Vacuum conditions in foundry installations are generated using electric-driven vacuum pumps. The purpose of the experiment is to evaluate the performance of a vacuum-assisted system for compaction of moulding sand basing on registered plots of selected electric power parameters of the power-supplying system of the pumps. Model testing done on an experimental vacuum system installation, power-supplied from a system incorporating the recorders of instantaneous current and voltage values. Following the numerical procedure, the experimental data are analysed to yield mathematical relationships between the variations of the generated vacuum pressure levels and variations of selected electric power parameters. Registered and computed values of selected parameters: instantaneous and RMS voltage and current values, active, reactive and apparent power levels and power coefficient allow for diagnosing the adequacy and reliability of the system operation. According to the authors, the applied monitoring of the power parameters of a vacuum-assisted installation may become an effective and easy practical method of evaluating the performance of such installations, used also in foundry plants.
Shot blasting machines are widely used for automated surface treatment and finishing of castings. In shot blasting processes the stream of shots is generated and shaped by blasting turbines, making up a kinetic and dynamic system comprising a separating rotor, an adapting sleeve and a propelling rotor provided with blades. The shot blasting performance- i.e. the quality of shot treated surfaces depends on the actual design and operational parameters of the unit whilst the values of relevant parameters are associated with the geometry of turbine components and the level of its integration with the separator system. The circulation of the blasting medium becomes the integrating factor of the process line, starting from the hopper, through the propeller turbine, casting treatment, separation of contaminated abrasive mixture, to its recycling and reuse. Inferior quality of the abrasive agent (shot) and insufficient purity of the abrasive mixture are responsible for low effectiveness of shot blasting. However, most practitioners fail to fully recognize the importance of proper diagnostics of the shot blasting process in industrial conditions. The wearing of major machine components and of the blasting agent and quality of shot treated surfaces are often misinterpreted, hence the need to take into account all factors involved in the process within the frame of a comprehensive methodology. This paper is an attempt to formulate and apply the available testing methods to the engineering practice in industrial conditions.