Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, we've collected answers to common questions regarding CLM Vibetech's finishing equipment. If the question you are looking for is not listed, please contact us and we will respond with an answer within one business day.

How do I change my motor's rotation?

Also called “polarity” on a motor, this can be accomplished by switching two of the three leads with each other. This works in the panel or the motor housing.

What does “amplitude” and “lead angle” mean on a vibratory machine?

On all types of vibratory finishers an imbalance on the drive is created to cause vibration as the drive rotates. A greater amount of imbalance creates more “amplitude”, which is a major component of the roll in the process channel. “Lead angle” refers to how much forward movement is happening on every stroke. In a round bowl style vibratory finisher “lead angle” is used to determine how aggressively the machine is feeding horizontally. We call this “feed.”

How do I change my machine's voltage?

Some machines have single voltage motors so they will need to be sent to a motor repair shop to be rewound. If you have a dual voltage motor the info tag typically has both wiring schematics. After the motor is considered then the machine’s panel will need a certified electrician to change the main fuses, adjust heaters/ overload relay, transformer wiring, and possibly the disconnect if it is not capable of handling the new full load amperage.

What type of media should I use for my parts?

There are three major types of media used in finishing processes and each one is good for a different purpose. Ceramic media is typically abrasive and is used for mostly for deburring application where burr removal is required. Plastic media can be abrasive and is used mostly for finer finishes (lower RA). Steel media is used for burnishing (a type of peening) and to soften edges quickly for hand safety. All of them are available in hundreds of shapes and sizes. Ceramic and plastic media are also available in different compositions which are variances in type and size of abrasive grit, thus giving different finishes on parts.

When should I reline my vibratory machine?

Typically, when you cannot keep the drain functional or in the machine, or when bare metal is visible in the process channel. Check your lining once a year with a hammer and nail in the bottom of the channel to check the thickness. This may help determine when to plan for a shutdown to reline.

What type of compound should I use?

There are thousands of formulations of compound (concentrated soap) available. The main purpose of a compound is to help keep the process clean. This can aid the process by removing dirt/oil from the parts and to help keep the media clean. Keeping the media clean helps finish the parts because it allows the surface of the media to do it’s job without it “loading” or “glazing” up. Once the media is “loaded” up then it cannot work effectively. The other main characteristic of compound is sometimes to add a rust protection characteristic to the parts or media.

What are the types of urethane linings available?

There are many types, but the most common in this industry are 80-Durometer, 90-Durometer, and 95-Durometer Hot Pour. All of them are polyurethane based and measured on a Shore-A scale. The higher the durometer the more cut resistant it is. Going from a non-hot pour to the hot pour material is a big jump in the physical characteristics of cut and wear resistance as well. For steel ball burnishing processes, 80-Durometer is essential too help with the roll of the heavy media. For part-on-part or sharp part processes the 95-Durometer Hot Pour is essential.

Should I use isolation pads on my vibratory machine?

No. An isolation pad is a good idea on machining equipment, but in a vibratory machine it adds a weak spot for the vibration to go to, thus making the base of the machine vibrate more than it should. Always use steel or concrete to shim or level your machine if necessary. Do not lag the machine down if it is not level and flat on the floor first.

Why are my parts not rolling well?

This can be caused by many things, the most common of which is media wear. This decreases the process’s volume below the required level for proper roll.

What can I do with my waste water?

Every municipality’s waste water restrictions are different so check there first, but there are different levels (ie. cost) of equipment that can help in cleaning the waste water. The simplest versions help settle the heavy particles in the water. The next step will help filter and or settle, which can remove even finer particles. The higher end versions either centrifuge or ultra-filter the waste water.

How much media should I use?

If you have internal separation (ie. gate and screen deck), then 4 to 1 (media to parts) is minimum in order to push the parts out of the machine. If it is a batch process, then 3 to 1 is average. If part impingement is a concern, the media-to-parts ratio needs to increase to an acceptable level of part-on-part dinging or damage.

What can I do to reduce the noise from my machine?

There are two types of sound covers available. The first one is a heavy-duty vinyl cover with sound abatement foam sandwiched inside and then custom sewn to fit your machine. This can be suspended to raise out the way when the operator needs full access to the machine. The second is a rigid aluminum hood that creates a top shell with sound abatement foam glued inside. This hood style can be supplied with gas shocks to help carry the weight or with hydraulic power pack to actuate up and down. Both styles cut the decibel rating down by 6-10.

How do I get a more aggressive roll/process?

After making sure the bowl is filled properly then more weight needs to be added first to the bottom of the machine to increase the amplitude. If the machine is too choppy at this point then more weight can be added to the top to help turn this into a roll effect. Remember small steps are best when doing changes like this.

What is the typical service drops required?

In typical applications involving one finishing machine (not including large systems or drying), the power drop is typically 30 amps, for 3 phase motors under 10HP. On larger machines it goes to 60 amps. For water, house pressure (40-50 psi) is enough with the connections being ¼ to ½ NPT. For air, the pressure should be around 90-120 psi with the connections being ¼ to ½ NPT.

How do I get my parts to lift up and onto the screen more effectively?

After making sure the bowl is filled properly and that your media-to-parts ratio is at least 4 to 1, then more weight needs to be added first to the top of the machine to increase the feed. Remember small steps are best when doing changes like this.

My machine was working yesterday and now it is not, what should I check?

Do not change the weight settings. If they worked before they will work again. There is something else wrong. The first thing to eliminate is possible mechanical/electrical problems. Check the incoming power and fusing in the panel, then check that the belt has not broken, then check the drive has not seized up by trying to spin it by hand, and then check the motor. Now we focus on the process parameters. Check the following; water flow rate, media level, and compound drum level.

What should my machine’s drive rotation be?

Check the service manual first due to the many variations that manufacturers use. The motor always needs to rotate opposite of the process’s direction. The top master weight should follow the bottom master weight by 90 degrees approximately. So if your process is travelling counter-clockwise then your motor should be going clockwise and when the bottom master weight is at 6 o’clock the top master weight should be at 3 o’clock.

How do I dry my parts?

A vibratory dryer is a vibratory machine without a lining, that has heating elements to dry a media such as corn cobb, walnut shell, or wooden pegs, which in turn absorbs water and dirt from parts as they travel through the machine. Secondly, a conveyor or rotary drum style dryer moves parts through a continuous chamber while blowing hot air or tumbling with drying media along the way. Lastly, there are combination machines that have an inner finishing channel with an outer drying channel which saves on cost and floor space.

How frequently should I change my vibratory machine's oil?

Every 1,000 operating hours. For example, if you are running one shift of production 5 days a week, you should change it every 6 months. Make sure to use Mobil 600 (SHC 626 on large machines), change the oil filter element in the filter assembly, and clean the suction/intake filter on the pump. Keep an oil change log.

How often should I grease lubricate my vibratory machine?

For equipment that is manually grease lubricated you should plan on giving each drive bearing housing 1 shot of grease (Mobil XHP 222 or SHC 100) every 20-40 operating hours. Do not over or under grease the bearings as this is a more common cause for failure then load wear on the rollers.