The History of Omega

1960
1965
1970
1978
1980
1982
1984
1986
1991
1996
1997
1999
2000
2001
2003
2007
2008
2009
2010
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018

1960

Ribbon-Flo mixer

Developed by Baker Perkins (BP), this mixer was primarily for sodium dribble-bar binder addition at the top, a gear pump for the binder and always had a trough full of mixed sand.


1960

1965

Fascold Mixer, HSM mixer & APK

With the advent of the furan process, the need arose for a faster, more efficient mixer.  BP developed a range of twin trough mixers with a final vertical mixing chamber.  There was one mixing trough for the resin and another for the acid, the two-part mixed sands came together at the final vertical mixing chamber where all three constituents were given a short but intensive mix before being discharged into the mould.  The furan process was also used for high speed core making with the BP ‘APK’ system.


1965

1970

Alpha reclamation system

Once the furan process took off, there was an economic need to reclaim the used silica sand and re-use at the mixer.  BP then developed the ‘Alpha’ sand reclamation system.  This was quite a complex design that basically used either a hydraulic lump crusher or a more traditional shake-out deck to break the moulds and then send through a series of screens and conveyors to reduce the lumps to grain size.  The sand was then transported back to the mixer for re-use.


1970

1978

Omega 1-series mixer

BP next developed the Omega 1-series mixer in order to benefit fast setting furan chemically bonded sand . The single trough design only mixed ‘on-demand’ and could instantly switch from new sand to reclaim sand at the flick of a switch (perfect for facing and backing applications), the resin and acid additions also instantly changing to suit the sand type being mixed.  Again, due to the ‘on-demand’ mixing principle employed by the Omega 1-series, mixing outputs as high as 60 tonnes per hour were now achievable, which meant larger floor moulds could be produced using the no-bake process.  Productivity also increased due to the use of faster setting times and the high efficiency mixing blade design gave very low chemical addition rates.  The no-bake system was now a viable option to all foundries!

The Omega 1-series was well ahead of its time, employing many ‘state of the art’ features that are still in use today.  Some of these new features were the easy to replace ‘half-moon’ blade design, variable geometry blade arrangements with the ability to easily add or remove ‘hold-back’ blades depending on the viscosity of the binder and/or sand grain size.  Another radical feature was the introduction of the chemicals from the bottom of the mixing trough, instead of the previous ‘dribble bar’ system of the twin trough mixers.  Along with this new method of chemical introduction, the Omega 1-series employed air injection to keep the chemical inlets clear and also help to atomise the chemicals into the trough – allowing very low chemical addition rates to be achieved.  All of these features will be familiar to today’s continuous mixer user as they are still considered essential for any modern continuous mixer design.


1978

1978

Gamma 3, 6 and 12 attrition units

With greater demands for more efficient sand reclamation systems, the Gamma range of attrition units was developed to replace the old Alpha units.  These units were designed to fit beneath a traditional shake-out and provide additional scrubbing to the sand for increased binder removal and sand grain rounding.  There were three different sized models in the range and each had a heavy duty perforated plate top screen and a stainless steel wed wire second screen.  There was also a third final mesh screen before the sand was discharged from the bottom of the unit into either a bucket elevator or direct into a Cooler.
 


1978

1980

Omega 2-series mixer

There was an increasing demand for faster, higher output and easier to clean continuous mixers, so BP next launched the Omega 2-series mixer which addressed these issues.  Instead of the traditional ‘U’ section trough of its predecessors, the Omega 2-series had a light weight removable trough top cover and a hinged drop-down trough bottom cover.  This now provided excellent access for daily cleaning and maintenance.  The Omega 2-series now had an extended output range from 5 tonnes per hour (Omega 21) up to 60 tonnes per hour (Omega 26).  The Omega 2-series kept all of the key features of the 1-Series, such as under-trough chemical addition with air injection, replaceable SG iron mixing blades and gear pumps for the chemicals.  New features were DC drive pump controls, the facility to run a batch mix via a timer, a purging system for aiding the daily clean and a frictionless ‘clam gate’ sand calibration gate design.


1980

1982

‘G’ range cooler classifier

BP next turned its attention to improving the sand reclamation plant and developed the first ‘G’ type Cooler Classifier.  The main innovation of the ‘G’ type was the use of copper finned cooling tubes in the heat exchanger module.  Copper provides a much better heat exchange coefficient than steel or stainless steel, but manufacturers had always shied away from using copper for fear of the tubes wearing out through abrasion of silica sand in the fluidised bed.  Just to test the theory, one of BP’s engineers set up a simple test rig in his office and put a copper tube into a fluidised bed.  He left the bed running continuously for a few days expecting to see the copper starting to wear, but to his and everyone else’s surprise there wasn’t a mark on it!  So, the first copper tube heat exchangers were employed and as recognition to the engineer who made this discovery, the range was called the ‘G’ type named after the engineer whose name was George.

Another key feature of the ‘G’ type was the ability to increase or decrease the negative pressure inside the cooler to enable more accurate fines removal.


1982

1984

Baker Perkins divests its foundry machinery business and Omega Foundry Machinery is formed.

 


1984

1986

Omega Foundry Machinery Ltd was now an independent company after the management buyout from BP in 1984 and one of the first new designs to be introduced was the revolutionary range of Spartan continuous mixers.  The main change was a move away from the light weight top and bottom covers to a mixing trough that was now a heavy duty split tube design, with the split angled at 30 degrees to make cleaning much easier.  The mixing shaft was removable with a quick release design to also aid cleaning and maintenance.  Other changes were a separate free-standing pump/electrical control cabinet, but the most obvious change was the new colour as it was now a red trough with a black pedestal.  The first in a new era of continuous mixer designs.


1986

1991

Gamma HL (High Level) and LL (Low Level)

Not resting on the success of the Spartan mixer range, Omega decided to look again at the sand reclamation plant.  The first machine to be enhanced was the Gamma High Level (HL) range of vibratory attrition units.  These units were fitted beneath the traditional shake-out decks to reduce lump sand to grain size and to also provide sufficient attrition/retention in order to remove as much surface binder from the sand grain as possible.

There was a clear need for a reclamation plant that did not need a pit as pits were expensive to prepare.  Omega had the revolutionary idea of a combined shake-out and attrition unit that could be installed at floor level and so avoid the expensive pit.  This machine was called the Gamma Low Level (LL) attrition unit and was unique in its design and set the trend for many years to come.


1991

1996

Management buyout by Mark Fenyes

Omega Changes ownership and Mark Fenyes (pictured centre) acquires the company. Also pictured from left to right – David Horn (retired), Mauro Cottafavi, Linda Martin and Chris Wilding.


1996

1997

Omega Foundry handling division

After selling mixer and reclamation packages only for so many years, Omega entered into mould handling and could now offer the total package which included – Carousel, Fast Loop, Manipulators and Flood Coating units.


1997

1999

IRIS system

Omega next designed and developed a highly innovative system for mould identification, tracking and data logging called IRIS (Intelligent Radio Identification System).  This could be installed on any mould handling system and is still way ahead of its counterparts even today.


1999

2000

‘GammaMajor’ or GM range

To overcome the logistical issues and expense of very large concrete pits for conventional shake-out based reclamation plants with the associated vibratory feeders and attrition units, Omega designed a combined shake-out/attrition unit called the GammaMajor.  The GammaMajor reduced the size of the pit required by eliminating the separate attrition unit.  Again, incorporating a shake-out deck, perforated screen and wedge wire screen the GammaMajor was a first within the industry.  A separate mesh screen feeder could be installed outside of the pit before the Cooler Classifier.


2000

2000

Omega wins UK Trade Partner awards

Omega is recognised for its overseas sales success at national level.


2000

2001

Spartan 2-series

It was now time to look again at the Spartan mixer, so the Spartan 2-series evolved with many new features.  The main updates were the introduction of full plc mixer controls with operator HMI, AC inverter pump controls and 3 pre-programmed pump recipes.  The Spartan 2-series was also fitted with four tungsten carbide tipped mixer blades around the area of the chemical inlets.


2001

2001

Bison Range of LL

On the back of the success of the Gamma Low Level (LL) range, Omega decided to ‘beef up’ the LL unit.  Thicker section steel on the body, additional wear plates, Hardox® steel bars on the shake-out deck and a large sacrificial bar at the back of the shake-out area were just a few of the upgrades given to the LL.


2001

2001

Joint Venture company in the USA formed – Tinker Omega LLC

Omega join forces with Wil Tinker to establish a manufacturing and sales base in the USA.

 


2001

2003

Omega moves to larger premises

Due to expansion Omega moves from the existing premises into larger ones totalling 20,000 Sq.Ft or 2,220 Sq.M


2003

2007

Queen’s Award for Export

Omega is awarded the Queen’s Award for enterprise in the export field. Mark Fenyes is greeted by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.


2007

2007

Spartan 3-series

New features added to the Spartan 3-series were a full set of tungsten carbide tipped mixer blades, strainers on all chemical lines before the pumps, 3-way calibration valves fitted at each chemical inlet, air pressure monitoring, a new touch-screen operator HMI, sliding safety bars at the sand discharge area.  There was also a ‘Basic’ model added to the range that was basically a ‘no-frills’ Spartan.  Also, there was a hydraulic up and down movement option on all belt articulated mixers, there was a new ‘underslung’ double trough design that enabled one small trough to mix chromite only, whilst the main trough could mix silica sand.  This was ideal for facing and backing applications.  A 3-arm mixer was developed to give up to 13 metres mixing radius.  Radio remote control was an option and a small portable mixer was designed to be transported around the foundry or on the back of a trailer for trials.


2007

2008

USR Agreement was in place

After the signing of the manufacturing agreement with Sintokogio for the USR Secondary Attrition unit, Omega began to promote and build the USR.  This was a hugely successful machine, especially for in-organic binders such as sodium silicate and semi in-organic alkaline phenolics as it meant that furan levels of reclamation could now be achieved with alkaline phenolic binders using the USR system.  The ceramic roller technology was unique in its field and was even successful with furan where the foundry wanted to reduce LOI’s to reduce the fume content of the sand.  It also later became clear that the USR could be used to reclaim the waste green sand and re-use back at the coreshop.

Mr Atchi Nagai, President of Sintokogio Corporation visits Omega to sign the agreement


2008

2009

Omega Sane acquired

A joint venture company is established in Pune, India to serve the local market.


2009

2009

Richards Engineering, a pioneer in the development of thermal reclamation plants was acquired.


2009

2009

 Auto Closer

Once Omega started to sell more and more automated moulding lines it became clear that the one piece of equipment missing was a fully automatic mould closing machine.  The first unit was sold in Turkey and on the back of that, many more units were sold.  This machine eliminated the need for two operators to close a mould and, especially where deep cores or very large moulds were concerned, it eliminated damage to the core whilst closing and any mould miss-match


2009

2010

MK 2 Cooler Classifier

Soon after the acquisition of Richards Engineering, Omega decided to take certain features of the REL Cooler and integrate them into a new design of Cooler Classifier.  The main improvements were the addition of a mesh screen at the inlet to the cooler, additional clean-out doors and an improved fluidised area at the discharge of the Cooler.  The ‘Mark 2’ Cooler Classifier was born.


2010

2012

Business person of the year awarded to Mark Fenyes


2012

2013

WES Omega Australia acquired and ISO9001 achieved


2013

2014

WES Omega Malaysia acquired. Omega Connect and Spartan IV launched


2014

2014

Spartan 4-series, No-Bake Coreshooter and CB Core shooter range

It became clear that the half-moon mixer blade design did not suit all applications and so there was a need to be able to offer the ‘turbo’ style mixing blade and the Spartan 4-series was just such a mixer.  This was one project that involved Omega UK and her sister company Tinker Omega – who already had a great deal of experience with building this type of mixer in the US.  The mixer retained the standard Spartan pump set and electrical controls, but now had the turbo style paddle blade with a simple ‘easy-to-remove’ blade fixing system.

Another project involving both companies was the no-bake Core shooter which was able to use either furan or self-setting phenolic urethane to produce cores.  This eliminated the need for cold-box resin cured by amine gas and the subsequent emissions problem associated with that process.

After the acquisition of Warrill Engineering (WES) Omega had access to WES’s range of cold box core shooters.  These machines came with a very high standard specification -  all hydraulic movement and clamping, suitability for vertical and horizontal core boxes, slide fitted as standard, vertical hydraulic movement of the shoot head, vacuum Clamping for quick change of tooling, touch screen control with up to 500 recipes storage, heated gassing plate, shoot pressure, purge pressure and liquid gas controlled electronically from the main touch-screen interface and finally linear transducers on all hydraulic cylinders for precise and repeatable movement.


2014

2014

Omega Connect was launched in 2014 – this is a web based monitoring system that enables Omega equipment to be monitored and adjusted remotely, providing production and maintenance benefits.


2014

2015

ENDECO Omega Acquired

Omega acquires local engineering company based in Johannesburg, South Africa to service the local market.


2015

2015

Omega Tecnostudio Acquired

Omega acquires the Italian design house ‘Tecnostudio’ based in Treviso. The company specialises in specialist equipment design as well as greenfield projects for the industry


2015

2015

Gamma HL MK 2

Launched at the GIFA exhibition, Omega showed the latest series of Gamma HL.  The main changes were all Hardox® wear plates including liners, top screen and clean-out door plates.  Also a choice of mounts – conventional springs, roster mounts or air bellows.  The rear clean-out doors were now hinged for easier cleaning.


2015

2016

Double station automatic mould closer

Omega had already produced Auto-Mould Closers, but the need arose for a double station unit and so this machine was designed and installed in 2016. The GM Plus range was launched also in 2016.


2016

2016

China office opened

Omega establishes a WOFE (wholly owned foreign enterprise) in Shanghai, China.


2016

2017

World’s largest rollover

Following a record order in China, part of the spec was for a Rollover stripping unit that could handle a mould 3500mm x 2500mm x 875mm high.  This unit was developed from a standard Size 9 with extended openings and was recorded as the largest Rollover stripping unit ever built!


2017

2017

Mould stacking

In order to maximise the available space Omega developed a mould stacking system.


2017

2017

FTL Foundry Equipment acquired

FTL which stands for ‘Foundry Technical and Liaison’ was originally formed in 1964 and was a well renowned manufacturer of foundry equipment. Its acquisition by Omega has helped strengthen our position in the market.


2017

2017

Exporter of the year awarded to Omega Foundry Machinery Ltd


2017

2018

Omega joins Sintokogio Ltd, Japan to form Omega Sinto Foundry Machinery Ltd


2018
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