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The harsh ambient temperatures in the foundry of a drive manufacturer required particularly robust components. We solved the requirement with a key transfer system and a holistic safety concept consisting of a protective fence and light curtain. At temperatures far above 1000 degrees Celsius and harsh ambient conditions, cast iron is poured into sand molds in a process that is automated to the greatest possible extent.
Safety switch on amGard pro in a harsh environment
In order to be able to produce reliably, the safety components of the plant must also withstand the harsh environmental conditions. The molds, which consist of quartz sand, are neatly laid out and a gripper places the top and bottom on top of each other with millimeter precision before the trolley moves on a little further in the so-called casting section. But before the mold actually starts its journey to casting, a worker checks the quality.
For this purpose, the operator enters the hazardous area, which is secured in several ways. The safety interlock from Fortress Interlocks allows the sliding door to open only when it is safe to do so. A ReeR safety light curtain mounted horizontally on the floor checks the presence of the worker and thus prevents an unexpected restart if the door should close behind the worker unintentionally.
Aluminum safety fence
Safety switch on amGard pro secures access.
Flexible fence course on the plant
Removable key enables safe entry
But to prevent this from happening in the first place, Fortress Interlocks' key transfer systems are also relied on in other areas. Thanks to their modular and robust design, amGardpro tumblers from Fortress Interlocks are particularly suitable for heavy-duty applications and can be effortlessly adapted to the customer's requirements. With the intelligent combination of key transfer system and operating elements, the amGardpro tumblers solve almost any safeguarding application up to SIL3 (EN/IEC 60261) category 4 and PL e (EN / ISO 13849-1). Another special feature is the Extracted Key function, which provides optimum protection by removing personal safety keys. The function is very simple: Before maintenance personnel enter the system, the safety key must be removed and taken into the system. If the safety door is closed unintentionally, the system cannot be started without the key. Furthermore, the purely mechanical safety door switch has saved wiring at some maintenance doors. The particularly robust switches from Fortress Interlocks can also boast a locking force of over 10000 kN, so that breaking of the tongue is impossible.
Complex casting process and cooling phase
Once the mold has been checked by the worker, it is finally cast on the casting line by a container filled with around 800-1000kg of molten iron. The container is maneuvered to the casting mold by a worker using a crane. Then the cooling phase begins, which is just as important for the success of the casting as the actual casting process. Depending on the material and mold, this can vary in time and must be precisely adhered to. For example, the system achieves a box output of approx. 12 boxes, but could even manage up to 30 boxes per hour with shorter cooling times. Once the "bale" - as the hardened casting together with the molding sand is called - has hardened, it is placed in a Vario vibrator. Here it is pressed out of the mold and freed from the coarse sand by forces of up to 4G during vibration. This falls down through grates and is recycled while the casting moves on. The finished casting is now removed, cleaned in a sandblasting unit and then further processed.
amGard key transfer key removal
Safety light curtain from ReeR.
Harsh environment with temperatures up to 1000 degrees.
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