Sorry it's been awhile....AGAIN. :/ But I'm about to explain why so FASTEN SEAT-BELTS! :D
Ok, so maybe I've told ya'll already that I quit the Cabela's Costumer Service job and got a new one at a foundry. Well it's true. :D Anyway I'm now working at Alpha Foundry in Wright City, Missouri. It's an aluminum casting foundry that makes all kinds of aluminum products. A few of those are: gas pump fittings, gas pump handles, electrical conduits, pipe fittings, and much more.
So I bet you're wondering what all goes into making a product and possibly you're wondering where I fit in. Well let's start with the casting process.
Ok, so, casting, here we go. :D So first the aluminum is melted down in a big o'l pot thingy called a vat. The aluminum melts at about 1245 degrees. After its been melted, one of the workers takes a giant ladle and dips some out and pours it into these sand molds. Now, lets talk about these molds for a second. The molds take a whole process themselves. First the sand comes into Alpha as just common, tiny, fine grains of sand in 2000 lb bags. Don't worry, these bags are only moved by forklifts, no personnel are being abused. :P Ok so the sandbags are then lifted by the forklift over top of a big hopper and dumped into it. The hopper itself is about the same size as the bags and holds the same quantity. The hopper is then lifted to a position above the sand mold machine. The hopper is then connected to the mold machine by a flexible fabric hose. Now, the way the molds work is, there's these buttons that you push and 2 halves of an 800 degree iron mold come together as an arm swings over top of it. The arm then connects to the top of the mold and releases sand into it until it's full. Then the sand bakes for about 15 seconds and the arms come back apart and the worker pulls the now hardened molds out of the half molds and places it on a metal pallet. Once the pallet is full, it gets carted over to the pouring station. Ok, now that you are an expert on mold making now.... :P
So, we've gotten the liquid aluminum into the sand molds. Now they're slid under a giant hood with a chimney to the outside world. The reason for this is to catch most of the smoke from the hot aluminum burning the sand molds and pipe it outside the building. That way we don't all die. Pretty smart huh? :D Ok, so once they've cooled off a little, they are stacked on the opposite side of the hood next to a giant vibrating counter thingy known as "Shake Out". After the aluminum has had time to cool and cure, it is set (still in the sand molds) on Shake Out. Each individual part is then "hit" by a worker using the air hammer gun. This tool vibrates the part so that pretty much all of the sand mold brakes off. The now clean and free parts are then stacked into a wire basket on a pallet and sent over to the band saw. Now, the parts when they are poured are connected because there's several parts to one sand mold. So after Shake Out, they're still connected and have to be cut into individual parts. That's what the band saw center is for. There's a worker at the band saw who now takes the connected parts out of the wire basket, cuts them apart, and puts them into another wire basket. Next the parts are sent to Grinding. The guys over in Grinding then take each part out of the wire basket and removes any pieces of aluminum that doesn't belong, kind of finishing the part to smooth, you might say. Then the parts are put into a heat treatment machine. This cures the aluminum to the perfect point. Lastly, the parts are sent into a different section of the building known as the Machine Shop. Now these fellas put each part into a machine to finish them. Now there's a lot of different parts like I said, so there's different things that need to happen to the parts to finish them. So let's say the part we're fallowing is an aluminum elbow pipe fitting. So by the point it gets to in the machine shop, the last thing it needs is the threads to be cut into it. So this part is put into the threading machine. The threading machine is a big drill with a thread bit, inside of a box, and only operates when the door is closed. This insures the safety of the worker. once each part is drilled, it goes into boxes and are then shipped out the door to the costumer who ordered them.
So that's the casting process. Now I'll tel you where I fit in. :) I really don't have one particular area I work in right now. My title is Shake Out, but I've worked the sand molds, Grinding, Threading, and more. So I'm kind of floating around right now working wherever my Supervisor (Kevin) wants me to work. Kind of depends on what needs to be rushed. I usually get stuck into the rush orders.
Well that's about all there is to know about Alpha. :) It's a pretty neat place to work. Work hours are 6am-4:30pm Mondays through Thursdays and 6am-2:30pm on Fridays. So it's early and long, but I'm young and it's pretty fun. And I make good money. :)
Alrighty there's the update for now! Ya'll stay safe, work hard, have fun, and above all thank and praise the LORD for everything He's done for you!