NEWS FROM UPCAST Continuous development to benefit clients
UPCAST OY’s product development does not rest on its laurels. New development needs are emerging constantly, inspired by the market, the clients and the brainstorming within the company itself.
UPCAST OY’s R&D Manager, Juho Kalliokoski, says that development work can involve processes, equipment or materials. However, all forms aim to improve the clients’ business operations.
– The needs originating from our clients vary vastly and concern the casting machinery and the UPCAST® process. The aim may be to create a new cast product or improve the security of deliveries or supply, for example, Kalliokoski explains.
UPCAST OY’s pilot test facility recently received a new vertical furnace with the capacity of approximately 500 kg. It is capable of making smaller test batches for a client’s approval before signing a contract on casting production lines and optimizing the casting parameters of various cast products, to name a few things.
– The older furnaces were three and six metric tons in capacity. A smaller furnace is easy and quick to use, and it makes our operations more agile as it shortens our response time to our clients. •
UPCAST OY’s innovations include a cooler washer
Another new product developed by UPCAST OY is one of its own innovations: a cooler washer. Cooling down the molten mass into a solid cast product is an integral part of the casting process. However, cleaning the cooler is a challenge, which UPCAST OY is aiming to resolve.
– Impurities usually accumulate in the hottest part of the cooler, and that is why the cooler must be regularly opened up and cleaned with citric acid and water. Opening the cooler involves certain difficult steps, but when using a washer the cooler does not need to be opened up at all, Kalliokoski says.
No longer having to dismantle the cooler will save time and effort. In addition to that, avoiding the repeated dismantling and assembling is also a safety feature, according to Kalliokoski.
– If a cooler is put together carelessly and the sealants fail, there is a risk that water will mix in with the hot metal during the cooling phase, leading to a hazardous situation.
The washer is a plug-and-play design: all that is required is to connect it to the cooler. The washing program takes an hour and a half. Once finished, the cooler will be in optimal condition once again.
The new product is still a prototype, but a few orders have already been received. The goal is to improve the quality of the clients’ end products. •
| TEXT: TOPI JOKINEN | PHOTOS: MARIUS TIKKANEN/FIRST PRODUCTION