Autocaster FAQs

autocaster Ultra/PC Polymer Concrete casting machine

Frequently Asked Questions - Autocaster™ machines

Learn more about Autocaster™ series of continuous casting systems to automate production of polymer matrix for cast polymer manufacturing.

How Do I Adjust the Catalyst Pressure Sensor in my Autocaster?

The following sensor adjustment instructions apply to all Autocaster Ultra, Autocaster Economizer or Batchmaster III machines. These instructions do NOT apply to Autocaster RC (Recipe Control) continuous casting systems or Batchmaster II metering systems.

The values used are:

SP1  (Sep Point #1) - Below the lowest pressure you expect to run at (typically 1).

RP1 (Release Point #1) - Once the set point is reached and the output is activated how low will it be Ok to drop before turning the output back off (Typically 1 PSI below SP1).

OU1 (Output #1 Type) HNO - High Normally Open

SP2 (Sep Point #2) - Above the lowest pressure you expect to run at (Typically 60).

RP2 (Release Point #2) - Once the set point is reached and the output is activated how low will it be Ok to drop before turning the output back off (Typically 50).

OU2 (Output #2 Type) HNC - High Normally Closed

Make sure that the problem is the setting on the sensor and not that there isn't enough flow to give you proper pressure.

 


How Do I Assemble a Resin/Base Color Pump in my Autocaster?

The pump body should be mounted so that the raised 'S' cast into the pump body is on the side towards the supply. The round center piece should be mounted so that the small 'V' notch is at the top. The pump rotation should then be "CCW LOOKING at the PUMP SHAFT", this will bring the material in from the 'S' side, continuing through the pump going around the center towards the bottom of the pump, and on to the outlet. Some situations call for the pumps to be mounted vertically instead of horizontally, in this case it doesn't matter what side the "V" notch is on but if the side is changed the direction of flow changes so make sure it matches the pump rotation for correct flow direction.

Base Color Pump Flow

 


How Do I Calibrate a Flow Sensor in my Autocaster?

The flow sensor is used to determine when there is no catalyst flow and the dispensed material will not harden. This will therefore alarm and shut off the machine preventing the dispensing of uncatalyzed material. To accomplish this the sensor is set for a minimum acceptable flow to prevent uncatalyzed product.

Setting the minimal flow:

Go to the catalyst calibration screen and prepare to catch the dispensed catalyst as if you were going to calibrate the catalyst. Set the calibration time to 120 seconds and the calibration speed should be set to an amount significantly less than you would ever run during casting, I find between 3% and 5% works well for most cases (10% on the AutoCaster RC). This results in a fast drip or very slow stream. Once you are ready, start the calibration sequence and wait until the flow has been constant for 20-30 seconds. Once the flow has been established if the sensor is the teach style press and hold the right "LEARN" button for more than 5 but less than 10 seconds (the display will change after 5 seconds) and once the display resets the flow at that point will be the new minimum flow. If you have the very old sensor with the screw adjustment adjust the screw so the light turns off and slowly adjust it back until it just turns on. you can now stop the calibration routine and return the Speed % and Time settings to their original values. DO NOT update the calibration setting, this is not a pump calibration and updating the calibration factor is not necessary or advised. If there is any doubt as to the correctness of the calibration factor it is advised that you should perform a pump calibration.

Notes:

When working properly the Green lights will be to the left of Orange/Red light when there is no flow or insufficient flow and the Green lights will fill the display past the Orange/Red light when the flow is acceptable.

The newer sensors will allow minor adjustments to be made by briefly pressing the left or right button then pressing the left or right button as needed to move the Red/Orange light position.

There are different displays during the setup depending on the age of the sensor. Some have the LEDs light from left to right for the 5 seconds, some have the lights on the ends light and then flash after 5 seconds, some have the left light come on and then the right light after 5 seconds. Because of this the best advice I can give is hold the Teach for 5 seconds and less than 10 seconds, watch for some sort of display change after 5 seconds.

To return all settings to factory default:

  1. Press the right pushbutton and hold. After 15 seconds release the pushbutton. All settings have been returned to factory default.
 
View/Download the following Resources:

Catalyst Flow Operating Guide (English), .pdf

Catalyst Flow Setup Guide

 


How Do I Calibrate My Autocaster?

All of the items on the calibration screens operate as follows:

  1. Speed Setting: Enter the speed to run the calibration as a percentage of maximum speed.

    This will be output as the frequency applied to the motor during the calibration. Although any normal speed will work to give a usable value calibrating close to the speed of normal operation (as verified on the inverter or diagnostic screen) will give the highest accuracy.

  2. Calibration Time: Enter how long in seconds to run the calibration. This should be long enough to give a good amount to weigh. the longer you run, the more that is dispensed, the more accurate the result. One minute is usually sufficient unless the item is dispensed in very small amounts.

  3. Weight of Calibration Result: After calibration has been run, weigh the output material and enter the value here.

  4. Calibration Revolutions: This is a count of drive revolutions seen during the calibration run.

  5. Calibration Time Remaining: This displays the remaining calibration time as calibration is running.

  6. Update Calibration Factor: Press to copy the New Calibration Factor to the Current Calibration Factor.

  7. Calibration Result/New Calibration Factor: After Calibration has been run and the weight entered the resulting calibration factor is displayed here.

  8. Current Calibration Factor: Displays the calibration factor that the machine is using.

  9. Calibrate Start/Stop: Press to initiate the calibration run. Calibration run will automatically stop when the calibration time has expired. If you wish to stop before the calibration time is reached press again while running.

  10. Counter Reset: Press to reset the revolution counter on the AutoCaster RC (OP15 or OP17 screen). Newer machines reset automatically at calibration start.

Run Calibration

  1. Enter the speed to run as a percent of total motor speed.

  2. Enter the time you want to run for, 60 seconds is typical, longer is more accurate.

  3. If using an AutoCaster RC press counter reset, (Newer equipment does not include this but resets automatically)

  4. open a connection to dispense the material to be calibrated.

  5. Tare out a container and put in place to receive the material to be calibrated.

  6. Press the calibrate button and wait for material to be dispensed.

  7. Weigh out the dispensed material and enter this value on the screen interface.

  8. Verify the "New Calibration factor is good.

  9. Press update to copy the newly created calibrated factor to the calibration factor the machine is using.

 


How Do I Change Parameters for the Siemens MM320 Inverter Drive?

Older Autocasters utilized a Siemens MM320 Inverter.

Note: The Siemens MM320 Inverter was later replaced with the newer techology Siemens MM420 Inverter. A separate FAQ is provided for that model.

To change the parameters for the Siemens MM320 Inverter Drive, follow these instructions:

Set To Factory Defaults:
- P009 = 3; Access All Parameters
- P944 = 1; Reset To Factory Defaults

Setup For Operation From Default:
- P101 = 1; USA
- P006 = 1; Analog Control
- P007 = 0; Disable Inverter Buttons
- P009 = 3; Access All Parameters
- P012 = 0; Minimum Operation Speed
- P013 = 90; Maximum Operation Frequency
- P021 = 0; Minimum Control Scaling Frequency
- P022 = 90; Maximum Control Scaling Frequency
- P051 = 1; Motor Direction
- P066 = 0; Compound Braking Off
- P076 = 6; Pulse Width Freq.
- P081 = 60; Motor Nameplate Freq.
- P082 = 1750; Motor Nameplate RPM
- P083 = 2.2; Motor Nameplate Current (Up to 2.5 if needed, 0.9 for new small Catalyst Pump)
- P084 = 230; Motor Nameplate Voltage
- P085 = 0.75 Motor Nameplate HP (0.13 for new small Catalyst pump)
- P009 = 1; User Level
- P000, Read Frequency Display


How Do I Clean the Heat Exchanger in my Autocaster?

Please read all instructions and understand procedures before proceeding. We also offer a several options for rebuilding your heat exchanger on your Autocaster casting machine. More details available the article titled, "Heat Exchanger Repair Options for Casting Equipment"

  • Turn off power at the main breaker and lock out. Use all normal safety procedures when working with electrical equipment.

  • Drain heating fluid from Stainless steel heater tank.

  • Turn off resin valves.

  • Disconnect resin and fluid lines. Note (mark) their location for reassembly.

Heat Exchanger, Removed

  • Remove heat exchanger.

Heat Exchanger Measure

  • Measure the thickness of the exchanger at the plates and record this number for reassembly.

    • Typically 1.72" for 12 plate (14 including front and back end plates) exchanger.

    • Typically 3.125" for 24 plate (26 including front and back end plates) exchanger.

  • Unscrew the large bolts by taking ½ turn on each bolt until loose.

Heat Exchanger Disassemble

  • Carefully remove the large blue end plate.

Heat Exchanger Mark Plate Tops

  • Remove the stainless plates as a set and permanently mark the plates as shown for reassembly.

Heat Exchanger Seperate Plates 1

  • Carefully separate the resin side of the plates. Do not cut or nick the black gasket that is attached to the plate. The fluid sides may not want to come apart and do not require cleaning.

Heat Exchanger Seperate Plates 2

  • A smooth round rod may help in disassembly.

Heat Exchanger Seperate Plates 3

  • Disassemble plates.

Heat Exchanger Clean Plates 1

  • Use a plastic scraper to remove the congealed resin in the groves of the plates being careful not to damage the gaskets on the edged of the stainless steel plates.

Heat Exchanger Clean Plates 2

  • Use styrene to wipe out the resin left on the plates.

Heat Exchanger Reassemble Plates

  • Reassemble plates in their original position.

xchngr11

  • Replace the large bolts and tighten each of them ½ turn at a time until the two large blue plates are returned to the thickness that was measured before disassembly.

  • Reinstall in machine and connect fluid and resin lines to original positions.

  • Refill the heater fluid and open the resin valves. Turn on power to machine.

  • Test and look for resin or fluid leaks. Be sure to check the first run of matrix for heater fluid in the mix.

 


How do I Clear Clogged Veining Injectors?

On occasion, the veining injector ports in the barrel may clog.

Injectors-bothNote: there are multiple types of veining injectors:

  • The oldest veining injector (not shown) does not include a bushing with set screw, and is simply threaded into the auger housing.

  • The next generation had a black adjustment knob (see image at right) with an inline set screw just below the knob to lock the injector adjustment knob. The bushing (at bottom of injector) does not have a set screw and the bushing is pushed into position until the bottom of the injector just barely protrudes from the bottom of the bushing (see illustration below).

  • The latest generation (with a red knob as shown at right), utilizes a side-mounted adjustment knob set screw (just below the red knob), and an injector bushing with a small red set screw located on the side of the bushing (at bottom of injector at immediate right).

The following tips apply to all styles of veining injectors, and may help you clear clogged injectors:

  1. Clean injectors thoroughly with Acetone or an Acetone replacement (such as Superior's S-280).

  2. Ensure the injector adaptor is completely screwed in, so the bottom of the injector is flush with the inside of the barrel.  It it is not, the the matrix can accumulate in the port during long runs and cure (thus slowly clogging the system). The system's wash cycle will not clean cured matrix all the way through to the injector plate. Refer to the image below.

Vein Inj Bush Install450
 * Red set screw is on the newest of the three generations of Injector Bushings only. Earlier generations use different configurations. See top image above.

 


How Do I Control The Resin Temperature in my Autocaster?

tempcontrol1To make sure you are getting good temperature control use the following guidelines.

  1. Set the dial for the manual heater temperature safety limit to 150 – 180 °F (65.5 - 82.2 °C)

  2. Set the temperature control points on the setup screen.

  3. Set the RUN mode Resin temperature to the desired resin temp. Typically 90 – 110 °F (32 - 43.3 °C)

  4. Set the Run Mode Maximum Fluid Temp to a point higher than the resin set temp to allow it to heat the resin. Typically 10-20 °F (-12.2 to -6.67 °C) above the resin set temp.

  5. Set the Recirc Mode Resin temp to a reasonable good starting temperature. Typically 70 – 80 °F (21.1 - 26.7 °C)

  6. Set the Recirc Mode Fluid Maximum Temperature to the same or slightly higher temperature as the resin recirc set temp. There is such a short loop for recirculation that it doesn’t take much to maintain a resin temperature during recirc. If you re-plumb the resin recirc to return to the tote instead of the pump to allow preheating of the tote the maximum fluid temp should be raised to about 5 – 15 °F (-15 to -9.4 °C) above the resin set temp.

 tempcontrol2

 


How Do I Determine the Correct Auger, Pump, and Gearbox sizing

To tune output rates on your Autocaster for nonstandard materials or rates, refer to the two following charts to determine appropriate hardware configurations to obtain the type of output you require.

Various Types of Augers

Part #
Diameter
Pitch
Thick
Shaft
Typical Use
Example
Fillers
Metering Hopper

HP1-11-00

(standard)

2-5/8" 2" 1/8" Hollow Standard Volume Non Aggressive Material (Calcium Carbonate)

Powders, such as:

Calcium Carbonate

Dolomite

Fly Ash

Standard (Powder) Metering Hopper

Order No.
30ACFH

164345

(option)

2-5/8" 1" 1/8" Hollow Very Low Volume Non Aggressive Material (Calcium Carbonate)

163115

(standard)

2-5/8" 2" 1/4" Solid Standard Volume Small Aggregate (Sand)

Sand (normal size)

 

Small Aggregate Metering Hopper

Order No.
163735

164345

(option)

2-5/8" 1" 1/4" Solid Very Low Volume Small Aggregate (Sand)

166028

(option)

2-1/4" 2" 1/4" Solid Standard Volume Medium Aggregate (Coarse Sand) Larger Particle Size (Coarse) Sand

xxxxx

(option)

2-1/4" 1" 1/4" Solid Very Low Volume Medium Aggregate (Coarse Sand)

165712

(standard)

2" 2" 1/4" Solid

Standard Volume Large Aggregate

(up to 3/8" Pea Gravel)

Pea Gravel

Large Aggregate Metering Hopper

Order No.
163715

165750

(standard)

3-5/8” 4” 1/2" N/A

High Volume

(also good for larger aggregates)

 Sand, Pea Gravel and Larger Aggregates

High Volume Metering Hopper

Order No.
30ACFHHC

 

Base Color Pumps

Part #
Model
Typical Use
163200
0LFD Standard Volume, good for most applications
163207 00LFD Low volume, use if standard volume causes low motor speed
162795 2L35 Very high volume, use if motor is beyond full speed

 

Notes:

  • Motors should run between 10 & 90 HZ (140HZ for Resin) with the optimal range between 40 HZ and 70HZ.

  • Before making adjustments, it is a good idea to make sure all related items are working properly.

  • If a motor runs too slow, it may overheat or run even slower than the set point is.

  • If the parameters ask a motor to run beyond 100%, it will only run at 100% and the output will be that much less than required.

  • If an auger runs too slow, it will deliver the material in a pulsing manner.

  • If a pump runs too slow, it will slip and deliver less than expected or start/stop delivery.

  • If a pump runs too fast, it may cavitate delivering less material than expected.

  • The standard filler gearbox is a 10:1 ratio.

  • Use a smaller gear ratio to allow a motor to run faster with the same output.

  • Use a larger gear ratio to allow a motor to run slower with the same output.

  • If the output is very small, it is better to reduce the auger flight pitch or use a smaller displacement pump than to increase the gear ratio.

  • When changing the gear ratio, you will typically also need to adjust the Drive Factor to match.

 


How Do I Determine The Correct Drive Factor in my Autocaster?

If your inverter maximum speed has changed, or your transmission ratio has changed, or your rotation sensor location has changed, you likely need to reset your correct Drive Factor in your Autocaster software. Here's how to do it.

The "Drive Factor" is a constant derived from the inverter setup, motor specifications, and hardware layout. These values are typically entered during initial setup and should not ever change unless the inverter maximum speed has been changed, the transmission ratio has changed, or the rotation sensor location has been changed. When multiplied the items required output and then divided by the "Calibration Factor" it gives the percent of full speed that the motor should run to produce the required output.

The formula is: Drive factor=(offset*nominal Hz*gear ratio)/ (nominal Motor rpm*max Hz)

  • Offset is always 100 (For % of full speed in program)
  • Nominal HZ is from the motor nameplate
  • Gear Ratio matches the transmission ratio unless the rotation sensor is at the motor shaft such as the catalyst sensor, therefore Catalyst has a ratio of 1.
  • Nominal RPM is from the motor nameplate
  • Max HZ is the frequency of the motor inverter drive at it's maximum speed (100%), usually 90 HZ, except for resin which is usually 140 HZ on the Ultra and Economizer (Still 90 on the RC).

Here's the formula:
Drive factor=(offset*nominal Hz*gear ratio)/ (nominal Motor rpm*max Hz)

And with some common values plugged in:

  • Drive factor=(100*60*gear ratio)/ (1725*90)
  • Drive factor=(6000*gear ratio)/ (155250)

 


How Do I Enter a Recipe on the Autocaster RC?

To enter new Recipe values on a RC (Pre touchscreen) Autocaster follow these instructions.

  1. From the main screen, make sure the recipe group selected is the same as the group for the recipe you want to edit, if not select the correct group.
  2. From the main screen, make sure the recipe (1-8) selected is the same as the the recipe you want to edit, if not select the recipe.
  3. Press the recipe edit button to enter the editor.
  4. Using the arrow keys move to the field you want to
  5. Using the keypad enter the value you want to use and press enter.
    1. To Change the Base Color selected move to that field and press the shift key, the shift indicator LED will light.
    2. Use the arrow keys to change the base color selected.
    3. Once the desired value is showing press the enter key.
  6. Once all the settings are as desired press the Save & Xmit key (second from the left on the top row).
  7. Return to the main screen and verify that the recipe is correct.

 


How Do I Measure Current on a Siemens G110 Inverter?

Often we want to know what the current draw is from a systems motor (Resin, Base color, Catalyst, etc). The display of the inverters can be set to show the current among other things instead of frequency allowing you to see the current without additional equipment.

To change the display item use Parameter 5 on the G110 and set it to the apropriate value using the same parameter setting methods explained previously.

Below is the description/settings for Parameter 5:

P0005 Default = 21

Selects display for parameter r0000 (drive display).


Common Settings:
21 Actual frequency
25 Output voltage
26 DC link voltage
27 Output current

 


How Do I Measure the Current on a Siemens MM420 Inverter?

Often we want to know what the current draw is from a systems motor (Resin, Base color, Catalyst, etc). The display of the inverters can be set to show the current among other things instead of frequency allowing you to see the current without additional equipment.

To change the display item use Parameter 5 on the Siemens MM420 Inverter and set it to the apropriate value using the same parameter setting methods explained previously.

Below is the description/settings for Parameter 5:

P0005 Default = 21

Selects display for parameter r0000 (drive display).

Common Settings:
21 - Actual frequency
25 - Output voltage
26 - DC link voltage
27 - Output current
 

How Do I Obtain the best Vacuum Performance with my Vacuum Autocaster?

The vacuum is obtained by creating a dynamic seal by compressing the matrix in the area before and after the vacuum tower. The speed of the auger, viscosity of the matrix, and the volume of output all have a significant effect on how this works:

dynamic-sealing-of-vacuum-autocaster-auger

Auger Speed - The speed of the auger balances the seal between the front and rear dynamic seals. The auger should be run as slow as possible without allowing material to build up in the vacuum tower. If the auger runs fast the material is moved too quickly from the rear seal and air is allowed to flow into the vacuum tower often bringing a spray of matrix and powder along with it. If the auger runs too slowly the material is not removed from the vacuum tower well enough and material starts to fill the tower. With proper auger speed you will see little if any evidence of air entering the tower from the back, matrix will be seen along the teeth of the auger, and there may be a small roll of matrix near the front no larger in diameter than a cigar.

Viscosity of the matrix - A more viscous matrix creates a better seal allowing better vacuum. It is understood that the flow into the mold and product physical properties are also affected so there is only so much that can be done here.

Volume of the output - More matrix in the auger allow for a better seal because there is more material available to compress at the dynamic seal preventing the passage of air.

 

Learn More:

See video of normal vacuum operation of an Autocaster Ultra blending matrix under vacuum

 


How Do I Program The Temperature Controller in my Autocaster Basic?

These instructions are provided to program the Temperature Controller on Autocaster Basic. These instructions also apply to the Batchmaster I and Batchmaster II metering systems.

There are 24VDC and 230VAC versions but the setup is the same. Newer equipment uses internal PLC controlled temperature control.

Procedure on how to reset the temperature controller:

  • Depress both arrow keys until the text is displayed. Release the keys.
  • Depress the Down Arrow Key until the word “LevL” is displayed. Release the arrow key.
  • Depress the Star Key. Depress the Up Arrow key until the number 3 is displayed. Release both keys.
  • Depress the Up arrow until the word “Rset” is displayed. Release the arrow key.
  • Depress the Star Key. Depress the Up arrow to display the words “All”. Release the keys.
  • Depress both arrow keys until the text flashes “Inpt” and NoNe”. Release the keys.

The temperature controller has now been reset.

Procedure on setting the parameters for the temperature controller:

  • Depress the Star Key. Depress the Up Arrow Key until the Text “Tc J” is displayed. Release the keys.
  • Depress the Up Arrow Key until the text “Unit” is displayed. Release the key.
  • Depress the Star Key. Depress the Up arrow key until the Fahrenheit symbol is displayed. Release the keys.
  • Depress the up arrow key until the text. Spd.1 is displayed. Release the keys.
  • Depress the star key. Depress the up arrow key until the text “Rly” is displayed. Release the keys.
  • Depress both arrow keys until numeric values are displayed.

The temperature controller parameters are now set to communicate to the thermocouple.

Procedure on how to set the Output Resin temperature:

  • Depress the star key. Depress the up arrow key until the desired output resin temperature is established. Release the keys.

The temperature controller is now programmed to control output resin temperature.

Procedure on how to set the Thermo-fluid temperature:

  • Depress the star key. Depress the up arrow key until the desired thermo-fluid temperature is established. Release the keys.

 

Note: The thermo-fluid temperature should be set 10 to 15 degrees hotter than the desired output resin temperature. In colder climates, the thermo-fluid temperature may need to be set even higher. In contrast, in warmer climates, the thermo-fluid temperature may need to be set lower than the suggested to obtain the desired output resin temperature.

The temperature controllers are now in synch and ready to control the output resin temperature.

 

How Do I Recalibrate the Touch on a MP37x Screen?

The following procedure is to be used for recalibrating the touch screen on the Gruber Autocasters with a Siemens MP-37X  touch screen.  If the touch screen is unusable, a USB mouse can be plugged into the back of the screen and used to actuate the icons on the touch screen.

1. The color touch screen should be on displaying the main screen of the user interface.

2. Select the PLC button on the touch screen.  If the PLC button is not available, select the Diagnostics button.

3. Enter the password for the machine.

4. Select the PLC button on the touch screen.

5. Select Exit Pro Tool.

6. Select Control Panel.

7. Select OP (double click).

8. Select Touch.

9. Select Recalibrate.

10. Touch the screen on spots identified by pluses.

11. Exit Screen.

12. Exit Screen.

13. Select Start.

 


How Do I Repair a Check Valve in my Autocaster?

Often the cause of poor flow performance for fluids the cause is a sticking check valve. Usually all that is needed is to clean the internals of the check valve and possibly replace the O-Ring seal inside. Open the check valve using one of the methods shown below and remove all of the internal parts taking note of how it goes together. Once apart thoroughly clean all of the pieces and replace the O-Ring if needed. Place all but the locking nut in place and make sure everything moves freely. If there is still sticking check to see if there are areas that need further cleaning, often the edges will develope a thin film that is hard to detect and will cause the parts to still stick. Once all moves well completly reassemble and test with air that there is good flow in one direction and none in the other.

For the O-Ring material refer to this list

To open the lock nut from the inlet side and carefully remove the pieces paying attention to how they go.

CheckValveHexCheckValveExpl

 

CheckValveSplitCheckValveExplS

 

To open the split body style open it by unscrewing the end from the body and carefully remove the pieces paying attention to how they go.

 


How Do I Replace a 2-Wire Sensor with a 3- or 4-Wire Sensor in an Autocaster?

The old 2-wire sensor assembly that you will replace is shown below:

2-wire

You will be disconnecting both the white lead and the Black lead from the PLC block (shown further down this page), and replacing it with either the 3-wire or 4-wire sensor assembly (shown below)

Important: Remove only one wire at a time. Do NOT disconnect both simultaneously.

Replace the wire that eventually connects to the PLC (grey blocks with several wires and small lights shown at bottom of page) with the new sensor's wire of the same color (White or Black).

 

Replacement of 3-Wire and 4-Wire Sensor Assemblies

Depending on which wiring harness you recieve (two alternatives shown below), follow these instructions:

  1. Replace the other wire that leads to the +24V source with the Brown wire of the new sensor.

  2. In the case of the 4 wire sensor there will be an unused White or Black wire that should be taped off so as not to create a short.

  3. Connect the new sensor's Blue wire to the 0V Common on the PLC block (see below). This can be found as part of the connector terminal blocks and originates from the Negative (-) terminal of the DC Power Supply.

 
3-Wire Sensor
3-wire
 
 
4-Wire Sensor
4-wire
 
 
PLC and Connections
PLC

Terminals1

 


How Do I Replace a Siemens Inverter With a Yaskawa Inverter?

Instructions to replace a Siemens Inverter in an Autocaster machine with a Yaskawa Inverter:

The Yaskawa inverters will perform the same functions as the Siemens Inverter. The wiring is compatable but the labeling is different. Also the drive programming is different. The new drive should mount easily as they are smaller. They don't typically use DIN Rail mounting but an adaptor is available if you prefer. (These notes are for a 230V system; by far the most common. If you have a different incoming power the drive parameters will be different, please call us for the correct settings.)

Converting from Siemens MM320/MM420 to Yaskawa Inverter Drive

siemens yaskawa

 

Parameters for Yaskawa Inverter Drive

J1000 1 HP 200V DRIVERS
YASKAWA J1000 INVERTER SETTINGS
A1-03 2220 INITIALIZE (2 One Control) (Returns To 0)
C1-01 3 ACCELERATION TIME (sec)
C1-02 3 DECELERATION TIME (sec)
C6-01 0 HEAVY DUTY
E1-01 230 INPUT VOLTAGE
E1-04 90 MAX OUTPUT FREQUENCY (RESIN 140)
E1-05 230 MAX OUTPUT VOLTAGE (From Motor Plate)
E1-06 60 BASE FREQUENCY (Nominal From Motor Plate)
E1-07 3 MID-POINT FREQUENCY
E1-08 18.4 MID-POINT VOLTAGE
E1-09 1.5 MINIMUM FREQUENCY
E1-10 13.8 MINIMUM VOLTAGE
E2-01 2.8 MOTOR AMPS (NAMEPLATE) 3/4HP
E2-02 2.78 MOTOR SLIP %
L1-01 2 INVERTER DUTY MOTOR COOLING 
L8-35 1 INSTALLATION METHOD (1=Side by Side. 0=Open)

 

 

DI-2 <6>

<S2>

   
 

DI-3 <7>

<S3>

   
 

DC Out +24V <8>

   

(Optional) DC 0V Common

DC Out 0V <9>

<SC>

 
 

Incoming <L1>

<L1>

 

230VAC

Power <L2>

<L2>

 
 

<L3>

<L3>

 
 

Motor <U>

<T1>

 

Motor

<V>

<T2>

 
 

<W>

<T3>

   

 


How Do I Replace my Norgren Solenoid with a SMC Solenoid?

Instructions to replace the Norgren solenoid with a SMC solenoid.

norgren-solenoid658

To replace the Norgren solenoid with a SMC solenoid, match the Red wire to the Brown wire. Match the Black wire with the Blue wire. The Green wire is not used.

Either cust and spllice the wires from the Norgren, or replace the wires in the electrical cabinet.


* Some new 24V solenoids now have 2 Red wires instead of a red and a Black wire. These can be wired in either direction.

 


How Do I Replace or Adjust The Main Auger?

Step-by-step instructions to disassemble, install or adjust the main auger of Autocaster casting machines.

Jump To:   Disassembly  |  Installation  |  Adjustment

 
Auger Disassembly
  1. Turn off the Main Electrical Breaker on the side of the machine. Lock off if possible. Turn off and lock out power supply to the machine if possible at the Power Main.

  2. Remove Cleaner Re-circulation Tray from underneath the Auger Tube Assembly. Remove tube from tray if necessary.

  3. Remove the Veining Nozzle at the end of the Auger Assembly. Do not remove tubes if attached.

  4. Remove small diameter Auger Tube at the Ring Flange.

  5. The Injector Unit Assembly has a Resin Tube, Catalyst Tube, Base-color tube, and one air connection. Injector Unit is located towards the front of the Auger Assembly. Do not remove tubes. Remove the Injector Unit from the Auger being careful not to lose the O-Ring under the flange.

    Note: Some machines may not have Base Color Tube.

  6. Remove Filler Manifold from Auger by loosening the 2 upper clamps and disconnecting the band clamp from around the Auger Tube.

  7. Loosen and remove the large Ring Flange.

  8. Remove the large diameter Auger Tube.

  9. Locate the six Auger Adjustment Screws. They are Set Screw and Jam Nut adjustment screws.

    Note: Loosen the two upper Jam Nuts from the top of the auger tube and back out the set screws a few turns.

  10. The Auger will slip out of the Support Tube. A Rubber Coupler attaches the Auger to the Motor. The Coupler will slip off the Auger if it came out during removal.

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Auger Installation

Be sure the Rubber Coupler is in place on the Auger or motor side of the two pieces.

  1. Place the Auger into the Support Tube. Rotate the Auger to engage the Rubber Coupler in the splines of the Auger. The Bearing Housing should be recessed about 2 ¼ inches into the Support Tube.

  2. Install the large diameter Auger Tube and loosely attach the Ring Flange. Position the Auger Tube so that the large Filler Hole is approximately centered upwards. Tighten the Ring Flange.

  3. Install the small diameter Auger tube and loosely attach the Ring Flange. Position the Auger Tube so that the Injector Unit is approximately centered upwards. Tighten the Ring Flange. Auger Alignment

  4. The end of the Auger should be recessed into small diameter Auger Tube (in the axial direction). This is an indication that the Auger is located in its proper position.

  5. Rotate Auger manually to be sure that there is clearance between the Auger Tube and the Auger. Adjust as necessary. See Auger Adjusting Procedure below. The Auger should not come in contact with the walls of the Auger Tube otherwise excessive wear will occur in the Auger Assembly. To verify that the Auger is adjusted correctly, run the Auger at its lowest speed with no Resin, Filler, etc. and listen for contact. Adjust as necessary. Adjustments can be made while the Auger is slowly rotating by the motor. Be careful to keep hands, clothing and tools clear of the rotating Auger.

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Adjustment Procedure

Note: This procedure should not be necessary for minor adjustment, use this procedure only if necessary. Remove the Veining Nozzle for this procedure.
  1. Loosen all 6 Jam Nuts and back out all set screws a few turns. Screw in all 4 bottom screws until they just touch the Auger Bearing Housing. Adjust all 4 screws ¼ turn. Try to give the same adjustment to all 4 screws. Adjust the top rear screw until it touches. Look at the end of the Auger and adjust the top rear screw so that the annular spacing is uniform (the spacing should be the same all around the end of the Auger). With a wrench, rotate the auger manually and look for and listen for contact. Adjust as necessary.

  2. Tighten all Jam Nuts when complete. Turn on power. Be careful to keep hands, clothing and tools clear of the rotating Auger. Adjust Auger speed to the lowest speed. Look and listen for contact. Adjust as necessary.

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How Do I Replace the Eaton (Cutler-Hammer) Overload on the RhinoCaster with the Carlo Gavazzi version?

To replace the Eaton (Cutler-Hammer) Overload on the RhinoCaster with the Carlo Gavazzi version, do the following:

1. Connect the Overload to the contactor

2. Mount and move the power wires from the old parts to the new parts. Keep the wire order the same.

3. Move the control wires to the new contactor / overload, listed left to right on the original parts.

(-) to #95 on the new overload
(+) to #97 on the new overload

(P) & (F) (Jumped together) to A1 on the top of the new contactor (jumper not needed)
(1) No Connection
(A) to # 98 on the new overload

4. Set the new overload to 3.9A

Carlo Gavazzi Overload Schematic

 


How Do I Replace The PLC Battery in my Autocaster?

Replace the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) battery as needed on my Autocaster machine to prevent loss of machine settings such as Recipe's, Setup, Calibration Factors, and Totals. Yearly is the recommended timeframe to be sure data is always protected. Locate the battery on the CPU module of the PLC rack, see image below. With "Power On", remove the old battery and replace it with a fresh battery. Some PLC's contain a small capacitor to retain data for several minutes with power off, but not all, so it is best to leave power on while performing the replacement.

Common Replacement Battery Order Numbers:
161084 for S7-314IFM PLC typically used for Autocaster RC.
180384 for S7-22x PLC's typically used on Autocaster Economizers and most Batchmasters.
180385 for S7-21x PLC's typically used on Autocaster Basic and old Batchmasters.

S7-314IFM Battery Location:

Autocaster PLC Battery

 

S7-22x Battery Location:

S7-200 Autocaster, Batchmaster Battery Location

S7-200 Autocaster, Batchmaster Battery Connector

 


How Do I Resolve Base Color Flow Issues in my Autocaster?

Check for obstructions in the circulation path. This includes all fittings, especially elbow fittings and also the base color pump adaptor block. Disassemble the lower section of the base color injector and make sure it is clean, be sure not to cut the O-Rings and it is best to lubricate them a little before reassembly. Make sure the injector opens and closes fully. Make sure that when open the flow throught the return line stops, if it continues to have flow the injector is not correctly directing all the pigment into the resin.

 


How Do I Retrofit My Old Catalyst Pump to the New Style Pump?

If you have an older Autocaster RC or Autocaster Basic casting machine, and need to replace the Catalyst Pump, this How-to article explains how to retrofit that machine with a new style Catalyst pump.

catalystpump350

  1. Remove old pump and gearbox.

    • Keep pressure sensor and rotation sensor.

  2. Mount new pump assembly to holes in the gearbox mounting plate.

  3. Install sensor to the point where it senses the internal screw but not the housing making sure not to hit the sensing screw.

    • Align screw with the sensor and turn the sensor in until touching. Back the sensor off until pump can turn freely.

    • The pump can be spun manually by turning the spindle that the pump shaft connects to.

    • Make sure the sensor detects the screw as it turns. The light should turn on and off as the screw passes.

  4. Install the pressure sensor.

    • The inlet is the lower port on the pump and the outlet is the higher port.

    • Connect the pressure sensor to the outlet as it was on the original pump using whatever fittings are appropriate. For catalyst Stainless Steel should be used.

  5. Connect the inlet and outlet lines.

  6. Enter the new Drive Factor into the screen settings.

    • From the “Main Screen” go to Setup -> Setup #2 -> Drive Factors and enter 0.03809 for the new Drive Factor (change from 0.38090).

  7. Check the pump rotation direction.

  8. Calibrate as you normally would to obtain the correct calibration factor for the new setup.

 

En lengua española (In Spanish)

¿Cómo adapto mi vieja bomba del catalizador a la bomba del estilo nueva?

1. Quite la viejas bomba y caja de engranajes.

a. Sensor de la presión de la subsistencia y sensor de la rotación.

2. Monte el nuevo montaje de la bomba a los agujeros en la placa de montaje de la caja de engranajes.

3. Instale el sensor al punto donde detecta el tornillo interno pero no la cubierta cerciorándose de no golpear el tornillo de detección.

a. tacto. Mueva hacia atrás el sensor apagado hasta que la bomba puede dar vuelta libremente.

b. La bomba puede ser hecha girar manualmente dando vuelta al huso con el cual el eje de la bomba conecta.

c. Cerciórese de que el sensor detecte el tornillo mientras que da vuelta. La luz debe dar vuelta por intervalos mientras que el tornillo pasa.

4. Instale el sensor de la presión.

a. La entrada es el puerto más bajo en la bomba y el enchufe es el puerto más alto.

b. Conecte el sensor de la presión con el enchufe pues era en usar original de la bomba cualesquiera guarniciones son apropiadas. Para el catalizador el acero inoxidable debe ser utilizado.

5. Conecte las líneas de entrada y de enchufe.

6. Incorpore el nuevo factor (Drive Factor) de la impulsión en los ajustes de la pantalla.

a. De la “pantalla principal” (Main Screen) vaya a setup #2 -> Disposición #2 -> Conduzca los factores e introduzca 0.03809 para el nuevo factor de la impulsión (cambio a partir de la 0.38090).

7. Compruebe la dirección de la rotación de la bomba.

8. Calibre (Calibrate) pues usted obtendría normalmente el factor correcto de la calibración para la nueva disposición.

 


How Do I Setup the Mixing Auger Variable Speed Adjustment?

Sliding Auger SpeedIf your machine has a variable mixing auger speed settable from the screen, typically found on a Vacuum Autocaster or Polymer Concrete AutoCaster, it will change auger speed to match the output rate. To get the rate to change as needed some parameters must be setup. The best method is to record the Auger Speed % and the output Lbs/Min at both a high putput and a low output. Once you have achieved and recorded good performance at both speeds go the the Setup Screens, Page 2 and enter the values in the "Variable Speed" setup box. Enter the Lower Lbs/Min in the upper left box. Enter the Lower Auger Speed % in the lower left box. Enter the Higher Lbs/Min in the upper right box. Enter the Higher Auger Speed % in the lower right box. Unce adjusted the auger speed will change with output speed at a rate that will smoothly match all points between.

Variable Speed: adjustments for actively varying the auger speed with output rate to keep vacuum seals close:

  • Output: the low/high set points to use for sealing used in conjunction with auger speed values. Set speed here.

  • Auger Speed: the High/Low speed set points the machines output rates used to scale auger speed.

page325gif

 


How Do I Setup the Resin Pressure Sensor in my Autocaster machine?

To setup the resin pressure sensor:

Press the right button to get to the item to set and then press and hold the left button until it starts to change. You can then press the left button repeatedly (Slow) or hold it (Fast) to get to the value you want. If you pass it keep going until it resets to the lowest possible value and goes up from there. Make sure it's reading PSI, bar is a much higher value. To set that you need a special sub menu.

View or Download Operating Instructions here

For all machines first:

Find EF (Extra Features) on the display (Right Button) and press the left button until the value changes. Then go back to the right button to find Uni (Units) and select PSI with the left button. Note: The set values are different based on the machine you have.

For Autocaster Ultra, follow these instructions:

The values used are:

  • SP1 (Sep Point #1) – Is not used, for machines without actual pressure reading on the screen.
  • RP1 (Release Point #1) – Is not used, for machines without actual pressure reading on the screen.
  • OU1 HNO - Output #1 Type (High Normally Open)
  • OU2 I - Output #2 Type (I) for 4-20 mA reading to PLC (Default).
  • ASP (Analog Start Point) – 0 (Default).
  • AEP (Analog End Point) – 362.5 (Default).

For the Autocaster Economizer, follow these instructions

The values used are:

  • SP1  (Sep Point #1) - Below the lowest pressure you expect to run at. (Typically below 10)
  • RP1 (Release Point #1) - Once the set point is reached and the output is activated how low will it be Ok to drop before turning the output back off (Typically 1-3 PSI below SP1).
  • OU1 (Output #1 Type) HNO - High Normally Open
  • OU2 (Output #2 Type) HNC - High Normally Closed
  • SP2 (Sep Point #2) - Above the highest pressure you expect to run at (Typically 100).
  • RP2 (Release Point #2) - Once the set point is reached and the output is activated how low will it be Ok to drop before turning the output back off (Typically 95).

    Make sure that the problem is the setting on the sensor and not that there isn't enough flow to give you proper pressure.

Note: For Batchmaster metering systems, refer to the Batchmaster version of this document here.


How Do I Troubleshoot Resin Heating Problems?

When looking for heating issues for the AutoCaster series casting systems, there are a number of issues to consider:

Settings:

1. Are the setup values on page #3 of the setup screens correct?

SETTING ACTION
RESIN TEMP MAX Maximum resin temperature allowed. Safety limit for heater shut-off.
OIL TEMP REC. SP
Oil/Thermal Fluid set point during Resin Recirculation Mode.
OIL TEMP RUN SP Oil/Thermal Fluid set point during Run Mode.
OIL TEMP MAX Maximum allowed Oil/Thermal Fluid temperature. Safety limit for heater shut-off.
OIL TEMP REC. TD
Minimum time before heater will turn back on after shut-off while in Resin Recirculation Mode.
OIL TEMP RUN TD Minimum time before heater will turn back on after shut-off while in Run Mode.

Heater System:

1. Is the fluid heating? Check that the fluid temperature is rising.

  • Is the tank warm?
  • Does the temperature readout show heat?
  • Is the over-temp dial set correctly, usually 180° to 200°.

2. Is the fluid is heating in the tank but very little in the lines? Check that the fluid pump runs. If it is not running the heat does not get transferred to the resin.

  • If the fluid is not heating at all and the settings are correct check the mercury relay and the control signal wiring.

    • FAQ "Why is my heater not heating?"
  • Sometimes the fluid pump is installed with the flow in the opposite direction; although this is not optimal it should not be a problem.

Resin System:

1. Is the bypass pressure relief valve stuck open? This should also cause diminished resin output.

2. Is the resin temperature sensor reading correctly? Check the display.

Heater-Troubleshooting-1

Heater-Troubleshooting-2

Heater-Troubleshooting-3

 


How Do Improve Base Color Reliability in my Autocaster?

Base Color Best Practices:

  • Use a quality pigment paste that is below 3000 centipoise at the temperature it will be used.

  • Stir the pigment container with a paint mixer before use at the start of the work week to prevent sediment buildup.

  • Keep the pigment containers clean and free from foreign materials and solidified pigment.

  • Regularly check for obstructions at the inlet connection of the injector, if clumps of pigment form or impurities are in the system they will often catch there.

  • Calibrate the pigment on a regular basis and note significant changes in the calibration factor indicating issues.

  • If pump speed is running above 75% during normal machine running there is most likely a problem, such as an obstruction, a weak pump, or calibration has been done at an extreme speed causing cavitation.

  • Calibrate at a general speed. For most cases the calibration is preset with the current running speed and is good for calibrating but if something has caused an abnormally high speed recalibrate at a speed of 50% or less.

  • Calibration is for determining the amount that is delivered with each motor revolution. Changing the calibration speed should have no effect on the run speed determined by the recipe. Calibrating at a high speed that creates pump cavitation will give false readings causing problems. If more or less color is needed change the recipe amount.

 


How Should I Operate the Veining Injectors?

Instructions on configuring and using the Veining Injectors on your Autocaster:

Installation/Location:
The Veining Injectors are installed into the ports near the end of the Auger. The Fast Connector bushings are screwed into the auger to allow the injectors to be inserted and removed easily. Where the injectors are placed will affect the style of vein produced. The closer to the end of the auger the sharper the vein and the further up the auger allows some mixing, creating a washed out effect.

The bushings should be screwed in to the point they reach the inside edge of the barrel. The injector is then inserted fully. When correctly installed, the injector end will be just barely past the bottom of the bushing -  very slightly entering the inside of the barrel. If the bushing and/or Injector are not installed fully, there will be a cavity that will fill with matrix, creating an obstruction preventing proper operation. If the bushing is screwed in too far the Injector may reach the Auger, allowing the Auger to cause major damage to the Injector.

For each system there is a pump and an injector. Each is connected to an air solenoid valve. Make sure the #1 injector is connected to the #1 Injector Solenoid and the #1 Pump is connected to the Pump #1 Solenoid. Any additional systems should be matched similarly. Run a pigment line from the pump outlet to the matching injector for each system.

Recipe Programming:
For each recipe you can select no, any, or all colors to be used. To prevent a color from being used enter 0 (Zero) for both the on and the off time. For each color you want to use enter a on value and off value for the corresponding injector number. Each injector will cycle open and closed according to the on and off times. longer on times will create longer veins and longer off times will create longer spaces between veins.

Injector Adjustment:
The knob on the top of the injector is used to adjust the rate pigment is dispensed when the injector is open. Refer to the image below. Opening the injector will create darker veins and closing it will lighten the veining.

knob-setscrews-knob 

Contrast Vein Tuning:

  • Darkness of Vein - Opening/Closing the knob on the top of the injector (see above) will adjust the darkness of the vein by changing the rate pigment is dispensed when the injector is open.

  • Length of Vein - Adjust the on/off timing in the recipe to change the length of the veining and the spacing between the veining.

  • Sharpness of Vein - Adjust how crisp the vein color is by moving the injector towards the end of the auger for a sharper vein and move it up the auger to create more of a washed out vein.

 


What Are The Effects Of Using Lightweight Filler with an Autocaster Machine?

When using lightweight fillers you will see that you run at a higher resin percentage. You will also seem to have a lower maximum output when using a continous casting machine. The appearance of this is a little misleading, here is why. For the purpose of demonstrating the effects we'll us an AutoCaster but the same symptoms are experienced using other methods. The Autocaster displays and measures material in pounds but now your using a material that is lighter giving more volume at the same weight. With the overall weight being lighter for the same volume the percentage of total weight that is resin will be higher even if the same amount of resin by volume is used. The fact that the material is lighter also means that your max output although it's the same amount in volume is now less in weight (lb/min).

Here is an example using typical material amounts.

    All Cal Carb 50% Lightweight (vol)
Item Motor Speed Pct. Weight Pct. Weight
Resin 30 19.34 12.9 29 12.9
Filler 1 23 50 26.9 15 4.71
Filler 2 23 50 26.9 85 26.9
           
Total Lbs/Min     66.7   44.51

This example demonstrates the diference between All Cal Carb and 50% Lightweight by volume running on a 2 hopper AutoCaster. As you can tell from the motor speeds and resin weight, the same amount of material is dispensed in each case and although the resin percentage rose from 19.34% to 29% the actual amount of resin is still 12.9 Lbs/Min. Filler hopper #1, although running at the same rate of 23% of full motor speed is now dispensing only 4.71 Lbs/Min instead if 26.9 Lbs/Min. This difference is due to the lighter material so the volume remains the same. As shown by the total Lbs/Minute a machine producing 44.5 Lbs/Min with 50% lightweight is filling your moulds at the same rate as a machine using only Cal Carb at 66 Lbs/Min.

 


What Are The Signs Of Wear On A Base Color Pump in an Autocaster?

Pigments are some form of colorant suspended in a carrier. This colorant is often abrasive and will wear the internals of the pump over time. As the pump wears there will be a decrease in the calibration factor. The density and viscosity of your particualr paste will determine the actual calibration factor so it will usually vary from location and by color but it should remain somewhat consistant once determined. If this value is monitored you can detect wear early and replace worn parts before they cause problems with other parts. When there is a great deal of wear the pump's performance will diminish to the point you can stop the flow out of the injector easily with your thumb in calibration mode. At this point there will be several items that will need replaced.

Here is a comparison of a very worn pump and a new pump. Notice the wear on the pin, half-moon, and gear.

1-BCP CompareNewWorn

The first item to show signs of wear is the pin that the gear rotates on. Once this is out of round it will allow the gear to rub on the half-moon (part of the cover plate) and cause further wear on the gear and half-moon. Replacing the pin in a timely manner will save the gear and cover plate. Notice in the photo below the gap on one side of the half-moon even with the new gear.

2-BCP WornPinCover

The picture below shows the wear on the gear. The gaps in the left photo are from the gear being worn down. The left side shows what the pump parts should look like with all new parts.

3-BCP Gear

 


What Are The Signs Of Wear On a OLFD Base Color Pump in an Autocaster?

Typically the first sign of wear is on the idler pin. When this is worn it allows the gear to shift and allow slip causing the need to speed up the pump to maintain the same delivery. As it continues to wear it also allows the gear to push against the crescent causing the gear and crescent to both wear. As the gear wears it will allow greater slip greatly reducing the ability to pump. The wear on the crescent has less of an effect but eventually will hamper the ability of the pump to draw in material. Wear is normal over time but high operating speeds or high inline pressures can increase wear especially on abrasive materials such as TiO2. Consider that if a pump is worn and therefore when selected runs at a high rate of speed to compensate any other pump on that motor system will be recirculating at that same rate and if not worn will develope higher than normal flow and pressure.

Pump Wear

 


What Do The Recipe Percentages Represent on an Autocaster?

There is often confusion as to what the recipe values actually stand for. Here is a detailed description for each.

  • Resin % - The percentage of the total output, by weight that is Resin.

  • Catalyst % - The amount of Catalyst dispensed as a percentage of Resin by weight.

  • Filler #X % - The percentage of total filler by weight that is of this selected filler.

    • The amount of total filler is automatically calculated by subtracting the resin from the total weight, therefore the recipe only needs to indicate the percentages of filler in relation to each other.
    • The total of all fillers should always equal 100%. This represents 100% of the weight remaining after the resin is subtracted.
    • If only one filler is used it's value is 100%.
  • Base Color % - The percentage of the total output, by weight that is Base Color.

Here is an example recipe at 100 Lb/Minute:

Resin 25% 25 lb
Catalyst 1.5% 170g
Filler 1 80% 60 lb
Filler 2 20% 15 lb
Base Color 0.8% 0.8lb/363g

 


What Gear Oil is recommended for Baldor Gear Boxes used in an Autocaster?

The following gear oil recommendations apply to all Baldor Gear Boxes used in Gruber products, including (but not limited to) - Autocaster™ continuous casting systems, Batchmaster™ automated metering systems, Conveyors, Mixers and Casting Carts:

Recommended Lubricants

Enclosed Worm Gear Reducers

Ambient Room Temperature Recommended Oil or Equivalent Viscosity Range SUS @ 100°F Lubricant AGMA No. ISO Viscosity Grade No. +
-30° to 225°F
(-34° to 107°C)
Klubersynth* UHl-460 Synthetic 1950/2500 --- 460
30° to 225°F
(-34° to 107°C)
Mobil SHC634 Synthetic 1950/2500 --- 320/460

Note: Gruber uses Mobil SHC634 Synthetic lubricant on new equipment. This lubricant is available from Gruber as Part # 162757 or from McMaster Carr.

 

Worm Gear Lubricants

Available from Boston Gear. Order By Item Code

Type Klubersynth Mobil SHC634
Size Quart Quart
Item Code 65159 51493


CAUTION: Relubricate more frequently if drive operated in high ambient temperatures or unusually contaminated atmosphere. High loads and operating temperatures will also require more frequent lubrication.

*Synthetic recommendation is exclusively for Klubersynth UH1-6-460.

+Other lubricants corresponding to AGMA/ISO numbers are available from all major oil companies.

**The synthetic lubricant will perform at temperatures considerably higher than 225°F. However, the factory should always be consulted prior to operating at higher temperatures as damage may occur to oil seals and other components.

 

Lubricant Interchange

  1. Ambient temperature is based upon 1.0 service factor.

  2. Lubricants are compounded for use in worm gears. Some contain non-corrosive, extreme pressure additives. DO NOT USE lubes that contain sulphur and/or chlorine which are corrosive to bronze gears. Extreme pressure lubes, in some cases contain materials that are toxic. Avoid use of these lubes where they can result in harmful effects. If in doubt, consult your lube supplier.

Manufacturer Lubricant Name AGMA Rating
Getty Refining Co. Veedol Asreslube 98 8 EP
Getty Refining Co. Veedol Asreslube 95 7 EP
Getty Refining Co. Veedol Asreslube 90 6 EP
Lubrication Engr. Inc. Almasol 609 8
Lubrication Engr. Inc. Almasol 608 7
Mobil Oil Corp. Mobilgear 634 8 EP
Mobil Oil Corp. Mobil Extra Hecia Super 8
Mobil Oil Corp. Mobil Cylinder 60OW 7
Shell Oil Co. Omala 460 7 EP
Shell Oil Co. Valvala J460 7
Shell Oil Co. Omala 680 8 EP
Shell Oil Co. Valvala J680 8
Texaco Inc. Meropa 680 8 EP
Texaco Inc. Meropa 460 7 EP

 

PosiVent® Option

Units supplied with this option are Lubed-for-Life and do not require oil change. These units are factory filled with Klubersynth UH1-6-460 for universal mounting. To ensure that the system operates properly, DO NOT REMOVE THE VENT PLUG.

 


What should the gap be for the heat exchanger plates?

There are two standard sizes of heat exchangers for the AutoCaster and BatchMaster. One has 14 stainless steel plates and the other has 26. The large blue plates should be evenly tightened to the following speciation.

14 Plates More than 1.65", Less than 1.76"
26 Plates More than 3.07", Less than 3.28"

 


 

What Type of O-Ring Material Should I Use in my Autocaster?

O-Ring Material options:

Kalrez® Perfluoroelastomer (FFKM) is good for almost any chemical but very expensive.Typically Black.

Teflon® Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) is also good at chemical resistance but is fairly hard and sometimes does not seal as well as you would like. Typically White.

Silicone is not as chemical resistant as Teflon but usually holds up well and is softer therefore forms a better seal. Typically Red-Orange.

Viton Fluoroelastomer tends to strech or grow with some of the chemicals found in our systems but will often work in a pinch. Typically Brown, sometimes Black.

Buna is the most common found in parts houses but tends to dissolve in some of the chemicals found in our equipment. It is best to avoid buna. Typically Black.

 


Why Am I Getting Intermittent Connection Errors and #### for Number Displays?

If you are experiencing Operator Interface (Control Panel) display errors where values are shown as #, or if you are seeing intermittent errors in your error log about a lost connection to the CPU-315, this FAQ will explain how to correct this.

On Autocaster machines produced since 2009, the conrol panel is connected to the PLC using an Ethernet connection. Prior to the machine installation, Gruber requests two static IP addresses for this use, and requests that they be reserved and not used on other equipment or network devices. If you are having intermittent problems with your Control Panel screen display not reporting data (shown below), or are receiving connection errors in your Error Log, then you very likely have a conflicting device on your network that is using the same IP address as is already assigned to the Autocaster machine.

When other equipment or network devices use the same IP address on your network, this causes a conflict that disrupts the communication between the PLC and the screen causing the connection to come and go. It may also be a problem with the network cables but that isn't usually intermittent.

Indications of an intermittent error are:

Screen325webannotate

Erroneous Control Panel screen data is reported (shown above)

or

Error-Code-2a325web

Error log displaying changing connection status - connected, then disconnected, etc, (as shown above)

 

A close inspection of the Error Log will show these types of intermittent errors occuring. The typical error is "Connection Disconnected: CPU-315, Station ???.???.???.??? , Rack 0, Slot 2." , where ???.???.???.??? is the IP address of the PLC it is trying to connect to. The screen IP is normally one number higher (on the last three digits). You may see that a connection has been lost, then connected, then lost again, etc - similar to what is shown below.

Typical Example:

Error-Code-2a600web

To resolve these types of errors:

Find the IP addresses for your machine; there are two - one for the PLC and one for the screen. Once you know which static IP addresses are being used by the PLC and the screen, then you need to determine if anything alse on the network is using one of these addresses. Be especially suspect of any recently installed equipment or devices that may have been added to the network and are accessible on the network. You may need to consult with your IT staff to determine this. When Gruber Systems installs a machine in your organization, as standard practice, we request two static IP addresses on the network that are not in DHCP range from your company. Those two IP addresses are used on the Autocaster, and are not easily changed, so you will need to change the IP address used by whatever conflicting hardware or device is causing the conflict.

Gruber typically keeps a record of these so you may contact us if you need to know which two static IP addresses are assigned to the Autocaster machine.

 


Why Do I Keep Getting The Catalyst Flow Disturbance Warning Message?

If warning occurs at start of mixing or immediately after pausing machine, one or more flow sensors may be improperly adjusted or sensor delay time may be too short.

This can also happen if your catalyst percentage or output rate has been reduced causing less catalyst to be dispensed than the sensor is set for.

To set the sensor see the procedure contained in this FAQ entitled "How to Calibrate a Flow Sensor"

 


Why Don't I Get The Correct Amount of Resin/Filler in my Autocaster?

The correct calibration factor is essential for the equipment to dispense the correct amounts. Any time the material changes calibration must be performed. This would be changing brands, changing type of material, or a change in the temperature causing viscosity differences. Calibration should be done once a week to maintain optimum performance and this will also allow you to monitor changes indicating wear etc.The Drive Factor is also critical for the proper amounts to be dispensed from an AutoCaster™ continuous casting machine. These values should not ever change unless the inverter maximum speed has been changed, the transmission ratio has changed, or the rotation sensor location has been changed. For determining the correct factor see the FAQ "How do I determine the correct Drive Factor".

Note: This does not apply to a BatchMaster™ automated batch dispensing machine.

 


Why Is My Heater Not Heating in my Autocaster?

 
During cold periods, your Autocaster resin temperature may require heating, and you may occassionally find that your resin heater is not heating. The following information will help you troubleshoot the exact reason for the problem, and also to correct the problem.

For troubleshooting an AutoCaster system:

1) Make sure the temperature parameters on the screen are set correctly.

  • Resin Temperatures should be set to the desired Resin Temperature.

  • Fluid Temperatures should be 10°F – 20°F above the Resin Set Temperature.

2) Set the Dial on the Heater Overtemp to about 180°F.

3) Make sure heating is enabled.

4) Make sure there is 230VAC between each leg on the top side of the Mercury Relay (L1-L2, L2-L3, L1-L3).

  • If 230VAC is not seen check Fuses / Breakers.

5) Make sure there is +24VDC between the (+) terminal of the Mercury Relay and the (-) terminal of the DC power Supply. The +24VDC comes from the Temperature Controllers to turn on the Heater. This will only be at +24V when heating is on.

6) Check for 230VAC on the bottom side of the Mercury Relay while +24VDC is on the (+) Terminal.

  • This should be the same as the top (230VAC at each pair L1-L2, L2-L3, L1-L3) when +24VDC is active and off (0VAC) when the +24VDC is not active.

7) Make sure the (-) Terminal of the Mercury Relay is connected to the (-) side of the DC Power Supply.

  • On some machines this connects through the Overtemp Relay on the heater.

  • To test if a disconnect on this part is the problem run a temporary jumper wire from the (-) Terminal of the DC Power Supply to the (-) Terminal of the Mercury Relay and see if it all of a sudden works.

Typical Autocaster Resin Heating Circuit Schematic

View/Download Autocaster Resin Heating Circuit (.pdf)

Typical-AutoCaster-Resin-He

 


Why Is My Machine Shutting Down or Alarming That It is Overpressure in my Autocaster?

Over time build up can occur in the heat exchanger causing restrictions that can cause overpressure and/or leakage. In some cases the exchanger can be flushed and use can continue but usually it will need to be replaced. Gruber does supply plate sets to allow you to rebuild the heat exchanger, and we also have a rebuilt heat exchanger program to allow you to trade your heat exchanger with a rebuilt one.

The 3-Way resin delivery/recirculation valve sometimes developes buildup on the ball valve. Cleaning the valve will usually solve this problem.

Alarms and shutdowns are often caused by an increase resin pressure tripping the pressure sensor. Often this is simply caused by a cool down in the weather or change in the resin formulation causing a higher viscosity. This can often be acomedated by adjusting the pressure sensing device, however be sure there is not a  blockage of other problem first. Take care not to over adjust preventing protection from extreme pressures caused by blockages or heater corrosion. For Resin Sensor adjustments refer to the FAQ How do I adjust the Resin Pressure in my Autocaster or Batchmaster?

 


Why Won't The Machine Reset After a Serious Alarm?

Some alarms deemed "serious" such as resin/catalyst overpressure on the AutoCaster RC will require the "PAUSE" button to be held in for 15 seconds to clear the alarm in addition to the normal acknowledgement. Some common symptoms are the inability to start the machine or enable recirculation and a persistent red light.