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Roberts Sinto Corp.’s design, which was a hook system that traveled from finishing into the molding and pour- ing area. Even though at that point Midland was only redoing the finish- ing area, they designed the molding layout, as well so that when a new molding system was put in, it would have the same take-out point. “Tat’s why we ended up revamp-


ing our grinding room when we did,” Westhoff said. “When we put that system in, we went from one week to push something through to one day, in some cases.” After a few years with the new finishing area, Midland again began looking at replacing its existing line with an automated system, but it needed to wait for the right fit—a machine that was horizontal and would fit all its existing patterns. “I was looking for a machine for


years,” Westhoff said. “When Sinto came out with a machine that was a fit for us, we decided to move forward.” Te new automated line includes


an integrated molding machine and mold handling loop—the first such system Midland has used. Te previ- ous line used computerized control in the molding machine and a curved rail system for pouring and mold handling, and the two worked separately. “Te new system has been good so


far,” Westhoff said. “It actually reduced our capacity on some jobs based on logistics of movement which can tap us out at 80 molds per hour. But for the most part, we are running volumes much less than that anyway. And we went from 10 molds to 20 molds for the pouring window.” In the short term, Westhoff said


the company will concentrate on recouping from the investments


to the green sand foundry. But the business has long-term plans for a larger furnace. Currently, it operates a 450-lb. crucible for its green sand line and a 375-lb. crucible for its nobake line. But the jobs Midland is winning are trending bigger. “We are getting into some two-


or three-pot pours and it’s getting complicated,” Westhoff said. “So we are looking at a 1,000-lb. furnace to be more efficient and a little bit bigger.” In the meantime, Midland is


focused on growing its Marcoza line and jobbing customers and finding simple ways to improve plant floor efficiencies. “Hopefully the green sand foundry is in shape for another 25 years or so—beyond me,” Westhoff said with a smile. “But I’m not ready to think about retiring yet. I love what I do and I love coming in here every day.”


Midland Manufacturing uses a nobake molding area to make parts that won’t fit on its automated green sand machine. May 2017 MODERN CASTING | 39


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