A major player in the aluminum automotive components industry was frustrated by the capabilities of an integral part of their die casting process: the use of belt conveyors. Although extremely common to handle scrap material in die casting facilities, this type of conveyor in this environment is renowned for causing production shutdown and maintenance issues.
In this facility, they were able to determine that the belt conveyors were causing three-hour shutdowns every three months due to the need for belt replacements. To compound this downtime, the three-hour shutdown was not isolated to one casting machine; the belt replacement would create a chain reaction leading to the shutdown of eleven die casting machines for the entirety of the replacement process.
A single belt conveyor led to the loss of production of eleven die casting machines. Over the course of a year, that totaled twelve hours of downtime to keep one scrap belt conveyor in operation. The aluminum die caster began looking for a solution that would eliminate this production loss, as well as a design that could handle the incline at which the conveyor must be set.
After years of dealing with this situation, they turned to General Kinematics to find a solution. Accustomed to the request for new process challenges, GK engineers went to work.
A new system of conveyors would be designed in conjunction with the trench and pit conveyors to take the scrap from the die casting machines onto a GK V-Trough® Vibratory Incline Conveyor which would then feed the furnace systems. This conveyor design completely automated the scrap return process.
Along with a V-Trough Conveyor, General Kinematics also provided a bi-directional feeder that would provide the customer with the ability to feed multiple furnaces. The new TWO-WAY™ Feeder virtually eliminated downtime caused by the shutdown and maintenance of one furnace or the other.
The bottleneck caused by the original belt conveyors was now resolved completely, restoring the previously lost 12 hours of production to the eleven die cast machines and relieving the need for constant maintenance.
Vibratory conveyors are a more elegant solution to handle abrasive materials like die casting scrap and eliminates the need for constant belt repairs. Through GK’s creative engineering and experience, vibratory conveyors are more flexible than ever. For more information on this project contact me!