Grinding and cut-off equipment have to be rugged and reliable enough to work in a foundry operation that typically is inhospitable to precision technology – and yet there is a rising need for systems that offer precision, flexibility, and ease-of-use.
The Fox® Air Float cut-off system with a horizontal traveling axis is specially designed so that the saw is controlled from an operators station outside of the machine enclosure, for added safety. This model provides vertical and horizontal saw travel, so the operator is able to move the saw up and down, forward and backward, all powered by hydraulics. Also, the cut-off saw incorporates a hydraulic down-pressure system to efficiently cut risers and/or gates from a variety of castings. Hydraulic down-force makes the cutting action faster, and the cuts are cooler with less blade wear.
The Fox Air Float cut-off machine is particularly well suited for removing gates, runners, and risers on small- to medium-size castings, or removing castings from trees. The Air Float System incorporates a casting gondola, Blanchard ground table, and pneumatic/vacuum system that allow the operator to “float” the work into cutting position with very little effort.
Fixture changes are quick and easy, so the Air Float system excels at cutting castings produced in small to medium runs.
Along with fast positioning of parts, the Air Float System incorporates a vacuum hold-down feature on the casting gondola. A foot-operated electric control pedal activates floatation, keeping hands free for gondola movement. Once the foot pedal is released, the vacuum system secures the gondola to the table during cutting. An alignment laser is used to execute quick and precise alignment of the cut path. The gondola can be repositioned after each cut or left in position with the vacuum system holding it in place to process higher quantities of the same part number.
Safety features of the Fox Air Float cut-off system with a horizontal traveling axis include a machine enclosure, rotating wheel guard, and touch sensors, among others. The front door of the enclosure is supported on overhead rails, and slides open and closed manually. This Lexan door, with an easy-to-replace Plexiglas splatter shield, incorporates a proximity switch so that the door must be fully closed before the operator can control the cut-off wheel.
There are touch sensors located on either side of the door’s rails. To activate the optional fixture clamping system, the operator must place both hands on these sensors, which help to ensure hands and arms are out of the way.
The rotating wheel guard covers the wheel at all times, except when the operator is standing on the safety mat at the operator’s control station. Once the operator stands on the safety mat, this activates the wheel cover to open. Anytime the operator steps off of the mat, the wheel cover will automatically rotate closed. This feature allows the operator to move, realign, or change parts inside the enclosure without stopping the saw.