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AB&I Foundry gains speed, accuracy with redesigned molding system.

AB&I Foundry, Oakland, Calif., a metalcasting facility that produces cast iron soil pipes and fittings as well as jobbing work, was looking for a way to increase production and reduce manpower in order to stay competitive. The company turned to DISA Industries Inc., Oswego, Ill., which recently unveiled a new line of molding machines, for a solution.

The casting firm installed the New Generation DISA 270-A molding system--the first to be installed in the world--in February and already has seen its production increase and quality improve.

"It's so much more accurate and user-friendly, and it is 50% faster," said Allan Boscacci, president of AB&I. "There is virtually no grinding needed if the pattern and cores are up to snuff."

The DISA 270-A, which is built to produce molds of 27.56 x 37.4 in. (700 x 950 mm) with thicknesses between 7.87 in. (200 mm) and 25.6 in. (650 mm), can operate at 400 uncored molds/hr. and 375 cored molds/hr. Currently, AB&I is using it in production of soil pipe fittings, brake drums and weights. Boscacci said AB&I has seen the molds/hr. numbers reach 410 and 385, improving on the 290 uncored molds/ hr. and 250 cored molds/ hr. speeds that AB&I reached with the old DISA 2070 machine.

Part of the DISA 270's speed comes from the redesign of the hydraulic system. In past molding machines, all the systems' movements would go through one cycle before beginning the next. The New Generation line from DISA, however, is designed to have overlapping movements, so as one cycle nears its completion, another cycle has begun already.

The sand filling process also has been redesigned in the molding system for obtaining high moldability. The DISA 270 has optimized the sand shot system compared to the DISA 2070, and the new design offers improved chamber filling, which enables production of higher density molds. Two pattern plates now can be positioned individually in the chamber, and a double-squeeze operation is standard. With the new mechanical design, machine-dependent mismatches of only 0.15 mm (0.006 in.) or less is guaranteed, making it twice as accurate as the old DISA molding system. The need for machining is reduced to a minimum or even eliminated.

AB&I has seen marked labor reductions since the new molding machine took its place in production. The company brought its force on a production run from one-and-a-half shifts to one shift. Boscacci estimates that AB&I has achieved a 20% reduction in cost/ton with the DISA 270.

Uptime also has been improved with the redesign. Critical components are interchangeable in short notice, and loads on bearings and moving parts have been reduced to extend lifetime and maintenance intervals.

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Title Annotation:Case History
Comment:AB&I Foundry gains speed, accuracy with redesigned molding system.(Case History)
Publication:Modern Casting
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2005
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