Brewton Iron Works, Inc. of Brewton, Alabama is a family-owned metal foundry that has produced high-quality metal components for a variety of domestic industrial products since 1901.
Like many foundries, sand is a major part of their production process. It is used to form molds, which metal is poured into to create the components. “We let the metal cool, sit, and shake the mold out; break up the sand,” clarified Alex Freas, an engineer at Brewton. The piece is then conveyed to a shot-blasting unit. Freas continued, “We try to knock off as much sand as we can, but you still have to take it to the shot blasting unit to knock off the sand particles that are built up in all the crevasses.”
Sand is also Brewton’s primary dust problem. Shot blasting pulverizes the sand as it is removed from the metal components. “The shot itself will turn to dust,” Freas described, “Eventually it will wear down into nothing.”
To solve their dust collection problem, Brewton installed a competitor’s dust collector, which performed poorly. “It never worked at all. It was terrible,” Freas mentioned. “If you don’t have a good dust collector inside the shot blasting unit, the sand becomes abrasive and can ruin your entire machine a lot faster than the shot would.” This prompted Brewton to look for a better solution.
Our only real requirement was to make sure all that sand and dust got taken out,” Freas noted. A GS6 Gold Series industrial dust collector was installed at the shot blasting unit in 2011 and has been running approximately half of every workday since installation. The unit solved all the problems that were present with their old collector.
“It’s been almost maintenance-free,” Freas explained, “and clear of all problems that the [old dust collector] had. When we turn it on, it does its job and not at any point does it falter. It does what it’s supposed to and what it’s designed to.”
The unit’s filter life has also greatly increased. “We’re at almost two years,” Freas said. “We probably have another six months before we need to change them."