Installation Of Cold Box Core Machine – Increasing Production While Reducing Manual Intervention
By Scott Shaver, Executive Vice President, EMI Inc.
- Pitless design saves installation costs and improves safety
- Quick-change tooling features increases productivity
Foundries of all sizes are looking for highly efficient foundry equipment that works to improve productivity, quality, and safety while maximizing employee efficiency.
Recently a large foundry that produces castings for a variety of industries and large municipal fittings installed two multi-parted cold box core machines to meet increasing core demand. This foundry was expanding their molding operations by adding a new automatic mold machine and upgrading the existing tight flask line. It was clear that core capacity needed to be addressed as well. The foundry’s existing core room was comprised of smaller cold box and shell core machines that could not keep pace with the new production demand.
The first step in any proposed equipment installation is to first analyze the casting and core forecast to determine various machine options that can satisfy the expected production forecast.
After completing the core machine analysis, then comes the development of the core room design and ancillary equipment specifications, to meet the goals of increasing production while reducing manual intervention.
The recommendation focused on much larger core machines than the foundry has experienced in the past. These larger machines can accept multi-cavity tooling that can produce up to 16 cores per cycle. Additional requirements called for a design that could easily work with vertical and horizontal tooling. Machines that can work with both vertical and horizontal tooling is not new to the industry; however, machine designs that allow quick change is a fairly new advancement.
Photo shown is the SP-5050 Cold Box Core Machine accepting both vertical and horizontal tooling packages up to 50 in x 50 in. Gas and blow movements are from the top down, eliminating the need for costly and troublesome pits. Side platens can be seen with magnetic fixtures that quickly and precisely locate tooling. A video showing side-by-side horizontal
and vertical motions can be viewed with this link: https://www.emi-inc.com/cold-box-machines/vertically-horizontal-parted-combined/
Minimizing and simplifying tooling change time is a primary productivity enhancement that has helped the core room keep pace with the high production molding. Tooling change is mostly automatic and once the new tooling package is set on the machine tooling change assembly, the machine takes over from there. The tooling is positioned into the machine, magnetic side platens are used for vertical tools to precisely position the tooling and blow and gas plates are automatically located and locked into place. Tools can be changed in less than 30 minutes compared to hours in other machines. This quick-change feature adds up to over 5,000 additional cores produced per day when just one tool change is conducted.
Radio Frequency Identification tags (RFID) are installed on each tool. When read by the RFID reader will automatically update the process parameters with a pre-programmed recipe. This minimizes operator set-up time and eliminates process parameter errors, speeding the time to quality core production.
Eliminating pits saved the foundry enormous sums of money and avoided many problems with a highwater table. Clean up in the core area is now fast and safe! Plus, as the foundry’s core demands continue to grow, adding new pitless core machines is a very easy task.
With a wide range of base machine frame sizes, blow capacities, and production configurations, these high production core machines can provide the best, no-compromise machine configuration for both your present and future core production requirements.
In addition, the built-in modularity and flexibility of the base design means that your existing tooling can be utilized and special machine features can be easily integrated.
The goals of this installation were to increase production while reducing manual intervention. In addition to meeting all of the goals, the core room operators appreciated that the equipment was designed for quick tooling changes. RFID, in addition to reducing operator set-up time, increased core quality by eliminating process errors. And, who doesn’t like an operation that eliminates the need for pits!
Today’s cold box core machines offer you many options for increasing production that can grow, as your production grows.