Arena Multi-cell is a low-cost, customized and flexible cell, which integrates an automatic coating preparation, constant level dip tank, drying oven and robots for core handling, core assembly (gluing) and dipping for both cold box and hot box cores.
The advantages are evident as all the process parameters are under control. From the properties of the coating to the dipping duration, through the homogenisation within the dipping tank and the time and energy released to dry the cores. The goal is to achieve a consistent thickness of the coating layer over time, minimizing core handling and the overall cost.
Multi-cell Benefits and Features:
- Reduces the cost per core
- Drying immediately after core coating application for maximum core strength
- Highest repeatability and consistent coating layer thickness thanks to ALL-in-ONE and robot
- Reduces the amount of required manpower
- Increases productivity
- Designed, assembled, tested, supplied and installed by a single company expert in all the equipment that makes up the robotic cell
- Almost eliminates rejects, breakages and damage, related to manual manipulation, assembling and handling by an operator
- Produces cores as required by the mould line, limiting intermediate stock of cores ready for core setting
- Ensures that your core making process is perfectly traceable. All the information about a single core or production batch (like drying time, drying temperature, coating density, dipping time, etc…) can be recorded and saved to the database
Automation in the core shop
Over the last 10 years, the focus of cast iron foundries around the world has seen significant investments into the automation of the main phases such as core to mould setting, finishing of the casting, etc…, in line with the trend of Industry 4.0. In core shops, foundries with limited core variations and high-volume production runs, have introduced complete lines for handling, dipping, automatic coating preparation and drying. A typical example was carried out by Atlantis Foundries which produces large diesel engine blocks. ProserviceTech partnered with Atlantis in this development of the entire core coating process.
The rest of the foundries have limited their implementation of automation in the core shops due to:
• shortage of space.
• Medium-short production runs that may not justify the investment in automation.
• Difficulty in sourcing qualified equipment suppliers, able to analyse the entire process related to the production and assembly of the core (from shooting to storage) and able to develop low cost solutions with an acceptable payback period.
• The need to program a robot when moving from a labor-intensive process to a robotic cell (summarized in the flow chart).
Multi-cell a solution for all core shops
The real savings in the production of cores are mainly linked to:
– Manpower savings
– Minimized rejects and casting defects due to quality issues such as runs and drops, inconsistent coating layer, sand on core surface, gas related to residual water in the core, etc.
– Energy cost for drying cores.
– Reduced core handling.
The concept of ARENA Multi-cell has been developed around those targets, by limiting the initial investment, the set-up time and cost of grippers and fixtures. In fact, the change from one core to the next is quick and can be performed by one worker in less than 15 minutes. Even the grippers are simple, low-cost and easy to change. Multi-cell is designed to accommodate the possibility to add, in additional steps, other cores to the initial package. Therefore, the automation is no longer restricted to long runs of millions of identical cores. The flexibility, the compact design, the quick set-up and the limited initial investment make the Multi-cell interesting also for short to medium runs.
While the robot keeps the coating dipping at maximum repeatability, the quality of the coating is ensured by the advanced dip tanks at constant level ALL-in-ONE which has integrated automatic coating control and preparation. The drying oven layout can vary according to the process and quantity of the cores. Cores are loaded individually which makes their drying time much easier and cheaper than packing wet cores on multi-core trays (cycle time). ProserviceTech studies the best and simplest solution to automate the core shop starting from your existing process, type of cores, cycle times, space, etc…