TPi Arcade continuously improves the factory through a dedicated capital project program. One such project was to upgrade to a new metal pouring robot. The retired robot performed over 1.1 million pours and 65 thousand operating hours. The new robot, an ABB Foundry Plus 2, has increased payload and reach.
The pouring robot is equipped with a custom bottom pour ceramic ladle. The ladle is used to transfer liquid aluminum from the furnace to the mold. The ladle is submerged into the furnace and a stopper rod is raised unplugging the bottom of the ladle. Aluminum then flows into the ladle, the stop rod is lowered plugging the ladle.
Bottom pouring reduces slag in the casting and provides a consistent, predictable metal flow
The video below illustrates how the ladle is filled and poured into a mold. This particular mold required “hot topping”, an exothermic material blend, that is used to control the aluminum solidification rat of the risers. The robot engages the mechanism to disperse this material and complete the application.