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The patent-pending Precision Measuring Equipment, Automatic Compactability Testing Station,' or PME_ACTS.

Drawing, Recording, and Sharing Data from Sand

Jan. 17, 2017
PLC-controlled, Ethernet-linked green sand testing equipment for foundry labs Compactability, to an accuracy of xx.x Upgrades to measure sand-compression strength, tensile strength, and permeability

Your metalcasting processes may revolve around fundamental resources, like sand and metal alloys, but that does not mean you can ignore the significance of information, especially in this era when manufacturing processes are guided by data and structured around powerful networks.

Drawing detailed and reliable information out of sand is no small feat, but that’s much of the emphasis for GreenSand Controls. It develops metalcasting equipment with an emphasis on sand handling (e.g., sand compactability control systems, moisture control systems, bentonite control systems, grain fineness control systems, and foundry automation systems), and additional emphasis on laboratory equipment for green sand testing. In the latter case, the product drawing new attention is the patent-pending, “Precision Measuring Equipment, Automatic Compactability Testing Station," or PME_ACTS.

The PLC-controlled and Ethernet-connectable PME_ACTS is designed to measure the compactability of green sand to an accuracy of xx.x, and it can measure sand compactability ranges from 0-60%. It also can be used to produce 2-in. test samples, which are required to conduct other lab-centered green sand testing processes.

The PME_ACTS can be upgraded with fixtures that allow sand-compression strength, tensile strength, and permeability testing.

The system is available for Allen Bradley Micrologix 1400 or Siemens S7-1200 Series control platforms, making it feasible for foundries to integrate directly to their existing process control structures using industry-standard communications protocols. 

For networking, there is SCADA software available that can automatically record any test data generated by PME_ACTS.  Then, the data can be analyzed and shared across the plant network with relevant personnel via statistical reports, and/or as raw data with time stamps. 

While the installation requires a clean compressed-air supply (80 PS at 6 cfm) and 12vac power, the PME_ACTS equipment is compact, and cost effective in that it can be located remotely but with easy access for real-time testing of green sand at the molding stations.  Minimal training is required to operate the PME_ACTS, according to the developers.

While sand remains essential to everything that happens in many foundries, this data-driven, networkable system is ready to draw more information from it, more effectively.
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