State-of-the-art technologies from Norican’s DISA and Wheelabrator brands have come together in a complete green sand solution for Dianzhan (Jiujiang) Metal Materials Co., Ltd. Constructed in only six months, the new Norican production line exactly fits Dianzhan’s requirement for a compact, fully automated and energy-efficient facility that will triple the company’s annual iron output.
Challenges: Compact layout for efficient casting
Established in September 2005 and starting production in May 2006, Dianzhan produces around 12,000 tons annually at its original foundry site. In 2018, the company decided to more than triple its overall capacity by building a completely new, additional Jiujiang facility in Jiangxi province, China, with a projected annual casting output of 26,000 tons. Construction began in August 2018, with the first production castings appearing only six months later in February 2019.
Occupying minimum factory floor space, while delivering rapid, flexible and low-cost production, the new foundry specialises in the casting and processing of compressor parts and automotive parts, such as cylinders, bearings and other components. The technology delivered by Norican is already hitting its targets for productivity and scrap elimination.
Solution: Efficient, lean production with seamless automation
DISA and Wheelabrator worked together to select exactly the right equipment to match Dianzhan’s specifications, with every workflow planned for maximum, automated efficiency. The entire production line runs automatically and continuously, from sand preparation and iron melting through to moulding, pouring, shake-out and blasting. Every work area and piece of equipment is seamlessly and automatically coordinated with its neighbouring process and the moulding line.
This neatly-packaged, integrated complete green sand solution for the foundry has a compact layout, minimising the distance between all the different foundry process stages. This translates into reduced manpower requirements, shorter distances for materials to move – and no need for forklifts in the plant area. The space saved also leaves room for other equipment to be installed in future. The sand plant employs DISA’s classic double cooling drum design combined with a high-efficiency control module. With consistent sand quality and the minimal distance between sand production and the moulding line, moulding sand can be prepared and used only when needed by the moulding line.
Perfectly matched plant – and dust-free too
The DISAMATIC D3 vertical moulding machine lies at the heart of the moulding line and combines high speed with exceptional yield and quality. Throughput is blisteringly fast: up to 485 moulds per hour with core setting and 555 moulds per hour without, all with a mould misalignment of less than 0.01 mm. After cooling and shake-out, Wheelabrator’s DT14-450 rocker-barrel-type shot blasting machine cleans the castings by gently tumbling parts in through-feed operation. Fully automated like the rest of the production equipment and working continuously, its small footprint helps it fit easily onto the tightly-packed factory floor. DT shot blast machines require no loading or unloading and cope easily with changing parts, types or volumes.
Shot blasting operations are dust-free, like all the new foundry’s work areas. Part of the integrated complete green sand solution, the design embraces every piece of plant to effectively improve overall dust removal performance and helps Dianzhan meet the increasingly stringent environmental requirements facing iron foundries. Condensation is a major challenge in dust removal: if not handled in time, it can easily paralyse the production line. The integrated plant design tackles condensation at every stage of the casting process. For example, DISA’s new heating furnace employs heating and insulation treatment within the parts of the sand treatment system with high levels of moisture.
Result: Smooth transition to full production
Implemented rapidly and working to specification, the complete green sand solution is reliable, easy to maintain and delivers consistent quality. As the foundry plant ramped up production in the first half of 2019, the scrap rate remained below 1% and the integrated plant’s monthly output quickly reached 1,000 tons. The new Jiujiang plant is now well on the way to helping Dianzhan triple its annual production volume.
Mr. Chien Chuan Lin, Production Manager at Dianzhan, comments: “When we started to plan this project with DISA, we had four main targets. We wanted to improve the utilization of the workshop, minimize the logistical distances involved and build a fully-automated line that was also very energy-efficient. After running at full operating status for the last few months, we can confirm that all four of these targets have been achieved at our Jiujiang plant.”