This study summarises the research efforts undertaken in iron foundry plants in which the process are mostly automated and mechanised. The research program was limited in scope, focusing on causes of surface defects in castings products that are attributable to the bentonite-containing sand and the mould system. One of the potential roots of surface defects is heterogeneity of sand grains, containing lumped ball-shaped grains and irregular pellets with a layered-structure. The moisture contents of those lumped grains is different than the moisture level required in the process, besides these grains may contain various elements and metallic compounds which, when cast into moulds, may react with molten metals in an uncontrolled manner. As a result, surface defects are produced, such as surface blowholes, burst penetration, sand holes, slag inclusions, pinhole porosity. This study investigated the efficiency of key sand preparation and moulding machines and installations integrated into the casting process line. The efficiency of machines and installations is defined in terms of quality parameters of sand mix and moulds, which are associated with the emergence of surface defects on castings.
Investigations of operating parameters of widely used sand mixers reveal a wide variability range in the values of parameters associated with their power demand. Power efficiency of manufacturing processes has received a great deal of attention lately, which encourages the research efforts to optimise this aspects of operation of machines and installations as well. In the first place these machines and installations have to work properly as a part of the process line- which applies also to moulding sand mixers. Experiments conducted by the authors suggest that the same goal can be achieved at variable energy input levels. To obtain information about the power demands of sand mixers requires the use of highly specialised equipment, methodology and result processing procedures. This study provides a brief characteristic of measurement equipment and results of measurements taken on a unit AG-015 (based on a roller mixer) and a laboratory rotor mixer.
Design of a compressed air system is a complex issue, involving the design of structures formed by the air sources, air receptors and installations connecting all structure components. Another major task is to ensure the required quality of compressed air. The paper briefly outlines the methodology of integrated and network structure design, using an objective function to find the optimal solution. In terms of quality assurance, the technological aspects of compressed air generation, treatment and distribution are defined.
The size and complexity of decision problems in production systems and their impact on the economic results of companies make it necessary to develop new methods of solving these problems. One of the latest methods of decision support is business rules management. This approach can be used for the quantitative and qualitative decision, among them to production management. Our study has shown that the concept of business rules BR can play at most a supporting role in manufacturing management, but alone cannot form a complete solution for production management in foundries.
Shot blasting machines are widely used for automated surface treatment and finishing of castings. In shot blasting processes the stream of shots is generated and shaped by blasting turbines, making up a kinetic and dynamic system comprising a separating rotor, an adapting sleeve and a propelling rotor provided with blades. The shot blasting performance- i.e. the quality of shot treated surfaces depends on the actual design and operational parameters of the unit whilst the values of relevant parameters are associated with the geometry of turbine components and the level of its integration with the separator system. The circulation of the blasting medium becomes the integrating factor of the process line, starting from the hopper, through the propeller turbine, casting treatment, separation of contaminated abrasive mixture, to its recycling and reuse. Inferior quality of the abrasive agent (shot) and insufficient purity of the abrasive mixture are responsible for low effectiveness of shot blasting. However, most practitioners fail to fully recognize the importance of proper diagnostics of the shot blasting process in industrial conditions. The wearing of major machine components and of the blasting agent and quality of shot treated surfaces are often misinterpreted, hence the need to take into account all factors involved in the process within the frame of a comprehensive methodology. This paper is an attempt to formulate and apply the available testing methods to the engineering practice in industrial conditions.
Vacuum conditions in foundry installations are generated using electric-driven vacuum pumps. The purpose of the experiment is to evaluate the performance of a vacuum-assisted system for compaction of moulding sand basing on registered plots of selected electric power parameters of the power-supplying system of the pumps. Model testing done on an experimental vacuum system installation, power-supplied from a system incorporating the recorders of instantaneous current and voltage values. Following the numerical procedure, the experimental data are analysed to yield mathematical relationships between the variations of the generated vacuum pressure levels and variations of selected electric power parameters. Registered and computed values of selected parameters: instantaneous and RMS voltage and current values, active, reactive and apparent power levels and power coefficient allow for diagnosing the adequacy and reliability of the system operation. According to the authors, the applied monitoring of the power parameters of a vacuum-assisted installation may become an effective and easy practical method of evaluating the performance of such installations, used also in foundry plants.
The paper outlines the methodology of virtual design of a foundry plant as a system. The most important stage in the procedure involves the development of a model defined as a set of data about the system. Model development involves two stages: defining the model’s architecture and specifying the model data in the form of parameters and input-output relationships. The structure is understood as configuration of machines and transport units, representing the sub-systems and system components. As the main purpose of the simulation procedure is to find the characteristics of the system’s behaviour, the merits of the iterative method involving analysis, synthesis and evaluation of results are fully explored.
In this article the main problems related with the proper choice of the design and operation parameters of vacuum installation in vacuum moulding system have been discussed. In such system a vacuum are generated using electric-driven vacuum pumps. The aim of the experiment is to evaluate the performance of a vacuum system basing on registered plots of selected electric power parameters of the power-supplying system of the pumps with parallel measurements instantaneous values of pressure in selected points of model stand. The measurements system for power-supply unit has incorporated the recorders of instantaneous current and voltage values. Following the suitable numerical procedure, the experimental data are analysed to yield mathematical relationships between the variations of the generated vacuum pressure levels and variations of selected electric power parameters. According to the authors, the applied measurements system of the parameters of a vacuum-assisted installation may become an effective and easy practical method of evaluating the performance of such installations, used also in industry.