Towards a better casting day

After analyzing the problems from my bad casting day, I’ve managed, with some success, to address all the problems (numbered to match the previous post):

  1. I disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled the mould, and checked the carrying frame height on the caster bridge. I got a little lost doing the latter so I’m not sure if there turned out to be any net change in the adjustment. The result was that the type came out cleaner with little flash. A close inspection of both the matrices and the mould show little wear on either.
  2. The airpins sticking either up or down were addressed by adding a better air regulator to the interface.
  3. I didn’t address the wear on the normal wedge, but one other possible source of wrong-length lines could be stuck airpins in the front pin block. This would select a cast whose width is different from what the line length was calculated for.
  4. A few days after the bad casting run I noticed that the tank on my closed-loop cooling system was empty, so I may have had insufficient cooling water during the failed casting run. This new run did not encounter any such problems.
  5. See #4 above.
  6. The communications issues turned out to be a failing clock on the laptop. After an hour had elapsed, the time would jump back an hour, causing the computer to relive the same hour forever. Some changes to the software or a new laptop resolved this issue (yes, “or”… see the linked post).

The new casting run went much better, but still not perfectly. There are still issues with airpins sticking either up or down, so I have to look further into air supply problems. I haven’t looked at the line length variation yet, which seems a bit pointless as long as the wrong matrix row is being cast. Other than the casting not containing the diphthongs ‘æ’ and ‘œ’, which is a software problem with the MCA and font scheme, the sticking airpins are the only problem left. Perhaps contamination in the air is causing the pneumatic valves to operate improperly, and I need a filter/water trap right at the caster.

One comment on “Towards a better casting day
  1. kpmartin says:

    I also just noticed the ligatures for ff, ffi, and so on, are also missing.
    The problem is that my font scheme table lists these using their individual Unicode characters such as ffi but the MCA lists then using a spelled-out activator ‘ffi’. I’ll have to figure out a good way of resolving this.

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