Robots in the Foundry Business


styx-mr-roboto-kilroy.jpgMany days my job has to do with “selling” memberships and other Association business, but recently I was selling robots. (Fade in “Mr. Roboto,” by Styx, since I’m only half serious about the selling thing.)

Anyway, Larry, a guy I know at our office building, stopped me on the way in one morning and asked if I could help him find a robot for a coating application in a foundry. Thank goodness for our printed Directory and online Buyer’s Guide! I was able show him these resources and talk a little about his needs.

He really should talk to an expert, I told him, but I was curious to learn more about what he was looking for. So, I grabbed the Directory plus a printout from the Robotics Online Buyer’s Guide with a list of companies in the Coatings category and headed to the third floor to see Larry.

Larry’s company is involved in the foundry business, and he is a big believer in robots. He said he sees them by the dozens when he visits clients. We talked about the demanding environment where castings are made, and he remarked that robots have gotten much better at handling the dirty, harsh settings of these businesses and are now quite essential in this industry.

It turns out that one of his clients is having trouble with how a core wash is applied. Right now, he said, a person at the factory uses a paint brush to dab the coating in a small area of the sand casting, and drips get into all the wrong places. Worse, he explained that the core wash hardens so much that it can break expensive machining bits, so problems with the application are quite significant.

This situation with the core wash is one that can be a real pain for a company like Larry’s, because if he gets involved, a customer is apt to blame him for the expensive breakage of bits (no matter that the real problem has to do with the manual application of the coating). This fact makes it a dicey proposition to try to help the customer, since it could lead to additional acrimony if something goes wrong. But Larry is convinced that a robot would solve his customer’s problem with the core wash, and he feels so strongly that he wants to find a robot company that will help him and his client.

With all the top-notch manufacturers and integrators that belong to RIA, I am confident that one of them will be able to help Larry’s company. He didn’t want to go on a mailing list, so I have to withhold his contact information, but please let me know if you want me to pass anything on to him.

Remember, I gave him the Directory and a printout of companies that selected the “Coatings” category for their listing in the Buyer’s Guide. If you haven’t updated your listing lately, don’t wait. RIA gets lots of these kinds of inquiries, and this is one of the main ways we respond.

Disclaimer: I don’t have extensive knowledge of the foundry business, so if I garbled any details I apologize in advance. Feel free to enlighten me. Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

— posted by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, RIA (bhuse@robotics.org, 734/994-6088)

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One Response to Robots in the Foundry Business

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