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Robotic Surface Finishing Venture Targets Investment Casters

KMT Robotic Solutions, Acme Manufacturing to specialize in shell removal, cut-off, degating

A robotics company and a builder of machining centers have teamed in a new commercial effort focused at the investment-casting sector. KMT Robotic Solutions Inc. and Acme Manufacturing Co. intend to offer “comprehensive automation solutions” for investment casters, particularly aerospace and medical device manufacturers. Their announcement states their program will address investment casters need to remove shell and core material, degating, grinding, and polishing, in efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly ways.

KMT Robotic Solutions is a company formed by KMT Cutting Systems in Ronneby, Sweden, and Robotic Production Technology in Auburn Hills, MI. It has more than 3,500 robots installed around the world. Acme Manufacturing is a designer and manufacturer of turnkey surface-finishing systems.

Citing Acme’s expertise in gate cut-off, grind and polishing robotic automation,” KMT president Kevin McManus said the firm’s “knowledge of the process requirements of investment casting companies gives KMT an outstanding partner with which to combine our new capabilities in shell and core removal.”

“With our experience in the investment casting industry it was clear to Acme the value that more effective shell and core removal processes can bring to the gate cut-off and grind processes. Gate Cut-off system cutting tool life can be much improved with the shell removal efficiency that KMT’s system will provide,” Acme president Fritz Carlson added. “Cleaner parts also give Acme a chance to position the cut-off position closer to the finished part, improving percentage of reclaim. That is why we’re excited about this new cleaning technology that KMT is bringing to the market and the benefits that it can provide to Acme’s customers.”

KMT offers a high-pressure water system called DirectJet, for removing shells and cores from castings. Steve Laski, KMT’s Cleaning Product Technology manager, said DirectJet “takes advantage of the unique ability of the robot to deliver the required key parameters of the cleaning process in a programmable and repeatable way to 100% of the part, including parts with complex geometries and internal passageways.”

He added that DirectJet improves cleaning cycle times and part cleanliness in way that’s more environmentally friendly than caustic baths or high-volume water blasting systems, without the risks associated with mechanical shell removal system.

Acme’s robotic finishing systems use 2D and 3D vision technology with automatically controlled spindle speeds and pressures.

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