Optimizing the melting process in the foundry with machine data

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3 minutes Reading time
3 minutes Reading time

Digitalized, networked dosing furnaces provide insight into all functions and processes. The foundries can thus detect and rectify faults more quickly. This increases capacity utilization and results in reduced scrap.

The challenge: Foundries lack important process data in the machines and systems

The Norican Group is a leading global supplier of technologies for shaping and finishing metal parts. The Group offers customers around the world a wide range of solutions, including gray iron foundry equipment, light metal casting solutions, and high-end light metal furnace technology.

With traditional machines and furnaces, foundries lack insight into all functions and processes. Any faults that occur are detected and rectified too late. As a result, utilization decreases and process efficiency is too low to meet all customer requirements.

The digitization of machines can overcome these challenges. It is therefore an important, strategic issue for Norican. In order to benefit from already existing competences and expert knowledge, Norican cooperates with azeti GmbH. The provider of Internet of Things (IoT) software solutions beat all competitors with its azeti IoT platform.

The solution: An IoT platform for monitoring the dosing furnaces

The azeti IoT platform forms the basis for Norican’s Monitizer | GLOBAL, an Industry 4.0 solution proven to add value to foundries. To ensure that dosing furnaces always operate at optimum capacity and never run short of molten metal, Norican develops use-case specific applications based on the Monitizer | GLOBAL, such as the Refill Monitor.

The data comes partly from the machine control system (PLC) and partly from subsequently installed sensors. They are sent to the cloud via an IoT gateway, evaluated there, and visualized in application-specific dashboards. Users of the Refill Monitor receive real-time information about the furnace and thus have full transparency of all furnace filling levels at all times. An optimally filled dosing furnace ensures a smooth and high-quality casting process.

By using the Refill Monitor, the number of filling operations can be reduced to a minimum and metal supply productivity increased by up to 15%. Furthermore, the overall productivity of the melting process increases by an average of 0.5 – 1% due to the avoidance of production stops caused by delayed or incorrect filling or waiting times for the melt.

Operators know in real time when to refill each furnace with the exact amount of metal needed. This eliminates the risk of running dry, overfilling and the interruptions this causes. In addition, there is less scrap due to refilling when the filling level is too low. Other advantages include more efficient utilization of production capacities and reduced CO2 emissions.

The result: Digitized machines improve utilization and process efficiency

Digitized machines allow foundries to have a complete virtual view of all functions and offer optimization of the production process thanks to machine data. The elimination of disruptions has improved work operations, workload and process efficiency many times over.

As a pioneer in the foundry industry, Norican made digitization an important part of its corporate strategy. It not only offers customers many new opportunities and potential. Norican also benefits enormously from their use.

The expansion of the product portfolio will open up additional market segments. The differentiation of the services increase the reputation in the industry, strengthen the image and market position of the company. All these factors contribute to the acquisition of new customers.

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