Foundry Corporate News Topic Green Sand

Maximum quality with minimum scrap: Lodge Cast Iron chooses next-generation DISAMATIC D5 and full Monitizer digital package

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Cookware specialist Lodge Cast Iron has bought the first DISAMATIC D5 vertical molding machine in the USA and will also install DISA’s full Monitizer digital solution, including the Artificial-Intelligence-powered Monitizer | PRESCRIBE tool.

The D5 will be at the heart of Lodge’s sixth molding line, joining the company’s five existing DISAMATIC lines at its two foundries in in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, which pour over 70 million pounds of iron annually. The state-of-the-art D5 will be up and running by Spring 2022.

“Our D5 will be the fourth generation of DISAMATIC machines we’ve installed since our first back in 1965,” says Dave Magness, SVP Operation at Lodge Cast Iron. “Demand for our products has doubled in the last two years and the D5 will add another 30% to our capacity, taking our yearly output to 100 million pounds.”

This significant increase in capacity is partly due to the large mold size of the D5, which allows Lodge to produce two of their best-selling products at two and four castings per mold respectively. This makes avoiding defects even more important – or the scrap rate could be multiplied by two or four.

Less scrap for a better bottom line

Lodge has embraced DISA’s cutting-edge digital foundry technology and will implement Monitizer | CIM across all its lines to enhance process automation and recipe management, along with Monitizer | GLOBAL for data collection, data visualization, real-time monitoring and alerting.

The foundry will initially run a single-line pilot of Monitizer | PRESCRIBE to maximize casting quality. Previously proven to reduce scrap by 45%, Monitizer | PRESCRIBE harnesses cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence to optimize an entire process. By analyzing live data, it can recommend changes to process parameters that prevent defects occurring. 

“At Lodge, we face two classic foundry challenges at once: thin-walled castings and the need for a premium surface finish,” says Dave. “Added to that, we’re extremely picky about which castings get through and which we call scrap. Our overall goal is to become more efficient and we’re very excited about Monitizer | PRESCRIBE’s ability to help us better understand all our operating inputs and its potential to increase our uptime and reduce our scrap.”

“We did a lot of research before we decided to adopt Monitizer,” continues Dave, “and our longstanding experience of how well DISA designs and supports its products was a big factor in that decision. We’ve made significant progress in the last few years in scrap reduction and we’re hoping that this new tool will help us reduce it further.”

Blistering speed and reliable quality – but easy maintenance

The DISAMATIC D5 is the latest in DISA’s flagship ‘D’ range of vertical moulding lines. The D5 replaces the popular DISA 240 and 250, with a range of three machines with mold sizes of 600 x 775mm, 600 x 850mm and 650 x 850mm, and three speeds up to 450 uncored moulds per hour.

Based on the revolutionary D3, the D5’s multiple innovations include all-new hydraulics and a state-of-the-art control system, along with new “mouldability” features that let foundries produce a wider range of large, complex castings while maintaining impeccable quality.

The DISAMATIC D5 is also built for easy servicing, lower maintenance costs and a lifetime measured in decades. A longstanding DISA customer, Lodge has relied on DISA’s molding machines since it bought its first in 1965. 

“When you look at the amount of maintenance that it takes to keep some molding machines performing at the desired casting quality, that’s where DISA excels,” says Dave. “Their ability to maintain tight tolerances when you’re making thousands of molds a day is where they stand out from the competition. The machines are very reliable and, if we do have any issues, the technical expertise they provide helps us get through any challenges quicker.”

DISA, a Norican Group technology, develops and manufactures a complete range of metal casting production solutions for the ferrous and non-ferrous foundry industries. Headquartered in Taastrup, Denmark, DISA is the world-leading supplier of complete foundry solutions and services, as well as state-of-the-art green sand moulding equipment.

DISA also offers its class-leading Monitizer digital solutions, developed in partnership with Norican Digital Lab, that support the whole digital journey from data collection to AI-driven casting quality optimisation. Monitizer works in all types of foundries and processes, and with any vendor equipment, to deliver serious process improvements – fast.