Everything under control
Something good is getting even better! The ProDos 3 control system announced by the StrikoWestofen Group (Germany) will be an important update for all Westomat dosing furnaces. Additional functions and simplified calibration along with improved process reliability and dosing accuracy are the principal features of the new control. It is also the first system to have a capacitive touchscreen and is even more resistant to electromagnetic disturbances than before. In the development of the existing software, StrikoWestofen will integrate a large number of additional functions, including the patented biscuit correction. The new control hardware goes onto the market in the summer of 2013 and will be completely compatible with the previous version from a mechanical and electrical point of view. However, StrikoWestofen will continue to provide comprehensive support for all older versions including the Westronics control.
The control system has a significant effect on the precision and the dosing principle of the current Westomat dosing furnaces. Ever since the introduction of the DPC and ProDos XP controls, a closed-loop control system has determined the dosing quantity to be released. The release of the melt to the die casting machine is controlled with high precision and without delays via a temporary increase of the air pressure in the furnace chamber. This is made possible by a pneumatic unit with an electro-proportional valve. A clearly arranged touchscreen offers an overview of all process-relevant data and signals. This allows the system to be adjusted at any time during the production process, and imprecise dosing can be corrected while production is in progress.
ProDos 3 new hardware without any ifs or buts
As a result of continuous further development and improvement, the StrikoWestofen Group launches its new ProDos 3 control onto the market in the summer of 2013. To guarantee easy retrofitting to the new system, the hardware module is completely compatible, mechanically and electrically, with the current ProDos XP control unit and with the DPC control. In terms of hardware, the ProDos 3 control is characterized by its modular concept and its significantly improved computing performance. For example, the new unit improves the reaction time by a factor of three, adapting the dosing weight to altered process parameters with a high degree of efficiency. Thanks to an integrated Profibus connection, the system also allows universal communication with the die casting machine. Access to the control system of the die casting machine allows the user to directly adapt the dosing quantity and the melt temperature of the Westomat to altered production conditions, explains Rudolf Riedel, managing director of the StrikoWestofen Group.
Maximum process reliability
Improving the process reliability was the principal aim pursued in the development of the control. Thus, the new system is even more resistant to electromagnetic disturbances than its predecessor. The ProDos 3 is also the first and only dosing furnace control system worldwide to be equipped with a capacitive touchscreen. In contrast to the usual technology, this no longer needs to be recalibrated, instead guaranteeing perfect functioning even after long years of operation under extreme temperature conditions.
The expansion of the existing software will give the new ProDos 3 control a wide range of new functions: for example, system setup will be quicker and easier in future. In addition, StrikoWestofen has completely integrated the patented biscuit correction into the control unit. This optionally available system is now in operation on the premises of various well-known foundry customers and it has already shown impressive results. Integration into the control system allows StrikoWestofen to also offer biscuit correction as a reasonably priced extension in future. In combination with additional options such as an extended riser tube including edge cleaning biscuit correction improves the dosing accuracy by up to 35 percent. As a special service, StrikoWestofen also offers a rapid overview of dosing data and error history as well as free-of-charge evaluation of the mode of operation of the dosing system. At present this is still done via manual evaluation under www.strikowestofen.com. However, the ProDos 3 control will also have an integrated web server allowing remote diagnostics.
No end in sight
Of course, StrikoWestofen will continue to provide comprehensive support for all previous control systems. Thanks to our extensive network of suppliers, at the moment the supply of spare parts is even guaranteed for our Westronics control, which is now 25 years old, explains Holger Stephan, manager of the Service and Spare Parts department at StrikoWestofen. Nevertheless, it is often advisable to carry out an update to the latest control version in order to increase dosing accuracy and process reliability even more. This poses no technical problems whatsoever.
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