The push to develop lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles has been given a boost by waterjet cutting pioneer ABB I-R.
Commissioned by a Swedish automotive industry castings supplier, the company has developed a machine that combines cutting and cleaning capabilities on an automated castings production line.
Because of its flexibility, ABB I-R believes the robotic waterjet system will pave the way for vehicle makers to develop components made from complex castings without the high costs associated with cleaning.
Cleaning castings sometimes known as fettling means removing surplus metal, such as gatings and runners, using traditional cutting techniques such as sawing, shearing, punching and milling.
With its six-axis capability, the ABB I-R Cleaning System is designed to handle the most complex of designs. Its programming allows the highly flexible waterjet head to deliver different pressures, whether to cut through metal or knock off an unwanted appendage.
Castings are loaded and unloaded from the system using a handling robot. This has a twin gripper designed to increase productivity.
Scrap such as gatings and runners are automatically separated from the slurry for recycling.