A sub-set of the RAETIG had the chance to visit Australia’s highest volume iron foundry, Intercast & Forge in Wingfield.
Paul, Miro, and Dan gave us a detailed tour of the production processes that are turning scrap metal into valuable, durable goods to be exported to all corners of the globe, and to be included in locally manufactured goods.
The processes included loading and melting metal in 4 large induction furnaces; feeding 2 casting lines (the fastest producing and filling moulds at one every 12 seconds) cooling; separating; tumbling; cleaning; shot blasting; inspecting; fettling; and sorting. Auxiliary processes include core manufacture; tool manufacture and maintenance; as well as painting. They convert over 18 tonnes per hour into more than 10,000 finished parts per hour!
The group shared some recent automation experiences and plans and discussed the barriers to implementation, including return on investment; safety system complexity; the implementation of collaborative robots; and the availability of skilled integrators.
The group was led by Colin Thomas, TMI Hub Manager and the next meeting will be in September at Vector Technologies who produce a range of plastic products and assemblies for industries from Fast Moving Consumer Goods to medical devices with a variety of automation and robotics systems.