Process Automation

rear axle assemblies

High-Pressure Wash and Deburring Machines

Headliner Adhesive Without its cover, an automatic transmission valve body resembles a complex maze. The paths that route fluid to accomplish transmission shifting are known, in the business, as "worm trails." Adherence to stringent standards of cleanliness and quality of the cast aluminum valve body after machining, is critical to the ultimate performance of the transmission. Deburring and washing operations are used to clean out the worm trails, drilled holes, and the flat, ground valve body faces.

These operations are reliably performed on two high-pressure wash and deburring machines designed and built by Peak Industries. These machines feature 5,000-psi water jets, a 2,000-gallon closed-loop water supply delivering 170 gpm, air knives and jets for part dry-off, a 60-pallet capacity transfer system, and an automatic bushing press station. All machine motions are hydraulically actuated.

Each valve body is approximately one foot square, one inch thick, and weighs 6 to 7 pounds. Valve bodies arrive at the Peak machines following the machining of the worm trail, the drilling of the hydraulic valve spool openings along three edges of the valve body, and the grinding of the two parallel faces. Burrs created by drilling, grinding and machining, together with the resultant debris remaining in the worm trails, are completely eliminated in the Peak equipment.

The valve bodies are manually loaded onto pallets for transport through the machines. In the first operation, with the pallet and part locked in position between two adjacent work stations, 10 to 12 water jets probe into the machined holes to blast away burrs at the intersection of the holes and worm trails. Three 250-hp, positive displacement pumps generate the 5000 psi pressure necessary to accomplish the task. The jets are activated for approximately four seconds during the 6 1/2 second cycle. This high pressure deburr machine consumes about one megawatt of energy.

At the next station, the worm trails are washed with 5000 psi water, using high pressure, hydraulically driven, rotating jets. The jets rotate at about 500 rpm as the part passes by them, producing uniform cleaning across the entire surface. "Used" water falls to the bottom of the washing chamber and flows back to a paper band filter which incorporates an oil skimmer to remove a small amount of residual oil from the machining operations. All water is then recycled. The only water loss is through evaporation.

A blow-off and drying station is the next operation. Air knives and air jets are directed to specific areas of the part to ensure elimination of all water. A 75-hp fan completes the drying operation. The machine cycle time for deburring, washing, and drying is 6 1/2 seconds.

In the final operation, the valve bodies emerge from the main machine into a bushing press area. Here, a needle bearing is pressed into a hole on the back side of the body. The equipment provided for this operation includes a conveyor belt, hopper, bowl feeder, and an escapement mechanism. After the bushing is inserted, the pallet is unclamped and the valve body is removed automatically with a gripper and placed on an outgoing conveyor.

Empty pallets are automatically routed back to the loading area via another conveyor. The sophisticated machine control system, using real-time logic, involves 650 input/output points throughout the equipment. It enables the user to load AutoCAD drawing data, maintenance schedules, and any other data related to machine control and/or utilization that is available in an IBM/DOS format.

Peak Industries has been a supplier of custom automation and assembly components and special machines and systems for the automotive and other manufacturing industries since 1966.