New Robots in the Family

By Randy Hillskotter

New innovations are a regular thing at Waupaca Foundry. And this year is no different, with a new 65-liter robotic core machine. As Waupaca Foundry progresses with core cell automation, new cell installations now include robotics.

That’s the case with the newly installed L-65 robotic core cell running in the cold box core room at Plant 2/3 in Waupaca, Wisconsin. The new robotic core cell offers different types of pick-offs, including a vacuum head to remove a core from the core box without physically gripping it.

Waupaca Foundry Production Manager Randy Hillskotter elaborates, “These automated robotics give us versatility and greater safety on the line, but they also enhance our overall efficiency and the quality of the core, resulting in a consistent high-quality casting.” Depending on the complexity and size of the core, it may require multiple core boxes to create components, which are then assembled to complete the core. If the multiple core boxes are not running at the same time, there is forklift travel, storage and handling involved—reducing efficiency and adding steps where the cores risk being damaged.

The upgraded robotic core cells allow Waupaca to run multiple core boxes at the same time: a necessary innovation to support the higher volumes at Plant 2/3.