Metal filling logistics: Industry 4.0 improves productivity of casting

Published

Norican Digital, which powers the development of digital solutions and sophisticated IoT technologies across the casting industry, is launching its first digital products. Available now, Refill Monitor uses real-time sensor data to improve the productivity and uptime of casting lines. The system is also simple to install on existing facilities.

Refill Monitor uses sensor generated data to ensure dosing furnaces (e.g. Westomat) or bale-out furnaces never run low on metal, maximising machine productivity and uptime.

Refill Monitor is a pioneering tool that employs real-time production data to manage multiple casting lines. It ensures the timely supply of molten metal and avoids over filling. The data driven solution also helps operators to ensure that the correct alloy is supplied to each machine.

The power of sensor data for optimum refilling

One Refill Monitor visualises up to 8 casting lines. It can be retrofitted on any dosing or bale-out furnace. It is web connected and requires minimal installation effort, with IoT infrastructure provided by Norican Digital.

Rudi Riedel, President of Norican Digital, comments on the launch: “Applying data driven digital technology offers foundries the chance to become leaner and more profitable than ever before. By making it extremely easy for operators to access, interpret and act on vital filling data, Refill Monitor ensures dosing and bale-out equipment is never low on molten metal and always working at full capacity.

Yunus Akyürek, Customer Success Engineer adds: “Digital tachometers create a dashboard that displays the fill level, refill quantity, countdown to refill and accuracy of the alloy intended for each machine in the production hall according to the site layout. This means operators know when to refill each Westomat with the exact amount of metal needed. It also helps to avoid unnecessary rides.”

Drawing on a wealth of Group expertise

Norican Digital is positioned perfectly to develop new digital technologies, encompassing the learnings, expertise and customer experience from across the breadth of the Group, helping customers improve their processes by turning raw data into valuable insight – which like molten metal, is too precious a commodity to waste.

When developing Refill Monitor, Norican Digital worked collaboratively with StrikoWestofen engineers who embedded their foundry and engineering expertise to maximise functionality and optimise the technology for Westomat owners.

Underpinning the performance of Refill Monitor is Norican Digital’s powerful IoT infrastructure. A key component of this is the NoriGate data gateway which captures and collates sensor intelligence, enabling it to be visualised on a dashboard and empowering operators with the information they need to make decisions critical to maximising uptime.

When NoriGate is combined with cloud storage, foundries will be poised and ready to benefit from the digital applications and products that Norican Digital will release in future.

A key component of Norican Digital’s powerful IoT infrastructure is the NoriGate data gateway which captures and collates sensor intelligence, enabling it to be visualised on a dashboard and empowering operators with the information they need to make decisions critical to maximising uptime.

Continuous casting for customers

Florian Kulawik, Development Engineer at StrikoWestofen, adds: “Refill Monitor means dosing and holding furnaces will always be fed with enough liquid metal to keep die casting machines and mould pouring running at full efficiency. Sophisticated monitoring capabilities also guide operators to ensure Westomats are filled with the correct alloy.

“The intuitive dashboards show operators which furnace needs to be filled most urgently, helping them to prioritise effectively, making best use of engineer expertise and increasing productivity.

“This solution is designed specifically to deliver machine uptime in line with customer needs. We are delighted with its performance and look forward to seeing Refill Monitor in action at customer foundries.”