PFERD Featured in the August 2018 Edition of FAB Shop Magazine

The August 2018 edition of FABSHOP Magazine Direct.
The August 2018 edition of FAB Shop Magazine Direct.

PFERD was recently featured in the August 2018 edition of FAB Shop Magazine Direct. The article interviews PFERD brush product manager Imre Karetka, who speaks about the importance of deburring, the various deburring options available, and the role of deburring and surface conditioning in automation, which maximizes efficiency in industries that deal with high production volumes on a daily basis, particularly the automotive industry.

In machining terminology, a “burr” refers to a rough edge or ridge on a metal workpiece that remains after the action of a cutting tool or grinding machine. Typically unavoidable byproducts of the machining process, burrs can be problematic if left on the final product. Deburring, as its name suggests, is the process by which burrs are removed, ensuring a smooth and consistent surface finish.

Haven’t read the article yet? Below, we’ll provide an overview of the key takeaways and offer insight into some of PFERD’s deburring solutions.

The Importance of Deburring

Few industries impose stricter safety demands than the automotive industry. Automobile parts and components must be designed to meet stringent specifications and tight tolerances; deburring is a critical manufacturing step to ensure adherence to these requirements.

Internal automobile parts are constantly moving to keep a vehicle functioning smoothly. As Mr. Karetka points out in the FAB Shop article, burrs left behind during manufacturing can break off during operation, resulting in metal flakes flowing within the vehicle’s internal mechanisms. Foreign objects in the transmission, for example, will negatively affect the vehicle’s overall performance and present several safety hazards.

Mr. Karetka also discussed deburring tools as a means of automotive component surface conditioning, such as for camshafts. Bearings, called journals, must be properly finished to facilitate the flow of lubricant onto the camshaft. Improper surface preparation results in lack of lubrication and accelerated wear of metal parts, which causes overheating and seizing of the engine.

Creating Customized Deburring Solutions

Primarily focusing on deburring applications in automation, the article noted that many industries, especially automotive, regularly mass produce parts and components as part of their daily operations. This production process, however, can present unique challenges.

First, conventional manual deburring methods are often inadequate due to time constraints and increased cost of manual labor. Second, space constraints in some facilities can limit the size of brushes that can be used in automated deburring and surface preparation techniques.

To overcome these challenges, PFERD partners with industrial CNC and robotic OEMs to develop customized deburring solutions for specific applications. Our team also configures the grit and wire sizes, increasing them as required to maintain deburring efficiency while minimizing equipment and tool size.

Tackling Deburring Challenges in Automation

At PFERD, we understand that unique situations call for different deburring solutions. To address these different use cases, we offer a range of automated solutions to meet the requirements of almost any industry including:

  • Abrasive brushes –Available with various abrasive materials including aluminum oxide, silicon carbide and ceramic oxide, M-BRAD® brushes are suitable for surface conditioning on a variety of materials including wood, glass, and most metals and alloys.
  • Carbide burrs – Known in the industry for precision, consistency, and concentricity, our carbide burrs are designed for deburring machined holes in metals of virtually any composition or strength. A range of general-purpose burs – as well as material and application specific burs – gives users choices for the optimum solution for their specific application

With more than 200 years of experience in the business, PFERD has established itself as an industry leader providing single-source cutting, grinding, and finishing solutions for many specialty applications. In addition to our standard catalog offering, our team of engineers and technical staff has the experience and expertise to develop customized deburring and surface conditioning solutions to meet customer project-specific requirements. We work closely with clients at every stage of the design process to ensure that our products exceed expectations.

To learn more about deburring automation, check out our recent feature in FAB Shop Magazine Direct. If you’d like to speak with a member of our team for more information on PFERD’s automated deburring and surface finishing services, contact us today.


The  Benefits of High Performance Bur Engineering

Almost any operation involving metal cutting, fabricating, or machining requires secondary processing steps. Removal of weld seams, raised edges, jagged shards, and other imperfections can undermine the part’s performance and detract from its appearance.


With PFERD’s high performance carbide burs, however, manufacturers can easily perform any needed machining while ensuring that their products receive as smooth a finish as possible.

Because they’re designed with particular materials and applications in mind, PFERD’s high performance carbide burs can significantly increase productivity and reduce manufacturer’s operating costs without sacrificing performance.

Material Considerations

While PFERD offers a range of single and double cut burs for general-purpose milling, certain materials pose unique machining challenges. Our material-specific burs will deliver optimum removal with an excellent surface finish.  Their innovative tooth geometry and premium-quality tungsten carbide construction allow for:

  • More aggressive cutting
  • Reduced chatter, noise, and vibration during operation
  • Safe material removal by generating large chips instead of potentially dangerous respirable dust

The following is a brief overview of the various cuts available in our High Performance line, and their unique advantages.


Works best with…


CAST Cut Bur

Cast irons Less noise, smoother milling operation, very high chip removal


Steels and cast steels Shorter machining timelines, extremely high stock removal

INOX Cut Bur

Stainless steels and hard alloys Enhanced tooth geometry, superior finishing, reduced heat generation to prevent discoloration

ALU Cut Bur

Aluminum, other non-ferrous or soft metals High stock removal, reduces loading

Application Considerations

In addition to burs designed for work on specialized materials, PFERD’s high performance range includes carbide burs designed to suit specific applications.


Works best with…

Ideal for…


Automated OR handheld machining Precision applications, high-quality finish


Versatile handheld edge profiling
  • Precise, guided work on edges
  • Chamfering, deburring and edge breaking/rounding
  • Steel and aluminum construction


High-impact applications that typically result in chattering and broken bur teeth Tough operating conditions in shipyards and foundries


Established outside of Cologne in 1799, PFERD has supplied manufacturers with premium metalworking solutions for hundreds of years. In 1942, PFERD was granted their first patent on a “rotary milling cutter”, which later evolved into our present-day line of carbide burs. Over the centuries, PFERD has been committed to offering high quality “single-source” solutions for grinding, cutting, hand finishing, and specialty applications.

Regardless of your industry or application, our high-performance burs can help you achieve maximum productivity and cost effectiveness in your machining process.

To learn more about our products and services, visit our website today.

Bringing German Precision and Expertise to the US Large Diameter Cut-Off Wheel Market

While perhaps a bit of a niche market, the demand for large cut-off wheels is increasing due to the strengthening of the US steel industry.  Applications such as cutting of solid metal in rolling mills, rail manufacture, foundries, and other large-scale cutting operations,  call for a highly specialized product that is custom engineered for each specific process and material.  Leveraging our engineering expertise in abrasives and industry experience in various global segments, PFERD has brought this capability to the US market .

Large Diameter CutOff Wheel
PFERD Large Diameter Cut-Off Wheel

We’ve recently expanded our North American offering in large diameter cut-off wheels to a product range that has been popular overseas.   While we do offer a range of wheels for stationary cutting applications in our standard US offering, large diameter wheels require specific know-how and made-to-order competencies. PFERD’s prowess in this area was recently highlighted at the International Hardware Fair in Cologne, Germany where we featured manufacturing capabilities of cut-off wheels up to 2,000mm (about 6½ feet).   “In the large market, there are only 4 companies in the world that can make the 2-meter diameter cut-off wheel,” said National Account Manager Tim Lee. “We’re one of a very elite group in that respect.”

Tim has been tasked with the job of building awareness for this capability across North America.  The need for an industry expert that can talk

PFERD Large Diameter Cut-Off Wheel Account Manager
PFERD National Account Manager Tim Lee

the talk with the end user, identify the requirements of the specific application, and communicate that to the engineering team, is crucial.  With 28 years in the abrasives industry, Tim is an experienced leader in this field and can solve problems that customers themselves may not be unaware of.  His expertise in this sector is extremely valuable when identifying and delivering solutions for these complex applications.

PFERD’s combination of engineering expertise, manufacturing capabilities, and industry knowledge in the unique and often challenging application of large diameter cut-off wheels enables us to deliver the solutions needed in the steel industry.   To learn more call us today or email our industry expert directly at

Pipeline Industry Insights from a Career Spanning Five Decades

Recently, thousands of pipeline industry professionals converged in Tulsa  for the Steward School 2018 kick-off event. In addition to recreational activities such as the Annual Charity Golf Tournament and Lincoln Electric BBQ at the Steward School, participants come together to gain new skills through training sessions. This also a great opportunity for industry sponsors to meet with members and discuss product solutions.

Michael Roche in the Field

Among the participants at this year’s Steward School event was PFERD’s Pipeline Market Manager Michael Roche, an honorary member of the Pipeliners Union Local 798 since 1990. Through Michael’s ongoing relationship with the Union, PFERD has served as a sponsor for 15 years. We provide abrasives designed for the pipeline industry and get a first-hand look at how industry professionals are using our products in their projects.

“The market is so busy right now,” Michael said. “There’s going to be an explosion of jobs within the next month…Business is picking up in this sector, and the trend looks to continue for the next 5 years, maybe 10,” he said.

With a pipeline career spanning more than 50 years, Michael is a great candidate to provide such insights. Getting his start in 1964 as an apprentice with a pipeline company in England, he’s traveled the world and built a solid reputation as an industry expert.

“I’ve worked in over 30 different countries, and lived in many for months or years,” he said. In his role as a troubleshooter for a major pipeline company in Tulsa, he could expect phone calls to send him anywhere in the world.

“You didn’t know where you would go the next day,” he said. “Based on the problem with the equipment, you didn’t know how long you’d be there. You had to be there until the job was rectified.”

Working with PFERD, Michael consults with pipeline professionals on the frontlines and offers solutions tailored to each job. The tools must be able to withstand unpredictable and extreme weather conditions and comply with stringent safety requirements. We have more than 6,000 tools for surface finishing, cutting, rust removal, deburring, and more. Michael is a great resource for identifying which tools will be best for each stage of pipeline construction work.

We appreciate Michael’s guidance both internally at PFERD and externally with those who use our products on a daily basis. To learn more about our specialized pipeline solutions or discuss your current needs, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Eyes in the Skies – What’s Driving Aerospace Forward?

New technologies and materials have been revolutionizing just about every industrial sector. The trend toward greater efficiency without sacrificing safety has largely led these new shifts. The aerospace industry is among those facing changes.

The Role of Lightweight Material in Aerospace

In an effort to improve aircraft performance and fuel efficiency, many components are now being made with composite materials. These materials provide the same high-strength characteristics as other materials, but are a lightweight option.

Already, aircraft structures including fuselage, wing parts, nacelles, control surfaces, floor beams and even helicopter rotors are being made with composites. Carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs) are by far the most common materials being used in this application.

Why New Materials Require New Tools

Carbide Bur

Because these are newer materials in aircraft design, new tools and processes are needed to work with them. When cutting and machining these composite parts, workers have to be careful to avoid issues like delamination, fiber tearing, or heat damage. Traditional machining is made difficult because CFRP often splinters off into an abrasive dust.

In some cases, the traditional tools of this trade need to be reimagined for this particular material. PFERD’s Aerospace Market Manager, Chad Waltemyer, has been working closely with our product engineers to develop customized abrasive media to cut, grind, and contour these various composites. One example is with carbide burs where tooth geometry and spacing are critical to the performance of the tool.  PFERD FVK/FVKS style burs provide excellent cutting coefficient on most CFRPs for contouring edges.

Finding a Custom Solution for the Aerospace Market

As the Aerospace Market Manager, Chad helps customers get what they need-even if the necessary product doesn’t exist off-the-shelf.  For the past year and a half he’s been working closely with manufacturers in the aerospace industry to understand current trends and the specific requirements for their unique applications.  Communicating those needs to our engineering team allows us to review each application and project and design the perfect product to fit.

Composite Brush
PFERD M-BRAD Composite Brush

Where Aerospace Manufacturing is Heading

As a partner to customers and leader on the shop floor, Chad sees a paradigm shift in deburring applications. Where operators have historically performed this operation via hand tools, he’s now seeing this application increasingly being performed on CNC machines.  He’s sees strong interest and demand for PFERD’s M-BRAD® composite brushes which is ideal for this application. Employing automation to this task has resulted in major cost reductions and processing time – all key objectives in the manufacturing process.

As a leading manufacturer of premium tools and abrasives, we are excited to see what new developments will come about in the aerospace industry.  To learn more about our custom capabilities, feel free to call (262) 255–3200 or email

A New Sales Structure to Better Serve You

Continuous improvement is a major tenet of PFERD’s success. We not only seek to improve processes and products, but also the ways in which we operate. Overall, we strive to provide the best possible service to our customers.

We’ve recently realigned our sales structure to help us do just that. We’ve gone from two regions to three – with a West, Central and an East Region (see the map

John Hibbard, Regional Manager – West

below). By splitting up the territories this way, our sales staff will be able to build better relationships within their customer bases. Different regions have different needs, so we want to make sure all customers receive the attention and representation they need.

Along with this restructuring comes some exciting changes to our Sales Management Team!  Our Western Region, formerly headed up by Ross Bevacqua, who has retired after 16 years of dedicated service to PFERD, is now being managed by John Hibbard.   John has had a successful 23 year career in various sales and operation roles at Stellar Industrial – a longtime distribution partner of PFERD’s.  John’s strong reputation in the industry and proven track record of prolonged success enable him to lead the Region with continued success and growth.

Jeff Hamilton, Regional Manager – Central

Our Central Region is being headed up by Jeff Hamilton, who was recently promoted to the position having served as Sales Territory Manager in the Mid-Atlantic area. Jeff brings several years of sales and technical experience to his new role, which gives him a keen understanding of end user and distributor needs in the metal working industry.

Don Brewer, Regional Manager – East

Don Brewer, who has been with PFERD for three years, will continue as Regional Sales Manager for the East.  Don’s strong knowledge and experience in the industry, as well as his dedication to PFERD ensures continued growth and success in a newly realigned Eastern Region.

Jon-Michael Raymond – VP Sales

John, Jeff and Don all report to Jon-Michael Raymond, VP Sales, who’s leading our overall sales effort here in the US.  We have a lot of exciting things in store for 2018 and know we have the right sales leadership team in place to position us for continued growth with a focus on collaborating with customers to offer the most innovative, products and solutions in the industry.

PFERD Regional Sales Territories

Race to the Finish – and Looking to the Future

2017 was a year of growth and development not just for PFERD, but for the communities we serve. We took part in numerous events with a mission of sharing knowledge and building excitement around the US manufacturing sector.

Encouraging the Next Generation of Manufacturers

Throughout the year, we donated time and materials to students interested in welding and other industrial professions. In February we donated products and prizes for Sequoyah High School’s 8th Annual Welding Competition. The event was hosted by the American Welding Society’s Chattanooga Section and featured dozens of student entrants.

We also sponsored a SkillsUSA WorldTeam welding competitor, who placed 5th overall in the event. The WorldSkills Competition took place in October in Dubai, and a team of 11 US competitors from around the country participated, bringing home four Medallions of Excellence.

Manufacturing Day Tour
Students Take Part in MFG Day

Our support of youth in the manufacturing sector also meant hosting a Manufacturing Day event on October 6th. We had about 120 students attend our open house and career fair to learn about our different departments and opportunities. They also got to use some tools – with proper safety precautions!

Supporting Women in STEM

While extensive efforts are being made to recruit young people in the manufacturing sector, the skills gap remains a challenge. There’s the added challenge of showing young women that they can have rewarding careers in the industrial world.

Over the summer, we hired two female engineering interns to assist with key engineering projects including designing tooling molds and identifying methods to increase production efficiencies on the shop floor. Both interns added value to our team, making strong contributions during their time at PFERD.

Reaching Out to Fabricators

Toward the end of 2017 PFERD was busy preparing for and attending two major events – FABTECH and the PRI Trade Show.

PFERD Demonstration at FABTECH

FABTECH 2017 is a key platform for us to highlight the solutions and value PFERD products bring to the metalworking industry and this year’s show was a great success! At this year’s show  we incorporated gamification as one of our marketing strategies with – PFERD DERBY! This was a web-based application that rewarded participants based on the number of challenges they completed. In the end, we had three top winners:

  • 1st prize – Drew Painter – Equipment & Lab Specialist, Mid-State Technical College (Wisconsin Rapids, WI)
  • 2nd prize – Hallie Madole – Student, Truckee Meadows Community College (Reno, NV)
  • 3rd prize – Aaron Wulk – Welding Instructor, Mid-State Technical College (WI)

The 30th annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show was another high point in our year. We met with fabricators and other professionals in the racing industry to highlight our offering to this market and introduce product lines that fit well for this production niche.

Planning for the Future

As we begin the next chapter in 2018, we’re already looking forward to new opportunities for growth. Keep checking back to see what we have planned for the year ahead. And if you have any ideas for how we can get involved in your projects, let us know!