The shuttle system is the CPC Group’s original design and invention. It has been revolutionary in the industry, increasing efficiency and production. We created the shuttle with the idea of developing an integrated casting solution (not just simple casting machines) that improves every step in the process of making a good casting. Everything starts with our shuttle system which includes integrated degassing, holding stations and mold changing operations ensuring every step of our counter pressure casting process is controlled with maximum efficiency. Our shuttles can handle operations for a line of up to eight machines. With over 15 years’ experience, CPC is unmatched worldwide in performance and reliability.
The major advantages of CPC’s shuttle system are the ability to bring the cleanest alloy possible to each machine and the safe and rapid exchange of empty holding furnaces with full ones. The holding furnaces are identical and are interchangeable with any machine on the line. After a holding furnace is filled, it is “shuttled” to the degassing unit and then directly to the machine that needs new alloy. The empty furnace is removed onto the shuttle and the full one inserted in its place. This process eliminates the chance of oxidation often caused by re-pouring the metal into a machine’s holding furnace after degassing. CPC’s shuttle system ensures our customers get the cleanest alloy possible.
Integrated Degassing Unit
Our degassing unit is fully integrated with our shuttle system. Once a holding furnace is filled with alloy, it is shuttled directly to the degassing station. Heating is controlled continuously during the process using our unique plug that automatically “plugs in” to the furnace. After degassing, the full holding furnace is shuttled directly to the designated machine and exchanged with the empty furnace.
The degassing unit is a molten metal treatment system for degassing and cleaning aluminum alloys. The unit operates on the rotor principle — a high-speed rotating rotor disperses inert gas (or nitrogen) into the molten aluminum alloy. The degassing process removes hydrogen gas, and non-metallic inclusions such as oxides, by dispersing inert gas bubbles through a rotary diffuser into the molten alloy.
The hydrogen in the melt diffuses into the inert gas bubbles and floats to the surface. At the same time, any non-metallic inclusions present are absorbed onto the rising gas bubbles and are also transported to the melt’s surface.
To remove inclusions most efficiently, it is essential to diffuse very fine bubbles, maximize the number of bubbles (increasing the chance for contact with impurities), and maintain gentle bubbling with minimum turbulence on the melt surface.
The advantages of our rotary degassing process are:
- Shorter treatment time – 3 to 10 times faster than other degassing methods
- Higher quality alloy after treatment
- Less metal loss – 30 to 70 percent less dross than other methods
- Low operating costs
- Easy operation and maintenance
CPC’s specially designed degassing unit has been proven to provide our customers with the purist aluminum alloy possible.
Quick Mold Change Carts
The quick mold change carts are another great system CPC developed to make the process of changing molds simple and fast. A mold can be changed in less than ten minutes in automotive wheel production with CPC’s special quick connecting cooling lines.
Two mold change carts are pulled onto the shuttle system. One holds a preheated mold ready for operation while the other is vacant, ready to remove the existing mold. The empty cart is inserted into the machine’s mold cavity and the mold is lowered onto the cart. With the push of a button, the mold is released from the machine. The shuttle then positions the cart with the new preheated mold into the mold cavity. Again, with just the push of a button, the preheated mold is attached to the casting machine. The quick connect cooling lines are connected and casting can begin. What used to take up to an hour can now be done in just minutes.
Integrated Quench Tank
Our fully automated quench tank is directly integrated with our casting machines extraction manipulator. Quenching after casting increases mechanical properties and cools the casting for easy handling. The quench tank system is easily integrated with any of today’s major robotics manufacturers.
Only one manipulator is needed per two machines to maximize space and initial investment. The manipulator begins by removing the casting from the machine’s retriever and lowering it onto the quenching platform. The platform lowers into the quench tank for a set amount of time. After quenching, the casting is retrieved by the manipulator and rotated 180 degrees to remove any excess water. Next the manipulator brings the casting to the operator for inspection. Upon approval, it is lowered onto a conveyor that runs under the working platform and removed to the next operation.