IMTS Conference: Mineral Casting: The “Organic” Solution for Eliminating Vibration in Production Machinery for Greater Speed, Precision and Environmental Protection

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Originally Aired - Tuesday, September 13 3:15 PM - 4:10 PM Central

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Event Location

Location: McCormick Place, West Building - W193-A


Event Information

Title: IMTS Conference: Mineral Casting: The “Organic” Solution for Eliminating Vibration in Production Machinery for Greater Speed, Precision and Environmental Protection

Description:

As manufacturing equipment, electronic devices, and medical instruments require ever-higher precision, the machinery that makes these products must deliver greater speed and accuracy.

Meanwhile, the cast iron and steel used in the bases and foundations of such production machinery actively amplify the vibration generated by its operation — serving to limit its speed and accuracy.

To solve this problem, OEM machine suppliers are adopting an organic solution — mineral casting technology — for its exceptional vibration damping, chemical resistance, and environmental sustainability. Originally incorporated in the bases and platforms of metal grinding machines, today mineral casting is being applied in the solar, electronics, packaging, and medical device sectors.

The results include impressive technical, economic, and environmental benefits for both machine builders and their customers.

 

What is mineral casting technology?

  • Organic material created by cold casting several sizes of quartz stone (16 mm to powder size)
    • Produces exceptionally hard quartz stone-based material
  • Ideal for machine-supporting structures and foundations
    • Enables dynamic and highly precise movements
  • Weighs about same as aluminum, 3x lighter than steel
  • Low heat conductivity and chemical and corrosion resistance
  • Highly flexible designability
    • Casting allows integration of components, sensors, instruments, connections into machine base

 

Organic mineral cast bases/tables/foundations for any production machine

  • Initial use in high-precision machine tool industry
    • Beds for large machining centers
    • Side pieces for gantry machining
    • Structures for demanding 5-axis machining systems
  • Now, also: Semiconductors, packaging, electronics, optical instruments, medical technologies, food, and flat-panel instrumentation

 

Eliminate vibration for higher speeds, greater accuracy

  • Exceptional dynamic stability and damping properties
  • High speed production with micron-level accuracy
  • Up to 10 times better than steel or cast iron

 

Achieve lower costs and faster lead times

  • Steel machine bases and tables are expensive
    • Materials plus soaring energy & production costs
    • Requires additional processing — cutting, milling, polishing, painting, and drilling
  • Mineral casting saves up to 30 percent in energy & production costs
    • Little additional processing = Faster production cycles, shorter lead times

 

Protect the environment

  • Cold casting does not require an external heat source in production
    • Consumes less energy, saves 1.6 ton of CO2 emissions per year versus steel/cast-iron production
    • Mineral casts can be fully recycled

 

Design freedom with flexible shaping, integration

  • Produce products weighing 80 grams to 30 tons
  • Allows bonding for complex product structures
  • Cast wiring and piping holes and spaces in and around the machine
  • Easily milled
  • Flexibility to shape designs — ideal for small applications (medical devices, laboratory equipment, etc.)

 

Case Study: Speeding up pharmaceutical packaging

  • Problem: Pharmaceutical packaging company is unable to accurately position its blister packing machine’s blister pack’s layers
    • Created significant material waste, slowing of production
  • New blister packing machine with mineral cast bases
    • Hold all packaging line’s equipment — 320 cast-in parts (pneumatic piping, water tanks, bonding wires, etc.)
    • Eliminates vibration, enables high-speed operation and precise positioning
    • Production increases to 700 to 1,300 blister sheets (up to 1.56 million pills) per minute
    • Closest competitor’s steel-based machine operates at only 1/3rd of new output

 

 

 

 

Case Study: Eliminating maintenance in an integrated optical lens production machine

  • Problem: Optical company producing 85 mm-diameter lenses for eyeglasses and microscopes plagued by temperature and pressure fluctuations in 4 individual machines (milling, grinding, polishing, and checking
    • Created vibration and movement in hydraulic and electrical lines requiring increased maintenance causing machine downtime and higher costs
  • New machine with mineral cast base integrates all four processes into one machine
    • Includes internal components, 42 pneumatic and hydraulic lines, indentations and wiring and piping holes (284 cast-in parts)
    • Eliminates vibration, virtually eliminates maintenance, increases production by 110 lenses per hour


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