How time has flown by! 2019 marks General Kinematics’ fourteenth year in the rotary drum business, and I thought it would be fun to reflect on how we got here and what has changed in the time passed.
General Kinematics has been involved in the foundry industry since we opened our doors in 1960. From the beginning, we have provided the best quality, heavy-duty material handling equipment available in the metal casting industry.
For many years, there were only a couple of suppliers of rotary foundry drum technology, and GK worked with them to provide the vibratory equipment that fed and took away materials from the drums. As the years went on, the foundries using these drums continued to innovate, while the drums stayed basically the same. The large rotary cooling drums were slowly being replaced by other technologies, such as GK’s VIBRA-DRUM® Sand and Casting Conditioners. However, the smaller rotary drums, like media drums, shakeouts, sprue mills, etc., suffered from premature wear, leaks, dangerous and hard to maintain liners, and other issues that customers hated, but the manufacturer didn’t care to change.
After many years of customers repeatedly asking us when we were going to offer a rotary option, in 2005 we finally threw our hat in the ring. Our DUCTA-SERIES™ Rotary Drum was launched at AFS CastExpo in St. Louis that year, with great success. The DUCTA-SERIES™ XL from GK was, and remains, a rapid departure from the traditional inner/outer liner drum design that has been in the market since the 1960s. Instead of conveying media and sand on the inner drum body, the XL series immediately liberates the material from the rotating assembly into a vibratory conveyor underneath. Sand is conveyed to a discharge, and, if the drum is a media drum, the media is conveyed back to the drum inlet and reintroduced.
After many successful installations of this technology, in 2013 we expanded our rotary offerings to include DUCTA-SERIES™ SL Rotary Drums. These complete drums, replacement body assemblies, and replacement liner systems are a direct fit for legacy dual chamber rotary drums but upgraded to provide foundries with key advantages. Gone are the pallets of cast grid liners and all the dangers that went along with removing and replacing them when they wore out. The GK LOCK-TITE™ Liner System uses pre-assembled cartridges that just slide in, are expanded using simple tools, and are locked into place using hand tools. Other improvements in the SL include: floating and replaceable forged tires, abrasion resistant replaceable inner drum liners, a side mounted unitized drive system, optional modular construction for drums installed in tight spaces, and more! You can read about all the advantages of the DUCTA-SERIES™ SL here.
Throughout it all, we learned a lot about what our customers liked, and what they thought could work better. We continue to improve our rotary drum technology with every machine we build based on this feedback. It is this innovative spirit, focus on quality and safety, and desire to see our customers be successful that have led the four top foundries in North Americas to choose GK DUCTA-SERIES™ Rotary Drums.
Thank you to all the customers that took a chance on our rotary equipment line. We look forward to converting more foundries to this safer and smarter technology.