Do You Know Why Variable Speed is the Best Choice?

A single speed machine is cheaper per unit, but the overall value may not be cost effective at all!

Essentially, the abrasive cutting and grinding processes are a function of physics. With abrasive cutting, more speed means more pressure and friction. And, in some cases, faster isn’t always better. You might choose the fastest tool thinking it will get your job done more quickly, but in most cases the opposite is true.

variable speedPFERD understands the important relationship between rotational speed and efficiency. We have carefully designed our power tools based on understanding this relationship and the physics involved between the tool, the consumable, and the material.

PFERD power tools, used in conjunction with the proper PFERD consumable provide a system that delivers an optimal process rather than just a machine. With the combination of a premium-quality consumable and a power tool designed to run at the proper speed and power output, the performance and effectiveness results in a much more cost-effective overall process for the user.

As with all power tools it’s important to understand the difference between MSFS (“Maximum Safe Free Speed”, commonly expressed as “Max. RPM”) and recommended speed. With the exception of catalog 206, in which the MSFS and recommended speeds are identical , PFERD products are always listed with a recommended RPM in our TOOL MANUAL.

Let’s look at an example:

A fixed-speed angle grinder typically runs at speeds between 9000-11000 RPM.

For grinding and cutoff operations (4-1/2” dia.), this is a perfectly acceptable speed range. However, if you then switch to secondary operation such as brushing or finishing with a coated or non-woven product, the speed of this grinder is typically too high for optimal performance.

Running products at too high of a speed can cause many problems, such as excessive heat, which can lead to problems such as discoloration and warping of the workpiece, overgrinding of the workpiece, and even failure of the product itself. With coated and non-woven products, excessive speed causes glazing of the abrasive grain, and can actually melt the non-woven material rendering it useless and possibly damaging your workpiece. Most of these problems will result in costly reworking operations.

With variable speed power tools, the user has the ability to change speeds to best match the application and provide optimal performance. With better control, time-consuming and expensive rework is eliminated leading to the best value for the end-user.

How Safe is Your Workplace?

Did you know that June is National Safety Month? Although the 30 days of June are designed to raise awareness to safety while we are at work, at home, and on the roads, it is something we consider every day of the year. Controlling risk and keeping our employees and customers safe is a top-priority for us at PFERD.  

PFERD’s in-house safety plan begins with the Safety Committee. It consists of team members from QC, HR, Engineering, Customer Service, and Production staff and meets at regular times to review processes and procedures and  to address any concerns in the plant. The goal is to create the safest possible working conditions to protect our employees. A topic the committee discusses regularly is safety in human-machine interaction and plant security. But we don’t stop at making the workplace safe for just our own employees—we work to keep all employees safe from workplace hazards.

With a focus on people we stress the importance of health and safety of operators working across all industrial sectors. Manufacturing is a tough working environment but there are certain areas that can be addressed to improve safety. Through ergonomics, “the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment,” employers can make small changes that will drastically improve working conditions. In the application of power hand tools, creating an ergonomic friendly workplace means protecting workers from the influences of noise, vibrations, emissions, and physical stresses. Workplace injuries are the leading cause of missed work time.

By optimizing the tools workers use every day, workplace health and safety are drastically improved. Our goal is to work particularly hard to reduce the levels of dust, noise, and vibrations produced by abrasives used in conjunction with hand tools – we call this PFERDERGONOMICS and it is at the heart of PFERD’s product design philosophy and process, as well as of the primary ways we deliver value to our customers.

As a founding member of the Organization for the Safety of Abrasives (OSA), we have a commitment to make products that follow safety guidelines and offer outstanding protection of users. PFERD offers free live presentations of customized Safety Seminars for technical schools, private manufacturers and fabricators with a focus on ANSI, ISO and EN standards. The Live Safety Seminars review the proper procedures for mounting, guarding, safe speed ranges and operator practices using high speed consumable tools. It is our goal to help you make safe choices when it comes to the selection of your abrasive products.

Since 1897, PFERD has been a family-owned business that continues to look for long term solutions and quality (high value) products. By continuing the tradition of designing and manufacturing abrasives and cutting tools with the user in mind, we have gained the trust of customers throughout the world. Safety in the workplace is easier to achieve when you use the right tools!

PFERD Sparks the Interest of Young Minds

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) has developed a “Be the Spark” program that connects businesses with students from Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) to give them an opportunity to learn about different types of careers. For us, this gives us a chance to welcome students into our facility for a closer look at how manufacturing offers a viable career option.

Participating in the MPS Business Education Tours gives PFERD the chance to bring the world of manufacturing and engineering to the next generation. Because the skills gap is a serious issue in our industry, programs such as these are invaluable for exposing students to work that they may never know existed. It also teaches them what skills and education are required to work in the field.

We hosted a group of 30 seventh grade students, teachers, and chaperones. The event was a big success! Of course, safety is a priority so each participant was provided with the safety gear they needed to enter the plant. After breaking into three groups, the students cycled through the planned events which consisted of a plant tour, department presentations, and a hands-on demo.

During the plant tour the students saw how our brushes are made, the machinery, and the technology that is used in manufacturing today. Many people have the perception that manufacturing is dirty and dungy. Seeing the plant in action really dispels this idea and spotlights how our industry uses state of the art computerized equipment and technologically advance machinery. Presentations from the Engineering, Logistics, Marketing, and Customer Service departments highlighted key functions that are part of running a successful business. Employees presented an overview of their responsibilities and the skills and experience required to hold these positions. And, finally, the hands-on demonstration let the kids try our products and use the brushes as a customer would in a real-world application.

The full tour lasted about 90 minutes. It was a great opportunity for those of us in the plant as well as for the students. Making the connection between school and work is often hard for students to comprehend. Students who don’t think they will ever use algebra or geometry again will see that math and science are all throughout manufacturing and engineering and can lead to very successful careers. We are very happy to partner with MMAC and help to spark interest in manufacturing and engineering careers.

REWORK : An Option to Reduce the Cost of this Profit Killer

You bid and got the job for 5000 steel boxes with black powder coating for your job shop. The bid is tight but if nothing goes wrong you can still make a profit. Then you are told the first batch just came through the coating process and someone forgot to change the filters so every part has dust marks on the sides.  REWORK, with labor costs for material handling, scuffing each part for recoating, and re spraying the parts your profit has just gone away. Add the cost of all the stick on sanding discs and paying for the waste removal and the loss just mounts up. This is an all too common occurrence for many fabrication shops that do sub work for larger assemblers. You are still stuck with the rework but is there a solution to save time and consumable costs and lessen the loss? So you call your PFERD Solutions Provider.

Most issues with coatings rework do not require a complete stripping of the surface. Actually due to some applications of anti-rust agents and sub coatings it is important not to strip the part completely. Often the requirement is to just dull the surface and re-apply the coating.  This is where technology and procedures help save time and money. Stick-on sanding discs (known as PSA discs) fixed to a dual action sander have been the normal procedure for many years. The life of the discs are short because they load up on the paint material and require a lot of time to keep changing the coated disc. Some parts have deep scratches from the effect of a new disc. Some parts have lighter scratches due to partially used product and the effects of both parts are only known after a recoating. Some parts may require additional rework or be scrapped all together. More lost profit.

PFERD offers a 4 inch diameter product called the BEVEL brush. Using this brush on a conventional finishing machine at 4,500 rpm will strip the surface of the coated material with a consistent depth of scratch and pattern. The key is the angle of the brush to all surface contours. The BEVEL brush is angled to allow for contact on flat surfaces as well as fillet corners and outside edges. The speed is important to keep friction and heat to a minimum so the coating comes off as a powder and is not heated up to a liquid. The finish is consistent and the consumption of product is significantly reduced to offset some of the labor costs. With consistent results the risk of secondary rework is minimized.

People often make a purchase based on the finish of the product. They will not pay for the rework required to get it right the second time. When it comes to saving time and money PFERD has the answers.

Improve Productivity with PFERD’s Specially Designed Carbide Burs

PFERD’s High-Performance line of carbide burs offers what an ordinary bur can’t. Designed for specific applications on specific materials, these burs deliver optimum performance and value.

These burs offer the advantages of reduced overall cost with reduced consumption, and maximum material removal, which all contribute to their superior cost-to-performance ratio.  

Many of the burs in this line are uniquely designed for outstanding performance on some of the most commonly machined metals:

  • STEEL Cut for Steel and Cast Steel: Delivers maximum performance with smooth but aggressive operating action. High stock removal leads to significant time savings while lower thermal loads protect the work piece.
  • INOX Cut for Stainless Steel: Innovative tooth geometry enables outstanding stock removal and longer tool life to achieve high-grade quality finishes when processing Austenitic and Duplex Stainless. Yields up to 100% increase in stock removal and generates less heat preventing material discoloration.
  • CAST Cut for Cast Iron: Provides very good chip removal, up to 100% when compared with conventional cross cut burs, with significantly increased aggressiveness. Less vibration and noise leads to smooth milling operation.  
  • ALU/NF Cut for Aluminum and Non-Ferrous metals: ideally suited for coarse machining, these burs generate high stock removal in material such as aluminum, aluminum alloys, copper, bronze, and brass.

Application specific burs that deliver unique benefits in the areas of increased productivity are also included in the high performance program:

  • EDGE cut for Edge Profiling: A complete system that is ideal for edge beveling, radiusing, and chamfering that saves time in process piping, plumbing, and pump design applications.
  • MICRO cut for high surface finish : Ideal for both hand-held and automated machining tasks, this unique solutions combines good stock removal and a very fine surface finish, reducing labor time in secondary finishing applications.

Our goal at PFERD is to offer “single-source” solutions for hand finishing, grinding, cutting, and specialty applications. With this High-Performance line of carbide burs, we offer material-specific burs that result in increased productivity and user comfort.

You can witness more of our burs in action in on our YouTube channel

Contact us  to learn more about PFERD’s full range of products and services.

Cutting into the Performance Racing Industry

The automotive racing market has grown significantly over the last few decades with over 1,300 operating race facilities in the U.S. and more than 451,000 racing participants. Currently, auto racing is the largest spectator sport in the U.S.

The annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, IN. boasts over 50,000 attendees, and represents users and companies with a wide variety of machining, fabricating, and finishing applications. This past December, PFERD exhibited at PRI for the first time, hoping to bring our range of metalworking solutions to the racing world.

PFERD’s premium quality tools and abrasives can be found within a broad range of industries. After attending PRI, we were excited to find many additional applications to which we can apply our expertise and high-value solutions, such as:

  • POLIFAN®-CURVE radial flap discs, ideal for fabricators using tubing to make and repair race car chassis and for notching roll cage pipe/tube. These discs are also excellent for grinding and deburring ‘fishmouth’ (coping) cuts for tightly-fitted tube welding.
  • Cut off wheels in 3”, 4 1/2“, and 6” for general sheet metal, pipe, and tube fabrication.
  • High-performance carbide burs optimized for applications on aluminum, stainless steel, carbon steel, and cast iron.
  • POLISTAR®-TUBE, abrasive spiral bands, and POLICAP® abrasive caps for cylinder head porting and polishing.

Many visitors to our booth were surprised by the impressive offering of specialized cuts available on PFERD’s line of high-performance carbide burs. Internal pipe/tube finishing with POLISTAR®-TUBE, complemented by our new variable speed 120V flexible shaft motor offers versatility and portability that is ideal for use in racing pits or in trailers. This machine runs at an optimum speed range to correctly run our smaller diameter product offerings to extend product life without over speeding which is a very common problem otherwise. Other tools popular with the audience were the electric angle grinder for COMBIDISC® and our MST pneumatic marking/engraving tool.

It is exhilarating to meet a group of motorsport enthusiasts and introduce them to our wide range of grinding, cutting, and surface finishing tools.  We have found many new opportunities to match our product solutions to their applications and working environments.  We look forward to keeping in touch with the connections we’ve made and are grateful to begin supplying products for the performance racing industry and adding this exciting show to our repertoire.
To learn more, please visit our website or contact us!

Check out this video covering multiple products.

Polishing Off 2015 With Thanks to All

It is hard to believe that another year is already coming to a close. The past 12 months have been filled with many changes and improvements that are driven by our understanding of the markets we serve and the needs of our customers. When you’ve been in business as long as we have, you know how to provide solutions that deliver outstanding quality and reliability.

In our final post of the year, we’d like to thank all of those who have helped us achieve the success we had in 2015. It was a year of achievements we can be proud of. We are indebted to our dedicated team of professionals, who bring their work ethic and commitment to our facilities each day. Without them, we couldn’t provide the products and services that our customers have come to rely on. The manufacturing industry isn’t an easy one but with the expertise our employees bring to the industry, we are a leading global supplier of quality abrasives and surface finishing products.

This past summer we embarked on a move to improve customer service by relocating staff from our Leominster location to our newest state-of-the-art facility in Milwaukee. By merging executive personnel, marketing, and customer service positions in the same location as brush manufacturing, central product distribution, and technical training functions, we offer increased efficiency in meeting the needs of our customers. This transition was made even more successful with the support of our loyal employees who stuck with us and eased the move to the new location.

We are looking forward to more success in 2016 as we continue to provide the highest quality “single-source” solutions for hand finishing, grinding, cutting, and specialty applications. We thank you for choosing PFERD!

From our family to yours, wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy New Year!