrs, and burrs are rough and crude, and overall undesirable for any finished product. If they are not ground off, burrs can scratch and scrape against other items and damage them, and metal burrs can attract harmful static electricity. And if nothing else, burrs look sloppy in the eyes of any buyer, and make a bad impression.
So, a factory will have a lathe table to remove those burrs. The idea of lathes dates back to antiquity, in fact, but today’s lathe tables are electric and often have computers in them to keep the work steady. An item is placed in the lathe table’s assembly, then the item is slowly fed to a rotating grinder surface that will scrape off the burrs on contact. This leaves only a smooth, clean surface. A lathe table’s rotating grinder can also have its rotational speed adjusted for different needs. A worker can program the lathe table’s computers for any setting based on the item that’s being altered, and this must be done carefully so the item is not damaged during the grinding process.
Many workplaces, such as those that use laser cutter heads, also need canisters of pure, pressurized gas. Such gas may be nitrogen or helium, for example, and impure gas will not work as well. If the workers at a factory suspect that their gas canisters are faulty, they can order a canister of ultra-pure calibration gas, and compare both canisters to diagnose a problem. A faulty gas canister can be sent back to the manufacturer, and a new one can be ordered. Often, it is laser cutter heads that need these pure gases inside their bodies, which helps focus the light energy that forms their trademark laser cutter beams. Welders need pure gas as well, to operate their welding torches.