Protocase, Inc. manufactures fully custom sheet-metal electronics enclosures and mounting hardware, with an emphasis on quality. Their customer list includes some of the world's largest and most quality-conscious companies, including Apple, Boeing, General Motors and the U.S. Army. Protocase promises customers two-to-three-day turnaround from CAD drawing to finished product, so maximum productivity is essential.
Because of their quality focus, deburring has always been a central aspect of Protocase's manufacturing operation. Sharp edges on electronics equipment could cause not only skin lacerations, but damage to wires and cables, creating hazardous electrical problems.
In early 2015, Protocase's quality inspectors noticed premature breakdowns in the deburring brushes supplied by an offshore manufacturer. The sandpaper-and-nonwoven brushes were coming apart during the deburring process, causing damage to machinery and frequent delays for brush changes. The problem was particularly troublesome on stainless-steel parts with stubborn burrs resulting from laser cutting.
So they called Abtex Corp. in Dresden, New York and sent a sample for Abtex application experts to examine. After inspecting the damage, Abtex engineers recommended replacing the foreign-made brushes with flap discs at the first deburring station and abrasive nylon-filament brushes at the second.
This solution proved to be exactly what Protocase needed. The company now uses Abtex products, with flap discs now removing the laser dross and the abrasive brushes providing the exact edge radius and finish required to meet Protocase's quality standards.