After adding 3D scanning of client’s parts to their list of services, AHT was presented with a practical problem. AHT were heat treating a couple of particularly large and heavy castings for a regular client and manipulating these castings while they were being scanned with AHT’s new FARO Arm was proving to be a difficult task.

‘We could do with a method of being able to hang these parts from a forklift truck and easily rotate them’ was the brief given to AHT’s Design Engineer.

To complicate the brief further, there were two similar but dimensionally different castings that had to be catered for.

The solution was a fabricated rig, built in two sections. The upper section included two Channels that could be attached to the forks on the forklift, and a lower section, slung underneath and connected with a shaft. At the upper end of the shaft is a thrust bearing, housed in a custom machined housing made by a Kingswinford based machining company, and underneath is a standard flange mounted bearing unit. A cast iron shaft support and retaining washer hold the lower section securely to the shaft.

The lower section features two forks of its own, equipped with rubber feet to prevent damage to the castings, which are held securely in place by two retention pins on flanges at the edge of the castings, the forks going inside the castings.

Careful design and longer retention pins ensure that the rig fits and works with both castings, and a counterweight channel on one end of the lower section counterbalances the frame and casting so that the whole assembly when loaded can be rotated with a light touch.

To keep costs down, the frames were designed to utilise materials left over from previous projects, with the total cost being down to mechanical parts, some standard parts, laser-cut parts and some additional steel sections.

While we can’t show you the castings themselves, the final result has simplified and speeded up the scanning process immensely.

If you have a similar design need, please get in touch with our Design Engineer, Steve West via email or direct dial 01384 453966.