Both Monitizer and DISA are part of Norican, which has signed up to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and is encouraging its customers to do the same. Draxton is a global manufacturer of cast iron and aluminum components with a presence in six countries across three continents and employing 4,000 people. With 13 production units and three engineering centers, its total annual casting capacity exceeds 620,000 tons, it produces complex components for brakes, powertrain and transmission systems.
"Sustainability is a significant issue in the foundry industry and the automotive industry as a whole," says Clotilde Teson Ruiz, Draxton's Europe & Asia Talent & Culture, CSR and Environment Director. "Companies must incorporate sustainability into their organizational strategies. In order to move forward, we have to reduce our environmental impact and take action to improve the health and future of the planet."
"We have been working for more than three years to define, analyze and promote projects that improve our carbon footprint," continues Clotilde. "In 2022, Draxton used over 200,000 tons of scrap, accounting for more than 92% of the material composition of each of our parts. We also recycle our waste material into raw material for other industries. This contributes to the circular economy and is a decisive step towards sustainability."
The plant's Monitizer | DISCOVER Industry 4.0 solution is Draxton’s latest weapon in the fight to improve sustainability. Draxton can collect, aggregate and store data from any vendor's equipment across multiple lines and global sites. Monitizer’s user-friendly reporting and visualization tools display live and historical data in easy-to-understand, customised dashboards, giving the Draxton Barcelona team a 24/7 digital view of production.
"We decided to use Monitizer | DISCOVER because it is a specialized application that is completely focused on the foundry industry," explains Javier Heredia, Plant Manager at Draxton Barcelona. "Monitizer is a giant leap forward for us. As the data it collects is actually stored in the cloud, you can access and analyze it from any device, anywhere in the world."
DISCOVER's information has already helped Draxton cut downtime, implement preventive maintenance and remove process bottlenecks. With instant access to DISCOVER's data and automated process monitoring, the Barcelona foundry team can respond quickly to any problems. "The advantage we have is that Monitizer gives us access to data and process monitoring in real time," says Javier. "This allows us to act immediately to improve performance and reduce material and energy consumption."
This live process view means staff can measure – and take action to reduce – the Barcelona plant's carbon footprint.
"DISCOVER is helping us a lot with sustainability, mainly because we have now digitized and can monitor many of our processes, including practically all consumption ratios within the plant," says Javier. "For example, insufficient moulding sand often slowed down our two moulding lines. Now we can vary the sand mixing cycle time to optimize the sand-water ratio. This has removed the bottleneck and reduced water and electricity consumption along with waste. We have better control of our equipment, so can make our process more efficient and sustainable."
Measuring emissions, taking action
Accurate emissions measurement is rapidly becoming unavoidable for foundries. From 2024 onwards, the EU’s Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will make audited emissions reporting compulsory for large companies like Draxton, Norican and many others. Without a reliable and accurate view of process operation and energy consumption, compliance will be challenging.
"Monitizer | DISCOVER has helped us implement and enhance lean manufacturing and predictive maintenance, and we use its information to constantly learn about and enhance different parts of our operations," says plant manager Javier. "It has definitely helped us improve casting quality while lowering resource and energy consumption. That has lowered our carbon emissions and DISCOVER's digital process view will also be invaluable as we begin our new sustainability initiative."
The DISCOVER system delivers monitoring, analysis and insight across all the facility's production areas and equipment, helping the team to keep cutting resource and energy use. Monitizer | PRESCRIBE is the natural next step on Draxton's digital – and sustainability – journey, harnessing the power of AI to optimize an entire foundry process and proven to drive average scrap reductions by 40% on average. As sustainability's benefits become more apparent, more foundries are moving in this direction.
"Sustainability is undoubtedly a competitive advantage at the moment," concludes Clotilde, "but in order to make a decisive contribution to environmental improvement, it has to be an obligation for the entire industry."