Vol. 12
May Issue
Year 2011

Cover Page

in Vol. 12 - May Issue - Year 2011
Customized Blasting Solutions for the Cleaning of Complex Workpiece Configurations

Water/Oil Jacket Machine of Pangborn Europe

Blocks prior to entry into the machine

Positive stops in the blast chamber ensure accurate nozzle placement

Clean castings after exiting the blast chamber

Blasted blocks get flipped to ensure that no abrasive is retained in the cavities

The manufacturing of today’s gray iron or aluminum automotive engine blocks and heads is a detailed process that requires a number of extremely precise steps. In order to ensure optimal performance of the finished product, blocks are cast to exacting standards using very thorough and intricate procedures.
One step in the casting process is the insertion of water jacket dies to create the water or oil channels around the engine block. This process creates the fluid channels inside the engine block that are used to cool it during use, and keeping the engine block cool is essential to its functioning and longevity.
And – like all other parts of the engine block – the metal surfaces within the cavities of these cooling channels must be cleaned to ensure that all scaling, flashing and other imperfections are removed from the surface and completely cleared out from the engine block or head.
Because of their unique size and configurations, effectively and efficiently cleaning these cooling channels presents a challenging scenario – one that Pangborn Group’s Pangborn Europe has developed a creative solution for.
Since 1962, Pangborn Europe has been manufacturing and developing surface preparation equipment, specializing in heavy duty applications in the foundry, forge, automotive and steel industries. Among their specialties is the creation and development of customized blasting solutions for complex, hard to clean workpiece configurations, such as water and oil jackets in engine blocks.
For this particular scenario, Pangborn Europe developed the Water/Oil Jacket Machine, which is a fully-automated specialty air blast machine that cleans the hard-to-reach internal cavities and spaces in the cooling channels of engine blocks. This customizable machine ensures that different workpiece configurations can be accurately cleaned via several fixed and mobile blast nozzles, based on the block’s shape, passages and peculiarities. With anywhere from 8 to 20 nozzles, Pangborn Europe’s Water/Oil Jacket Machines offer flexible designs and configurations to meet customers’ specific needs.
A recent example of the flexible design configurations and capabilities of Pangborn Europe’s Water/Oil Jacket Machine came about as the result of a visit with a large automobile manufacturer in China.
The company (whose services include the manufacturing of engine blocks and heads) was in search of an efficient solution to clean the cooling channels of their engine blocks after casting, without significantly delaying the manufacturing process at this critical step. Among the solutions they explored, and that which ultimately became their final selection, was Pangborn Europe’s Water/Oil Jacket Machine.
In order to create an optimal solution for the manufacturer, representatives from Pangborn Europe first met with the client at their facilities in China. There, plans were reviewed, the parts of the engine blocks to be cleaned were inspected, and implementation details were addressed by both sides.
Although the Water/Oil Jacket Machine’s basic configuration was determined at the meeting, Pangborn Europe still needed to conduct several tests at its facilities to determine the number, size, and type of nozzles required for this specific job. After obtaining sample engine blocks from the client, Pangborn Europe blasted them in its test room and then dissected the blocks so the company’s engineering staff and the customer’s technicians could examine the internal cavities to determine the final machine configuration.

How Pangborn Europe’s Water/Oil Jacket Machine works

The Water/Oil Jacket Machine performs a number of steps to efficiently clean the cooling channels within an engine block or head:
Engine blocks and other workpieces to be cleaned are first transferred onto the roller conveyor, where a spacing device ensures only one workpiece is  fed forward at a time.
The roller conveyor and a pilgrim-type conveyor then move the workpiece inside the Water/Oil Jacket Machine’s cabinet. A longitudinal rod fitted with pushers moved by a hydraulically-driven arm installed on top of the blast cabinet assists in this process. The pusher advance-transfers the block one step to the next station and then backward movement pushers rotate to prevent block interference. Once back, they position to start a new cycle.
The machine includes several different stations based on the number and the position of the channels requiring cleaning. At each blasting station, specific pneumatic groups equipped with nozzles carry out the blasting operation as per their program cycles.
Once the blasting operation is completed, cleaned pieces are transferred to the final shot discharging system to evacuate the residual shot from the castings. The workpiece is then transferred onto another roller conveyor and to the next step in the production process.
In many cases, the Water/Oil Jacket Machine can be combined with another system for external surface finishing, such as a Gripper System machine equipped with six to eight blasting wheels that is specifically designed and configured to clean the external surface and internal cavities of engine blocks and heads.
Additional customization options include the use of robotic loading, unloading and abrasive removal, further automating the entire cleaning process. Furthermore, inline- or carousel-versions of Water/Oil Jacket Machines can be developed for a wide range of technical solutions and adaptability to any layout. These can be designed to rotate the workpiece on one axis or two axes depending on the abrasive removal system.

Maintenance-Reduction and Safety Features

Pangborn Europe’s Water/Oil Jacket Machines are designed for minimal maintenance and easy manual interventions when needed. They offer reduced- or no-setup time, and maintenance doors for convenient access to nozzles and other wear parts. Platforms and ladders are incorporated for easy component adjustment, and all mechanical parts of the conveyor system are placed outside the blasting cabinet for ease of maintenance.
In addition, the machine is designed in accordance with the European safety standards. Pangborn Europe has also designed the Water/Oil Jacket Machine to meet the standards applicable for specific installations in other regions, including the United States of America and Australia. Furthermore, the company’s engineers constantly review changing safety standards to anticipate potential safety issues and design solutions accordingly. For instance, machines are designed with individual pressure switches to detect any abrasive leakage due to ruptured hoses, and to check and adjust abrasive flow rates through special magnetic valves. Cartridge dust collectors are installed in compliance with ATEX standards, and wet-type dust collectors are employed for aluminum parts.

About Pangborn Europe

Founded in 1962, Pangborn Europe is a global manufacturer and distributor of surface preparation equipment, providing wheel blast, air blast, shot peening and specialty blasting machines for a wide variety of industries. The company specializes in heavy duty applications in the foundry, forge, automotive, railway, steel fabricating and metalworking industries, and excels at custom-designed solutions for individual projects. The unique combination of equipment design and manufacturing – coupled with an onsite foundry – allows Pangborn Europe to offer spare parts for all machines, as well as service and maintenance expertise for repair work.

About Pangborn Group

Pangborn Europe is part of the Pangborn Group of companies, which design, manufacture and service wheel blast, air blast, shot peening and specialty blast machines and related products for a range of industries, including foundry and forge, metalworking, automotive and heavy truck, ship and rail, defense, and energy. With roots that date back to 1873, Pangborn Group is a leader in the surface preparation industry with unique designs, heavy duty applications, and best-in-class service and support. Headquartered in Fairburn, Georgia, Pangborn Group is comprised of four leading surface preparation brands: Pangborn, Pangborn Europe, Vogel and Schemmann, and Berger Strahltechnik. For more information about Pangborn Group, please visit www.pangborngroup.com.
Pangborn Group is an affiliate of Atlas Holdings LLC, an industrial holding company headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut. Atlas companies employ more than 5,000 people and operate in a number of industrial sectors including building materials, capital equipment, trading and wholesale distribution, steel mill services, wood products, packaging, and pulp and paper. Over the past 25 years, the principals of Atlas, in partnership with capable management teams, have built more than 40 companies in a variety of industries. For more information on Atlas, please visit www.atlasholdingsllc.com.

For Information:
Vittorio Chizzola
Pangborn Group
Pangborn Europe S.r.l.
Via Enrico Fermi 75
21042 Caronno Pertusella, Italy
Tel. +39.02.9639951
Fax +39.02.9656741
E-mail: vittorio.chizzola@pangborneurope.it