|Beardsley & Piper Profile|
In 1914, Elmer Beardsley and Walter Piper conceived the idea of mechanically throwing sand. This single idea was to revolutionize the foundry industry. Beardsley and Piper were the inventors and eventual builders of Sandslingers, which helped change large mold making from a laborious, backbreaking operation to an efficient mechanized process.
Beardsley and Piper were operating the Klamath Falls Iron Works in Klamath Falls, Oregon at that time. One day as Beardsley walked through the foundry, he observed one of the molders throwing handfuls of sand to ram a gear pattern. (This was the accepted method of obtaining mold hardness uniformity in the tooth area.) "What if the sand was dropped from high above the pattern," he thought, "would it pack hard enough?"
Beardsley’s first attempt consisted of placing a wooden trough at a high angle above the pattern, elevating a wheelbarrow of sand, and dumping the sand down the trough. The results were disappointing because this method relied on gravity to ram the sand . . . not nearly hard or uniform enough for molding.
Elmer and Walt agreed that the idea of mechanical ramming could be made practical through the adoption of some mechanical method to impart velocity to the sand. Soon they developed a crude wooden ramming device that took advantage of centrifugal force. After many failures it worked, increasing production and improving casting quality with less labor.
These men were encouraged to build a second Sandslinger and to demonstrate it at the Holt Co. Foundry in Stockton, California. A three-day trial resulted in the sale of the Sandslinger and a request for additional machines. Holt built Sandslingers for local distribution for many years.
The first unit, built in East Chicago, Indiana, was tested at the American Steel Foundries in 1918. It was a failure due to the gravity sand feed system and heavy, excessively moist sand. However, the machine was successful in other foundries. Thus encouraged, Beardsley and Piper continued to build Sandslingers and found ways to improve them. They decided to go to Chicago, the foundry center, and in 1922, Beardsley & Piper built their factory there. They returned to the American Steel Foundries with a newly designed Sandslinger, one with a power-driven feed belt that replaced the gravity feed of the ramming arm. This time they were successful.
It soon was realized that no two foundries are exactly alike and each would have special slinger applications. Their next step was to develop different models of the Sandslinger. The first of these was the Tractor-type Sandslinger: traveling under its own power on rail tracks laid in the floor, it moved into the sand heap piled between the tracks – cutting, riddling, magnetically separating sand and scrap, and ramming in the same operation. The next development was the Portable Sandslinger in 1919, which consisted of a Stationary Sandslinger and a bucket elevator mounted on a common base. This unit could be easily moved about the foundry by an overhead crane. Next in line was the Portable Sandfeeder - a large tank with a capacity of two-hundred cubic feet of sand ready to be used by the slinger.
Their next idea combined a Stationary Sandslinger and a Portable Sandfeeder on a common motorized base. This unit, first introduced in 1921, was called the Motive Sandslinger. In late 1924, the Locomotive Sandslinger made its appearance. This unit incorporated the advantages of the tractor-type and motive-type Sandslingers. In little more than a decade, Elmer Beardsley and Walt Piper evolved several highly successful innovations of the Sandslinger. It is a tribute to the two inventors that the Motive Sandslinger method which they evolved so early, remains the most effective method of producing large jobbing castings.
A thorough study of Stationary Sandslinger operations in foundries doing production work led Elmer and Walt to the conclusion that handling, and not the Sandslinger, was the factor that limited production. Once again, their creative ability supplied an answer – the turntable concept evolved in 1925 and was further developed in 1926. While the slinger rammed a mold at one station, pattern cleaning, flask setting, and stripping would simultaneously be done at the other three stations. In 1929, the Motive Junior Sandslinger was introduced. This was the last slinger development for some years due to the poor business conditions following the 1929 crash.
In 1935, Elmer and Walter introduced automation to the foundry by designing the Automatic Sandslinger for use in high production, repetitive molding. The Automatic Sandslinger had limited application but lead to the release of the then experimental Swingslinger, which was ideally adapted for ramming certain cores such as deep cylinder barrel cores, as well as green sand molds.
The first Stationary Speedslinger was shown at the foundry convention in Cleveland, Ohio in 1938. This new slinger more than doubled the capacity of previous Sandslingers. A hydraulic-electric system controlled slinger operation. The operator was seated on the end of the ramming arm and guided the slinger by moving a single lever. The new slinger could even be operated from a remote control station, as it rammed over a ton of sand per minute. Two years later, the Motive Speedslinger was marketed.
Due to increased demands for more automation in the foundry, Beardsley and Piper developed the automatic Stationary Speedslinger, which was introduced in 1946. In 1953, the Super Sandslinger was fitted with hydraulic controls and other modifications, resulting in the new Hydra-Slinger. So successful was the Hydra-Slinger, that it was applied to a motive unit in 1959, resulting in the Motive Hydra-Slinger.
Up to this point, all B&P history has related to slinger developments. One would think that this is enough inventiveness; however, let us go back quite a few years so that we may discuss other very valuable contributions to the foundry industry by Messrs. Beardsley and Piper and Company. Beardsley & Piper had not rested on its laurels with the Sandslinger. From the middle 1920’s to the middle 1930’s, a variety of products were designed and installed in all types of foundries. The partnership was now an important supplier and in addition to B&P products, offered a complete engineering service. These activities produced complete sand, mold and castings handling systems and equipment such as the B&P Shake-Out, Screenarators, Gyratory Screen, and Portable Sand Conditioners.
Beardsley and Piper’s first attempt at producing a mulling machine resulted in the B&P Sandmuller; a continuous mulling type unit built in 1930. In 1937, the Model "G" Speedmullor was produced. This unit was a far cry from the present Series "B" Speedmullor. It employed huge iron mulls, which were rotated about a central crosshead to mull the sand. Soon, the mulling balls were replaced with horizontal mulling wheels and the crosshead speed was increased; thus, the high-speed muller evolved. Other new mulling units were the 3 ˝ Mulbaro in 1944, and the #7 Mulbaro and Lab Mulbaro in 1946.
With their work largely accomplished and their place in foundry history secure, Beardsley and Piper sold the assets of their company to the Pettibone Corporation in 1946. The new management was quick to follow the pace set by the old. Large sums were spent during the next few years on improving, modernizing, and streamlining the Speedmullor, Sandslinger, and Speedslinger designs. The design of many products such as Roto-Feed plate feeders, Roto-Mold turntables, Preparators, Nite-Gangs and the Magnarators was finalized.
A complete line of shell molding and shell blowing machinery was introduced in 1953. The shell Speedmullor and the Shell Mulbaro for shell sand preparation made the company’s line of equipment in this field complete. Among the new products for 1954 was the Mold-Blomatic – a blow, squeeze and draw machine for green sand molds - and the redesigned Formatic Shell Mold machine, Rol-A-Cor, and the Shell Blomatic coreblower. A very important development in 1954 was the new line of high capacity rollover and draw machines. These Rol-A-Draws were hydraulic powered, with capacities up to 10,000 pounds and a 36" draw.
During 1955 and 1956, the Champion line of coreblowers was completely redesigned and many special blowers – NCR-Role-A-Cor units – were built. This was the start of the Flexible and Flexiblomatic series. Perhaps the most important "redesign" of 1954 was the release of the new "A" Series Speedmullor, which still is in widespread use throughout the world.
During the remaining 1950’s, other important advancements were made: The all-hydraulic Rol-A-Draw and the Geneva-drive Roto-Mold, which developed into the Hydra-Mold unit (slinger, rollover and draw, and turntable team). The cold process and hot process Speedmullor, which improved B&P’s position in shell sand coating. B&P entered the sand reclamation field in 1958 with its Pneu-Reclaim sand scrubber. In the latter part of 1958, B&P acquired the San-Blo line of coreblowers.
By the beginning of 1959, a new B&P Tech-Center was established at the Pettibone Corporation headquarters in Chicago. The continued expansion of Beardsley & Piper into new product lines and the extension of existing lines demanded this type of facility. Since that time, a tremendous number of man-hours have gone into research and development of new equipment, processes and techniques of application. To mention a few: the MBS-2016 Dry sand reclamation of all types of facing, molding and core sands as well as CO2 airsetting and shell sand mixtures; shell molding and shell coremaking; hot process and warm process shell and preparation; hot box coremaking and, most recently, the development of the cold box coremaking. Many others could be mentioned.
When the hollow shell sand core process was developed B&P responded with the Cormatic, Model SF-6A. Other models – the SF10A in ’61, the SF104A in ’66, and the SF-104P in ’69 – have been added to the line.
In 1960, a new method was developed for making hot box shell sand cores. B&Ps first machine for this new process (furfuryl) was the CB-25GF Flexiblowmatic. Other models have been designed to suit special applications and size requirements. During this time, two new mulling units were displayed: The Mull-All and the Shell Sand Mull-All Package unit. In the next few years, the CB-8SB Flexiblo appeared, providing another tool for shell sand coremaking. And the Model 250 Speedheater was offered to assist with the shell sand coating process.
1962 was a very important year for the foundry industry because B&P introduced two new machines at the AFS Convention: The Model #100B Speedmullor – the first of a new series of high production batch-type mulling machines. Originally designed for a batch capacity of 4,000 pounds, the largest 100B-250 now handles up to 6,000 pound batches. Soon thereafter, the Models 85B, 75B, 55B, and 45B have also been designed. Another new technology was the Matchplate Moldblomatic, offering a new concept in matchplate molding. This completely automatic operation includes simultaneous blowing of the cope and drag molds, simultaneous squeezing of both sections, and precise pattern draw.
In 1963, Beardsley & Piper started to make equipment for the steel mill industry. The first machine was a 60-15 Conditioning Grinder, a unit capable of conditioning (grinding) the surfaces of slabs, billets, and blooms at a rate equal to three to five swing frame grinders. Since then, other special grinders have been built and a number of types of manipulating and handling devices and systems have been designed.
Beardsley & Piper celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1964. Since then B&P’s continuing progress can be summed up by saying that constant research and development, new design and redesign have resulted in more new types of equipment and improvement of many existing types. Some of these progressive steps have been mentioned earlier in this article. One good example of this is the Rol-A-Draw line. Back in 1954, a new series of Rol-A-Draws was presented by B&P. The largest capacity unit in this group could handle a 10,000-pound box. In 1969, the 25048H Rol-A-Draw was built – 25,000 pound capacity. One other item worth mentioning is the development of the cold-box process. Once again, B&P has met the challenge by developing a group of machines for the CC (cold cure) process. The first machine was built in 1968 – today, five different cold-box blowers are available.
In 1998 Beardsley & Piper was acquired by the Simpson Technologies Corporation to form the Simpson Group. Traditionally fierce competitors, these companies have now combined their significant resources in an effort to reestablish the rapid pace of technological innovation and change in the industry. The first expression of their new capabilities came in 1999 in the form of the largest version of the highly popular Speedmullor series. The new 150B has a batch capacity of 7,500 lbs. and can reach hourly capacities of 150 tons per hour. Combined with Simpson technology in sand cooling and controls, the new 150B has quickly secured a place as the leader in high capacity batch mulling throughout North America.
Thus, for more than eighty-five years the ideas and efforts of two men have crystallized into a company that can claim a lasting impression on the development of the worldwide foundry industry and a leadership position in the development of new technology.
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