Eisenwerk Erzgebirge 1566 GmbH (formerly ES Automobilguss) in Germany has been producing iron parts continuously since 1566. Today, it is a specialist in malleable iron castings for all types of applications with 85% of casting output made in smaller volumes and shorter run.
In 2017, Eisenwerk Erzgebirge invested in new equipment and digital innovations to improve productivity and quality. The foundry replaced one of two old DISA moulding lines from the 1970s with a new DISAMATIC D3 equipped with a DISA MAC (Mould Accuracy Controller).
The DISA MAC is a high-precision measuring device that captures mould-related mismatch, mould gaps, mould steps and parallelism for each mould in real time - before pouring.
Marcel Tröger, project manager at Eisenwerk Erzgebirge, explains: “With our old moulding line, we had longstanding disagreements between the pattern makers and the maintenance team about the root cause of casting defects that gave us our relatively high scrap rate. When we got the new DISAMATIC, we installed the DISA MAC pattern blocks on our pattern plates and ran the new line with the DISA MAC system. It instantly flagged that something was wrong – mismatch! Could it be the machine settings? I didn’t think so - it was much more likely to be the old pattern plates than the brand new, high-end machine. So we 3D-scanned the pattern plates and immediately found inconsistencies that we’d not previously spotted. Straightaway, the DISA MAC has brought a new level of quality – and quality control – to our pattern making process, bringing it in line with the accuracy of the new moulding machine.”
Installing the DISA MAC alone brought the scrap rate at Eisenwerk Erzgebirge from 7.5% down to 4.5%. That’s a reduction of 40%, which has significantly cut production costs. Those savings have a direct effect on pricing calculations, improving the company’s market competitiveness. Overall casting quality has improved too, resulting in greater customer satisfaction and fewer complaints and returns.
Mr. Tröger concludes: “Because we’re now producing shorter runs and therefore change pattern plates more frequently, the DISA MAC has been invaluable in avoiding scrap – especially at the start of a new run. Together, the new DISAMATIC D3 and the DISA MAC have made a huge difference to our production, helping us to be far more agile and efficient. After 450 years of continued production, our updated process means we can look forward to a successful and sustainable future.”