Publication: Crockery & Glass Journal
New York, NY, United States
AT a recent meeting of the English Ceramic Society, held at Stoke-on-Trent, A. S. W. Odelberg, of the Gustafsberg Pottery, Sweden, described certain new installations which had been ventured upon by the concern. The first of these to be mentioned wan [sic] was an electric railway, or transporter, in order to facilitate the removal of the ware from the biscuit oven to the biscuit warehouse, as well as subsequently conveying the glost ware from the glost oven to the sorting bouse, and ultimately to the finished warehouse. For many years past, he said, there had always been difficulties in recruiting labor for the ovens, and especially since these had grown to the great size now in vogue. To substitute some of the manual power had always been their great aim. Several projects were discussed, and finally they came to the decision to build a kind of electric railway, or, rather, carrier system.
AN ELECTRIC CARRIER.
Especially in the drawing of ovens this new arrangement has effected, quite a revolntion. The saggars filled with fired ware "wandered" quite independently of supervision from the oven to the warehouse, where they were emptied whilst in motion by the sorter, without the necessity of removing the saggar from the carrier. The saggars, when empty, returned to the placing room near the oven, where they were taken from the carriers at the most convenient spot. Under this arrangement the goods were handled once only from the oven to the warehouse, and the manual lifting of goods and saggars was largely eliminated.
This arrangement was installed, in the first place, for the biscuit ovens only, but the result was so good that it was extended to the glost ovens and a third unit was again arranged for, enabling the goods to be mechanically transported from the glost warehouse through the various other warehouses to the packing shed. The economy that had been realized by this new haulage arrangement could be gauged when it was mentioned that the work was now pereformed with fifty per cent less manual labor, with a saving of two hours' time, and with an appreciable reduction in the quantity of ware broken.
Mr. Odefberg went on to refer to certain ways in which, at the Gustafsberg Pottery, the testing for degree of fineness of ground, pottery materials had been simplified by the construction of an apparatus of their own, much less complicated in its character than the Schone Elutriator. The description of this modified apparatus was naturally of a technical character, likely to be of particular interest to pottery chemists, who will no doubt look forward to its complete publication later on in the Society's "Transactions."
JOLLY FOR MAKING SOUAKE DISHES.
The next point dealt with by the lecturer was the installation recently of a special "jolly" for the making of square dishes. He was aware, he said, that methods had previously been resorted to with a view to accomplishing the manufacture of square dishes by means of a jolly, but so far as his knowledge extended these methods had been accompanied by the disadvantage of being dependent upon a moving jolly, which, besides entailing other defects, proved very tiresome to the operator. The disadvantage referred to was solved in the first instance by a kind of compromise — i.e., keeping the jolly rigid, but allowing the profile to move. On the jigger head of an ordinary oval dish machine was a groove, in which the heel of the profile fitted. A lever freed the profile, so that it could slide in the groove of the jolly arm, a powerful spring keeping it in its proper position so that it followed the groove in the head, which ran parallel to the shape of the dish.
Seeing that this arraogement was only a compromise, they did not remain content with it, and after numerous experiments they hit upon the right idea, viz., a perfectly rigid jolly with all the necessary movement in the jigger head. All the mechanical details in the construction of this new jolly, as well as the movements which it described, were elucidated by the lecturer, who remarked that experience had shown that a man with this machine would make as many articles as with the ordinary oval jigger and jolly, including both flat and hollowware.
IMPROVED PLATE-MAKING MACHINERY.
Under the heading of plate-making machinery, Mr. Odelberg mentioned that the most modem machines were being constructed with cast-iron frames, according to the latest English pattern, so as to secure as much rigidity as possible. The jolly was provided with loose profiles, adjustable in the usual manner by means of a nut. The batting machine had a separate frame, so as to prevent any jarring in the platemaking machine. It was semi-automatic, and the moment the profile was pressed down the jigger head began to revolve, this being stopped by a powerful brake when the profile was again raised. They had found in practice that this system was better than the automatic system, which was liable to get out of order and produce uneven bats. The platemaker turned out about 1,300 plates per day of eight and a half hours.
The making of insulators by jigger and jolly instead of by a "monkey" was explained by the lecturer, as well as the grooving of the insulators, which was now accomplished, he said, by a felt wheel acting like a circular saw, and running at about 4,000 revolutions per minute. This was partially enclosed in a casing connected with a fan. The insulator groove was made by this means in a few seconds, much labor beinig obviated.
CUP AND MUG HANDLES.
The formation of cup and mug handles in steel dies, heated internally by an electrical resistance, was referred to. It was stated that until 1914 platinum wire was used for this purpose, but since then nichrome wire had been substituted, which proved to last longer and was only a fraction of the cost of the platinum wire. This electrical method of handle-making, which the lecturer described fully, was much quicker and cheaper than the old method of pressing in plaster molds.
THE "MONO" APPARATUS IN FIRING.
In connection with the firing of both boilers and ovens, the introduction of the "Mono" apparatus was said to have been accompaned by marked advantages. The function of this apparatus, was to automatically analyze and indicate on a chart the amount of carbon-dioxide in the gases after these had left the boilers and ovens. The apparatus had proved of great assistance in securing the economical stoking of the boilers, and was also an excellent control in the prevention of smoked ware in the biscut ovens, enabling, one to secure an oxidising flame in the most economical manner. An automatic draught gauge had also proved extremely useful in indicating on a sheet of paper the intensity of the draught. The apparatus was locked, and could not be tampered with; therefore it gave a reliable indication of the draught during the whole course of the firing. In the case of down-draught ovens the value of such an apparatus was inestimable.
THREE-COLOR PRINTING MACHINE.
A description by the lecturer of a three-color printing machine, samples of the work of which were submitted, was listened to with keen attention. Mr.Odelberg said that this machine, introduced in 1911, was a roller printer, fitted with three rollers of exactly the same diameter. The length of the printing paper between each pair of rollers corresponded with the circumference of the rollers, each of which could be turned and adjusted on its shaft by loosening a nut at the conical end of the shaft where the cog-wheel driving the roller was fixed. By this arrangement a very sharp adjustment was possible. As was always the case, a trifle of one color was mixed with the one following, but this was to some extent avoided by making the first and second colorings as local as the pattern would allow, and leaving the tracing and the greater part of the coloring until the final color was applied by the last roller. Generally speaking, they had found that it was best to begin with a yellow, the second being pink, and the last blue. Canton or dark green, which colors were not damaged by an unavoidable admixture of yellow or pink.
The lecturer described many ways in which economies in fuel had had to be resorted to at the Gustafsberg factory during the war period, owing to the scarcity and the high price of fuel. Experiments, which he described, had led to the conservation of a good deal of heat in the cooling of the ovens, and by means of flues and fans it had been found possible to convey a good deal of this otherwise waste heat to points where it could be put to good use. A drying mangle was referred to which had previously consumed about fifteen per cent of the steam generated by the boilers. From a cooling oven it had been found possible, by means of flue and fan, to maintain for several days a steady current of air of about 300 deg. C. which flowed through the drying mangle and provided quite an efficient substitute for the steam. The warming of rooms by means of the waste heat from cooling ovens had also been successfully tackled.
PREMIUMS TO WORKERS.
A premium system of paying wages had been adopted with a view to securing the greatest output from the factory plant. Almost throughout the whole of the works a premium was ofiered for increased production, the system chosen being as follows, taking the plate maker as an example: it was known from a what the average daily output of the platemaker was. On seventy-five per cent of his output normal rates were paid, and on the remaining twenty-five percent he was paid half as much again. Should that be exceeded; double rates were paid on the surplus. Experience had proved that this system paid both parties. On the one hand it enabled the factory to make the fullest use of its plant, whilst, on the other, it tended to produce contented and efficient workmen.
WOOD PULP FOR PACKING.
Numerous photographs of difierent workshops and processes at the Gustafsberg factory was thrown upon the screen. Amongst these was a view of a machine for the making of wood wool for packing. During the war the Swedish Government forbade the use of straw, which was wanted, for the animals, and was not permitted for any other purpose. The factory therefore installed a suitable machine for cutting up wood into wood pulp, which enabled the packing department to keep going.
It was interesting to hear that as they were unable to get supplies of coal during the war they found it necessary to cut up and use the pit props which the miners were wanting in England. With wet wood, mixed with a little coal dust, however, they were able to "carry on."
A BRIGHT OUTLOOK.
Mr. Odelberg's lecture was brought to a conclusion by a stirring peroration which referred to mechanical progress as a wonderful lever in lifting humanity to a higher level. Mechanical efficiency would, the lecturer