While today’s foundry operations are mostly automated, surface treatment frequently still involves a lot of manual labor resulting in one of the most labor-intensive and costly operations within a foundry. Automated systems tailor-made to the unique re-quirements of desanding and deburring, as well as overall surface finishing, of raw castings not only significantly reduce costs but also increase process safety.
Example of a high quality and repeatable cleaning result: The surface of the gearbox housing for an electrical saw has been treated automatically.
Regardless of how a component is cast, tasks such as desanding, deburring, and surface cleaning are often still carried out manually. Not only are they extremely time consuming and highly labor intensive, but the quality of manual blasting strongly depends on the skills of the person who is blasting resulting in a process that not consistent or documentable. High qual-ity shot blast results are, however, a crucial quality aspect for any foundry product and an important competitive factor.
Staying Competitive by Automating the Blast Cleaning Process
In the field of post treatment of small to medium-size castings in particular, Rösler Oberflächentechnik GmbH is able to offer solutions that will significantly increase the degree of automation in the fettling operation of a foundry. The benefits are not only limited to the field of large area external shot blasting as targeted desanding and/or deburring of bore holes, channels, vents and undercuts are also possible.
In order to achieve optimum results in geometrically complex parts, the Untermerzbach based company determines the most suitable position of the blast wheels, or nozzles, as well as the component by way of a 3D simulation of the proposed blast cleaning process. The automatic control and monitoring of various parameters of the shot blasting process ensures that all components are treated according to their individual needs at a consistently high quality level. By registering every single component in the equipment control panel program, the condi-tions under which the component has been shot blasted can be traced back reliably. The ad-vantages of automated processing of iron, steel and non-ferrous raw castings are such that the cost-savings and quality improvements below can be realized:
One of the processing tasks is the de-sanding of the thin channels and side walls of cylinder heads. Because the shot blast quality is totally repeatable, this automated blast cleaning process ensures high process safety.
> Improved process safety
> Up to 80 % less manual work
> Lower labor cost
> Higher throughput rates
> Lower manufacturing costs
> Repeatable and documentable shot blasting processes
Custom Engineered Automation Concepts for Foundries
Roboblaster – automatic blast cleaning and high flexibility for production lines: The Roboblaster, a combination of a shot blasting unit and a 6-axis robot specially engineered to suit the respective application, can be deployed for different blast cleaning tasks – from de-burring and desanding all the way to shotpeening.
A Southern German automobile manufacturer utilizes this highly efficient, compact and sound protected blast system to deburr and surface finish bell/gearbox housings made of magnesium in a cycle time of just 26 seconds. In order to handle the components from two parallel pressure die casting lines and place them into the shot blasting unit, the robot is equipped with a double gripper. In the blast housing the bell/gearbox housings are shot blasted by six Hurricane type high-performance blast wheels.
The robot-based shot blasting machine, RROB, allows for automated surface treatment of different components. It can be integrated into fully automated production lines.
The wire-mesh belt machine: A highly productive and versatile all-round blast cleaning ma-chine. Rösler’s wire mesh belt machine, the RDGE, guarantees comprehensive, fully auto-matic processing of different components with complex geometries in continuous flow opera-tion. One of these custom-tailored RDGE systems, with eight blast wheels, operates at Plat-enhardt KG. The company produces different aluminum pressure die castings, mainly for the automobile industry, which requires a reproducible, documentable, and highly cost effective blast cleaning process. Feeding and transporting off the die castings, which are very sensi-tive to impingement or nicking, takes place on two tracks contributing to a significant increase in throughput rates. The cycle time for feeding the components to be shot blasted is 12 sec-onds per track. Following the shot blasting process these large and cup-shaped die castings undergo a post separation process during which they are tumbled several times to ensure that all residual blast media is removed from the parts.
Manufacturing cell concepts – a safe investment in the future. This blast system serves mul-tiple casting cells. Whenever raw castings from multiple casting cells must be blast cleaned automatically, Rösler provides the solution! The casting cell shot blasting machine (RDG) offers very short cycle times, high component variability and requires very little space. For example, at Georg Fischer in Herzogenburg, various cast, clipped aluminum components, weighing up to 35 kg (about 77.2 pounds) each, are transported from the cast-ing cells to the shot blasting machine where a handling robot places them into the shot blast-ing cabinet. The cabinet is equipped with a special parts fixture, whose design can be ad-justed to different parts sizes and geometries. A rotary device installed in the cabin roof starts rotating the fixtured part allowing safe loading of the parts as well as blast cleaning of all criti-cal areas on the part. When different parts ranges are to be processed, the parts fixture can be retrofitted
Consistent and repeatable deburring of aluminum castings from multiple casting cells can easily be achieved with the casting cell shot blasting machine.