Cleaning Systems Perfect Technology with a Minimal Footprint for KSM Castings

| Editor: Isabell Page

The Hildesheim-based company KSM Castings Group is solving its cleaning requirements within the scope of a new order to produce throttle valves using a new Twister rotary indexing system.

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The Twister rotary indexing system from BvL achieves high cycle times and reliable cleanliness while requiring little space within the automated production line.
The Twister rotary indexing system from BvL achieves high cycle times and reliable cleanliness while requiring little space within the automated production line.
(Source: Karl-Heinz Berger / BvL Oberflächentechnik)

As a specialist supplier in the automotive industry, the KSM Castings Group manufactures components and systems made from aluminum and magnesium using modern casting and manufacturing processes. Within the scope of an order to manufacture throttle valves for a car manufacturer, the company now needs a new cleaning system for their site in Hradek nad Nisou in the Czech Republic to clean cutting oils and swarf from aluminum components.

The fully automated production process has been designed so that the new cleaning system is used within a robot-supplied production island between mechanical machining and leak testing. The cleaning system – including the planned drying phase – requires very little space. Short cycle times and the highest cleanliness requirements mean that utmost precision and reliability are required in the process workflow.

When it comes to cleaning systems, KSM has worked for many years with the Emsland-based manufacturer BvL Oberflächentechnik GmbH. As with previous projects, in-depth preliminary talks were held again. It was determined that a BvL Twister rotary indexing system is most suitable for the application specified since the system requires little space yet offers maximum efficiency and speed.

The robots on the production island position the components accurately and securely on the specially manufactured workpiece holders. These have been designed so that three throttle valves can be treated simultaneously in a chamber. Once the first workpiece holder has been fully loaded, the stainless-steel doors between the treatment chambers open and the Twister system platform rotates 90°. In the first chamber, components are cleaned using a powered rotary nozzle system with flat spray nozzles that has been adapted to the component geometry. A powerful circulation pump ensures the spraying device is supplied, resulting in correspondingly intensive cleaning.

After automatic pre-cycling, the components are rinsed in the next treatment zone using a separate spraying system from the rinsing tank. Similarly to the washing zone, the nozzle system rotates around the components inserted at an angle.

Three throttle valves that need to be cleaned are placed by robots on specially manufactured workpiece holders and rotated through the treatment chambers as part of the automatic cycle mode.
Three throttle valves that need to be cleaned are placed by robots on specially manufactured workpiece holders and rotated through the treatment chambers as part of the automatic cycle mode.
(Source: BvL Oberflächentechnik)

In the next zone, components are dried using a rotating nozzle system similar to the ones in the wet treatment zones, and which is fed by a powerful side channel compressor. Even tappet bores are reliably dried in this way. After being automatically rotated by a further 90°, the components are removed by the robot and forwarded for subsequent leak testing. Thanks to simultaneous cleaning, rinsing, drying, loading and unloading, production downtimes are significantly shortened and the necessarily short cycle time can be maintained.

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