(847) 934-4500

Contact us today:

Tag Archives: XL2024

Hunter Molding And Mold Handling Machinery Part Of Watts Water’s New WEFCO 2 Lead-free Foundry

Remarkable U.S.-only engineered and equipped foundry praised by New Hampshire Governor and Franklin, NH Mayor for technological initiative and for creating local jobs

One of two Hunter XL2024 Molding Machines at Watts Water’s WEFCO 2 lead-free foundry

One of two Hunter XL2024 Molding Machines at Watts Water’s WEFCO 2 lead-free foundry

SCHAUMBURG, IL — Watts Water Technologies has begun operation of a new lead-free foundry in Franklin, NH that reflects the company’s commitment to proactively meet the requirements of the “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act,” which goes into effect in January 2014 and establishes new limits on the lead content in every pipe, fixture, and fitting used to convey water for human consumption. Watts’ new WEFCO 2 foundry produces lead-free products exclusively, including lead-free versions of products the company produces at its WEFCO 1 facility (which is also located in Franklin, NH), as well as other products. Opening ceremonies were highlighted by comments from New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and Franklin, NH Mayor Kenneth Merrifield.

Hunter XL2024 Molding Machine in operation

Hunter XL2024 Molding Machine in operation

Governor Hassan commended Watts for the types of products it produces at the new WEFCO 2 foundry, as “contributing to public health and safety, and for the company’s educational efforts around the Lead Free initiative.” She complimented the Franklin workforce, noting that, “The work effort here is extraordinary,” adding that the company is “emblematic of the ingenuity found across the Granite State.” Mayor Merrifield noted how rare it is to have a manufacturing facility that lasts 50 years, and how quickly the new foundry came into being.  He referred to meeting this development challenge as a “remarkable accomplishment” and added “Congratulations, to an absolutely fabulous company.”

Discharge on Hunter XL2024 Molding Machine

Discharge on Hunter XL2024 Molding Machine

The new WEFCO 2 foundry expands and diversifies the production capacity of Watts’ WEFCO 1 foundry, which opened in April 1977, has undergone 16 updates, and produces products for many Watts brands. Based on its decades-long history of working with the WEFCO 1 foundry Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation has kept pace with these expansions and updates.

“This is a great day for our company and its employees, our industry, and the Franklin community,” said Watts Water Technologies CEO and President David Coghlan at the June 21st ribbon-cutting ceremony of WEFCO 2 30,000-square foot state-of-the-art foundry. Coghlan stated the Watts WEFCO 2 foundry “will enable us to be the ‘safe choice’ for Lead Free products, since we can eliminate the possibility of cross contamination of materials. It will also enable us to provide efficient and timely availability of products.”

Mold entering Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler transfer station, on power conveyor, with weight and jacket lifted

Mold entering Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler transfer station, on power conveyor, with weight and jacket lifted

Former President and CEO, and Watts Water Director Emeritus, Tim Horne observed, “This significantly advanced foundry is the latest example of our commitment to the State of New Hampshire, and the city of Franklin.” Part of Watts’ strategy in this industry-leading facility are two XL2024 molding machines that feed onto a common HV-20 24 + 24 x 3 turntable mold handling systems, all produced by Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation in Schaumburg, IL.

Auto-Pour on Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler

Auto-Pour on Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler

HUNTER’S ROLE

Since its inception in 1977, the WEFCO 1 foundry used a full range of Hunter mold making and mold handling machinery. Originally, Hunter’s HMP-10 molding machines were installed on a Hunter HMH-210 mold handler alongside two Hunter HMP-20 machines that were installed on a Hunter HMH-220 mold handler. Hunter later addressed challenges in the older section of the foundry, including the need to increase pouring speeds, by replacing its older machines with Hunter’s C-series products. In 1999 these Hunter HMP-10C machines were replaced with Hunter’s HMP-10H mold making machines.

For the new WEFCO 2 foundry, Hunter integrated an Inductotherm Auto-Pour unit fed by two Hunter XL2024 molding machines into common Hunter HV-20 24 + 24 x 3 turntable mold handling systems through use of a proprietary mold-tracking program. Hunter’s direct interface controller communicates computer-based pattern data with the correct pouring profile to an Inductotherm Auto-Pour furnace.

Looking over Accumulating Conveyor at Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler mold elevator

Looking over Accumulating Conveyor at Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler mold elevator

In addition to this 35-year working history, according to New Hampshire Operations Engineering Manager Mike Geldermann there were several reasons why Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation was the molding machine and mold handling system provider of choice for the new foundry. “Hunter was the only single-source mold handling and mold making interface,” he states. “Their equipment was directly interchangeable with our current pattern plate setup and tooling, and provides us with improved cope-and-drag alignment to eliminate mold shift,” Geldermann says. Additionally, notes Geldermann, “Hunter’s systems were highly cost competitive when compared with other options,” he says, adding that Hunter’s familiarity with maintenance and upkeep of WEFCO 1 foundry machines was a key factor in their selection for the new WEFCO 2 production line.

For a video on this installation, please visit http://youtu.be/1d8475iM9Fo

For more information on the products in this story, please contact:

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

ABOUT WATTS WATER TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

Watts Water Technologies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a world leader in the manufacture of innovative products to control the efficiency, safety, and quality of water within residential, commercial, and institutional applications. Its expertise in a wide variety of water technologies enables it to be a comprehensive supplier to the water industry. For more information, visit www.wattswater.com.

ABOUT HUNTER

Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation was established in 1964 as Hunter Automated Machinery Corporation with the invention of the world’s first gravity-filled automated matchplate molding machine. This began the company’s history of innovation and launched the foundry industry into a new industrial revolution. Pioneered by William “Al” Hunter in his home garage, the original HMP-10 machine streamlined the laborious metal casting process by offering foundries unimagined new capabilities by producing as many molds in one hour as most had previously been produced in an entire day. As industry demands grew, Hunter responded with advanced solutions such as automated mold handling equipment and coresetters.

Now in its 50th year, Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation’s inventions have earned nearly 150 U.S. and international patents. Hunter has produced more than 1,800 molding machines and mold handling systems for customers around the world. The company’s global reach extends from offices in the U.S., Brazil, China, India and Italy through North American, South American and Asia-Pacific manufacturing sites. Hunter’s sales and technical support is underscored by its $12 million parts inventory, established to maintain each machine’s original production capability across the worldwide foundry market.

Continue reading

Frazier & Frazier Adapts to Changing Metalcast Market

Texas foundry buys new equipment, including Hunter XL matchplate molding machine, to respond to customer needs with fast pattern changes, shorter runs and on-the-fly flexibility in job scheduling, deliveries 

Frazier & Frazier is a gray and ductile iron foundry in Coolidge, Texas and maintains over 8000 pattern to serve its large customer base in the oil & gas, agricultural, wind energy, waterworks and other markets

Schaumburg, Illinois (USA)-In the heart of Limestone County sits Coolidge, Texas, halfway between Dallas and Houston.  This classic American small town is home to another classic, Frazier & Frazier Industries, a ductile and gray iron foundry, established in 1972 by C.W. Frazier as a traditional cope-and-drag sandcasting operation with two squeezers and run today as a formidable shop by Plant Manager Will Frazier.  An ISO 9002 Certified process operation, F&F combines the best of the old ways with the newest casting technologies and equipment in the market.  As Will Frazier points out, “This is one of the biggest reasons we’ve continued to prosper, while so many other foundries have disappeared.  We recognize what works and what doesn’t, to best suit our current business and market conditions.”

Once a heavy production shop, F&F today continues to support their large batch customers, but has reshaped the business model in many ways, according to Frazier.  “We have traditionally worked in pieces from a few ounces up to 150 pounds or more.  The large runs were more typical in days past, while we saw a new business environment emerging, several years ago, when the market began to decline overall.”  He continued to explain how many of the company’s traditional customers began to reduce their inventories and thus placed shorter run orders with much tighter lead times.  In something of a “perfect storm” scenario, this combination of increased job numbers and more urgent shipping requirements literally changed the pace of business at F&F.  Frazier notes, “It’s not unusual for us to come in on a Sunday to finish a job for a customer who really needs it…and we rarely charge a premium, because we know how tough things are, for most of our accounts.”

Sample parts produced by Frazier & Frazier

While the oil & gas market applications are prominent here, as they are with most foundries in the region, F&F currently sells to end product manufacturers for the automotive, agricultural, wind energy, municipal water works and other market segments, a strategy that has helped to maintain a better balance in this shop’s workload.  With its own sales force plus several manufacturers’ rep organizations in the field, Frazier & Frazier boasts customers in a wide variety of markets and as far away as Indiana, a relatively rare achievement in the foundry business, especially when larger, heavier workpieces are involved.

Hunter XL2024 matchplate molding system

With over 8000 patterns in-house, F&F today experiences as many as 15 pattern changes per day per machine on the floor.   This further complicated the job scheduling and work flow.  Will Frazier and his team of Bob Pranger, general manager and Harlon Easton, vice president of sales, quickly saw the need for more automation in the machinery lineup.

F&F still does hand-rammed oil and air set cores, but over the years they’ve acquired automatic coresetting equipment, as well as automated molding machines, including the most recent purchase, a Hunter XL2024 automatic matchplate molding machine, which is used with the already in-place Hunter mold handling turntable system at F&F, as are other molding machines here.  Three melting units feed the certified chemically correct iron to the molding stations.  Currently, this shop does approximately 70% of its work in ASTM Class 60-100 ductile and 30% in Class 15-50 gray iron.

The XL2024 is a fully automated matchplate molding system, using gravity-fill technology pioneered by Hunter.  It produces sand molds up to 20” x 24” with shallow 6-1/2” cope and 5-1/2” drag (165mm/140mm) at 180 cycles per hour, using 400 lbs. (181kg) of sand.  Variable squeeze surface pressures to 142 psi (10kg/cm2) can be achieved in production.

This latest Hunter machine continued the tradition of leading-edge sandcasting technology used at Frazier & Frazier.  Although several generations of Hunter and other brands of machines have been used here, when a new machine was planned, Will Frazier notes there were some key criteria to be met.  “We’d been having critical problems with another machine builder, getting parts and service.  We always knew the Hunter folks were excellent in those areas based on past experience, plus they were willing to provide considerable application engineering assistance and set-up help with the new machine.  Coupling that with their stability as a company and great reputation in the world foundry market, we looked at all our options and settled on the XL2024.”  Frazier further cites his long relationship with Hunter’s Mike Hughes as a factor.  “Mike came down here several times to help us and, since the machine has been up and running, he’s stayed in close touch with us, even though we’ve had no performance issues with the machine.”

Will Frazier also points out that, currently, over 20% of the orders at F&F are rush and the quick changeover time of the Hunter machine makes it a highly productive piece of equipment and a definable competitive advantage in the market for his shop.

Frazier & Frazier provides its customers with metal castings as well as CNC machining, heat treating and galvanizing services, when needed.  The shop has a fully equipped quality inspection department, highlighted by CMM and other state-of-the-art lab apparatus.

For further information on this story, interested parties may contact:

FRAZIER & FRAZIER INDUSTRIES, INC.
817 South First Street P.O. Box 279
Coolidge, Texas 76635 USA
Phone:  254-786-2293
Fax:  254-786-2284
Web:  www.ffcastings.com
Email:  willfrazier@ffcastings.com
Attention:  Will Frazier, Plant Manager

Or

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Attention:  Bill Hunter, CEO
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

Continue reading