NPE: Ferry enhances RotoSpeed machine, process controls
Ferry Industries Inc., Stow, Ohio, has been producing rotational molding machines since 1983 and refining its products along the way. The company used NPE to highlight its latest machine technology as well as enhanced control systems.
From its RotoSpeed line of independent-arm machine models, Ferry displayed the RS3-2600. The standard machine has three arms and carriages but can be purchased with one arm and carriage, and up to four arms and carriages. The machine boasts a newly developed control package, RotoCure IPC, remote I/O for machine wiring simplification and a more compact footprint due to a revised design in the shape of the oven and the cooler chambers.
But the RS-2600’s big muscles are in its arms. Adam Covington, sales engineer, touts the high mold weight capacity for each arm/cart assembly. He says the RS-2600 has a straight arm weight capacity of 3,000 pounds per arm.
Providing flexibility in its products is key for Ferry. According to the company, a three- or four-arm fixed turret machine is generally used in applications where the oven, cooling and load/unload cycles for each arm require relatively equal process times. Whereas a three- or four-arm independent arm machine can be used when one phase of the process (curing, cooling or loading/unloading) requires more time compared to the other phases allowing a more flexible machine.
In addition to independent-arm carousel machines and fixed-arm turret carousel machines, the RotoSpeed machine range includes in-line shuttle, rocking oven, lab and custom machines.
At the show, Ferry displayed rotomolded products — a toy horse, medical devices, a water filtration tank and a diesel exhaust fluid tank — produced by its machines.
Product innovation is nothing new for Ferry, which is led by President Harry Covington. The company began operations in 1927 as a tool and die shop, and later produced special machinery for rubber companies, and the aircraft and bearing industries. In 1983 the company rolled out its first rotational molding machine and has been innovating ever since. Ferry Industries serves the agriculture, storage tank, aerospace, automotive, marine and toy markets. In March, Ferry was purchased by Chicago holding company Madison Industries for undisclosed terms. Harry Covington, who had been Ferry’s owner, is now a shareholder and continues as president while maintaining his current staff.
In addition to its latest RotoSpeed RS3-2600 machine, Ferry featured its enhanced control package RotoCure Integrated Process Control (IPC). RotoCure IPC enables the operation of Ferry’s InfraRed Thermometry control system, which monitors mold surface temperatures continually and automatically self-adjusts oven or cool times, with Ferry’s RotoLog 4.0 system, which provides real-time cycle diagnostics. It also can generate reports to local stations or the user’s intranet and generate improved machine fault monitoring, diagnostics and up-time in combination with the remote I/O wiring schema. The company says enhanced process control provides faster operations and greater energy efficiency.
The advancements that lie ahead for rotational molding will likely come from the machine controls side of things, says Adam Covington. Future Ferry control systems will continue to help reduce cycle times, increase reporting for informed decision making, and enhance troubleshooting and remote diagnostics capabilities.
“We’re taking a lot of separate process controls that we have today and integrating them together,” he says. “This allows us to have all that data in one place so that process engineers have access to information.”
Ferry is nearing completion of an advanced RotoCure IPC, the company says.
Other Ferry product lines include three- and five-axis Quintax CNC machining centers for precision cutting of plastics, composites, wood and non-ferrous metals. An operating Quintax E5512 was on display during NPE. Ferry also offers its Femco bandsaws used to cut structural honeycomb composites, balsa wood and flexible and rigid foam materials.
Marvin Brown, copy editor
Ferry Industries Inc.,