An aluminum fascia panel forms the face of the machine or equipment, also referred to as a machine operation plate in some cases just called as a front panel, whatever be the name, the function of this part is to hold all the controlling switches, dials, and meters.
How is this part developed?
This part calls for 3 important steps
- Cutting & Finishing – Precision cutting, drilling, and finishing to ensure the switches, dials, and meters fit in perfectly and flush
- Anodizing – Anodizing for corrosion resistance and aesthetics to give the premium look and feel to your machine.
3. Printing – Durable printing to ensure the information is legible and easy to read
Cutting and Finishing
To fix switches, dials, meters and all those operating parts requires precise circular, rectangular, etc., cutouts on the aluminum sheet. Maintaining the pitch, depth into countersunk holes is what makes the switches, etc., attaching to the facia panel plate easy to assemble and fit onto the machine.
A professional managed and run the operation on a CNC machine makes this first step precise & completes the job faster.
It is however important to ensure the CNC machine has the best control system, guiding rails and spindle to ensure consistent performance.
The software which runs the machine makes the task a lot simpler and efficient. Running jobs on the CNC also saves on manpower.
Let us note that traditional methods of punching holes, cut-outs on hand-operated fly presses, are highly inconsistent, the outcome would be completely dependent on the accuracy of the individuals operating them which is not an acceptable standard in modern day industry. When the part demands precision, the only option is to run on an automated CNC.
Quality anodizing on the aluminum ensures the part is corrosion-resistant, adds a sheen onto the surface, makes the surface harder, and keeps your part looking new for a long period of time.
While anodizing is an important & critical step, let us note that it’s not as simple as dipping and pulling out of an anodizing bath. The process first calls using the right grade of aluminum, for the application of fascia panels, it’s mostly the 1100 or 5052 grades that suit the best due to their excellent corrosion resistance and workability.
Once we have the right grade of aluminum, the anodizing steps consisting of pre-treatment, treatment, and post-treatment play an important role to ensure we have a thick transparent oxide film coating called the anodic layer built on the surface. This process now forms onto the part and ready to be printed.
Few companies have mastered the art of printing on aluminum, durable print is achieved by impregnating the ink into the transparent anodic layer and subsequently sealing the surface to ensure the printed ink locks below the surface.
Printing into the anodic pore can be done either by screen printing or digital based on the quantity of order and complexity of content to be printed, a complex graphic print would call of a digital print, however, if the information/legends on top of the switches, meters, dials, etc are a single color, a screen printing operation would do the job.
In any which way, the objective is to ensure the print is durable and outlasts the machine lifetime.
How To Order
An engineering drawing (preferably in CAD software ) of a fascia panel as depicted below should specify all dimensions, pitch, and thickness of the plate, colors to be used, logo’s, etc
Quotes are usually worked out based on the thickness of the aluminum sheet, size, printing content/method, order quantity, and volume of business.
Right from the early nineties, we at Kinelectro Lines have mastered the art of processing and finishing fascia panels of all kinds for various machinery and applications.Soon after the drawing is received, a pre-press activity is done based on the method of printing and accordingly processed, finished, and shipped
With our state-of-the-art CNC machinery, the anodizing and printing line you could rest assured of the quality, consistency, and timely deliveries.
Be it a small fascia panel or a large one, we have you covered, saving your time and money.