Benton Foundry reported it recently purchased two more Foxall finishing cells driven by ABB Robotics automation devices with Force Control functionality for its ferrous casting plant in Benton, PA. The cells, integrated by Vulcan Engineering, have a target start-up date in July.
The Pennsylvania foundry specializes in producing castings from one to 250 lb. in gray and ductile iron grades (as well as ADI) for products like pumps and valves, compressors, motors, drives fluid power components, and so on. Its castings are used in agricultural, construction, marine, mining, railroad, and similar equipment.
Vulcan Engineering will deliver the Model 434FS and 636FS automated cells in time to coincide with start-up of a new, 60,000-CFM dust collector for the foundry’s grinding and cleaning operations.
The dust collector will be powered by a 300-hp Baldor SuperE motor and return-air system to supply the foundry with clean tempered air during winter months. All the new equipment is part of a five- year plan to revamp the cleaning and finishing operations at Benton Foundry, to match its melting and molding capacity of up to 300 tons per day.
Vulcan’s Foxall robot-powered work cells are designed for fast and consistent casting cut-off and finishing.
Both the Foxall 424FS and 636FS systems have an HMI interface to log and store production data, (e.g. part numbers, quantities produced, and wheel changes) that can be accessed via a company network. It has a large work envelop, viewports for easy visual inspection, full 6-axis flexibility, 90-degree part fixture rotator, and an optional high-speed turntable.
These will be the third and fourth robotic finishing cells at Benton Foundry, the customer indicated. It noted that it was the first foundry to adopt the ABB Robotics’ Force Control feature for the 424FS model finishing cell it installed in September 2010, and now it will be the first foundry to adopt that feature on the 636FS. Force Control reportedly reduces cycle time by as much as 30% for the work cell, improves finishing quality and consistency, and can reduce manual touch-up.