Palmer Foundry’s industry leading environmental control system virtually eliminates the one variable that most aluminum casting suppliers cannot control – the weather.
Humid weather conditions can cause unacceptable casting porosity control levels in aluminum castings. Therefore when heat and humidity get too high, aluminum casting suppliers have historically suspended production causing inefficiencies and unpredictability in scheduling and delivery. Facing increased demand for its dimensionally stable and vacuum tight aluminum castings from several different industries, Palmer Foundry decided to invest in its advanced cooling system and virtually eliminate weather as a variable in pouring conditions.
How it Works
Palmer Foundry uses the sophisticated indoor environmental control system to continuously monitor and control air conditions throughout the 60,000 square foot manufacturing facility. The system, donned “the 225 Ton Chiller” by Palmer Foundry’s appreciative technicians on the shop floor, cools and dehumidifies according to specifications set by experienced foundry engineers.
This graph shows the environmental conditions at the foundry on the most challenging production day during the system’s first year of operation. Temperature and relative humidity sensors monitor uncontrolled exterior conditions as well as controlled interior conditions. As you can see, the system makes a significant difference and is able to manage the interior atmosphere even in extreme weather conditions.
Application & Impact
With this system, Palmer Foundry has eliminated seasonal variability in its production process. This means that production schedules and delivery dates can be accurately planned and met 12 months of the year, which is a distinct advantage over other foundries.
The system is also one of many tools that Palmer Foundry uses to minimize porosity and achieve the high dimensional stability and vacuum tightness in its aluminum castings that customers require.
Lastly, the system has improved working conditions. With an average tenure of 10+ years, the Palmer Foundry workforce was already dedicated and loyal prior to the new system being installed. That said, there is no question that the foundry is now a more comfortable and enjoyable place to work during the summer months, which positively impacts productivity.