Magaldi’s technologies to secure the success of a new iron foundry in Mexico
A US company invested in a greenfield foundry in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, and awarded Magaldi with a contract to supply its dependable technologies for castings cooling and conveying, sprue handling and castings sorting.
Recognizing the increasing importance of the Mexican automotive industry, the company decided to invest in a greenfield foundry in San Luis Potosí to produce almost 100,000 tons per year of gray iron castings. In 2015, it entrusted the engineering and project management to GEMCO Engineers BV which delivered the turnkey project, including installation and commissioning.
MTI to establish its manufacturing capability in Mexico
Two years later, Magaldi was awarded with a contract to supply its dependable technologies to carry out different operations. Throughout its long company history, Magaldi has achieved a strong expertise in handling materials under the toughest process conditions (e.g. high temperatures, heavy loads, bulk, grain or abrasive materials) in industries where high dependability is essential. For the metalcasting industry, Magaldi has developed a broad range of technological solutions to meet several operational needs whilst ensuring high dependability, better operating performance and lower O&M costs.
That’s exactly the capability to respond in a reliable and effective way to different requirements in the foundry production process, which led the US company to choose Magaldi as technology partner for its project.
In particular, Magaldi provided:
- an enhanced version of the MCC® (Magaldi Casting Cooler) – known as SuperMCC® – able to improve cooling performance thanks to a particular heat exchange mechanism among castings and forced cooling airflows;
- a Magaldi Spill Chain to be installed underneath the SuperMCC® for sand return conveying;
- a Superbelt® to convey sprue and reject castings from the sorting and knock-off area to outside;
- a Superbelt® conveyor for casting sorting downstream the shot-blasting machine.
Magaldi super casting cooling technology
After evaluating the Customer requirements, Magaldi decided to offer an enhanced casting cooling conveyor able to cool and convey castings in a tighter space. According to the plant layout, a vibrating shake-out conveyor feeds the SuperMCC® with castings produced on the vertical green sand molding line. The SuperMCC® has been designed to cool castings down from an inlet temperature of 600 °C to an outlet surface temperature of ≤100 °C
thanks to an optimized cooling process. In fact, equipped with an air forced cooling tunnel held under negative pressure by a venting system, the SuperMCC® guarantees improved performance by means of an additional cooling air flow (cross flow) passing through specifically designed slots on the pans of the conveyor, that increases the cooling rate.
The cooling tunnel, 23 meters long, is equipped with two cold cooling air inlet points placed at the tunnel ends and with a hot air suction point at the middle of the tunnel. Although the vibratory shake-out conveyor separates castings from sand, residues of the latter can remain on castings and accelerate the wear of the shot-blasting equipment. For this reason, a Magaldi Spill Chain has been installed underneath the SuperMCC® for sand return conveying. The SuperMCC® is also provided with the MISS® (Magaldi Integrated Supervision System) to control equipment operations.
Optical pyrometers are installed in pairs respectively at the entrance, middle and exit of the cooling tunnel, to detect castings temperature along the transportation. Relevant signals are available to the MISS® in order to adjust, if necessary, inlet and/or outlet air flow rates (depending on detected castings temperature) and the SuperMCC® belt speed (depending on the casting type to be treated - ID code).
Compared to conventional vibrating coolers, the SuperMCC® guarantees:
- improved cooling performance with a shorter conveyor;
- higher dependability;
- no vibrations, no dust;
- noise level <80 dB(A);
- low spare parts requirements;
- low power consumption (about one tenth of vibrating conveyors requirements)
Superbelt® technology to handle sprues and sort castings
Once cooled, castings are discharged onto a reversible vibrating conveyor, installed perpendicular to the conveying direction of the SuperMCC®. At this stage, castings and sprue are separated and sprues are discharged onto a Superbelt® conveyor.
Designed with upstanding side walls to reliably handle sharp materials and to avoid spillage from remaining sand and metal parts, the Superbelt® moves sprue and reject castings from the shot-blasting to the re-melting area. A further Superbelt® conveyor has been installed for castings sorting operations. After shot-blasting, castings pass on a Superbelt® conveyor characterized by downfacing side walls that easily allow to slide castings off the belt. Operators can work comfortably alongside the conveyor, taking-off castings for inspection operations and downstream processing.