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Cut-Off Machine Floats on Air

Jan. 16, 2009
System excels at gate and riser removal on small to medium-sized castings produced in small to medium runs, because fixtures are easy to change and require no other settings.

The Fox Air Float Cut-Off machine is described by Vulcan Engineering ( as “ideal for gate and riser removal on small to medium size castings, or castings on runner bars or trees.” Moreover, the system excels at machining castings produced in small to medium runs, because fixtures are easy to change, and generally require no other settings. The machine also is well suited for cleaning castings that are too heavy for operators handle, as the airfloat feature makes moving several hundred pounds almost effortless.

The machine incorporates a hydraulic down-pressure system and air floatation table, with appropriate hydraulics and controls. It incorporates a vacuum hold-down system for the tooling gondola, so the gondola is secure during cutting.

The unit is simple to use: The operator installs the proper fixture in the gondola, and secures the casting in the fixture. The air flotation feature is activated by depressing a foot pedal and applying air to the gondola pads. Then, the gondola is moved until the desired gate is under the saw and aligned with the laser. The fool pedal is released applying vacuum to the gondola.

Next, the saw is pulled down manually until it just makes contact with the casting. As soon as a small “scoring” cut is made, the operator pushes a button in the end of the handle bars, applying the down pressure to the cut. The saw is forced down through the material. After sawing is completed, the push button is released and the saw raised.

The casting can be quickly repositioned or moved to the edge of the table and removed from the fixture.

While the casting is “fixtured,” cutting can take place anywhere around the periphery because the floating gondola allows for fast, easy positioning and repositioning of heavy casting trees or individual parts. The rapid, abrasive cutting uses the hydraulic “down pressure” system: If the gate or riser is on a flat surface, additional grinding may be eliminated or greatly reduced.

The casting gondola is designed to accommodate interchangeable tooling to secure the castings, increasing the flexibility of the system as a whole. A low power laser is mounted to the machine to display a vivid red line where the edge of the cut-off wheel will descend aiding in the alignment process.

General specifications include 40-horsepower motor, standard 24-in. wheel operating at 14,200 SFPM and Blanchard ground table. All electricals, hydraulics and pneumatics are included and installed, so the machine is ready to run when received.