You know Wagner Machine for our 5-axis machining, abrasive waterjet, CNC milling, CNC turning, and wire EDM capabilities. But did you know that we also offer a broad range of in-house secondary and support capabilities? While these processes might not be as interesting as the machining and automation we discuss regularly, they can have a huge impact on process control, lead time and price reduction.
Keep reading for a list of these services and important information about why they are exclusive to customers who request our primary services.
1. Surface grinding, cylindrical grinding, centerless grinding, and honing
We offer four different grinding processes to achieve various tight tolerance features. In general, .0005” tolerances are relatively easy to hold using these processes. Depending on the part geometry and specific process, diameter, thickness, and flatness tolerances down to .0001” can often be held.
- Surface grinding uses an abrasive wheel to create a uniform and flat finish. The process can be used to finish parts to a precise thickness, surface finish, or flatness tolerance before or after other machining processes. The process can be used on hard or soft materials, and is useful for individual parts or fixtures as well as batch production. Because surface grinding generally uses a magnetic chuck to hold the workpiece flat, it is easiest to use on magnetic materials, but we also have the ability to surface grind non-magnetic materials depending on part geometry.
- Cylindrical grinding is used to shape the outside of parts that have a central axis of rotation and a cylindrical shape. It is often used to finish turned parts to an extremely tight diameter tolerance and surface finish and generally requires a center feature for part location. This process works well for almost any material regardless of hardness. Cylindrical grinding was a key process used to complete this impossible part.
- Centerless grinding is a process to ensure tight tolerance and finish properties on parts that are too long or thin for cylindrical grinding. Instead of using centers to locate the part, it is fed between a grinding wheel and a regulating wheel while supported by a thin blade. This process can be used for prototype parts or high-volume production runs and can even be automated. At Wagner Machine, we regularly grind parts from .125” diameter up to 1.5” diameter, and from .75” to 48” long.
- Honing is a grinding process used on the inside of holes. Like other grinding processes, it can be used to hold tight tolerances and specific surface finishes on almost any material. At Wagner Machine, this process is generally used for prototype and low-volume production for holes between .125” and 2” diameter.
2. Reverse engineering
Need a part made but don’t have the print? That’s not a problem for Wagner Machine! We can measure and create complete CAD documentation for any part (even a broken part) at our facility or yours. We have several processes to ensure the best method is used to complete your project. Equipment includes our high resolution Creaform laser scanner, portable Romer articulating arm CMM, and Keyence XM-5000 portable CMM.
With over 20 years of reverse engineering experience, we’re a trusted source for reverse engineering die components, research equipment, machinery, conveyor systems, automation components, packaging equipment, and more.
3. Hardness testing
We perform Rockwell hardness testing using our digital Clark hardness tester. This process is useful for prototype and production parts as well as evaluating parts for reverse engineering.
4. Laser part marking
Laser part marking is a popular add-on service for customers who need serial numbers, logos, QR codes, or other information on their parts. Our CO2 laser is great for part marking on plastics and anodized aluminum, and can also be used for marking steel and stainless steel. This process is also capable of cutting thin plastic, rubber, and other gasket material that might be too delicate for abrasive waterjet.
5. MIG, TIG, and spot welding
Our expert welders perform standard welding techniques such as MIG, TIG, and spot welding as needed. We also have approved vendors for specialized processes, such as laser welding.
6. Heat treatment
Many customers request heat treatment to enhance the strength, durability, and wear resistance of the materials they’re using. Unfortunately, for rush and low volume jobs, outsourcing this secondary service adds lead time and cost. We have approved vendors for high-volume and specialty heat treating processes, but we also have a heat treat oven in-house for common materials and rush jobs. We regularly heat treat air hardening tool steels and 17-4 stainless steel in house, and we use our previously mentioned hardness testing ability to verify our process.
7. Punching, forming, and bending
Our press brake and hydraulic press enable us to perform sheet metal punching, forming, and bending operations. We often apply these secondary processes to blanks cut on our abrasive waterjet, and have the ability to make custom tooling in house.
8. Chem film
Chem film, or chromate conversion coating, is used to protect aluminum from corrosion while leaving the treated surfaces electrically conductive. Chem film can be applied before wet paint or powder coat to protect masked areas and improve coating adhesion. Chem film can also be applied before or after anodizing.
Having this ability in house helps us reduce lead times and cost by reducing the number of outside vendors needed to complete a job. It also allows us some unique flexibility to make parts better by eliminating costly and high-scrap masking for anodized parts. When complex masking is required, we often re-machine “masked” surfaces after anodizing, and then follow the machining step with chem-film. This is usually more affordable than masking and provides higher quality and more consistent finished parts.
9. Tumbling and media blasting
While our high-speed machining processes allow us to program as much deburring as possible into our CNC programs, we still offer tumbling to smooth sharp edges and enhance surface finishes if required. A machine deburred edge is nice, but not as smooth as a tumble deburred edge. We also offer coarse and fine media blasting for part texturing. Fine media blasting produces a satin finish that is cosmetically appealing and both blasting processes can be used to minimize reflectivity.
Our Philosophy about Secondary and Support Services
It’s important to note that these services are only available to customers who partner with Wagner Machine for our primary manufacturing services. The reason is simple: our primary focus is CNC machining complex parts.
These additional services are offered to ensure we have control over key aspects of a well-planned manufacturing process without the need to coordinate schedules, shipping, inspection requirements, or other critical aspects of a job with multiple outside suppliers. We do use approved vendors for some finishing processes, but it is rare that we need more than one outside process for any given job.
Customers who rely on Wagner Machine for our combined primary and secondary services can be certain that they have found the best solution for manufacturing their parts. Not good-enough, or second-best, but the best. Let us show you how our one-stop-shop will provide high-quality, excellent consistency, great prices, and reliable lead times for your parts.
Ready to work with us on your next project? Request a quote!