Wheelabrator Group Reduces Re-cleaning Requirements at Union Foundry

06/05/2009

New Rocker Barrel machine improves operations whilst significantly reducing costs.

Union Foundry Company, a division of McWane Corporation, approached Wheelabrator Group to replace an aging non-Wheelabrator continuous machine that had outgrown its capabilities within its Anniston, Ala., facility. As a leader in municipal water treatment systems, the company was looking to reduce its re-clean requirements of iron castings. As an existing Wheelabrator customer with a 34 cu. ft Tumblast® system, Union Foundry was familiar with the quality craftsmanship that Wheelabrator offers. Working with Wheelabrator Group Regional Manager, Mr. Bill Raby, Wheelabrator representatives and factory personnel, Union Foundry made the decision to outfit its facility with a Wheelabrator® 4-wheel Continuous Rocker Barrel machine, equipped with EZEFIT® blast wheels. Installation was completed in late-December 2008.

Iron castings and water-related pipe fitting components are automatically-fed from the molding line to a cooling line and rotary shakeout. Castings then incline towards the Continuous Rocker Barrel system. An operator manually separates gating and sprue from the castings before the castings are loaded into the machine for sand removal and surface cleaning. Advantages of the new blast system include reduced labor and material handling due to the lower re-clean rate. Fewer re-clean requirements have reduced the usage of the batch Tumblast machine, resulting in lower operating and maintenance costs. This new machine has improved productivity and efficiency in the foundry.

“The Wheelabrator Group team was able to pinpoint our blast cleaning needs and provided a great recommendation in the 4-wheel Continuous Rocker Barrel system. They worked with our facility requirements and were able to deliver a final product that has improved our daily operations”, said  Mr. Biehunko, Plant Manager, Union Foundry Company.

Before a final purchase decision was made, Union Foundry personnel visited foundries in Alabama and Indiana to observe Wheelabrator continuous rocker barrels. Testing was done at one location. Questions were directed to maintenance and operations personnel at both locations in order to gain a better understanding of how the machine improved their daily operations. Wheelabrator Group and Union Foundry worked closely together on the design which had to satisfy tight constraints on floor space and overhead clearance. Prior to shipping, Wheelabrator Group technicians pre-assembled and wired the machine. A complete factory run-off was conducted at the Burlington, Ontario plant, blasting castings provided by Union Foundry. When the machine was reassembled at Union Foundry, the subsequent smooth start-up was directly related to the thorough efforts performed during the factory run-off.

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