Founded in 1905 the company has emphasized continuous improvement and has a very strong safety culture. Safety at Emerson is not merely important- it is a core value and is emphasized much more than production or profits.
Urick’s safety accomplishments were recently recognized when they were finalists in the Emerson Safety Leadership Award competition in 2020.
For years, Urick struggled to degate castings on a vibratory conveyor for multiple reasons:
- The conveyor was a maintenance nightmare.
- The bouncing of hot castings and gating generated high noise levels and made it difficult to safely pick them up without the operators being burned, pinched, or cut.
- The upward stroke of the conveyor also threw dust into the air making it difficult to prevent silica exposure despite the large ventilation expenditures.
- The upward stroke of the conveyor would also frequently impact and damage the hydraulic wedges; thus, the wedges were being rebuilt constantly.
- Castings and gating were separated into different paths to allow for discharging into separate conveyors. To keep castings from coming back to the wrong path after sorting, a small barrier lip was installed on the centerline of the conveyor. Because of the barrier, the operators had to constantly pick up the castings to go over the barrier.
- A sufficient discharge height to feed the continuous blast machine was not able to be achieved with a vibratory conveyor due to its inherent incline limitations.
After reviewing the situation, Magaldi was able to custom design a solution for Urick that accommodated the tight location and provided their operators with a much cleaner, quieter, and safer environment to degate castings. This solution addressed their issues specifically:
- The conveyor offers trouble free operation with a very high uptime.
- Because there is no longer any bouncing:
a) Operators are not being burned, pinched, or cut.
b) There is no need for a barrier between castings and gating. Castings that break free from the gating in the shakeout can just be slid to their side of the Magaldi Superbelt ® Conveyor without being picked up. The discharge chute that Magaldi designed and built diverts castings to one conveyor and gating to another.
c) Silica is not being thrown into the air and greatly reducing any chances for silica exposure.
d) Wedges are not having to be rebuilt due to impact damage on the conveyor
3. The conveyor was able to be inclined much more than before to allow for proper loading into the continuous shot blast machine.
The project leader, David Moyer (Plant Engineer) had the following to say. “Urick is committed to the safety and wellbeing of it’s employees. We tried many things to overcome the safety hazards presented by the old natural frequency conveyor, but in the end realized that we needed to make a major change. We considered solutions other than the Magaldi, but it was obvious that Magaldi was going to yield the greatest safety improvement and would yield significant savings in maintenance and energy costs as a bonus. The improvements in air quality and noise are immediately evident. The Superbelt ® Conveyor is built very rugged and should withstand many years of punishing operation.”
For more information, visit: https://www.urick.net.