The foundry Meuselwitz Guss in Thuringia / Germany is using a novel beam developed by VETTER for the handling of casting weights.

In the production process of a foundry, casting moulds need to be weighted. These moulds with a height of up to 10 m stand in a pit for the casting operation. Covers are placed on the moulds for closing them. In order to ensure that they stay on the mould when casting, they are weighted with up to 300 tons. In the past, this process was time-consuming and hazardous because handling of the individual weights (21 and 42 tons) is quite difficult.

The new beam facilitates this process and makes it safer: An overhead crane with special beam is positioned above the weights to be lifted. The beam is provided with hooks which hang from a slide and are marked with different colours (red for weights up to 21 tons, green for weights up to 42 tons). The pair of hooks which are currently not used are pulled in standby position by means of chains and secured. Now, the beam takes up the weight. In doing so, the two required hooks move together and are pulled into the recesses of the weight. Thanks to the adjustability of the hooks, diagonal pulling is avoided. In addition, a coloured lamp shows when the correct lifting position is reached. Then, the weight is safely lifted and positioned on the mould. Afterwards, the lifting beam is relieved and the hooks disengage from the recesses. This process is repeated until the required number of weights are positioned on the mould. Now, the preparations for successful casting are completed.

The operator estimates that the simplified fastening operation connected with this special beam will result in about 30 to 40 % of time being saved for each casting operation. Moreover, this lifting beam contributes significantly to work safety.