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“We are removing the process of human


hands touching the core


assembly and automating handling.”


—Jeff Walters, Waupaca Plant 2/3 plant manager


Reducing human touches on the core assemblies ensured the surface of the core would not be damaged, resulting in a superior casting surface finish.


each component, de-fin and assemble. To streamline the process, the produc- tion team installed a conveyor belt between two robotic cells, which now produce the core package. Reducing human touches also


increased the quality of the core assembly and, ultimately, the cast- ing. Prior to using a conveyor belt, cores were stacked on a rack, which increased the likelihood of dings and damage. Te conveyor, in effect, protected the surface of the core assembly. A vacuum plate used to extract core assemblies proved more consistent than human workers and ensured the surface of the core would not be damaged. Using robotics to de-fin the core was more precise and contributed to a higher quality core and casting. “Because we have the ability to


integrate this part into the cell in- house, we were able to accomplish getting this to an economical level for the customer and meeting their timeline,” Walters said.


Using Casting’s Capabilities Waupaca Foundry’s key to creating


a casting with the quality and efficiency expected was vertical green sand mold- ing. Engineering teams designed a core assembly that allowed two bedplates to be cast with a single core pack- age through the use of a splitter core between the mold cavities. In addition to needing fewer cores to produce each


22 | MODERN CASTING September 2012


casting, Waupaca Foundry improved pouring yield. Due to the detail and complexity of the core assembly, the production team used a coldbox coremaking process to ensure accuracy and precision in the final casting. Once created, the splitter core was used to piggyback two castings in the vertical green sand molding process. “We normally would not consider this piggyback design for a part this


complex in vertical molding,” said Randy Hillskotter, production man- ager. “But the innovative core assem- bly allowed us to do it successfully.” Waupaca Foundry’s Plant 2/3


reengineered the core production process to include a vacuum end effector for use in extracting, core de-finning and the partial assembly of the core package. Once extracted, core components were placed on a


Robotic vacuum extractors handled the core assemblies throughout the process.


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