Since the sale of Atlantis Foundries to Neue Halberg-Guss GmbH in June last year, the company has continued to invest in the South African operation’s future in terms of technology, efficiency and environmental impact.
German metal casting group Neue Halberg-Guss GmbH, which acquired Atlantis Foundries in June 2015, has subsequently invested significantly in the South African foundry. As a result the Western Cape based foundry in Atlantis has undergone some significant changes in terms of technological advancements. Recent projects at Atlantis Foundries include the installation of a second 12t ABP Induction Systems pressure pour furnace, an additional 6.1 MW ABP Induction Systems power pack for the four ABP Induction Systems induction furnaces that Atlantis Foundries uses in its melting department, the installation of a new sand drying plant, as well as the installation of a new core drying oven.
The new pressure pour furnace, installed by ABP Induction Systems
The new pressure pour furnace, installed by ABP Induction Systems, aims to limit the impact of metal specification changes and product changeovers. Additional benefits of this second furnace will also permit regular refractory work to be performed on either furnace whilst the other furnace continues with production, thus creating efficiencies and capacity in the production process. The second pressure pour furnace also enables Atlantis Foundries to produce other grades of metal such as SG and CGI.
The second pressure pour furnace will also allow Atlantis Foundries to carry out trials with new metal specifications without impacting on ‘normal production’, thus enabling the company to continuously improve on their product quality.
The investment in an additional ABP Induction Systems power pack has given Atlantis Foundries the ability to now operate four furnaces simultaneously, particularly when the bulk energy supply is available, consequently increasing the overall melting capacity of the foundry.
The installation of a new 27t/hr LPG sand dryer is not only a more cost effective and efficient method of drying the sand than the existing two old kiln type dryers, but significantly reduces the electricity consumption at Atlantis Foundries
The installation of a new 27t/hr LPG sand dryer is not only a more cost effective and efficient method of drying the sand than the existing two old kiln type dryers, but significantly reduces the electricity consumption at Atlantis Foundries, something that all businesses and foundries need to consider when electricity demand exceeds availability, the company says.
The sand drying plant was designed and manufactured by UK based Orthos Projects, and the sand conveying system (full pipe pneumatic) was supplied by Endeco Omega.
Alcohol to water-based coatings
Another new development has seen the installation of a new core drying oven. This has prompted Atlantis Foundries to change from alcohol to water-based coatings that will bring safety, health and environmental enhancements, as well as quality improvements.
New core drying oven
The new core drying oven, designed and manufactured by Italy based ProService s.r.l., uses a combination of heat radiation and convection. As a result of this combination, a lower drying temperature is required when drying the cores. This improves the quality of cores and requires less drying time compared to conventional technologies. This all adds to Atlantis Foundries vision to reduce energy consumption and costs in the foundry, while at the same time improving quality.
Working closely with Foseco South Africa, Atlantis Foundries invested in an ITACA™ thermo-chemical analysis system. This was introduced at the same time as the Coating Preparation Plant and a dip tank, also manufactured by ProService s.r.l.
The drying oven that was installed earlier this year, has been custom designed according to Atlantis Foundries specifications. The drying oven can process approximately 80 core blocks per hour (single weight up to 350 Kg). The scope of the installation includes the drying oven, a conveying system for pallets, drilling and inspection stations, a cleaning station for the pallets and intelligent database for process control related to the single core. The data includes coating density, viscosity and temperature coming from the Coating Preparation Plant™, dipping time, drying time and temperature, gas and power consumption.
Heat for the drying oven is generated using efficient gas burners or electrical heaters, depending on the required specification.
Coating Preparation Plant and ITACA™ thermo-chemical analysis system
The drying oven completes the line that was first started in 2013 with the installation of a Coating Preparation Plant (CPP™) and a dip tank, also manufactured by ProService s.r.l., the first step taken by Atlantis Foundries to improve the consistency of its coating applications.
Working closely with Foseco South Africa, Atlantis Foundries invested in an ITACA™ thermo-chemical analysis system. This was introduced at the same time as the Coating Preparation Plant. This system has since been upgraded in 2015 and is now one of the most comprehensive systems for metallurgical process control available globally. The iron quality is continually evaluated, so that the final metallurgical behaviour and properties of the casting produced is available in real time on the shop floor. This has resulted in significant cost savings from yield and efficiency improvements, and a reduction in the amount of scrap castings.
Atlantis Foundries have installed a new core drying oven, designed and manufactured by Italy based ProService s.r.l., that uses a combination of heat radiation and convection
“The health and safety of our employees is always at the forefront of our minds. With the switch to water-based coatings, our employees are no longer exposed to the inhalation of vapours given off from alcohol-based paint. In addition, the risk of fire is significantly reduced as the water-based coatings are non-flammable, versus the high flammability of alcohol-based coatings previously used,” says Atlantis Foundries Chief Executive Officer Pieter du Plessis.
“Investment in our future is critical to survival. The foundry business is extremely competitive with only a handful of major foundries across the globe able to produce high quality heavy duty truck blocks castings for the OEM’s. We have to keep up-to-date with technological advancements and efficiency improvements to remain ahead of the game. The use of water-based paint is also a more cost effective method of coating the core packages and helps us to remain cost competitive. In addition, with the change to water-based coatings, we have noticed an improvement in the casting surface that has improved the overall quality of our products, and helped to reduce our finishing costs,” added Chief Commercial Officer Sally Redshaw.
Atlantis Foundries manufactures and sells automotive castings for the commercial vehicle industry including block castings for use in long distance trucks, V-block castings for use in heavy industrial, marine, agricultural and power generation applications, and medium duty castings for use in light industrial, material handling equipment.
For further details contact Atlantis Foundries on TEL: 021 573 7200 or visit www.atlantisfoundries.com