McConway & Torley LLC, located in Kutztown, PA, is a prominent steel foundry. They specialize in couplers, yokes, strikers, drawbars, and other railcar components for the global rail industry. The company offers engineering expertise, technical support, and a comprehensive spare parts inventory.
What Went Wrong
McConway faced significant challenges with its existing shakeout operation. It relied on two aging two-mass natural-frequency foundry shakeout machines.
One of the machines was used to remove molds from flasks. It featured wooden rails to minimize flask damage. However, this setup incurred frequent expenses and maintenance due to worn-out springs, structural failures, and vibratory motor replacements. Additionally, the wooden rails needed daily replacement due to the product heat, making it costly and inefficient.
The other machine was designed for bulk sand removal. It experienced problems despite being only four years old. It employed pneumatic airbags to temporarily elevate the shakeout and stop casting flow, allowing for better sand removal. However, the machine was inefficient, resulting in additional expenses and maintenance.
How It All Worked Out
Randy Schudalla, plant manager at McConway & Torley, recognized the need for a more efficient shakeout system. He approached Carrier for a solution. Chuck Mitchell, Carrier’s foundry sales manager, proposed to replace the old shakeouts with their patented Delta-Phase® shakeout as a solution, offering several mechanical and process advantages:
Mechanical Advantages: A Shift to Efficiency and Reliability
With a simple, heavy-duty design, this system employs long-lasting spherical roller bearings and eccentric weights to drive the system. Unlike the previous setup with costly springs and delicate motors, the Delta-Phase® system uses off-the-shelf foot-mounted motors and standard universal joints, which synchronize inertly. This design eliminates the need for special belts or gearboxes.
McConway & Torley operators were used to two-mass natural frequency systems with messy coil springs and costly vibratory motors. Although they used less power, they were sensitive to preventive maintenance. Problems like sticking, jammed castings, overloading, and loose springs often caused structural cracks and broken springs due to overstroke.
In contrast, the Delta-Phase® shakeout uses a direct-drive system that isn’t tuned, so it’s not affected by loose springs or mass/speed changes, preventing “overstroke” condition. Overstroke harms vibratory equipment, making the Delta-Phase® shakeout design a significant advantage for McConway & Torley.
Process Advantages: Enhancing Operations Control and Adaptability
Variable Vibration Angle
The Delta-Phase® system allows for adjustable vibration angles, controlling casting speed and retention time on the shakeout deck. This optimizes sand removal, reduces casting damage, and minimizes deck wear.
The system also offers pre-programmed settings for various casting types and sizes, with versatile VFD and PLC technology, providing flexibility in meeting specific shakeout requirements.
The New Shakeout System
McConway & Torley’s foundry operators, in close collaboration with Carrier’s engineers, installed Carrier Vibrating’s Delta-Phase® system in August 2006. The new system featured several improvements and benefits:
- Punch-Out Shakeout: We replaced the problematic wooden rails with aluminum impact bars that last for 6 to 12 months.
- Heavy-Duty Decks: Fabricated from AR 400 steel, the 1.5-inch thick decks were heavily stiffened to handle impacts from steel castings, incorporating black-drafted slots for enhanced sand removal.
- Twin Motors: Twin 25-HP foot-mounted motors powered each unit with Delta-Phase® controls and local recipe controllers for precise control.
- Installation Support: We also provided on-site support with a service technician who oversaw installation and operator training.
The Happy Customer
Installing Carrier Vibrating’s Delta-Phase® foundry shakeout machine system allowed McConway & Torley to eliminate maintenance-intensive equipment and significantly improve the sand-removal process.
Foundry manager Jody Rahn expressed satisfaction, stating, “This is one of the best decisions the company has made in the last twenty years.”
Their delight was well-placed as the system had been operating impressively with little maintenance for over a year.
How We Can Help You
Carrier Vibrating Equipment has decades of experience and is fully equipped to resolve your foundry issues with hi-tech innovations and custom-design solutions.
Our heavy-duty equipment enhances casting quality and efficiency, reducing overall costs for foundry operations.
Contact us today for a satisfactory solution to all your vibratory equipment needs in one place.