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Wescast Industries| Brantford, Ontario, Canada

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Introduction:

Wescast Brantford Plant began operations in 1991. They are a high production facility specializing primarily in automotive exhaust manifolds for the OEM market. The foundry uses the Epoxy Acrylic process for their core process. Their production capacity is 7 million castings per year at an average of 10 lbs. per casting.

General Foundry Information:

Casting Metal Type:

  • Silicon-Molybdenum Alloy Iron

Melting Facility:

  • 5-Induction Furnaces

Core Process:

  • Epoxy Acrylic binder system

Molding Process:

  • Green Sand

Cleaning Facility:

  • Didion drums and pneumatic wedges
  • Break off (gate and riser removal)
  • Grinding Stations

Project Objectives:

  • Reduce PPM Employee Exposure Levels
  • Improve Machine Productivity
  • Improve Process Repeatability and Reliability

Solution:

They installed the MT Systems' SO2/N2 blending system to provide blended SO2/N2 gas to the central gassing header. The system consisted of the following:

  1. Vaporizing System - Vaporizes liquid SO2 from their SO2 bulk storage tank into gaseous SO2.
  2. Blending System - Blends SO2 and N2 gases into the specific ratio needed to optimize the curing of the cores.
  3. On-line Analyzer - Analyzes gas composition in the header for verification and recording of the process.
  4. Control System - Controls the entire process, provides a quick and easy way to monitor and change the process and provides on-line diagnostics which increases overall uptime.
  5. Safety System - Built in safety for operator and system protection

General Core Information:

  • Number of SO2/N2 Blending Systems - 1
  • Number of Core Machines - 3
  • Typical Blow Weight - 30 Lbs
  • Average Machine Cycle - 52 Sec
  • Gassing Times - .8 to 1 Sec
  • Purge Time - 12 Sec
  • Gassing Pressure - 14.5 PSI
  • Purge Pressure - 45 to 60 PSI
  • Avg. SO2 usage - 24 Lbs/Ton of Mixed Sand

Results and Benefits:

  1. Reduction in SO2 core residuals by: 70%
  2. Increased productivity by 10.34%
    (Overall machine cycle: Before 58 Sec. and after 52 Sec.)
  3. Reduced purge cycle by 33%
    (Before 18 Sec. | After 12 Sec.)
  4. Reduction in employee SO2 PPM exposure levels by 70% (Canadian maximum exposure limit is 2 PPM, Wescast operates below .5PPM)
  5. Flexibility over controlling the SO2 process
  6. System is designed to ASME specifications

System Justification:

  • Increased core machine productivity
  • Reduce plant air consumption due to lower purge times
  • Better environmental conditions due to lower core residuals and lower operator PPM exposure

NOTE: Wescast wanted to make sure we point out - This system does not replace the need for proper maintenance of equipment and core tooling. You can not tell the difference between a leaky core box using 100% SO2 or the same core box using a 50% SO2.