DISA experts have delivered a series of guest lectures about the Future of Foundries to audiences at Portoroz in Slovenia, VDG Seminar in Dusseldorf, Germany and the World Foundry Congress. The insightful programme of lectures highlighted the future opportunities open to foundries, by exploring the three interconnected themes of: sustainability, productivity and Industry 4.0.
Response to the lectures has been fantastic, so if you weren’t able to make it along, DISA has provided a roundup of the discussion points, insights and innovations discussed.
Sustainability is a topic that spans responsibility, efficiency and profitability. For Green Sand Moulding Technology, sustainability gains will continue to develop in the areas of pouring and moulding innovation.
DISA experts outlined that for the first time ever, foundries are able to spot and react to mould string inaccuracies in real time, before pouring – therefore saving scrap and remelting, and thereby delivering huge productivity and profitability gains.
This is thanks to the high-precision DISA MAC (Mould Accuracy Controller) measuring device that captures mould-related mismatch, mould gaps, mould steps and parallelism for each mould.
The DISA Fast Pour System, which pours moulds more quickly and has helped one foundry save an average of 1.4kg liquid iron per mould, is another innovation developed to help support a sustainable foundry future.
Irrespective of foundry size, type, location and customer market, a need for increased automation promises to revolutionise productivity.
An innovation pointing foundries towards a more productive future is The Automatic Filter Setter (AFS) feature for the DISAMATIC D3. The PLC-controlled, robot-monitored unit autonomously places filters into any uncored mould operating at up to 555 moulds per hour. This helps boost production capacity, quality and safety, while freeing up experienced operators for more value-added work.
Other innovations, such as the Fast Pour System and the Double Index System, help to reduce the poured weight per mould and can also unlock potential to increase the number of moulds per hour while retaining control parameters. Depending on the actual pattern plate, productivity increases of 20% are not uncommon.
In most foundries today, data is not available from one central system. Separate systems often exist for sand preparation, melt preparation, moulding, pouring and scrap accounting.
The DISA lectures explored how getting access to all data from the casting process, in one system, opens up many new opportunities and will lead foundries towards the realisation of Industry 4.0.
With ease of access to system data, comes simpler analysis which will also help to speed up troubleshooting.
Gaining a deeper understanding of critical data is also essential for process optimization which, over the course of time, will help foundries reduce scrap to an absolute minimum. Having full access to the quality control parameters from the casting process, and being able to correlate them with detailed process and scrap data, creates a very strong tool for scrap analysis and subsequent reduction.
Finally, audiences heard about collaboration with Norican Digital to develop data handling and processing systems, that will open many new ways to optimise foundry operations.