“In order to maintain our competitive edge, we seek out innovative ways to maximize our throughput by improving efficiency,” explains Smith Foundry Co. president Neil Ahlstrom. “When our shakeout system needed updating, we investigated various equipment options and ultimately decided to install a Didion MD-50 Mark 5 rotary media drum, along with Conveyor Dynamics Corp. (URL) feed-andreturn sand conveyors.”
Smith Foundry Co. in Minneapolis is a family owned enterprise, in business since 1923. The company’s niche is in producing highly specialized, low-volume runs of gray, ductile, and austempered ductile iron castings. These castings are produced in flaskless automatic molding lines and in no-bake molds, and range from mere ounces up to 400 lb.
The Mark 5 series shakeout systems incorporate rotary lump crushing and sand reclamation, and have demonstrated effectiveness for reducing hard sand lumps down to reusable sand grains in numerous foundries worldwide. The patented design crushes, scrubs, screens and classifies the sand lumps, and tramp metal and debris is easily separated and discharged.
The Mark 5 machines also boast impressively low operating cost per ton.
Operators at Smith Foundry confirm these results from their new installation. “Our casting finish is better, since the core butts, debris, and tramp metal are screened out,” maintenance supervisor Joe Nelson reveals, “and the sand is thoroughly conditioned before it goes back to the mixer.”
“We’re very pleased with the resulting performance and savings. It is important to us that our customers see our dedication to them and the industry, as we modernize our casting operations,” concludes Smith Foundry’s Neil Ahlstrom.
“Our experience with Didion rotary foundry equipment goes back almost 30 years, so we knew first-hand about their excellent customer service and follow-up,” Nelson says. “We really like the improvements and innovative features on the new model machine - from the updated drive package to the thicker, extra heavy duty lining, and we got over 10 years life with the old style liners.”
Nelson says the operating-cost savings confirm Smith Foundry’s selection of the shakeout equipment. “It’s rewarding to know you made the right decision when you see the savings,” he says. “The castings and returns are cleaner; the sand is double screened, and stays in the sand system.”