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CALDE® e-Support brings molding sand testing and troubleshooting into the digital era

Calderys has launched a new digital solution in order to provide online access to sand testing results and analysis, as well as casting troubleshooting.

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Casting quality remains an ever-present challenge within the foundry sector, as many foundries today are facing increasingly stringent quality specifications. Moreover, rising costs, highly competitive market conditions and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) concerns are providing further calls for the development of solutions that help ensure quality, improve yield and thus reduce rework and scrappage.

This is a multifaceted campaign, as foundries are complex operations with casting quality relying on interrelated processes. In green sand casting applications, production of the sand mold and cores is one of the first and most critical elements. At the heart of this process you can find the molding sand materials themselves, as inadequate molding sands may cause a range of casting defects:

  • Low strength molds or sand may result in cuts and washes, swelling and drops.
  • Excessive permeability may result in metal penetration of the molding sand.
  • Inadequate refractoriness of the sand may result in fusion defects.
  • Excessive expansion of the sand when exposed to molten metal may result in rat tails.

Ensuring consistent quality of the molding sand material is therefore a vital task. Calderys has long offered routine mold sand analysis to its customers. The company is now bringing this process in Europe into the digitalized age with its CALDE® e-Support service, offering timely online access to testing results, as well as troubleshooting from the Calderys global network of experts.

Molding sand analysis and troubleshooting at your fingertips

Elisabeth van den Berg, Foundry Marketing Director at Calderys, explains:

“Customers regularly ask us to help them understand the quality of their molding sand – which contains our bentonite blends and additives – and how it is evolving over time. They are also asking for this information to be available online, when they need it. That’s how we developed the concept of CALDE® e-Support.”

CALDE® e-Support is designed to bring the reporting of molding sand testing closer to the foundry. Reports have been standardized across the Calderys network of testing laboratories and are currently delivered automatically to the customer’s inbox – but will be available in the future via a secure, online cloud-based portal.

Reports not only include the results for the particular batch of molding sand; now they also include statistical analysis of trends based on historical data. Crucially, they also offer troubleshooting and recommendations from a Calderys expert. The system is currently available in 4 languages; English, German, French and Italian.

“The aim of CALDE® e-Support is to go beyond simply reporting test results to help our customers digest the information and improve their process,” continues Elisabeth. “It is just one of the ways we are developing to share our technical expertise in a digital format.

“As the solution evolves, we will become more proactive in our responses, offering customized interpretation of the data and troubleshooting tailored to the specific customer application and needs.”

CALDE® e-Support has already been rolled out in Europe to customers of Calderys molding sand analysis services.

Customer-centric digital solutions

CALDE® e-Support is one of a growing number of digital solutions offered by Calderys that place customer pain points at the heart of product development. These pain points were identified over a series of interviews with foundry customers, and are:

  • ease of doing business
  • predictability
  • efficiency
  • safety and the environment
  • access to technical expertise

“The aim of our digital program is to offer solutions that target these challenges,” says Elisabeth. “We see digital solutions as a means to an end. One of their key benefits is to provide a smoother way of doing business, for example, by facilitating easy and on-demand access to process data and analysis.

“Critically, they also facilitate access to technical skills and expertise that foundries may not have in-house, helping to optimize production, improve quality, lower costs, and reduce carbon emissions.”

This is particularly important for the foundry industry at a time when skilled manpower is becoming increasingly scarce. As a result, foundries are finding it difficult to recruit the necessary expertise. Solutions such as CALDE® e-Support mitigate this challenge by enabling access to Calderys expertise for troubleshooting and optimizing operations.

“Our experts become part of the foundry’s team, able to offer support and advice, even though they may be located on the other side of the world,” reflects Elisabeth. “As CALDE® e-Support evolves and the amount of data we have access to increases, this idea of continuous technical support will become a central part of the offering.”

Conclusion

In the digitalization of the industrial processes and the development of Foundry 4.0, molding sand mixes may not be the first thing to come to mind. CALDE® e-Support aims to change that and bring the analysis and reporting of molding sand testing into the 21 st century through:

  • timely molding sand tests data availability
  • a common system across our molding sand laboratories with a standardized system of reporting
  • safe and secure storage of data with access to historical data and analysis
  • the ability to customize reporting upon demand
  • access to the Calderys network of experts.

“Green molding sand analysis may not be something foundries think a great deal about on a day-to-day basis. But master it and you have a strong foundation for improved sand mold and core production. And with that, a better casting process,” concludes Elisabeth. “CALDE® e-Support is your pathway to achieving that."


 

Company Info

Calderys

61 rue des Belles Feuilles
75116 Paris
France

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