Advanced new measuring equipment from process specialists, Protea Automation, has made it possible to take instantaneous measurements of molten ferrous metals in the foundry without disrupting the smelting process.
The stand alone Cyclops Meltmaster, manufactured by Land Infrared, is a hand held non-contact industrial thermometer that has been specially designed for foundry applications, and has the ability to withstand harsh foundry conditions while taking accurate measurements of molten metals of up to 2000°C.
The Cyclops Meltmaster has been specially designed for use in foundries
The system greatly reduces the need for the widely used (and expensive) disposable dip-thermocouple technique that was previously required to take accurate measurements. Depending on the amount of measurements taken throughout the process on a daily basis, the new system will on average pay for itself within the first six months of operation.
According to Gavin Westley, product manager of Protea Automation Solutions, the device has been specially ruggedized to provide years of trouble-free use in the foundry industry. The hand-held thermometer has the additional ability to take readings from multiple locations and store the data for processing whenever it is required. On-board data storage of up to 9999 measurement points, including date and time stamp allows full management of up to four separate routes (process points) and store up to 99 readings per route.
“An advanced, noise rejection processing mode which locks onto the true liquid metal temperature is a unique feature onboard, and gives the device the ability to provide high resolution temperature readings (5 digit display) to within 0.1°. Alarm set points can also be set to trigger upon the detection of out-of-range metal temperatures, and clear easy-to-read graphical and numerical displays are designed to be read quickly and easily by the operator,” says Gavin.
Non-contact measurement does not interrupt the casting process, which reduces the operating cost of an operation while improving casting quality. Ultra-short wavelength technology is able to minimise error readings (as a result of atmospheric disturbances) and focuses through the lens directly at the area where readings are to be taken.
He explains that despite advanced features on board, the Cyclops Meltmaster is engineered to be easy-to-use and uncomplicated. Using Bluetooth® wireless communications or a USB connection, data can be easily transferred to a PC or to a mobile device for logging or further processing.
“They are calibrated and traceable to national standards, and recorded data can be logged using specially developed software for both PC and mobile devices. Yet, despite the advanced nature of the device, they are rugged and have full protection covers, lens protectors and industrial rubber instrument casings to ensure they last for a long time. Most importantly, the unit can be repaired and calibrated at Protea, Johannesburg. This eliminates the need for lengthy periods overseas for service.”