Modern servocontrols help finishing machines produce golf balls faster than ever before. All golf balls today are made through some kind of molding process. That goes for the cheapest range balls to the most exotic models used on pro tours. But no matter what process was used to make it, a ball after molding has up to 20 small tubular projections sticking out up to 0.04 in. from the ball equator in all directions along with a thin parting line. Obviously, you can't sell golf balls in this condition. The imperfections have to come off. The first buffing machine for this purpose manually loaded and could finish about 30 balls/min. Current pure-mechanical machines produce about 40 balls/min and were, until recently, considered state of the art. Enter Gil Barfield, an engineer with more than 30 years experience designing golf-ballmaking equipment at his Big Bend Machine & Tool Co. in Carrabelle, Fla. The company builds thousands of golf-ball molds annually for every major ball manufacturer and recently designed and built a new servomotordriven ball finisher. Big Bend's CNC Seam Prep Machine is said to run at 60 balls/min and could go faster with some tweaking. And it lasts longer than machines that rely solely on pure mechanical systems for motion. Balls feed into the machine on a track and split into three rows. A pair of air-operated gates capture three balls, one in each row. When the front gate rises, the balls roll into three orientation cups. A rotating plate in the bottom of each orientation cup spins the balls. Around the inside perimeter of a cup is a ramp. As a ball spins the mold runner protrusions catch on this ramp and ride up it, bringing the ball equator to horizontal An improperly oriented ball sits on the runners so it
Products & Services
Metal balls are rolling, spherical elements that exhibit greater strength and toughness than plastic and ceramic balls. They have a sufficient hardness for many industrial ball applications, and most products are electrically conductive. Some steel, nickel, and cobalt balls can be magnetized. Metal balls made from certain alloys can also provide corrosion resistance and refractory resistance.
Radial Ball Bearings
Radial ball bearings are friction reduction, rotation devices that carry loads radially around its axis. A subtype of ball bearings, they operate through the use of lubricated steel balls placed between two circular guides. They are frequently called deep-groove bearings.
Plastic and Rubber Balls
Plastic and rubber balls are rolling, spherical elements that have low friction values and require little or no lubrication. They are lighter than metal balls and resistant corrosion and abrasion. Some plastic balls resist high temperatures, but others do not. Rubber balls are characterized by a high degree of flexibility and elasticity.
Super Precision and Spindle Bearings
Super precision and spindle bearings are high-precision bearings that are designed for use in machine-tool spindles and other precision applications. Most super precision bearings and spindle bearings carry a high quality-rating such as ABEC-7 or ABEC-9, and run coolly and smoothly at high speeds.
Ball Transfer Units (BTU)
Ball transfer units (BTU) are ball transfer table components that consist of a large, load-bearing ball that sits atop smaller balls inside of a hemispherical cup.
Topics of Interest
Modern servocontrols help finishing machines produce golf balls faster than ever before. An as-molded ball sitting in the mold lower half shows the small (0.040-in. tall) protrusions about its...
All golf balls today are made through some kind of molding process. That goes for the cheapest range balls to the most exotic models used on pro tours. But no matter what process was used to make it,...
Back in 1999, Titleist was thinking green. Not golf green; environmental green.
At the Acushnet Company, maker of Titleist brand golf balls, protecting the environment is a longstanding commitment. So...
New high-tech clubs and balls are designed to hit golfers' sweet spots Tight Lies ST drivers and fairway woods from Adams Golf feature shafts made of steel and graphite. Spalding's multilayer Strata...
Several years ago in this column I questioned whether linear guideways had become a commodity, noting key engineering differences between various designs and their effect on performance and...