Foundrymag 491 88271fmt1212ati00000060843 0

Automatic Handling for Oversized Castings

Dec. 12, 2011
Machine provides safety for plant personnel, security for large-dimension products
The Upender Inverter is equipped with heavy-duty powered conveyors for automatic loading, for standard and customized movement of large products.

AIR TECHNICAL INDUSTRIES developed this automated system for a Texas plant that handles large castings used to build gearboxes for oil-and-gas production. The operation needed an automated system for inverting the large, heavy castings — as large as 8x6x4 ft (LxWxH), and weighing up to 10,000 lb. — in their machining and assembly processes. The precision-built component had to be inverted 180°, turned over once and then inverted again, several times during the process. Machined surfaces had to be protected from damage or scratching. Safety was an important consideration also: with such a large and heavy object, workers risk serious injuries from stretching, reaching, bending, and heavy lifting. Of course, efficiency and timely delivery was an important factor, too.

ATI designed and manufactured a customized “Upender Inverter” that’s equipped with heavy-duty powered conveyors for automatic loading. After loading, the Upender Inverter securely clamps the casting, inverts it 180°, un-clamps it, and discharges the heavy machined part automatically on the waiting conveyor.

Then, after machining is finished on one end the process is repeated, in reverse. The entire process lasts just two minutes, but the task is repeatable many times, always with safety and efficiency, and producing finished machined components without any damage.

ATI offers the Upender Inverters in standard dimensions for capacities of 250 lb. up to 50,000 lb., and standard sizes from 24x36 inches up to 96x144 in. For non-standard installations, modifications are offered to suit customers’ applications.