January 15, 2002

Michael McElrath

Longview, Texas

Southwest Steel Casting Company installs new casting shakeout system over 2001 Christmas/New Years shutdown.

Designed to allow Southwest Steel to more efficiently use existing floor space, the new shakeout system also improves employee safety and ergonomic issues.

By rotating the pouring lines 90 degrees, 25 percent additional space was added to the pouring/shakeout floor for mold pouring lines. This allows for greater flexibility in production scheduling which must balance the workload of the molding, furnace and core making departments.

The main shakeout conveyor was placed in a pit that runs the entire width of the pouring bay. This allows each pouring line to be discharged directly into the main shakeout conveyor.

Previously, all molds had to be pushed down each pour off line and then by transfer car to one location for dumping into the shakeout. This new design allows for both greater productively and also reduces employee fatigue.

Also incorporated into the redesigned shakeout system was additional dust collection capacity and a mechanized device for casting removal from the the shakeout conveyor.

As castings coming from the pouring floor can weigh as much as 1,500 lbs. and have a temperature of 1,000 degrees F., it was important to reduce both the physical labor and exposure to hot castings and dust of personnel working at this location.



Shakeout Pit Under Construction
At this point the floor of the pit has
been poured and the walls are
being formed for pouring.

Conveyor Installation
Once the pit had been poured, the main
 shakeout conveyor (right) and the casting
 takeout conveyor were installed.


Dust Hood & Decking Installation
As soon as the conveyors were in place,
the dust hood, pouring lines and personnel  decking was added.