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removable trays were placed beneath the filters, which are emptied after filters have been replaced or cleaned.


Workflow Improvement


Te primary focus for this improve- ment was geared toward everything that follows the removal or “cut off” of the risers and gating. Tis leaves the blast, arc, grind, and weld proce- dures. It has always been a practice at American Foundry to segregate the castings based on weight. Te large floor will normally consist of castings weighing more than 200 lbs. Te small floor takes ease in maneuvering most castings below 200 lbs. Te original workflow design for


the small floor setup placed the “green line,” the first position to touch the castings, before or in front of the arc/ weld booth. After shakeout, the cast- ings went straight to cut off risers and contacts. After heat treat, the green line would get a portion of the grind- ing on the contacts, then continue down the line. If there was too much material for the grinder to remove, the welder was in position to arc remain- ing material. Te finish line grinders would do the final touches to the cast- ings. Tis was creating a large amount of work for the grinders and causing the cleaning room to consume more abrasives than we found necessary. Te group was fortunate to have


inherited a much larger space to begin the design of the new finishing department. Although this is a ben- efit, a larger footprint can decrease efficiency quickly by increasing walk- ing space between each station. Tis made the layout of the workflow very important to increasing efficiencies. Travel time for each casting needed to be reduced tremendously. A study done in April 2012 had discovered how far a casting traveled around the cleaning room before finally being transported to the shipping dock. It revealed that a batch of castings


Fig. 2. The initial prototype for the weld/arc booth (top) was developed to provide a buffer between the work area and air handler (bottom). See also the opening photo on p. 35.


could travel as far as 960 ft. from heat treat to shipping. Tis was not only a slow process for cleaning but gave each fork lift a workout to do the moving. One important part of the new


room design is the segregation of spe- cific materials. Separation of materi- als was much more difficult with the previous setup, because it would delay the progress of certain heats


Table 2. Abrasive Use Reduction Over One Year Six Month Averages First 6 months 2013 Last 6 months 2012


Type A Type B Type C


458 404 267


780 690 413


% Usage Reduction 41% 41% 35%


and impact on-time delivery. It is not a good practice to obtain and store multiple types of weld rod within the same weld booth. Tis meant that if multiple material types would move down the line, welders would have to leave the booth and walk down to the supply room to obtain the correct weld rod. In the newly developed cleaning and finishing department, the green line that had been the first position to touch the castings was moved. Now, an arc booth has been placed at the front of this line. Tis position is to remove a majority of the excess material (con- tacts, flashing, etc.) before the casting reaches a grinding wheel.


January 2015 MODERN CASTING | 37


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