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New Monorail Blast Machine is Reducing Labor and Material Handling Costs

Nov. 25, 2005
also, machine tool coolant generates +$60,000 annual savings

D&L Foundry of Moses Lake, WA is known for producing municipal castings like manhole covers and rings, grating for trees, and commemorative event plaques. The foundry’s practice was to remove castings from its rotary shake-out barrel with a 22 ft3 Tumblast machine or a 96-in. swing table , both of which had been built by Wheelabrator. Together, these two systems removed the sand remaining from the casting process.

The foundry was modernizing its operation and decided to install a Wheelabrator eight-wheel monorail blast machine as part of the facelift. This machine, specially-designed for D&L, is a continuous monorail operation — it never stops moving.

“Because of the change in the overall system, the new monorail machine is reducing the labor rate and material handling costs,” said Jason McGowan, D&L Foundry general manager. “The cleanliness of the castings is much better.”

Constructed of heavy-duty abrasive resistant manganese steel, the machine is sand-resistant, meeting the needs of the foundry. The monorail is equipped with 26.5-in diameter, 1,800-rpm, direct-driven Autoblast wheels with 12 v-lock blades and a Targetlok control cage.

The wheels are protected with a cast housing, with in-line top and end liners. A direct-drive wheel motor flange mount is integrated with the housing, making maintenance much easier because it demands no special alignment.

Because the parts the monorail system handles are hot, they leave the building on a zig-zag conveyor line at a rate of 10 ft/min, to cool them before returning them into the building and the eight-wheel monorail shot blast machine. When castings leave the blast machine, they are elevated to go directly into the cleaning room in an adjacent building, where they are ground automatically or manually.

The new monorail blast machine has reduced the amount of material handling to one-time-on and one-time-off the system, and eliminated all fork lift work and much of the manual labor involved with the previous process.

Machine Tool Coolant Generates Over $60,000 in Annual Savings

An automotive manufacturer agreed to let RPA Process Technologies solve one of its costly and recurring problems. The solution has brought annual savings of $60,000.

The customer needed to replace a filtration system, part of three machining centers for aluminum transmission parts. The fluid to be filtered — machine tool coolant — is designed to lubricate, cool, and flush contaminants away from the part and the tool. The fluid is collected under the machining operation, and then routed through a set of weirs to separate the large particulate. Then, a pump sends the fluid to a housing, containing three large 75-micron cartridge filters.

These filters needed to be replaced three times per week, generating considerable costs over the course of a year, including the high prices of the cartridges themselves, cost of disposal, labor costs for the change out, and machining down time.

The solution to this : the Ronningen-Petter magnetically coupled filter. It has a permanent, self-cleaning slotted filter media, which effectively removes the harmful aluminum chips and fines from the coolant. The spring-loaded cleaning disc design gives continuous regeneration to open areas of the filter. The adjoining table breaks down the benefits of the product.