It costs money to make money, regardless of the industry. The secret to increasing cast-metal productivity is to maintain or enhance process performance standards, while increasing production volume. That way, more metal poured does not result in more metal wasted. The number of variables that must be monitored in this effort is vast, but technology is helping foundries make the change a little bit easier.
At Coimbatore, the metalcasting center of India, by some descriptions, PSG Foundries has adopted a portable, non-contact thermometer to measure the temperature of liquid iron during pouring. The Ametek Land Cyclops 055L-2F Meltmaster measures temperatures with reliable accuracy and enhances operators’ safety, while achieving significant savings on consumables.
PSG Foundries was established in 1974 to supply cast iron parts and components for automotive, heavy-equipment and machinery manufacturing, in India and abroad. It is a fully integrated metalcasting operation anchored by high-pressure molding, cold-box coremaking, and electric induction melting, with auxiliary capabilities like CAD/CAM/CAE design and development, rapid prototyping, die and mold machining, and spectroscopic testing. The plant produces about 600 metric tons/month of gray iron, nodular and ductile iron, and Ni-hard castings.
The plant’s operators needed an effective way to measure liquid metal accurately, but also efficiently. It had been buying over 10,000 DIP thermocouple consumables every year and was looking for an approach safer, as well as more cost effective, to optimize the quality of the molten metal.
Ametek Land recommended the Cyclops 055L-2F Meltmaster, a high-precision portable non-contact device that measures liquid metal temperatures in the range 1000o to 2000 °C (1832o-3632 °F). In use on the melt deck, an operator stands 3-4 meters’ distance from the molten metal and points the Cyclops Meltmaster at the liquid, pulling the trigger to take a measurement.
Then, the measurement is displayed in four simultaneous modes, including continuous, peak, valley and an advanced Meltmaster measurement mode customized to meet users’ specific requirements.
A clear, wide angle field of view and small, clearly defined measurement area help to ensure accurate sighting. All processed temperature values are shown continuously on the display when the trigger is pressed.
Since adopting the Cyclops 055L-2F PSG Foundries has achieved an annual savings on DIP thermocouples, a consumable cost running to about $6,000 per year. Thus, with a return on investment of less than six months, the Meltmaster has recovered its purchase cost.
In addition, according to the product developer the Meltmaster will accrue greater value as the foundry optimizes and maintains the consistent value of its molded parts using the thermometer.
But Ametek Land also noted other advantages to the Cyclops 055L-2F Meltmaster, starting with operator health and safety. In addition, there is the high accuracy of the thermometer and the process, even while taking the temperature of the pouring of the last mold. The instrument is noted for its ability to measure real liquid metal temperatures, regardless of high-temperature sparks, low-temperature water vapor, dust and smoke, which may cause errors in temperature measurement.
The instrument features four trigger operating modes for datalogging. Modes are available from logging a measurement for each trigger release to precisely executed pre-configured routes for consistent, repeated long-term readings. The unit can store up to 9,999 readings.
Emissivity compensation is shown via an icon-based menu. The operating waveband is chosen to minimize errors due to uncertainty in emissivity and the effects of atmospheric vapor components, such as steam or hot sparks.
With on-board storage, the Cyclops 055L-2F provides fast, simple data logging via Bluetooth® and USB connectivity to download this data to PC or mobile device for analysis and trending.
The instrument carrying case is designed to withstand metalcasting work environments for extended periods, and the device has a lens protector that maintains the optics in good condition.
Further, the device is ergonomically friendly and designed for single-hand operation, with contact-free measurement for better safety and easier use in hazardous environments.
“Ametek Land’s Cyclops Meltmaster infrared, non-contact thermometer is a highly effective solution for accurate temperature measurement of molten metal,” commented S. Kuppusamy, PSG Foundries vice president. “It provides easy, accurate point-and-measure temperature readings. Since its introduction, our plant has significantly reduced our expenditure on disposable DIP type thermocouples.”