Profitability is a complicated equation in any industry. Adding to the complexity, foundries and processing facilities are forced to factor in harsh working conditions. High heat, molten metal, dust and harsh chemicals limit efficiency of both crews and equipment, which, in turn, eats away at profits.
However, many facilities have found Brokk remote-controlled demolition machines can help turn the tide of profits by increasing efficiency. This innovative technology keeps operators a safe distance from processing’s most dangerous jobs — such as furnace tear outs and cupola bottom drops — while providing industry-leading power-to-weight ratio to tackle tough jobs like breaking risers or cleaning ladles and troughs.
By increasing productivity, versatility and safety, Brokk remote-controlled demolition machines can lead to more profitable processing. Here’s how:
Like most industries, foundries and processing facilities have found that using machines in key applications not only keeps workers safer, it can significantly boost productivity. It’s simple mathematics. Take ladle cleaning for example. A Brokk 110 with a single operator can complete this routine task in just 15 minutes. It could take up to five hours and several crew members to do the same with handheld tools. In addition to speed, the machine provides more power and precision for a higher-quality result.
In another example, a Wisconsin foundry previously scaled refractory lining from the walls of its holding furnaces with 10 laborers, split into two crews, working 10-hour shifts. Depending on the amount of buildup, wall scaling took 3 to 5 days to complete. However, when the foundry started using a Brokk 110, they were able to finish in just two 10-hour shifts with one operator and one spotter.
And productivity continues to increase exponentially with each job crews tackle using demolition robots instead of more manual methods. By reducing crew sizes for a particular task to just one or two, managers can better allocate personnel to other areas of the facility. And with tasks taking less time, facilities can achieve more, maximizing production and profits.
In addition to handheld equipment, Brokk demolition robots can replace mini excavators, skid steers, wrecking balls and a number of other common support machines to streamline operations and reduce overhead.
The machine’s three-part arm provides flexibility and precision to access hard-to-reach areas, making easy work of slag and buildup on furnaces, ladles, kilns, runners and cupolas. This flexibility and precision, paired with a small footprint, allows foundries to revolutionize some applications. For example, a 4,000-pound Brokk 170 can easily perform refractory removal from the upper deck of working furnaces 75% faster and with more precision than a machine three to five times its size working from the floor.
The list of equipment facilities can replace with a demolition robot goes on and on. For breaking risers, a Brokk 500 can replace sledgehammers, wrecking balls and other blunt force methods with safer, more efficient results.
Reducing the number of machines zipping around the facility can positively impact the bottom line by reducing maintenance and other productivity-limiting tasks to a single machine — rather than half a dozen. And since Brokk robots require fewer personnel to operate safely, crews can be restructured to better use the workforce, increasing efficiency across the entire operation.
But perhaps the biggest benefit Brokk demolition robots have on overall profitability, also provides the most peace of mind for managers and team members – heightened safety.
Remote control operation also allows operators to choose the best position for viewing the work while staying clear of falling debris, dust and toxic chemicals. For the hottest applications, like cupola bottom drops, this means operators can remain 20 to 30 feet away, safe from sparks, molten metal and other dangers associated with this routine task. While some operations employ a forklift with a pneumatic jack to perform this task, this approach is inefficient and unnecessarily dangerous. Brokk machines are designed to stand up to the heat without modifications, unlike some support equipment, and for the most extreme jobs, the manufacturer offers heat-resistant options, making them ideal for red-hot applications. Additionally, a Brokk 170 can complete a cupola drop with extreme precision in just 25 minutes while the operator never gets close enough to break a sweat.
In addition to keeping operators out of harm’s way, robotic machines virtually eliminate the need for handheld tools that can cause serious injuries. Tools such as rivet busters and chipping guns are cumbersome and produce heavy vibrations and strain on employees. Handheld tools sometimes cause fractures, leading to an annual average of 32 days of missed work.
By removing workers from these dangerous situations, remote-controlled demolition machines help reduce workers’ compensation claims, which have the potential to cost a business hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
Foundries and processing facilities have dangerous tasks to conduct, production requirements to meet and workers to keep safe. Contact Brokk today to learn how REMOTE-CONTROLLED DEMOLITION EQUIPMENT can enhance efficiency and profits. Call 1-800-621-7856 or CONTACT US.
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// The Brokk team