In 2019, AIA Engineering undertook a significant investment in technology, to improve safety, efficiency and respect for the environment. As part of the project, a Clansman Dynamics G30P grinding manipulator was purchased. With 30kW of power in the spindle, this allows AIA Engineering to carry out the most demanding grinding operations faster and with improved operator safety.
The decision to opt for the G30P grinder was based not only in well-known superior quality of Clansman Dynamics products but also on its functionality for large castings and demanding grinding challenges. It has five axes of movement – vertical, horizontal, slew, pitch and roll. The grinding head is robust, to allow it to transmit high power, yet compact enough to allow it to be flexible and easy to use on difficult to reach surfaces. The head is kept compact by using hydraulic motors instead of electric.
Variability of castings, manufacturing tolerances or small batch size, makes automatic grinding complicated for castings heavier than 500kg. Clansman Dynamics foundry grinding machines combine the benefits of manual control with semi-automatic functionality to optimise metal removal rates and productivity, in ways that help the operator to work in a safer and more efficient way.
Semi-automatic functions include:
- Pressure Control: For each ‘grinding wheel – metal’ combination, there is an optimum working pressure. Above it, the metal is over heated, and cracks can be produced; below it, the material is removed more slowly, and the operation is less efficient. The G30P control system ensures the grinding manipulator applies the pressure selected by the operator in a consistent way, relieving the operator of that element of his workload.
- Geometric Control: The G30P control enables the operator to define working planes and ‘no-go’ areas. Following riser removal (e.g. using a Clansman Cannon) it is often desirable to grind off riser necks. With the G30P, a plane can be defined for optimised material removal using pressure control, without worrying about going beyond what is necessary, because the grinder will not allow it. Geometric control allows the operator to set limits on the grinding area. This protects casting features from unintentional grinding.
Enhanced operator health and safety also played a part in the decision making process at AIA Engineering, where wellbeing of employees is paramount. With Clansman grinding manipulators, operators are separated from the physically demanding grinding mechanism and associated vibration, substantially reducing the risk of hand-arm vibration syndrome (sometimes abbreviated to HAVS and known as ‘white finger’).
Consistency and high productivity are also important. The mechanical effort is applied by the hydraulic power of the manipulator, so operators can be as productive in the last hour of the shift as in the first.
Clansman offers a wide range of manipulators, breakers, turntables and ancillary equipment for foundry and forge applications and provides automation, cell design and turnkey project services.