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GIFA 2015

08. June 2015

GLOBAL FOUNDRY DEMAND FOR HUNTER’S HLM SERIES MOLDING MACHINES BASED ON CUSTOMER SUCCESSES

GLOBAL FOUNDRY DEMAND FOR HUNTER’S HLM SERIES MOLDING MACHINES BASED ON CUSTOMER SUCCESSES

As this advanced new product line proliferates throughout North America, foundries the world over can expect significant increases in quality, productivity and profitability.

Thanks to its proven record as Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation’s most advanced matchplate molding machine, the HLM Series is being introduced to the world foundry market at GIFA 2015 (Hall 15 – Booth FO1), the industry’s premiere conference.

According to company President and CEO Bill Hunter, who invented the HLM Series, the products’ design integrates Hunter’s patented, proprietary technologies with customer-requested features and functions. The HLM’s smoother, quieter, energy-efficient operation and lower maintenance requirements have resulted in increased mold quality, productivity and profitability to customers throughout North America.

The HLM’s sealed linear bearings and magnetic rodless cylinders replace cam followers, wheels, slippers and rails to provide smoother, quieter, more energy-efficient operation and greater machine stability. Combined with linear bearings to guide the hopper car, these features are designed to further reduce maintenance needs and costs.

“We believe the benefits of these integrated technologies, enjoyed by current customers, will drive the HLM’S acceptance in the global foundry market,” he said. To date 13 HLMs have been ordered and seven are in operation. Six of the 13 are repeat orders, according to Mr. Hunter.

IMMEDIATE CUSTOMER ACCEPTANCE
The first HLM customer was Progressive Foundry, a grey and ductile iron metalcaster located in Perry, Iowa. Progressive ordered the first HLM-10 even before Hunter introduced its HLM series at Cast Expo 2013 in St. Louis. The HLM-10 was installed during Progressive’s annual shutdown in July 2013, and is the fourth Hunter machinebased mmold center in operation at Progressive’s vertically integrated foundry. Progressive Foundry produces both short and long runs of iron castings, at weights ranging from a few ounces to more than 100 pounds, for a wide mvariety of industries across the U.S. The new HLM-10 replaced a Hunter HMP-10 C series automatic molding mmachine that had been in operation for more than 30 years. Three other Hunter machines have been in use over mthese decades, and all molding machines utilize HLH mold handling systems for pouring and cooling.

This is why Progressive Foundry chose the HLM-10:
• Ease of Change: The HLM-10 utilized the same footprint, push-out height, sand receiver and bottom board return as Progressive’s previous machine.
• Ease of Maintenance: Progressive has experienced 40% to 50% lower maintenance requirements with the HLM than with their previous machine, improving production and profitability.
• Ease of Operation: Operating the HLM is easier because most adjustments can be made from the HLM Human-Machine Interface (HMI) touch screen.

Commenting on the sale, Hunter said, “We appreciate the opportunity given us by our longtime customer because the HLM represents an entirely new concept in the design of foundry-proven Hunter machines. We believe it will have a positive impact on their operations for decades to come,” he observed, noting that the HLM’s design efficiencies, productivity improvements and reduced maintenance requirements have proven to be a positive boon for Progressive and other foundries.

Progressive Foundry president Pete Van Kirk called his HLM “the easiest to install, of all the new machines we put in.” The HLM-10 produced 800 molds on the second day it was running, Mr. Van Kirk observed. “The operation was as smooth as it was with our previous Hunter machine,” he stated, adding, “We were making molds — GOOD molds — the second day out.” Transition from the old Hunter machines to the HLM-10 was seamless because its footprint, push-out height, sand receiver, and board return all are interchangeable with the Hunter C-Series automatic molding machines it replaced.

According to Progressive’s production superintendent Steve Wilkening, key features that influenced their decision to purchase the HLM-10 included the fact that the machine has no board-feed hydraulics. Instead, HLM Series board feeders incorporate magnetically coupled rodless pneumatic cylinders.

“I also like the slow mold close and the fact that we’ve eliminated the slippers,” Mr. Wilkening said. Additional factors in the purchase of the HLM included its linear-bearing design, and the overall high quality of molds produced. “We’ve seen no shift and crush, since we’ve had the machine, and mold hardness is up to 90 and 92, which was an improvement,” he noted.

To see the HLM in action at Progressive Foundry,
please click www.hunterfoundry.com/hlm 

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