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CASTING INNOVATIONS


Monitoring System for Inoculation Delivery Could Improve Process Control Considering the lengths met-


alcasters go to control every aspect of every operation in their facilities, one area continues to be somewhat of a guessing game. Proper inoculation procedures can minimize the amount of inoculation material that misses the stream of molten metal, but the indus- try lacks a widely accepted method to monitor the delivery. Viking Technologies, Madison


Heights, Mich., has introduced a way to improve quality control in this area of the metalcasting facility. The inoTECH system has been designed by pour-tech AB, Säve- dalen, Sweden, to monitor in-stream inoculation in iron streams using bottom pouring applications. Using an active light source, the inoTECH system can detect how much of the inoculant enters the stream and how much misses to the right and left. In addition, video output from the camera provides a live image of the stream, making it possible to see the pour in real-time. “As an operator, you are always


looking at the stream from a difficult


The inoTECH system uses a laser to illuminate inoculant particles sprayed at the molten metal stream.


angle,” said Goran Lowback, president, Viking Technologies. “Our system uses a light curtain to illuminate the inoculant as it leaves the pipe and be- fore it enters the iron stream. With the camera in line with the pipe, you get a true view of the inoculation process.”


By tracking the so-called “hit rate” of the inoculant, the inoTECH system gives the operator increased control during inoculation. Alarm levels can be set to notify operators when the hit rate drops below normal levels. Additionally, stop levels can be set to automatically interrupt the pour if the hit rate enters a critically low level. “You may have an excellent inocula-


tion system,” Lowback said. “But even if you are sure the correct amount is coming out of the inoculation pipe, you aren’t guaranteed it will eventually end up in the iron stream.” Te inoTECH inoculation detec-


The system generates a hit rate so operators know how much of the inoculant goes into the stream. 62 | MODERN CASTING May 2015


tion system can be installed on a pour- ing furnace or an unheated ladle system. Te blue-ray laser and the camera are both protected by double walled, stainless water-cooled jackets. Te optics also are protected by an air purge system, featuring an air purge blower rather than using compressed air. “When the machining plant calls and lets the foundry manager know a part wasn’t properly inoculated, he’ll be asked how he intends to prevent this in the future” said Lowback. “Tis system can help minimize chances something goes wrong in the first place.”


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