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C.A. Lawton Co. Updates Sand Handling System

Aug. 10, 2011
New installation increases sand handling volume, lowers air pressure
The C.A. Lawton Co., a Wisconsin gray and ductile iron foundry, reported it recently completed the first phase of an expansion of its sand delivery system. “It was important for us to take this first step and address the capacity of our sand system,” according to Kelly Coles, director of operations. “With our growth in the wind industry and the large molds that we are now pouring, we naturally need more sand. Less power consumption, lower maintenance, and less dust will be great additional benefits to the new system.” The additions were carried out during a July 4 holiday shutdown. The cost of the installation was not released, and no details of the subsequent project phases were released. In its statement, C.A. Lawton described adding new storage silos and other components to its sand handling equipment system in order to increase capacity for holding and processing sand, which it uses to form molds for pouring iron. As it pours larger components, the foundry explained it must use more sand. The expanded sand system will allow the foundry to increase production, and make the sand-handling process safer and more efficient. The foundry explained the new delivery system uses a “plug” method to transport the sand with less compressed air than the handling system it replaced. Using lower air pressure means it requires less power, and generates less dust, which improves the interior air quality of the plant and reduces maintenance costs. In addition to casting wind turbine parts, the DePere, WI, foundry and machine shop produces large-dimension iron castings for HVAC, mining, and gas turbine equipment manufacturers, including Siemens, General Electric, Metso, and Trane. C.A. Lawton worked with the Wisconsin Dept. of Commerce and the State Energy Program to coordinate funding for the projects that increase manufacturing capacity for alternative energy. The C.A. Lawton Co. will continue with a steady schedule of projects to increase overall capacity. “Increasing our capacity begins with some of the fundamental components in our manufacturing process. The large molds that are used to produce large wind castings increase our need for sand. Getting behind and participating in the demand that exists in the wind industry will help grow our business,” according Patrick Kotowski, the foundry’s director of business development.