Expert Cores of Wisconsin Invests in Data Management, Mixers, and Silo Upgrades

AFS Corporate Member Expert Cores of Wisconsin in Milwaukee has completed a multiyear upgrade to its operating system. This includes sand recipe management, sand mixer upgrades to both of their mixers and a new monitoring system for their sand silo. 

At the end of 2023, the company completed replacement of its barcode system used for recipe identification on the mixer with an advanced data management system. Engineering services, PLC, software development, and hardware solutions were provided by MT Systems, Inc.

“Previously, a barcode method was used with a corded handheld scanner to select the mix required,” said General Manager Scott Allen. “This system was set up using an incredibly old program and relied on the knowledge to generate new or edit existing recipes––with attrition of employees, it was time for a change. MT Systems came to review the existing program and designed a program that converted our barcode recipes to the easy-to-use advanced data management system format. This yielded a very user-friendly program for making any style core and mold recipe we wanted, within the parameters of our mixers at that time. They also revised our mixer-mounted touch screens to a stand-alone pedestal with a large touch screen, wireless handheld scanners, and a more streamlined process for scanning the required recipes. Once completed, we saw a significant reduction in time from the initial scan to having the mixer ready to run.”

The company realized a cost savings of nearly $9,000 per year for this phase of the project, which was completed in the last quarter of 2019.
The company also upgraded from 300-lb. and 600-lb. Kloster mixers to Smart PUMP Technology. MT Systems designed and quoted the retrofit of two Smart PUMPS, using Mass Flow Meter Technology, magnetically coupled pumps, automated controlled valves and many other upgraded features integrated into the PLC data management system with a new Touch Screen HMI. Calibrating mixers and scheduling employee overtime has been significantly reduced, said Allen, as the Smart PUMPs alarm and shut down the mixer if flow is outside of the programmed rates. 

“Since changing to Smart PUMP technology, we have noticed an increase in production along with a reduction in waste sand,” Allen said. “The quality of our sand cores and molds has increased since the new PLC based resin control system was implemented.” 

Expert Cores also improved the safety of checking the sand level in its silo by installing MT Systems’ “radar on rope” that hangs in the silo and monitors the real time level of sand. The image of the silo and sand level is accessible for viewing on the mixer control system HMI and on any desktop computers in its network.