ESCO Cleveland Plans Robotic Shell-Room System

Nov. 5, 2007
Investment casting plant adding capacity to meet demand
Portland-based ESCO Corp. reports that its investment casting operation in Cleveland will be updated with a new robotic shell-room system, purchased recently from VA Technology Ltd., an English suppler of investment-casting equipment. The system will be installed in a new 3,500-ft 2 equiax shell room at the plant, which is an operating unit of the ESCO Turbine Technologies division. ESCO says the new system will enhance process control safety, and capacity. In operation, the new equipment transfers equiax molds from pattern wash through the entire shell-build process without any human involvement, and delivers the material ready for de-waxing. According to Brian S. Hoover, president of ESCO Turbine Technologies - Cleveland, the layout of the new shell room “ … enhances product flow from wax injection through shell build, and incorporates a temperature controlled mold inspection and insulation room. Wasted motion is significantly reduced, and unnecessary transport of molds is being eliminated.” Hoover added that the investment shows ESCO commitment to commit capital to increase capacity to meet market demand, and said the new VA Technologies equipment will make the Cleveland plant more competitive, with less waste in material usage and scrap. He said the expansion will make possible more "business growth opportunities for ESCO Cleveland." ESCO Turbine Technologies-Cleveland produced a range of components for the aerospace and power-generation industries, including hot gas path (HGP) components such as directionally solidified (DS), single crystal (SC) and equiaxed blades, nozzles, vanes, and structural castings. It also performs machining, grinding, and stem drilling. The plant has over 300 employees.