• Automated Systems for Processing Metal Turnings and Recovering Cutting Fluids

  • Automated Conveyor Systems for Metal Stamping, Laser and Die Cast Scrap

  • Custom-Engineered Fluid Filtration and Recycling Systems

Application Review: Automotive Die Casting Plant Significantly Reduces Downtime with More Robust Conveyors and a Custom Diverter

Application Review PDF CoverCHALLENGE

A die casting plant that manufactures all aspects of automotive transmissions, from die cast parts through final assembly, needed to reduce downtime associated with re-melting scrap material created during the casting process. The plant’s scrap output was as much as 20,000 lbs./hour, and the scrap sizes ranged from 1/4” pieces to 70-lb. transmission housings.

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Application Review: Automotive Die Casting Plant Significantly Reduces Downtime with More Robust Conveyors and a Custom Diverter

The plant utilized competing conveying equipment to transfer the material back to three re-melt furnaces for recycling and reuse. A bottleneck occurred when the furnaces that were not in operation could not be bypassed in an expedient manner. One scenario required a bypass to be manually welded into place, causing 3-4 hours of downtime for each bypass.

The equipment was lacking in the robustness required by an industry that’s known for being very hard on equipment. The plant also needed several custom conveying and bypass options that no other company was willing or able to provide:

  • The ability to bypass the entire elevating conveyor and re-route the scrap onto an existing reversing conveyor.
  • A bypass system on the discharge end of the elevating conveyor that included a shaker conveyor to directly feed a live-well at the side of an adjacent melt furnace.
  • A secondary bypass to allow all scrap to fill large bins, when all three melt furnaces were down for maintenance.

Prab’s Custom Solution Offered All of the Required Bypass Options

PRAB was prepared to deliver all of the requested conveying solutions, and do so within existing space constraints. The customer provided 3D drawings/renderings of the facility (created by a secondary company) where the new system would be installed. PRAB engineers also took physical measurements to ensure accuracy and clear obstructions. The goal was to develop a custom frame/belt design to meet the customer’s strength requirements. Space constraints within the existing pit area, as well as height limitations caused by an overhead trolley system, proved challenging.

In collaboration with the customer, PRAB experts designed and discussed multiple layouts and equipment configurations before reaching a final decision on a custom solution that would fit in the allotted space and offer all of the required bypass options. The new system included a 6”-pitch closed-frame conveyor on a pneumatic rail system that would:

Application Review: Automotive Die Casting Plant Significantly Reduces Downtime with More Robust Conveyors and a Custom Diverter
  • Allow the conveyor to be moved into a position to allow bypass of the main elevating conveyor.
  • Collect material from two shaker conveyors.
  • Discharge into an existing reversible belt conveyor.

PRAB also designed a custom pneumatic double-actuating bypass chute that allowed discharged material to travel to three different locations:

  • Location A allowed the discharged material to feed into an existing elevating conveyor that feeds an existing stack-furnace to the South.
  • Location B allowed the discharged material to feed into a PRAB-supplied heavy-duty oscillating conveyor that feeds directly into a live-well on a holding furnace to the North.
  • Location C allowed the discharged material to feed directly into a large container when both adjacent furnaces required maintenance, allowing the die cast lines to continue to provide product.

The Prab System Brought Multiple Benefits to the Plant’s Operation

Application Review: Automotive Die Casting Plant Significantly Reduces Downtime with More Robust Conveyors and a Custom Diverter

Other customized components of interest in this PRAB system included:

  • A special vibrating chute designed at the infeed of the open-frame conveyor to assist in the removal of carry-over on the customer’s existing reversible belt conveyor.
  • All safety guards made of clear Polycarbonate panels to allow easy viewing of the interior belting.
  • Angled bottom covers on the lower horizontal portion of the open-frame conveyor that allowed carry-over material to exit the system without heavy collections at the tail assembly.
  • A head-mounted belt take-up, as the tail assembly is very difficult to access in a confined space.
  • PRAB-managed controls programming and installation of the entire system (in partnership with a union-contracted machinery installer that was local to the customer and one of the plant’s preferred service providers).

By combining new equipment with replacements for existing equipment, the system brought multiple benefits to the plant’s operation. The PRAB conveyors were more durable and reliable than the competing units that were previously used to move material, and the system allowed the customer to create three different bypass scenarios depending on which of the three re-melt furnaces was currently in operation.

Another concern the system minimized was related to routine maintenance, which is often overlooked in industrial applications in favor of more pressing plant emergencies. By building automated systems into the equipment that provided real-time monitoring for predictive maintenance, PRAB was able to reduce or eliminate challenges associated with unplanned downtime.

Application Review: Parts-Cleaning Oily Wastewater Disposal Costs Reduced by Over 90% with Vacuum Distillation

Application Review PDF CoverCHALLENGE

A global market-leading manufacturer of mechanical fastening systems and precision components needed to reduce wastewater disposal costs. The Italian facility serves diversified end markets, including the automotive, construction supply, electrical/electronics, aerospace and medical components industry.

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  • Automotive
  • Building
  • Electronics
  • Aerospace
  • Medical


Evaled® Heat Pump Evaporator

Please click on the link above to view full case study including Plant Process Diagram and application outcome.

Maintenance Tips By Larry

As a maintenance technician and advisor I understand how difficult it is to keep up with the nuances of all types of equipment in your plant. The run-fail-run mode of operation is difficult to manage and even harder on company profitability.

Application Review: Automotive Supplier of Metal Fasteners Achieves Labor Savings with Improved Quench Tank Oil Removal Process

Application Review PDF CoverCHALLENGE

A global manufacturer of metal fasteners for the automotive industry was faced with an operating challenge of improving labor allocations and enhancing cost centers while maintaining tight delivery times under swelling customer demand for its fasteners.

Tech Brief: Critical Design Elements for Maximizing the Life of Under Press Steel Belt Conveyors


As Press technology has expanded to meet the changing demands of customers in the automotive, aerospace, defense, and construction equipment sectors, the reliability and robust nature of the steel belt conveyor design remains one of the most efficient methods for the transfer of flat metal stamping scrap. The increased demands on stampers to achieve tighter tolerances using a wider range of materials coupled with 24/7 run times means that equipment purchases normally made as second nature now need to be evaluated for dependability and longevity under extreme operating conditions.

Application Review: A Die Cast Company Improves Melting Process and Cuts Operating Expenses

Application Review PDF CoverCHALLENGE

A die cast company in the Midwest contracts with automotive and other industrial OEM companies to design and manufacture die cast parts from Aluminum, Zinc, and Plastic. The die caster recognized the need to improve the efficiency of their Aluminum remelt processes.

Application Review: Mobile Conveyor Helps a High-Volume Stamping Operation Improve Production and Increase Safety

Application Review PDF CoverCHALLENGE

A stamping operation at a custom parts manufacturing plant near Detroit, Michigan, USA needed to improve their scrap handling process. The stamping operation had a 1,000 ton press and required die changes 7 to 9 times per shift. The plant ran 3 shifts over a 6 day period. There was no underground pit; therefore all of the scrap came off the press onto conveyors that were manually placed into position at ground level. This labor-intensive, manual process took 20 to 30 minutes per die change and cut into production time, was not safe for workers, and added unnecessary costs to the operating budget.

Case Study: Cashing in Your Chips

Chips ready for processing.CHALLENGE

Kalamazoo, Mich., February, 2015 – Featured in Modern Machine Shop Magazine. The more chips a company cuts, the better. But once the output reaches a certain volume, it may be time to look beyond traditional disposal methods toward more efficient systems.

Tech Brief: Wear Abatement Strategies are a Cost Saving Component of Capital Equipment Purchase


The metalworking industry, like many other manufacturing market segments, has been forced to scrutinize capital equipment purchases in an effort to squeeze the most from a tight capital project budget with short expected returns.

Case Study: Chip and Fluid Recovery at Mathews, Inc.

Scrap metal chips.CHALLENGE

Kalamazoo, Mich., July 20, 2014 - Featured in Modern Machine Shop Magazine. Mathews, Inc is a manufacturer of Bows and Archery Equipment. The company has been in business since 1992 starting with 26 people, growing to now over 400 full-time employees. Another recent expansion to a new 56,000 sq ft facility provided the added capacity necessary to meet customer demand for their products. The company machines Aluminum to build their Bows and accessories. The expansion meant increased capacity for machining centers but also additional metal scrap. Scott Jenkins, Machine Shop Manager Equipment & Design at Mathews worked with Randy Brown, Executive Account Manager for United Milwaukee Scrap, LLC to help develop a cost-effective solution to the challenge of processing the increased volume of Aluminum chips.

Case Study: Metalworking Company Finds Increased Asset Utilization by Focusing on Scrap Management

Pivot Belt ConveyorChallenge

A Metalworking Company that produces heavy gauge stamped metal fasteners, progressive die metal stampings, and high value added assemblies for customers in automotive, heavy truck, military, and other industries ranging from OEM to tiered suppliers was awarded a sizable contract from a new customer. The contract would extend several years and require investments in new presses and dies. The Company was prepared to make the changes necessary to provide their new customer with high quality product and on-time delivery; however, the expansion that would be required to achieve their goals would be challenging.

Case Study: Iowa Industrial Hydraulics Reduces Coolant Waste by 90% with Installation of a PRAB Guardian 400

Case Study PDF CoverChallenge

Concerned with various problems associated with water soluble coolants, including rising costs and foul sump odors, Iowa Industrial Hydraulics developed a coolant management system featuring PRAB’s Guardian 400 to recycle spent coolant and reduce fluid purchase costs by 60%.

Case Study: Auto Parts Manufacturer Reduces Coolant Purchase Costs and Eliminates Used Coolant Disposal in First 12 Months

Casy Study PDF CoverChallenge

When Ogura Corporation, a Detroit based parts manufacturer, was faced with the dilemma of excessive coolant consumption, PRAB’s Fluid Filtration division was able to offer the optimal solution: Coolant Recycling.

Application Review: Ultrafiltration Reclaims Oily Process Water; Reducing Operating Costs and Environmental Impact

Application Review PDF CoverChallenge

An industry-leading manufacturer of industrial-grade fastening systems discovers a better way to recycle washwater – reducing fresh water consumption by 130,000 gallons annually -- and reclaim machining oil by using PRAB’s Ultrafiltration System.

Case Study: Ingersoll Tillage Reduces Difficult Alloy Turnings at Source with PRAB’s Horizontal Axis Crusher

Ingersoll Tillage RobotChallenge

Agricultural disc manufacturer needs to reduce labor spent on safely removing difficult-to-handle turnings at the source which will eliminate safety hazards and increase production.

Case Study: Cameron International Improves Profitability, Reduces New Coolant Purchases by Recycling Coolant with Guardian System

Clean coolant in Coolant Recycling SystemChallenge

Petroleum flow equipment manufacturer needs to reduce the cost of purchasing expensive coolants, improve the quality of existing coolant to ensure longer tool life and a quality finish of the end product.

Case Study: C&A Tool Increases Profitability, Maintains Clean Facility With Chip Processing System

Scrap metal chipsChallenge

A machining supplier needs an automated chip and fluid processing system to process metal turning and chips, while simultaneously capturing expensive cutting fluids for reuse.

Case Study: Martin-Baker Turns Scrap Metal and Fluid into Revenue Stream

Metal scrap container.Challenge

Aerospace manufacturer needs a chip and fluid processing system to keep up with its machining demands by reducing the volume of metal turnings and to recover expensive cutting fluids for reuse.

Case Study: Ultrafiltration For Tumbling/Vibratory Deburring Applications


Fabrication manufacturer has an issue with discharging tumbling water from two vibratory deburring systems.

Case Study: New Holland, Inc. Dramatically Cuts Coolant Waste With UF


Agricultural manufacturer needs to reduce the volume of wastewater build-ups and reduce disposal costs of spent coolant.

Case Study: Manufacturer Eliminates Over 90% of Coolant Disposal Costs


Exercise manufacturer needs to reduce the change-over frequency of coolants on the CNC machines due to becoming rancid at a fast rate.

Case Study: Presmet Corporation Benefits From PRAB HUF-VIB System


Parts manufacturer needs a solution for disposing waste by-products into the local sewer system.

Case Study: Ford Utilizes TW’s To Reduce High Tramp Oil Levels


Automaker suffers with production downtime and reduction in productivity due to excessive build-up over time of tramp oil from machining centers.

Case Study: Gardner-Denver Benefit from PRAB Equipment Retrofit


Manufacturer purchases a recycling system that isn't meeting their need to extend the life of coolant and reduce coolant and disposal costs.

Case Study: Tramp Oil Separator Extends Washwater Life


Specialty fastner manufacturer needs to combat the rapid contamination of washwater caused by a constant accumulation of tramp oil which reduces the cleaning efficiency of the wash solution.

Case Study: Pratt & Whitney Adds 26 TOS To Middletown Facility


Aircraft engine manufacturer uses non-standard sump sizes which makes it difficult to change out coolant from the sumps and reduce odors and bacteria.

Case Study: Ultrafiltration System Pays For Itself In Less Than 6 Months


Brake components manufacturer needs an alternative method of disposing thousands of gallons of wash water and cleaner a week at a hefty cost.

Application Review: Full-Service Recycler Increases Profits with Orbital Load-Out System

Application Review PDF CoverCHALLENGE

Metal scrap recyclers face a mountain of business risk and volatility. In addition to fluctuating commodity prices, metalworking companies don’t collect scrap in their facilities effi ciently. This means customer pick-ups are more frequent, containers are fi lled unevenly and with air pockets, and the return is reduced.

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