We have an exclusive partnership with a ball manufacturing plant, which is one of the few in the UK that can produce balls fully in-house. All of the raw material used in the factory is sourced from either Europe or the USA and full material certification is available upon request.
Raw material in the form of wire or bar is formed into spherical blanks by high-speed automatic machines. The accurate blanks obtained at this stage have a positive effect on subsequent stages of the production. The blanks are measured at regular intervals in order to ensure accuracy of form.
Headed blanks are roughly ground during rotation under high pressure in grinding plates manufactured from special cast iron. This removes the flash and any large surface defects. Balls are repeatedly fed into the grooves for grinding.
Measurements are regularly taken in order to monitor the removal of material and the resulting size and form of the ball.
Depending on the material used, the balls are tempered in a fully controlled rotary furnace. This process relieves any built-in stresses created during the previous stages of manufacture and gives maximum strength and durability. This process can also be used to distress the product in the event that a rough surface finish is required. (Not all materials are heat-treated.)
This process is carried out to remove any oxides produced as a result of the heat treatment process, simultaneously improving the spherical form of the ball. Balls are ground between a rotating grinding wheel and a stationary cast iron plate. Measurements are regularly taken in order to monitor the removal of material and the resulting size and form of the ball.
Lapping / Polishing
The hard ground balls are then lapped to achieve their final dimensional form and surface finish. This is carried out between cast iron plates, one rotating, and the other stationary. The pressure exerted on the grinding plate is crucial to this process and is constantly monitored. Measurements are regularly taken in order to establish the correct pull point. If an improved surface finish or polish is required, the balls may be placed into a vibratory polishing machine with various polishing media.
Following completion of the manufacturing process, the balls undergo a final quality inspection, where various characteristics are measured depending on the grade of ball and the customer’s requirements. Typical characteristics are size, tolerance, roundness, hardness and surface finish.
This is the final stage of the process, involving the weighing of the product into the required quantities and the subsequent bagging and packing. All products are packed taking into account the size, physical properties of the material and the grade of ball. All packing used is chosen in order to prevent any damage or corrosion of the product. Each box is labelled with a full description of the product, including a unique batch number that is used for traceability back through the processes right to the raw material. Labelling can be tailored to the requirements of the customer.