Ball Manufacturing Process
- Heading – Ball blanks are cold headed from rolls of wire. The heading machine cuts off a short cylinder of the material and a moving die with a concave spherical cup drives the cylinder into a matching cup in a fixed die. The result is a spherical shape, which is the ball blank.
- Flashing – The flashing operation removes the slight band and small protrusions left on the surface by rolling them between the two hard alloy plates under high pressure.
- Heat Treat – The balls are hardened, if required, by heating them to a high temperature in a furnace and then quenching them in a liquid bath.
- Rough Grind – The hardened balls are precision ground by rolling them between the faces of a fixed iron plate and a very hard fine-grit grinding wheel.
- Finish Lap – The hardened ground balls are then rolled between two cast iron plates. One plate is fixed while the other is rotated at a very low speed. This critical process determines the final quality of each precision ball. At this stage, the sphericity and size are established and carefully inspected to ABMA customer requirements.
- Finishing/Cleaning – The final production operation cleans the finished balls and adds a shiny luster to them.
- Final Inspection – Balls are gauged, visually inspected and subjected to other quality tests to insure every customer’s specifications are achieved.
- Packaging – The balls are packaged in accordance with customer specifications for shipping.