Case Study: Holder Filters for a Manufacturer of Optical Sorting Machines

Holder Filters for a Manufacturer of Optical Sorting MachinesBack in 1987, an existing customer who produces optical sorting machines for global markets asked us to quote on a trial batch of 150 off Holder Filters in aluminium HE30TF.

No problem presented itself, although we were a little concerned about the very small section of the job, as was evident from the customer’s drawing and sample provided.

The solution, as always – was careful interrogation of the requirements and a can-do attitude from KIWI Engineering!

Although the job had a wall thickness of 1.2mm in places, we were confident to agree a price, based on our recommendations for the specification of the job. We suggested that the trial batch of holder filters was made using 6026 free machining aluminium to alleviate swarf marking.

Our solution, including keeping the tolerance very tight to eliminate problems with thread fits, enabled increased speeds and feeds, and overall, we were pleased to be able to achieve a more consistent anodized finish. We had to purchase a special step chuck and live face working attachment for the job to be machined on our Hardinge CNC lathe with live tooling. And we also used a new U drill and 0.75mm threading inserts for the fine pitch 52mm threads.

Kiwi Case Study Holder FiltersThe job was (and still is) black anodized and has to be held on the external threads so no marks are left on the inside of the two part finished component. From experience, we found that if they are not hot washed to remove any lime scale from the two fine threads, there can be problems on assembly and so, we worked with our anodizers to alleviate this.

The benefits from the initial trial batch order were delivered to our customer and to our business as they have continued to invest and place their trust in Kiwi Engineering.

The initial batch proved to save the customer half the purchase price of the same item from an optical manufacturer and since 1987, we have produced in excess of 10,000 holder filters for the company, without ever having a machining reject.

As a result of this we have both benefited, our customer has saved thousands of pounds & has a well engineered job and we have had a strong relationship with them for nearly 30 years.