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Case Study #151: Investment Casting Molds

Problem: Molds to be handled are irregularly shaped with different sized multiple “legs” extending out and down from the mold pour cup. Gripping at the center of gravity of each mold is not possible, so manual rotation is difficult. Molds are solid, but brittle. Large work area to be covered by a manipulator.

Application: Molds in a vertical cup orientation are gripped and picked from an incoming cart. The 200 lbs. molds are then transferred away from the cart and filled with water for leak testing. After testing is completed, the molds are inverted 180° to pour the water out. After water has drained, the molds are rotated back to their original orientation and placed onto an outgoing cart.

Solution: A World Manipulator (WM-200) with 55″ of vertical travel, 114″ of radial reach, and 400 lbs. of end-effector and payload capacity. An air powered trolley designed to run on overhead patented rail and mounted inside the rails to save headroom. A pneumatic gripper assembly with custom designed jaws to properly grip the molds.

Investment Casting Molds
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