Sand casting as a technology has changed over the years. Today, in cutting edge foundries, sand casting has become automated, protecting workers and improving productivity.
With the improvement of technology, the production of sand casting has become much more efficient. Even with the improvement, sand casting still faces some key issues during the production process. One of the key issues is ventilation.
During the process of sand casting, air or gasses are generated and they need to be released efficiently and safely. Traditionally, this has been done by creating moulds with vents in them. The downside is that not only does this create extra work, but it means a break in the model contour caused by cutting from the back of the mould. The resulting piece can then require extra cleaning to remove material left by the break.
ABB has worked at a solution for this problem and has created a new cost effective solution that removes the need for pre-vented moulds. ABB’s FlexMouldVenter helps create vents regardless of the moulds.
The FlexMouldVenter uses an IRB 6620 robot, with a special punching head integrated onto the arm of the robot. The robot, which is positioned next to or over the mould, punches vents into the mould from above (model side), or can even cut from any angular direction. The cycle time for creating the vent is approximately one second per hole. The vents are 5-10 millimeters in size, and the precision is better than 1 millimeter. In addition, there is force supervision and if the needle bends or breaks, the robot checks for this after the cycle by moving to a needle-check station. The robot saves the position data for the form so it is possible to apply exactly the same vents for another application. Each form type may have different numbers of and/or positions of the holes.
The details of ABB’s FlexMouldVenter
• Mounting: Floor, wall or ceiling mounting is possible
• Mould size: 1250 x 1000 mm, maximum 1600 x 1900 mm
• Vent punching tool: integrated into the robot (7th axis)
• Vent size: 5-10 mm available (up to 20 mm on special request)
• Angular venting is possible: normally +/-30º with X and Y axis, +/- 90 degrees with Z axis
• Cycle time: approximately 1 second per vent
• Needle speed: maximum 2.5 meters per second
• Power: Punching force of 500 N up to 1400 N
• Precision: better than 1 mm
• Position data can be saved and transferred from a PLC via Ethernet
• Automatic control: if the needle bends or breaks it will be detected automatically.
• A needle can be changed in less than two minutes
• Can be upgraded to with integrated measurement of force of +/- 2000 N
• Can also be upgraded to save all data regarding the vents
ABB (abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 124,000 people.
About ABB Robotics
ABB Robotics (abb.com/robotics) is a leading supplier of industrial robots – also providing robot software, peripheral equipment, modular manufacturing cells and service for tasks such as welding, handling, assembly, painting and finishing, picking, packing, palletizing and machine tending. Key markets include automotive, plastics, metal fabrication, foundry, electronics, pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries. A strong customer focus helps manufacturers improve productivity, product quality and worker safety. ABB has installed more than 190,000 robots worldwide.