CPT International 04/2014


The leading technical journal for the
global foundry industry – Das führende Fachmagazin für die
weltweite Gießerei-Industrie



Special inside!


RGU_CP+T-Titel_Russia_v1_RGU_CP+T-Titel_EN_RZ 26.03.12 14:19 Seite 1



AMAP is dedicated to

accelerate pro gress together -

with open innovation



inspection of failure-critical

vehicle components

Melting Shop

Employment of the Sequence

Impulse Process in cupola


Anti-Wear Filler Metals for

Tailor-Made Protectivity TM

Repair & Maintenance Welding – Decades of industry experience and application

know-how in the areas of repair, wear and surface protection in conjunction

with innovative and tailored products guarantee our customers an increase in

the productivity, protection, service life and performance capacity of their components

under the UTP Maintenance brand.

voestalpine Böhler Welding



Using die-casting to produce

complex castings

Die-casting technology is at the vanguard of the development of particularly complex,

comparatively light and, above all, economical castings for the automotive

industry. In a comprehensive overview, Dr. Norbert Erhard (Managing Director)

and Sladjan Babic (Works Manager) from the die-casting plant producer Oskar

Frech GmbH + Co. KG in Schorndorf, Germany, describe the technical state-ofthe-art

for the innovative production of castings (from P. 14).

This issue’s interview is with Prof. Wolfgang Schneider from Hydro Aluminium

Rolled Products GmbH and the two AMAP Managing Directors, Dr. Rolf Weber

and Dr. Peter von den Brincken. AMAP GmbH (Advanced Metals and Processes)

was initiated by German university professors and companies in the metal industry

committed to close collaboration in R&D between industry and university institutes.

“Like crowd-sourcing, what matters is to obtain as much information as

possible from all sides and then make the most of it. It is important to generate a

lot of ideas. Open innovation is the opposite of closed innovation, during which

companies develop their ideas behind closed doors,” Prof. Schneider describes the

aim of the company, which is open to members from all over the world (from P. 6).

Other topics in this issue involve integrated molding material management

(from P. 24), sophisticated automation solutions such as an innovative casting

robot at Georg Fischer Mettmann (from P. 30), or the Magma 5 simulation solution

in use at Toshiba Hydro Power in Hang Zhou, China (P. 35). Our company report

on the Euro Metall iron foundry, which belongs to Germany’s DIHAG group of

foundries, examines the production of brake blocks, weight castings and ribbed

plates in Hungary. With its product portfolio, Euro Metall is the group’s hub for

southeast Europe (from P. 38).

Our journey around the world’s most important foundry industries takes us to Latin

America in this issue. More precisely, to the three established foundry nations

of Brazil, Mexico and Argentina – whose market conditions vary considerably.

All three countries, however, have great potential for further growth (from P. 41).

Our next issue represents a jubilee: CP+T will be 30! Celebrate with us! Our special

issue sketches out the history of our periodical and examines the future of casting.

Have a good read!

Robert Piterek, e-mail: robert.piterek@bdguss.de

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 3



Schneider, Wolfgang; Weber, Rolf; von den Brinken, Peter

Making quicker progress together – with open innovation! 6


Heldt, Hans-Heinrich; Illgner, Christian

Employment of the Sequence Impulse Process in cupola operation 10


Erhard, Norbert; Babic, Sladjan

Modern die casting – ready for the future with innovations! 14


Michenfelder, Manfred; Liedtke, Alfred; Huck, Christoph

Process-integrated molding material management 24

Schwarzbach, Laura

First time use of a robot to cast molten iron 30

Köhler, Thomas

Function-oriented inspection of failure-critical vehicle components 32



Karl-Harr Str. 1

44263 Dortmund/Germany

Tel.: + 49 (0) 231 419970

Fax: + 49 (0) 231 41997-99





Die-casting is excellent for producing complex part

geometries. An overview of the state-of-the-art in hot and

cold chamber die-casting machines (Photo: Csaba Metal)

For the first time ever, Georg Fischer is using the strength of two

Kuka heavy-duty robots of the KR 1000 titan type for casting molten

iron at 1,400 °C (Photo: Kuka)


Plant and Technology

4 | 2014 International


Peng Cheng, Xu; Lei, Zhang; Zhouqin, Zhang

First understand, then optimize! 35


Piterek, Robert

Hub for railway technology in southeast Europe 38



Editorial 3

News in brief 45

Brochures 48

Fairs and congresses /Advertisers´ index 47

Preview/Imprint 51


The Euro Metall iron foundry in the Hungarian capital Budapest produces brake parts for railways. For its parent company, the

German foundry group DIHAG, the company is the hub for railway technology in southeast Europe. (Photo: W. Richardson)

“Accelerate progress together –

with open innovation“

AMAP GmbH (Advanced Metals and Processes) is a common foundation of Aachen university

institutes and companies of the non-ferrous industry, set up in 2012. Its main purpose is research

and development in close collaboration between industry and university institutes - no

matter whether from Germany or abroad. In an interview with CP+T International, founding

member and Advisory Board Chairman Prof. Wolfgang Schneider from Hydro Aluminum Rolled

Products GmbH in Bonn, Germany, and the two AMAP Managing Directors, Dr. Rolf Weber and

Dr. Peter von den Brincken, explain why open innovation plays such a key role

What is open innovation?

Prof. Wolfgang Schneider: It is a collaboration

to create innovations within

horizontal and vertical networks.

Competitors, suppliers, customers

and, for example, universities participate.

Anyone who can make a contribution

is included in open innovation.

Like crowd-sourcing, what matters is to

obtain as much information as possible

from all sides and then make the

most of it. It is important to generate

a lot of ideas. Open innovation is the

opposite of closed innovation, where

companies develop their ideas behind

closed doors. Only ideas already existing

in companies are worked on. With

closed innovation nothing is released

to the outside because the employees

are obliged to maintain confidentiality.

With open innovation, on the other

hand, many are involved and they

mostly have already committed themselves

to joint development objectives.

Why is AMAP pushing the open innovation


Schneider: The background to this is

that the markets now force companies

to create innovations in ever-shorter

time periods. There are many who in

the past and today exclusively bet on a

closed innovation process. This is, how-

6 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

ever, dangerous. You can quickly lose

touch and be swept out of the market

when you, so to speak, stew in your own

juices. In this regard, open innovation

is also a form of insurance for future viability.

And what we see again and again:

the efforts that a company has to invest

for this are limited.

Is the choice then between closed innovation

and open innovation?

Dr. Rolf Weber: One does both of

course: for the things that involve internal

company expertise – when there

is a competitive advantage – then of

course one will continue to use the

‘closed’ system. In other cases, however,

where it is noticed that one can

do something together with others in

order to make progress faster, to place

an innovation on the market more

quickly, then the open innovation process

opens up opportunities. In short:

there is not just this one or that one,

each has its justification.

What characterizes open innovation?

Schneider: There is the congeniality

that you obtain expertise in a development

from people who do not belong

to one’s own company but who make

contributions and can accelerate development.

This is a great thing, particularly

for those companies who do

not have major research and development


And what differentiates open innovation

from classic joint research projects

in which several companies, research

organizations or university

institutes also collaborate?

Schneider: You are right: classic joint

research is also open innovation. But

there is a very clear difference: the

joint research projects proposed by

the state (for example by the Federal

Ministry of Education and Research,

the Federal Ministry of Economics and

Technology, or the European Union)

are mainly founded by public money.

AMAP is synonymous with 100 %

industrial funding. Up to now we do

not have any public funding. There are

only the contributions from the member

companies that finance our project


And this means?

Dr. Peter von den Brincken: This

makes us more independent in many

things. We are more flexible. We agree

on a topic of mutual interest and when

– let’s say after three years – this will

have been completed we will develop

a new subject of common interest. We

are exclusively aligned upon the needs

of our member companies. The public

promotion of joint research projects,

on the other hand, is strongly program-related

and thus the range of topics

is strongly restricted. Therefore it is

more or less by chance if this precisely

corresponds to the interests of one’s

own company.

Are your member companies competitors?

Schneider: Of course. Aluminum companies,

such as Novelis, Aleris, Constellium

or Hydro Aluminium, are

currently involved in the AMAP open

innovation research cluster. These

companies are all direct competitors in

the market. Rolled products, for example,

is one of the main business areas

of Hydro Aluminium. This also applies

for Novelis and Aleris.

And despite this you all work together?

Schneider: The collaboration generally

involves pre-competitive research

and development projects that are of

interest for all. When a certain level

of maturity has been reached, the result

– a new simulation model for example

– will be integrated in your own


But we do not have only these larger

companies at AMAP’s, which here follow

their own self-determined research

interests. Small and medium-sized

companies (SMEs) become members

because they normally do not dispose

of any research capacities or only have

limited research capacities, but nevertheless

they are forced to come up with

innovations. At AMAP’s they can participate

with relatively low expenses

and share in developments that they

could never achieve by own means.

Open innovation provides these companies

with access to knowledge and

expertise that they lack and that they

cannot generate on their own.

Dr. Peter von den Brincken: “We are

exclusively aligned upon the needs of

our members” (Photos: U. Zillmann)

Starting point and motivation for the

founding of AMAP’s were the metallurgy,

processing, application and recycling

of aluminum?

Weber: The motivation was to set up a

research cluster in the area of non-ferrous

metals to exploit the open innovation

approach in order to work on

future topics of joint importance for

this industry and to enhance its innovative

power. Whereby the initiative

largely came from the industry itself.

von den Brincken: This is why we

founded the AMAP (Advanced Metals

and Processes) research cluster in 2012

in the legal form of a GmbH under the

umbrella of the aluminium engineering

center (aec).

The aec was founded in 2003 by ten

enthusiastic Professors at RWTH Aachen

University as a non-profit re gistered association.

They all carried out intensive

research in the area of aluminum, its alloys

and its applications. At the heart of

the aec there are colloquiums, seminars

and workshops with industrial participation.

This formal development pro-

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 7


cess has taken place relatively smoothly

in recent years because we could harmonize

and condense the many interests of

the companies participating in AMAP’s

within a cooperation contract.

The aec was founded in 2003 by

ten enthusiastic Professors at RWTH

Aachen University as a non-profit registered

association. They all carried out

Dr. Rolf Weber: “AMAP is a research

cluster in the area of non-ferrous


intensive research in the area of aluminum,

its alloys and its applications. At

the heart of the aec there are colloquiums,

seminars and workshops with industrial

participation. This formal development

process has taken place

relatively smoothly in recent years because

we could harmonize and condense

the many interests of the companies

participating in AMAP’s within

a cooperation contract.

Schneider: AMAP gives us a legal entity

within which the different collaboration

opportunities can be realised: for

example, there may be bilateral projects

in which just one company collaborates

with university research. But there are

also projects where two companies or

even five or six cooperate with various

institutes of RWTH Aachen. Whereby,

for example, they examine the ‘Measurement

of melt purity’ with companies including

Nemak and Trimet SE, the topic

of ‘Efficient melting’, or ‘Core distortion’

with Magma, among others, or ‘Highstrength

aluminum alloys’ with other

companies, such as Ford, Mubea and the

SMS Group. These subjects are of equal

interest for the participating companies,

even if they are in competition with one

another. To put it simply, the companies

put their money together to finance the

research. Each one on its own would not

be able to do the work.

What does a typical AMAP project

look like?

Schneider: Let me illustrate the basic

idea of AMAP’s with an example: With

the increasing efficiency of computers,

simulation became a major topic in

material development and processing

years ago. In the aluminum industry every

company soon began to develop its

own heat flow models, although the basic

mathematical equations do not differ

at all. If we had had AMAP twenty years

ago and been able to consolidate energies

and financial resources, we would

have been in a position to develop the

model beyond corporate boundaries

and everyone would then have gone

back to the own company and adapted

it to its own specific conditions. This example

shows how open innovation can

pool energies and financial resources.

Is it your aim to align AMAP to specific

topics also in the future?

Weber: AMAP is a research cluster in

the area of non-ferrous materials. That

we are currently concentrating on aluminum

is simply an accident resulting

from our start-up conditions. If possible

we want also to grow into the direction

of copper, magnesium or zinc. But this,

of course, depends on which companies

will join us and participate in AMAP’s.

Will you also continue to exclusively

deploy funds from the participating

companies in the future?

von den Brincken: We do not want to

strategically exclude public funding

within the framework of e.g. the Federal

Ministry of Education and Research

or EU projects. This would help SMEs,

in particular, to participate in AMAP’s.

The foundry industry is characterized

by SMEs. Is participation in AMAP interesting

for these companies?

von den Brincken: AMAP is interesting

for all company sizes when pre-competitive

fundamental research and development

is involved for joint advantage.

But it is certainly the case that an

SME does not lightly consider joining

AMAP. Some employees of the company

must work here with us; there is a

basic fee; and additionally there are the

specific costs of a research project. On

the other hand there are the successes.

These points must be balanced in

the company and considered whether

they represent a win-win situation.

What do I put in? What do I get back?

Weber: I think an AMAP participation

brings clear benefits for SMEs: the companies

gain access to knowledge that

they could hardly obtain elsewhere.

Then there is the networking with

partners who otherwise would be difficult

to find. And, last but not least,

they gain access to interdisciplinary

university research and young expert

talents, for example to doctoral candidates.

Participating companies can

find and recruit new and suitable employees

via AMAP.

AMAP knows what one needs to


Schneider: In future, we will be able

to use the cross-sectional institutes of

RWTH Aachen University even better

when we will participate in Campus

GmbH, as it is planned. We will take this

step as soon as we can afford it. This is

anchored in our statute. Then our member

companies will have access to all university

facilities. This development prospect

of AMAP’s is, in turn, particularly

interesting for SMEs. These companies

often do not master many experimental

methods, or do not have sufficiently

equipped laboratories. The membership

would give them, for example, access to

the modern facilities of the institutes

8 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

that could help them to quickly overcome

an obstacle.

On the other hand, SMEs frequently

have special expertise that they definitely

do not want to share with competitors.

How does AMAP handle this?

Weber: Of course a foundry, for example,

has sought out and developed its

core business over decades. But after

some time it might turn out that this

is not sufficient enough for competition.

New problems might arise that

need to be investigated. Cooperation

and competition are two sides of the

same coin. Collaboration is called for

if the problems are of general interest in

a sector. I think that no company can

now maintain a “what I can do well is

enough for me” attitude when considering

the future.

Schneider: Open innovation is a type

of collaboration in which one always

has to bring in a bit. Nobody can expect

to get a lot out of something

without putting something in. AMAP

members will always have to provide

a certain amount of expertise. Then it

depends very individually on the company

or the experience of the employees

what exactly can be put in.

Weber: In principle, at AMAP’s you

must be prepared to share knowledge

and competences for the benefit of the

entire project. Then it is of course helpful

when we initially restrict ourselves

primarily to pre-competitive research.

But as it is already becoming apparent,

in many areas we can work together

to approach solutions. As a result, all

participants will be faster, save money,

and become better in general.

The starting point for AMAP is RWTH

Aachen University. Is it thus something

like a regional organization?

von den Brincken: By no means! A

French company is a member, for example,

and makes valuable contributions.

Weber: And some member companies

do not have their headquarters in Germany

at all, but in the USA, Mexico or


Do you make it easy for new member

companies to get involved in joint research

and development work?

Schneider: Getting involved in running

projects or docking is impossible,

or at least difficult. A company

should consider an AMAP membership

if they have an idea that they

cannot implement on their own. And

you should be open to get involved in

the further development of AMAP’s.

We have a clear vision: in five to ten

years AMAP should be located on the

premises of the West Campus as part

of Campus GmbH and will have its

own research buildings with laboratories

and offices – all jointly used facilities.

In the AMAP research cluster, the

member companies can invest in experimental

plants which each single

company could not handle to realise.

Prof. Wolfgang Schneider: “At Open

Innovation anyone who can make a

contribution is included.”

For example?

Schneider: At present, four of our member

companies are active in the rolling

sector. It would therefore be conceivable

to construct a pilot rolling facility.

There are investment projects that exceed

the assets of the individual company,

but that four or five collaborators

could afford. In short: AMAP consolidates

resources and competences to accelerate

joint progress.










SALES: +44 (0) 1902 722588 SERVICE: +44 (0) 1440 710603 www.induction-furnaces.co.uk

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 9


Hot-blast cupola at Luitpoldhütte in Amberg. The installed SIP plant provides numerous advantages (Photos +

Graphics: Luitpoldhütte)

Authors: Dipl.-Ing. Hans-Heinrich Heldt, ThyssenKrupp AT.PRO tec GmbH, Essen, and Christian Ilgner, Luitpoldhütte

AG, Amberg

Employment of the Sequence Impulse

Process in cupola operation

In order to take advantage of the technological and economic advantages of the Sequence Impulse

Process (SIP), which include savings on energy, uniform gas penetration over the complete

furnace cross-section and shorter heat-up times, Luitpoldhütte in Amberg, Germany, has installed

a SIP plant to serve its hot-blast cupola. The operating results have been encouraging

Luitpoldhütte AG in Amberg, Germany,

is a foundry operating worldwide

and producing complex, core-intensive

castings. The castings are used in

agricultural machinery, the truck and

off-highway industry as well as refrigeration

equipment. Luitpoldhütte sees

itself as a development and project

partner for its customers and is wellknown

for its first-class quality and

comprehensive service [1].

ThyssenKrupp AT.PRO tec GmbH

offers technology for optimizing the

melting process in shaft furnaces used

in the metallurgical industry. The company,

which is based in Essen, Germany,

developed and patented the Sequence

Impulse Process (SIP), which

feeds technical gases, especially oxygen,

in pulsed sequences to the melting

zone [2].

10 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014


Pressure vessel





load control

Figure 1: SIP plant with two pressure


Figure 2: Functional principle of the Sequence Impulse Process (SIP) [5]

In 2011, Luitpoldhütte AG installed

such a SIP plant at its foundry in Amberg,

Germany (Figure 1).

Principle of the Sequence Impulse

Process (SIP)

The Sequence Impulse Process feeds

additional process gases (e.g. oxygen)

in pulses into shaft furnaces. The

pulsed oxygen is injected by pressure

pulses via tuyere lances [3, 4].

The objective of this technique is to

use the potential energy generated inside

the pressure vessel by compression

of the oxygen so as to achieve maximum

oxygen penetration in the furnace


The pipes and lances are constantly

supplied with a basic load of oxygen in

order to avoid weakening pulses due to

increasing friction and ensure that the

injection lances in the tuyeres are permanently


The pulses are generated at defined

intervals. In a fraction of a second, a

large volume of oxygen is released from

the pressure vessel and impulse-fed

into the furnace [5]. The principle of

the SIP is shown in Figure 2.

Underlying metallurgical and

technological features

The aim is to achieve uniform gas

penetration over the entire furnace

cross-section by means of energy-rich,

cyclical pulses in the low-frequency

range [6].

Figure 3: Coke bed temperature in front of the tuyeres [8]: reference campaign,

SIP campaign (from left to right)

In the cupola process, the SIP provides

energy saving potentials as it reduces

energy losses due to cooling. For

example, the wall effect, i.e. high thermal

load on the furnace walls, can be


Additionally, effective gas penetration

improves the convective heat

flux and reduces the sensible heat in

the top gas.

The minimum required calorific value

of the top gas is determined by the

hot-blast temperature or the efficiency

of the recuperator. In other words, here

the energy saving potential is highest.

This means that energy or heat is to be

extracted from the reduction zone of

the furnace as quickly as possible to reduce

the zone in which Boudouard reaction

equilibrium exists (i.e. the equilibrium

between carbon dioxide (CO 2


and carbon monoxide (CO) which occurs

when oxygen reacts with glowing

carbon). This can be achieved by an optimal

location of the melting zone and

an efficient convective heat flux from

the coke and/or the shaft gas to the

iron. Here, a solution is provided by

the Sequence Impulse Process which

allows the localized and timed injection

of additional oxygen [7].

Within the framework of the research

project “Automated Sequence

Impulse Process for Large Shaft Furnaces”

(German acronym: ASIPGO),

the temperatures in the coke bed of a

cupola, measured by means of a quotient

pyrometer with integrated video

camera, were investigated. Compared

to the injector process (reference process),

the SIP technology achieved

a temperature reduction by approx.

200 K in front of the tuyeres with the

same amount of oxygen. This indicates

that the combustion zone was shifted

towards the furnace centre as a result

of the oxygen being fed in pulses.

This reduces the wall effect in the fur-

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 11


Figure 4: SIP-influenced zones [5]

nace. A comparison of both situations

is shown in Figure 3 [8].

The schematic drawing in Figure 4

illustrates that the oxygen from the

tuyeres and the basic oxygen supply

are effective only near the furnace wall,

where the optimal superheating temperature

is achieved (1). In contrast,

the pulsed oxygen jet penetrates deeply

into the furnace charge. The penetration

depth (2, 3) can be adjusted by

resetting the parameters in the SIP control




3 2


Data of the cupola

Luitpoldhütte operates a hot-blast cupola

with a diameter of 1,240 mm between

the tuyeres and with a melting

rate of 18-20 t/h. The furnace is

in operation 20 h per day. Before the

SIP facility was installed, the extra oxygen

was fed by an injector. In addition

to coke as fuel, the charge contains

a great portion of steel scrap,

return scrap and the usual additions

of lime, gravel and alloying elements

(SiC, FeMn).

Operational experience

Under the guidance of ThyssenKrupp

AT.PRO tec GmbH, the SIP equipment

was installed on just one weekend. Production

did not have to be interrupted.

As the meltshop team at Luitpoldhütte

was extensively briefed and instructed

on how to use the plant, they quickly

accepted the new system and got accustomed

to it soon.

The pulse effect in combination with

the automated control increases the

effectiveness of the injected oxygen.

This reduces the reaction time of the

cupola, i.e. whenever the analysis values

(C, Si) deteriorate, they can be corrected

quickly and in a targeted way.

In contrast to the previously used injector

system, the SIP technology provides

a system which can be easily adjusted

during all phases of the melting

process. Figure 5 shows the highly constant

analysis values of silicon and carbon

in the runner over a melting period

of 7 h.

Another important advantage is the

higher efficiency of the impulse technology

after longer downtimes caused

by the furnace itself or for other reasons.

After interruptions of approx. 8 h,

the iron can be heated to the required

temperatures in much less time than

before. Generally, it can be stated that

by introducing the SIP the iron temperature

in the runner increased from

1,500 °C to 1,520 °C. At the same time,

oxygen consumption was reduced.

An economic advantage of the cupola

fitted with SIP equipment is that

it achieves a higher melting capacity



Percentage, %





Blast rate = 10,700 m³/h (stp); oxygen rate = 570 m³/h (stp), pulsed


Linear C

Linear Si


02:09 02:19 03:00 03:22 03:48 04:19 04:33 04:57 05:14 05:26 05:46 06:08 06:16 07:01 07:22 08:11 08:37 09:15


Figure 5: C and Si curves over a period of 7 h

12 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

with the same quantities of additives (coke, alloys, inoculants,

etc.) as needed when the previous system was still

in use.

Due to the lower wall effect of the furnace, there is less

skull formation at the tuyeres. This substantially reduces

refractory consumption.

Especially worth mentioning is the high availability of

the SIP equipment thanks to its trouble-free operation.

The maintenance effort is low. In an emergency case, a

special bypass system would always provide the necessary

amount of oxygen required to continue the melting process.


The SIP technology is a mature system which may offer

operators of cupola plants major benefits in terms of

economy, reliability and control efficiency. The pulse

effect achieves a shifting of the high-temperature zone

to the furnace center, better gas penetration and an improved

convective heat flux. All these factors make the

SIP an effective means to reduce the operating costs and

increase the melting capacity of cupola plants. However,

the priority always is to tune the system to the specifics

of the furnace process and to the metallurgical requirements.








Technological advantages of the SIP system

» High penetration depth of the oxygen into the cupola

» Temperature distribution and oxidation potential can

be adjusted

» Avoidance of high temperatures at the cupola walls

» The complete furnace cross section can be exploited for


» User-friendly automation system

» Optimal control features of the system in all phases of

the melting process

Economic advantages of the SIP system

» The iron heats up instantly after starting the furnace

» Clear increase in iron temperature, reducing the energy

consumed by the holding furnace

» Reduced quantities of additives (coke, SiC, inoculants)

» Close-tolerance metal analysis

» Increase in melting capacity

» Quick response of the furnace to different oxygen rates

» Reduced oxygen consumption

» Less refractory wear



RGU.OPTI – The flexible software solution

for Foundry Resource Planning and PPC.

From small and medium foundries up to

large enterprise foundries with SAP integration.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year from the RGU

to all foundrymen and their families all over the world!




Karl-Harr-Straße 1

44263 Dortmund



Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 13


Authors: Dr.-Ing. Norbert Erhard and Sladjan Babić, Oskar Frech GmbH + Co. KG, Schorndorf

Modern die casting - ready for the

future with innovations!

For production of complex part geometries with a high grade of function integration of the part

itself to some extend the die casting process is an excellent manufacturing procedure. Due to the

permanent dies needed for this, this process is mainly used with large order quantity when producing

non-ferrous metals, such as i. e. when manufacturing castings from zinc, magnesium or

aluminium alloys. In practical realization the foundries find their own individual way that is often

based on the products to be competitive. Consequently, the requirements for the foundries are

manifold, each out of the specific approaches. Therefore, a continuous and steady development

of products is necessary to give the flexibility to adapt to challenges of new products to the

founders. This is a strategic goal of Oskar Frech GmbH + Co. KG from Schorndorf in Germany

Of course, it is understood today that

a leading company in the diecasting

technique works on topics in its development

and research focus, such as:

» Safety of cells, processes and procedures

» Increase of energy efficiency

» Improvement of productivity and

quality in the casting process, as

well as

» further development of process technique

for production of complex

parts and new light-weight structural


With the confidence of a technological

leader, Oskar Frech GmbH

+ Co. KG is not only the sole machine

manufacturer in the industry

to build hot chamber and cold chamber

die casting machines across the

entire machine size range (hot chamber

from 50 to 9300 kN; cold chamber

from 1250 kN to 50 MN). Oskar

Frech GmbH + Co. KG also builds

dies and develops new die technologies.

The Frech group develops heating

and cooling technology for die

temperature control and spraying

technologies for applying die lubricants.

Frech is furthermore active in

handling technology for die casting

machines as well as in melting and

furnace technology for light metal alloys.

Die casting machine GDK 2500 for sophisticated castings, situated at Csaba

Metal in Hungary (Photo: Csaba Metal)

In this product range the Frech

Group presents novelties and innovations

the interested foundry experts.

Modern die casting – today

The machinery and equipment technologies

have matured in the recent

decade. The technology providers

usually have a machine program

in modular construction, which can

be equipped as required for each production

process. To simplify the process

interface, the manufacturers have

agreed and implemented normed standards

in their organizations.

The Dispo interface is such a standard

that was introduced with coordination

of the VDMA (German Machinery and

Plant Association) in order to standardize

the communication between the

various peripheral devices and the die

casting machine. All over Europe, leading

manufacturers offer this standard

to facilitate the linking of cells.

14 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

In the area of energy consumption

have been created standards that allow

customers to compare the equipment

from different manufacturers. In cooperation

between VDMA and leading

manufacturers in Europe, a standardized

cycle has been defined. In relation

to the specific machine data and performance

of the die casting machine,

the energy consumption is indicated

during that standard cycle.

These are reference numbers, which

provide assistance to customers to be

able to value the efficiency of the cell

using its process requirements. Despite

efforts by machine manufacturers to

optimize energy consumption of the

machine itself, we must be aware, that

process-related energy consumption

occurs in the die casting process, which

are often more dominant as intended.

Therefore, it is important when optimizing,

to look at the complete process.

Cold chamber die casting machine

Modern cold chamber machines are

modularly designed today. This creates

the option to adapt the shot-end

according to the needs of the respective

caster, oriented toward the process and

procedures. With reference to the technology

of the machine, for example, as

normal proportionally controlled die

casting machine or as real-time controlled

die casting machine. If the process

requires a very complex casting

profile, with a progressive speed progression,

for example, and a compression

profile after die filling, this can be

easily achieved with the options of a

real-time controlled shot-end. If these

demands are not required, because the

parts require a simple, standardized

Figure 1: Cold chamber die casting machine DAK 720-71 with Vacural (Photos:

Oskar Frech)

casting profile but must be executed

with high dynamics and still very high

casting power, a standard shot-end already

meets the requirements. This

technology requires less process understanding

and therefore a lower level of

training of personnel.

The cold chamber machines from

Frech (Figure 1) also have in addition

the ability to adapt the shot-end technology

and shot-end power accordingly.

Thus in addition to the standard

injection unit (Figure 2), additional

variants can be employed. E.g. those

with less capacity but higher dynamics

as a result of lower mass inertia in the

system, that are particularly well suited

for the high dynamic requirements

of magnesium die casting in the cold

chamber process. For working in the

SSM process (Semi Solid Metal casting),

high forces and less high speeds are generally

required during die filling. The

respectively higher specified injection

units are used here.

All of these combinations are based

on a machine concept that guarantees

the customer a high availability of components,

because Frech can serve every

customer demand from its product line.

The machines are now largely optimized

in the drive techniques. It is not

always necessary that the machine is

equipped with frequency-controlled

drives. Depending on the process, such

drive systems bring little additional en-

Figure 2: Three schemes with different aggregate sizes

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 15


Figure 3: 3-platen locking system

Figure 4: 2-platen locking system

ergy savings if the machine is operating

at the optimal working cycle. But

if the operating range of the machine

varies greatly from one die to another,

they bring great savings.

Regardless of the drive technology

used, all die casting machines have an

associated energy management, which

correlates the power output of the machine

drives according to the power requirements

needed to run the related

operation mode.

Another plus of the Frech cold chamber

die casting machine is that it uses

an optimized locking system (Figure 3)

with extremely low moving masses.

Here the proven kinematics of the toggle

lever not only have rigidity and robustness

benefits in the harsh environment

of the foundries. Due to the significantly

lower moving mass it is more energy-efficient

than those from the plastic

injection molding machines known

2-platen locking system (Figure 4) with

hydraulic lock and it is normally connected

with lower service costs.

The two-platen technology claims a

very short construction. Today, modern

three-platen machines are acclaimed in

almost equal measure. Furthermore the

often quoted length advantage is put

into perspective, because the die casters

must include the working space of the

machine when setting up the machine.

So explicitly when drawing tie bars as

normally necessary for die changes.

Hot chamber die casting machine

Hot chamber (Figure 5) as well as cold

chamber die casting machines can be

automated well. Modern die casting

machines offer a number of accessories

as equipment features. This allows e. g.

a machine adaption according to process

needs or enables a quick setting and

clamping of different dies. Here the following

features can be named, such as:

» Real-time control

» Automatic tie-bar retraction

» Quick clamping system and automatic

ejector coupling

» ADFAS: automatic die height and

locking force adjustment

» Automatic tie bar force control

» Handling of tool data and machine

programming from integrated data


» Simulation and calculation tools for

optimal adjustment of the machine

» Virtual machine and casting parameter

calculation, that allow to parameterize

the next product at the machine

during the previous one is still


All these equipment features are developed

to optimize the set-up procedure

of the machine or to recall the best data

sets from the last production for a die

to be set next. The quick setting process

and the rapid achieving of the best production

mode are essential for a high


New die casting machine equipment

is exactly developed on these topics. Under

the name “Speed-T” (Figure 6) Frech

has shown such an optimized die casting

operation live on the world’s leading

exhibition GIFA 2011. The technology

package reflected the casting and

had the target to demonstrate maximum

produc tivity. Therefore the following

was used:

» the latest generation of a die casting


» stationary, integrated spraying technique

in the die, that worked without

process movements having a timely

effect and thus saves cycle time,

» an extremely quick, camera-based

control system for monitoring the

parts ejection with

» integrated interface to the machine

for a quicker locking process.

16 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

Figure 5: Hot chamber die casting machine DAW 20 F









Figure 6: Die casting machine DAW 20 F with Speed-T technology

At such an optimized cell, a conventional

die casting machine with 200 kN locking

force can even cast with a cycle of 3.7

s. Using a 12-cavity die with self-degating

this means that more than 11 000 parts

were produced per hour.

At the same time, furnace systems are

used with high-quality insulation, that

save a further 12 % of the melting energy

compared to the state-of-the-art. The

advantages of such a procedure are:

» A very high productivity

» Less die damages through secure monitoring

of part removal from the die

» Less lubricant and still a uniform process-oriented

spray of lubricants

» Lowest energy losses in melting area

All that does not only mean to produce

more profitable but also more environmentally

conscious and more resource


Peripheral devices in the modern die

casting process

Die tempering:

The die casting process is a process

dominated by the thermal balance of


Figure 8: Ingot preheating and

charg ing device IPC Compact

(Source: Meltec, Austria)

Figure 7: Heating and cooling devices (Source: Robamat, Austria)

the die and melt. Despite this fact,

there are always bad-tempered dies.

Very often smaller dies have no or inadequate

temperature control. As a result,

we have high start-up waste, respectively,

greater wear on the entire

equipment until the cell is at operating


A good heating and cooling technique

of the die is therefore standard

in a process-controlled operation.

Figure 7 shows the corresponding device

technology, which allows optimal

temperature control of the dies,

provided the dies are equipped with

appropriate connectors and channels

for heating and cooling. Today modern

devices are interfaced with the machine,

so that in addition to the exact

temperature control the devices can

also be adapted to the operating modes

of the machine, respectively, all temperature

measurement data are available

for quality assurance.

Automatic charging:

Every die casting cell is equipped with

furnace systems. These must be recharged

from time to time, whereas

with regard to the temperature balance

it must be worked again as evenly

as possible to keep the variations in

the melting temperature as low as possible.

This is particularly important

when charging with ingots, which is

often the case especially when casting

magnesium, respectively casting zinc.

Figure 8 shows a magnesium ingot-charging

system that performs

simultaneously drying and preheating

of magnesium ingots. So, on the

one hand, the throughput of the furnace

can be increased and on the other

hand the drying of the ingots contributes

to better melt quality. Since

the system is working out of a reservoir,

the charging is carried out fully

automatically and extremely con-

Figure 9: Travel rail system with die casting machines in foundry (Source: Meltec,


Figure 10: Robot spraying

18 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

Figure 11: 2-axle spraying with mask

Figure 12: Resistance heating

stant, always when the bath level in

the furnace drops below a predetermined


The automation in this regard is

very individual. Foundries with central

remelting work therefore more

and more with liquid feeding systems,

since then the enthalpy of melting

the metal must not be applied again.

Figure 9 shows a modern travel rail

system. Here, on request of the linked

machines, the respective holding furnace

of the machine is docked automatically

and fed with liquid melt – totally


tempering, the base for it is already given

with the die design.

Technical specialities of modern die

casting machines

The performance of injection units

still differ according to design features,

i. e. dimensioning in power and dynamics,

but also by applying control

engineering or close-loop control engineering

methods during the injection

process. Thus, machines with

shot-stop function, respectively, with

real-time control are increasingly

used in die casting applications needing

advanced process control. As the

shot-stop function can only decelerate

the casting process just before end

of die filling, the real-time control allows

a completely free programming

of the injection curve. So it is possible

to influence the die filling more


In addition, there are also facilities

which improve the process of casting.

The prefilling - a patented technology

in Frech hot chamber machines - for example,

significantly reduces the volume

of air that must be vented of the closed

die during the casting process. The consequence

is a lower microporosity, that

Modern spraying technique:

No topic is handled so differently in

foundries such as the spraying of the

dies. The basic intention is to apply a

“lubricant film” on the die, which prevents

the alloys and the parts from adhering.

In practice we meet today, different

spraying techniques (Figure 10 and

Figure 11). This is partly attributed regionally,

as it also maintains various

country-specific die technologies. Such

simple shape concepts lead to the fact

that the tempering then is made via

surface cooling, so mainly through the

spraying quantity and duration. For energy

and environmental considerations,

here a change starts towards the minimum

spraying. This is a welcome step,

and with regard to the mentioned die

Figure 13: Castings with plug, without plug and with melt down

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 19


Figure 14: Vacural process

Figure 15: Process vacuum vs. Vacural

Figure 16: Safety parts (Source: Brabant Ritter, Germany)

is, a higher density of components and

thus better mechanical properties.

The resistance-heated heating of

the casting system (Figure 12) is standard

in zinc diecasting for many years.

Now this technology is also available

for the more challenging temperature

range of magnesium hot chamber

machines, which contributes to

improved reproducibility in the process.

It is now possible, to adjust and control

the temperature profile along the

gooseneck nozzle system accurate to a

few degrees. The slim design allows for

immersion into the dies, so that magnesium

die casting can take advantage

of the benefits of a shorter sprue area.

This heating also allows to use reproducible

different modes of casting. A

few degrees at the nozzle tip temperature

allow a magnesium casting with or

without plug or even a melt down, as

the founders know so far from the zinc

die casting (Figure 13).

In the cold chamber die casting vacuum,

techniques are used for highly

stressed structural parts, respectively,

weldable aluminum die casting

parts. The classical vacuum systems

on conventional cold chamber die

casting machines struggle with the

rapid venting immediately after dosing.

Evacuating usually extends thereby

the residence time of the melt in

the relatively cold sleeve. The machine

manufacturers try to counteract

effects such as peripheral shell

hardening, etc., with a higher melting

temperature. Although very veritable

results are achieved, the Vacural

die casting (Figure 14) opens up completely

different possibilities.

Here in the Vacural process the evacuation

of the die starts before dosing.

Moreover, the machine now doses via

a special suction device directly from

an aluminium holding furnace into

the shot sleeve. Is the desired vacuum

reached, the casting quantity is also

dosed and the machine can cast the

part without major retention of the

melt in the sleeve.

The process of Vacural die casting is

self-monitoring. Leaks in the die, which

do not allow to achieve the desired vaccum,

inevitably lead to a faulty dose

of metal. So the machine can detect by

measuring the piston stroke, that this

part has not the desired quality, with

respect to microporosity. Without further

testing and without additional

sensors a process and quality control is

thus ensured. Vacuum die casting with

classical die casting machines can not

perform this (Figure 15).

Heat-treated safety components

for the automobile industry can be

manu factured with the Vacural process,

among other things. These include

suspension parts (Figure 16) that

20 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

must exhibit great ductility. The high

die vacuum also makes the casting of

large-area parts with long flow paths

easier. Crash-safe car body parts that

serve as nodal points between continuous

casting profiles and are welded,

or large body parts that can be manufactured

as a cast part in fewer work

steps than it would be possible through

forming, make up a wide range of application.

With innovation and developments

ready for the future

Already the previous mentioned state

of die casting today shows clearly that

the main potential lies in process innovations.

Although this also leads to

device-technical solutions, but the approach

is different. The focus is on the

die casting process.

Tank furnace without crucible for the

Vacural process

To take advantage of the Vacural process

it needs a special aluminum tank

holding furnace (Figure 17). Conventionally,

here tank furnaces without

crucible are used.

The basic concept - built with refractory

lining and high quality insulation

to ensure low energy consumption and

lower operating costs. The tank design

is durable and easy to maintain and

clean. The heating is provided by tubular

heating elements integrated in

the cover, which are characterized by

their robustness and durability, as well

as provide a simple change even without

interrupting production.

The special feature of this furnace

used in a Vacural machine is now that

the furnace was adjusted to the machine

so the coupling of the suction

device was further optimized. The

furnace is also equipped with several

chambers. Thus, the furnace can

be fed via a filter stone with the melt.

The melt calms in a settling zone and is

sucked off under the bath level surface

and dosed into the shot sleeve of the

machine. So a very high metal quality

is assured.

In addition, porous plugs can be

mounted in the settling area to treat

melting bath. These porous materials

will be streamed with backflushing gas.

Figure 17: Aluminium tank holding furnace ATH (source: Meltec, Austria)

Figure 18: Aluminium dosing furnace ADF (source: Meltec, Austria)

During this process the melt will be degassed

and with that the density index

will be improved again.

Here the improvement of the melting

quality for the following Vacural

die casting process is in the focus.

Aluminium dosing - a completely different


For the conventional aluminium

die casting, the furnace shown in

F igure 18 shows a different approach

in terms of dosing. Also here is the focus

of the development on the quality

of the melt during dosing in the sleeve

of a conventional cold chamber die

casting machine.

Derived from the tank furnace concept,

Meltec developed a completely new

aluminium dosing furnace. This system

consists mainly of a vacuum -melting

container, an evacuate device for sucking

in melt as well as a special closing

mechanism at the sucking-in position.

The vacuum-melting tank is made of ceramic

with outstanding properties: not

wettable, thermal shock resistant and

strong. The transfer of the container

from the holding furnace to the die casting

machine is driven by a corresponding

mechanical device.

The system shows a number of procedural

advantages compared to the com-

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 21




Figure 19: Scheme a) classical gating

versus b) FGS

Figure 20: Schematic way of melt in machine and die (red: liquid; orange:

gating; blue: casting)

monly used dosing furnaces respectively

ladling systems:

» A sucking in of melt is made below

the bath level, so that oxides are

avoided in the dosed melt.

» The container is filled by sucking in

melt, which additionally degasses

the melt.

» During the transfer from the furnace

to the shot sleeve of the die casting

machine the melt remains oxide-free

and well-tempered in a closed ceramic

container, as herein the melt is

without air supply and well temperature-insulated.

» The system has an extremely high

dosing precision by an integrated system

of quantity measurement of the


» This furnace is a dosing furnace that

has consequently eliminated in his

functionality the procedural disadvantages

of existing dosing furnaces.

Die casting without gating

In the duality of plastic injection

molding, this was always a challenge

for die casting, to be able to accomplish

similar. Now with FGS (Frech

Gating System, Figure 19) Frech has

brought this development for the

hot chamber die casting to production

status. In contrast to the plastic,

the sprue is not completely avoided.

There is a remaining part of the runner,

so that the gating of the part can

be kept unchanged. This has the advantage

that the conventional filling

simulation retain validity in principle.

Centerpiece here is a tempered distribution

system of melt in the die and

a completely different casting process

at the hot chamber die casting machine.

Both with the aim that the liquid

melt is always available at the parts

gating and therefore the casting runner

is no longer emptied.

+ Reduction of

cycling material

+ Reduction of melting loss

+ Reduction of melting energy

+ Reduction of casting force

- Heating of FGS unit





+ Less air in system

+ Exactly heated melt at gate

+ Thin-walled casting possible

+ Filling with low velocities (better

ventilation; less porosity

+ Cooling time dependent on parts only

+ Cycle shorter (quicker cooling, no 1st phase)

+ More cavities




+ Less die wear

+ Less wear at casting set

(gooseneck, piston, nozzle)

+ Relation of part to gate is

independent of number of cavities

Figure 21: Matrix of FGS benefits

22 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014



Figure 22: Optimized heating system

gooseneck: a) view on the nozzle

body; b) parameter and monitoring

page in the HMI of the die casting


This development is based on the

hot chamber die casting process as a

whole and considers the way of the

melt from the furnace via the casting

system into the die (Figure 20).

The temperature household and casting

process put in the focus, it was

thus possible to develop a compatible,

lock-free, heated manifold system

ready for series production and

the related new casting process. The

result opens up plenty of benefits that

have an effect in the overall balance

depending on the complexity of the

parts (see Figure 21).

To raise this potential, however, the

caster must set forth to learn this new

process technology. As a partner of its

founders Frech invites to enter into

this new “dimension of die casting”.

In our technical center we are able to

clearly demonstrate that FGS is not

only applicable for zinc parts, but can

also be implemented in magnesium


Heated Magnesium Casting System

for Hot Chamber

To be able to apply the FGS technology

in general, a casting system is needed

that can be heated precisely. The

system is connected with the process

guidance of the die casting machine,

so that the total temperature profile

can be controlled in very close limits

according to the different operating


The advantage of this resistanceheated

system lies in the low loss energies;

among other things contrary to

earlier inductive heating systems no

capacity-reducing stray fields must be

considered. Contrary to this no additional

cooling energies (air, water) are

needed, which was a significant energy

consumption at inductive systems

in the past.

For the necessary process safety the

heating zones of the system are arranged

in separate and monitored

control circuits. They are temperature

controlled according to the operation

modes (start, heating-up without production,

production). Thus the heated

casting system is an integral component

of the magnesium die casting


Figure 22 clearly shows the corresponding

HMI screen with the necessary

parameters for heating adjustment

and the relevant temperature

measurements of the system.The technology

allows a temperature guidance

on a level not available so far, so that

in the entire casting system a preset

temperature curve can be kept exactly

within a range of a few degrees.

This allows to process alloys such as

e. g. AM 60 in series production. Until

now this was reserved to few die casters

in the hot chamber process only

with very high expenses. Furthermore

this heating system is now the base for

magnesium casting with FGS.


This article gives an overview about

currently available modern die casting

technology. A technique that allows

an outstanding production process

for manufacturing complex parts

in large quantity. But also a technology,

that still has potential for further


Put the process procedure in the focus

of further development, so other

promising potentials can be raised.

In the third chapter of this paper examples

are shown from the latest developments

of the Frech group, that

are no longer fiction, but already took

their way into the foundries’ workday


Committed to these technologies is

also the encouraging message that the

die casting industry and the process of

die casting have more potential and

thus are sustainable furthermore.


Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 23


Authors: Manfred Michenfelder, Managing Partner; Alfred Liedtke, Manager Technology & Development; and Christoph

Huck, Managing Director, Michenfelder Elektrotechnik GmbH & Co. KG, Mainz

Process-integrated molding

material management

With its new Online-Sandlab, Michenfelder Elektrotechnik GmbH & Co. KG (based in Mainz,

Germany) has optimized the monitoring and control of important molding material parameters,

supplementing its modular molding sand management system FoMaSys. For the first time, the

measurement of gas permeability has been shifted to the preparation stage

Numerous supplementary values of

rele vance to the quality of sand preparation

can be determined with a testing

machine suitable for belt-mounting

(Figure 1). For the first time, gas permeability

testing has been moved from

the laboratory to the preparation process

– permitting real-time action and

reaction to a very wide data basis generated

directly at the molding machine

( F igure 2). In addition, a targeted and

almost delay-free optimization of sand

quality at the molding machine can

be achieved by integrating the results

in the MiPro molding sand matrix and

networking with the fully automatic

control system integrated in the plant.

The Online-Sandlab - an initial prototype was presented at the Molding Material

Days 2014 in Duisburg, Germany (Photos: Michenfelder)

Deficits in the control of molding

material quality

The control of molding material quality

is oriented upon a pool of determined

measurement values. This pool

is not the same in every foundry; not every

value is determined in every foundry.

The level of importance assigned

to the measurement values also varies

from foundry to foundry. This is due

to the differing experiences and preferences

of those responsible, though

often also simply because of the measurement

technology available. Sometimes

analysis is entirely outsourced to

external service providers, sometimes

the values come from the works laboratory.

Samples are taken from a variety

of locations. Different personnel carry

out different tests on different samples

on different laboratory equipment.

Time lags and the ‘personnel’ factor

24 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

impair reaction speed and regulatory

accuracy. Both are relicts of an era in

which there was still plenty of time for

a batch and enormous bunker capacities

were available in the circulatory

system. Demands for automatic, rapid

and precise control of sand quality in a

modern foundry can hardly be met in

this way. It is not unusual, therefore,

to use automatic testing and measurement

devices on the green-sand mixer,

allowing improved reaction times.

Very important factors that affect the

molding sand on the transport route

between the mixer and the molding

machine, however, remain completely

opaque – even with these systems. Despite

improved constancy at the mixer

it is thus impossible to register or prevent

the sometimes major compactability

fluctuations at the molding machine.

Constancy at the mixer does

not mean constancy at the

molding machine

The frequently unknown, but often

dramatic and always differing, variations

from sand preparation to sand

preparation on the transport route

– caused by still lasting bentonite

saturat ion processes, evaporation and

temperature effects, sand aerators and

transport belt transfer stations – can be

fully automatically registered and reliably

compensated for by the special

arrangement and networking of the

system combination of the FoMaSys

molding sand management system.

By coupling a sand testing system to

the molding machine with a moisture

measurement and control module, integrated

in the green-sand mixer and

very finely corrected, an extremely low

compactability fluctuation range of

s = 2 % can be ensured directly at the

molding machine – fully automatically

through all production phases.

In everyday practice the system combination

regularly achieves a standard

deviation that, with s = 0.8 to 1.5 %,

is even better. In order for a foundry

to be able to achieve permanently

low sand-quality-related defect rates

it is therefore of decisive importance

where in the preparation process the

sand properties demonstrate maximum

constancy – and this is not at

the mixer.

A comprehensive state report

without time loss

Just in time for the tenth anniversary

of the market introduction of

FoMaSys, Michenfelder’s new Online-Sandlab

is a system that provides

a current and comprehensive report

on the state of the molding materi-

Figure 1: Prototype of the Online-

-Sandlab. The multipurpose sleeve

for testing compactability and gas

permeability can be seen.


al at any time and directly from the

molding machine – in effect, a process-integrated

real-time laboratory.

Its name says it all. While with the

Vedimat sand testing system measurements

were still limited to compactability

and compressive strength, the

Online-Sandlab – combined with the

MiPro process evaluation and control

system – allows determination of the

following measurement values and

the values derived or calculated from


Measurement value/determinable

values/options for use

In stand-alone operation:

» compactability

» shear strength

Gas permeability





17.20 Mixer 3, Batch 123

Gas permeability 89

» compressive strength

» gas permeability

» moisture and temperature

In combination with MiPro:

» shear strength with recording of the

deformability curve

» compressive strength with recording

of the pressure reduction curve

» fines content

» bentonite equivalent

» use of numerous monitoring, analysis

and evaluation tools in MiPro

» remote maintenance of all systems

connected to MiPro

When combined with moisture measurement

and control system in the



Gas permeability



h = 5.02 cm

p = 3.14 mbar


Q = 1190 cm 3



0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Time in s

Figure 2: Gas permeability of a running batch directly at the molding machine

(visualization via the MiPro process evaluation and control system)

Shear strength N/cm 2









0.5 s 1.0 s 1.5 s 2.0 s 2.5 s 3.0 s 3.5 s

16.54 Mixer 2, Batch 28

Shear strength 4,72 N/cm 2 outline angle 6°

N/cm 2


0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4

Deformability in mm

Figure 3: Shear strength with outline angle as information on deformability

of a batch directly at the molding plant (visualization via the MiPro process

evaluation and control system)

Volume in cm 3

» fully automatic regulation and maintenance

of constancy of compactability

directly at the molding machine

» use of the MiPro function molding

sand matrix

Combining the Online-Sandlab with

a moisture measurement and control

system from the latest Micomp series

integrated in the mixer consolidates

core competences to create a combination

from which users gain a threefold

benefit: firstly in stand-alone operation

from the perhaps most comprehensive

process-integrated determination

of measurement values. The possibility

of fully automatically maintaining

constant compactability directly at the

molding plant is a second advantage

enabled by such a system coupling.

Thirdly, with two systems functioning

independently of one another the user

profits from the freedom of preparing

the molding sand fully automatically

either according to the desired molding

material moisture or molding material


Comprehensive is not the same

as informative

A broad data basis is only valuable

when it is rapidly usable – because it

offers easily comprehensible preparation

of the data quantity generated.

Data preparation must quickly provide

knowledge and conclusions as a basis

for rapid decision-making or automated

process interventions. Processing

of the data from the Online-Sandlab

takes place methodically in the

MiPro process evaluation and control

system, where user-friendly analyzers

and the molding sand matrix

act as a navigation system for molding

sand preparation – in the form of a

patented display format for monitoring

forming-sand-specific quality parameters

in the production process.

It autonomously generates prompts

so that appropriate counter-measures

can be taken when the quality moves

out of a previously defined quality window.

Whereby the user receives clear

instructions on the appropriate ‘adjusting

screw’ that requires attention

in the process in order to restore sand

quality to the desired range. The eco-

26 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

nomic advantage for the foundry lies

in the time gained through the valuable

knowledge on process interactions

provided in real time, and the

subsequent instructions for action.

No long speculation on the causes, effects

and counter-measures is required.

Suitable counter-measures can be undertaken


defects come to light late and are thus

especially expensive. A feeling for the

relevance of sufficient pre-moistening

of the sand in the used sand area is beginning

to develop. There is a stronger

focus on the molding sand and the

complexity of its correlating and mutually

interdependent quality factors.

means when, for example, mixer cycle

times are simply reduced under the pressure

of demanding molding machines;

when molding sand is not sufficiently

pre-moistened in the used sand bunker

and then lands up in the mixer; or when

ultra-fine particles are continuously removed

but discontinuously inserted?

A change of awareness in molding

material preparation

The fully automatic systems that will

master preparation in modern foundries

in future also have historically

evolved roots. Capacity and speed aspects

dominated the new designs and

modernizations of sand preparation

plants for decades. Modern molding

plants transported more sand so that

more rapid green-sand mixers were required.

This permitted more throughputs

per time unit and bunker capacities

could be reduced. The rising

thermic stresses suffered by the sand,

combined with reduced regeneration

times caused by this development,

were countered with the introduction

of sand coolers. Aggregates that could

also mix and cool simultaneously were


The quality of the molding sand

comes to light at the mold ing


The molding plants have always been

the relentless pacesetter – and still are

today. This is where the sand is needed;

this is where the money is earned.

This is also where the defects that cost

money are produced when the molding

sand quality is wrong – despite sufficient

capacity and rapid mixers. As if

under a magnifying glass, one can see

there exactly how good the sand preparation,

the machines and the monitoring

and control of the sand quality

works. No consistent casting quality

can be achieved when there are fluctuations

in the sand quality at the molding

plant, whatever the cause. And it is

precisely here that a slow rethink started

about 15 years ago. Despite good

equipment in sand preparation there

are still too many casting defects due

to the sand. Particularly in the case of

complex castings, sand-related casting

Figure 4: Regulator results, using the example of a FoMaSys installation: Day 1

The loss of expertise is a heavy


For a long time, no questions were asked

regarding the effects of known, and

sometimes unknown or even completely

hidden, processes on the quality of the

molding material. This was also because

the interactions were unclear. Until now

the topic was often limited to a rather

theoretical scientific approach. But asking

questions is one thing. What should

one do, however, when the corresponding

expertise hardly exists any more in

the company? Now it becomes clear that

the ‘old hands’ for whom molding sand

preparation was a matter of touch, who

could determine the quality of a molding

sand with their hands, are no longer

available. Who still knows all the subtleties

of the process-, product-, mixer-,

cooler-, bunker- and employee-specific

reactions and behaviors of the molding

sand? Who knows and recognizes

the consequences of doing or not doing

something along the entire sand

preparation chain? Who knows what it

As in other industrial sectors, a particular

employee structure has formed in response

to the high level of automation

in the foundries – and particularly in

sand preparation. A few highly educated

specialists (mostly engineers and technicians

with a background in mechanical

engineering, electrical engineering or

process technology), a few plant operators,

and the maintenance staff set the

tone. They generally have the machines

well under control and maintain the

processes. The same generally cannot be

said regarding the mastering of molding

sand quality. In the meantime, there is

widespread agreement that this special

subsection of foundry technology has

been given insufficient attention for decades,

even in foundry-relevant specialist

training. It is also becoming increasingly

clear that it is no longer modern

to control molding sand quality exclusively

with laboratory support: it can no

longer keep pace with the run-out numbers

and product-related changes of direction

and cycles – so vital for the sur-

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 27


vival of foundries – and will in future

only play an accompanying role.

Now, however, one gets the feeling

that there is increased interest in this

complex of topics on many levels – at

the specialist associations, the educational

establishments, in course syllabuses,

at suppliers and at the foundries


frequently overtaxed by these questions.

Only with the development of comprehensible

graphic monitoring and analysis

systems was the new flood of data

tamed and made applicable for users in

everyday operation.

Meaningfully and comprehensibly

processed data as a basis

for decision­making

With the development of the MiPro

process control system there now existed

numerous and new types of monitoring,

analytical and evaluation possibilities

for the assessment of any

Figure 5: Regulator results, using the example of a FoMaSys installation: Days

2 and 3

system. From the shake-out grid to the

sand cooler, from the used sand silo to

the green sand mixer and from there to

the molding machine. From station to

station the networked FoMaSys modules

reduce fluctuations in sand quality

step-by-step until reaching the molding

machine. This process is called ‘quality

funneling’. FoMaSys fully automatically

ensures a constant compactability with

a fluctuation range reduced to a minimum

precisely where maximum performance

and best possible flow properties

are demanded from the molding sand.

Not just anywhere in the sand circulatory

system, not just anytime during

preparation, but directly at the molding

plant. With the producer’s continuous

moisture measurement and control

system, perfected over decades,

output moisture levels downstream

from the coolers and mixers are guaranteed

with minimal fluctuation ranges in

the tenths or hundredths. The producer

is a pioneer in this area. The performance

and concept of FoMaSys is based

on this competence. The ability of the

Vedimat or the Online-Sandlab to keep

compactability constant directly at the

molding plant is based on the FoMaSys

and sophisticated process-related system

integration. The measurement

of mechanical sand parameters at the

molding plant is by no means too late.

This is sometimes wrongly claimed, but

is only true if no highly precise continuous

moisture measurement and control

system is used in the green-sand mixer.

The trend was recognized over

20 years ago

To the same extent that specialized

knowledge on the subtleties of molding

material preparation beyond the functioning

of machines has been lost, attempts

have been made to counteract

this through the introduction of automated

systems. The age of data acquisition

arrived. Michenfelder already reacted

to this emerging development over

twenty years ago, with its first fully automatic

sand testing and control system.

Despite its functionality, the time was

not yet ripe for the reliable and comprehensive

– for its time: with compactability,

compressive strength, shear strength

(Figure 3), and deformability – but

cost-intensive system. Looking back, the

quantity and variety of data was problematic.

What did the data mean? How

could the data be evaluated? What consequences

did the data have? Users were

desired archived and running process


There thus existed all the modules

from which the concept of the Fo-

MaSys modular molding sand management

system was developed. Systems

hitherto individually employed for

measuring and regulating moisture,

testing the sand, and preparing process

data in isolation in sand preparation

plants would became a networked

system of interactive modules.

Funneling – the fundamental

conceptional idea

The fundamental conceptional idea

is the continuous renewal of molding

sand quality in the sand circulatory

FoMaSys installation in Brazil

Day 1: Regulation by sand moisture

The target value for sand quality is a

predefined moisture level. The output

moisture was kept very constant

at 3.02 % H 2

O with an accuracy of

±0.05 % (red curve, Figure 4). The

compactability before the molding

machine (at this point in time still unregulated

– yellow curve) fluctuated by

±3.07 % around an average of 41.92

despite constant moisture at the mixer.

Because the regu lation of compactability

was not yet activated there was also

not yet any adaptation of the water requirement

(target moisture: green line)

to keep the compactability automatically


28 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

Despite highly precise output moisture

at the mixer, the compactability

at the molding plant fluctuated. This

was caused by:

» creeping percentage changes in the

proportions of bentonite, c-carriers,

clay matter, core sand, new sand and

used sand,

» differing bentonite saturation levels

due to varying material input moistures

in the mixer, and

» evaporation on the path to the

molding machine.

Days 2 + 3: regulation by compactability

The target value for sand preparation

is now a predefined compactability of

40 %.

The compactability was kept constant

directly at the molding plant at 40.1 %

with an accuracy of ±1.6 % over 2,000

batches (yellow curve, Figure 5). The

fluctuation range of compactability

therefore halved after activation of

the system (back-coupling of the Vedimat

to the Micomp Uni); accuracy thus

doubled. This compactability accuracy

was achieved directly at the molding

plant through continuous fine adaptation

of the water requirement of the

batch in the mixer in the hundredths

range. Here, in the practical example:

±0.04 % around an average of 2.92 %

H 2

O (red curve).

The finest of adaptations and the

corresponding accuracies can only be

achieved as a result of the particular

installation position of the Vedimat

linked with a moisture measurement

and control system that can measure

and regulate in the hundredths range

(only possible in the mixer).


Technological and process-related details,

as well as the comprehensive approach

of the FoMaSys molding sand

management system, have become successfully

established during the past

ten years. The introduction of the Online-Sandlab

may set a new standard for

molding material management.


Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 29


Author: Laura Schwarzbach, Kuka Roboter GmbH, Augsburg

First time use of a robot to cast

molten iron

The Georg Fischer plant at Mettmann in Germany produces castings for chassis, power trains

and bodies of trucks and cars. For the first time, Georg Fischer is using the strength of a robot

for casting the molten iron at 1,400 °C. In this globally unique solution, two Kuka heavy-duty

robots of the KR 1000 titan type ensure optimum use is made of the mold area through maximum

flexibility when casting

Georg Fischer AG was established in

1802 and its Mettmann plant has a

history stretching back more than 100

years. Georg Fischer Mettmann forms

part of the GF Automotive division of

Georg Fischer AG with its headquarters

in Schaffhausen/Switzerland. In addition

to cast products, Georg Fischer AG

manufactures machine tools and piping

systems. The Mettmann location

employs about 1,000 people, and produces

190,000 metric tons of castings

for the automotive industry every year.

Maximum flexibility

Last year, a completely new foundry

came on stream at Mettmann for producing

axle and engine components

for cars and trucks. “We were looking

for a technical solution for pouring the

extremely hot and molten iron into

the molding boxes at any point, thereby

achieving the greatest possible flexibility

and exploiting the molding boxes

to the full,” explains Stephen Schott,

project manager of the AMR production

line at Georg Fischer Mettmann

(Figure 1). As a rule, this task is carried

out by systems that can only fill a sand

mold at a single point. Since pouring

is stationary at a fixed pouring position,

flexible casting is not possible

in these systems. The solution now

used at Georg Fischer is currently unparalleled:

By using two KR 1000 titan

heavy-duty robots by Kuka, Augsburg,

Germany, for casting the molten iron,

Georg Fischer has achieved flexibility

and is able to exploit the mold area to

This heavy-duty robot from Kuka at GF Mettmann casts car parts fully automatically

and with maximum flexibility (Photo: Kuka)

optimum effect. Now, the pouring system

no longer dictates where the castings

are allowed to be, and where not.

Two KR 1000 titan robots work in

parallel in the solution developed by

the integrator Robotec Engineering

GmbH. The specialist for automation

processes in foundries is based in Bad

Säckingen, Germany, and once again

demonstrated its enormous experience

in this area. A heat-resistant suit additionally

protects the robot against the

extremely hot conditions within the

foundry (Figure 2). Mounted on the robot

flange is a casting ladle that is filled

with molten iron at 1,400 °C. A load

cell is additionally installed between

the casting ladle and the robot flange,

as a means of weighing the quantity

of molten iron. This means it is possible

to add the precise amount of iron

that is required to make up the correct

quantity in the next casting cycle. The

casting ladle only ever contains the op-

30 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

timum quantity of molten iron. The

flexibility of the six-axis robots means

the iron can be poured into the molding

box at any point. The sand molds

cool down to below 700 °C before the

castings can be taken out. Following

further cooling to room temperature,

the parts are blasted and subjected to

a visual inspection before they are released

for shipment.

If there are malfunctions or lengthy

downtimes, the metal would cool

down in the casting ladle and could not

be used for the casting process any longer.

Robotec has developed an innovative

solution for this situation: The two

robots are able to return process iron to

the casting furnace in which the iron

is heated back to the casting temperature.

In this way, not only does Georg

Fischer reduce its energy and logistics

costs, but also sustainably cuts its CO 2

emissions. Another innovation is the

fully automatic casting ladle change –

the robot can put down the used casting

ladle and pick up a new one, just

like a robot gripper change. Using the

Kuka robots also enables various setup

work in the furnace area to be carried

out faster and without exposing the

employees to stresses.

Compact heavyweight was impressive

right from the preliminary


Georg Fischer continuously invests

in new techniques and innovations.

The Kuka titan robots formed part of a

major investment to secure the firm’s

long-term competitiveness in the area

of chassis components for cars. At the

same time, the solution was a total innovation.

The decision to use a Kuka

robot was a very simple one to take, according

to Schott: “When we decided

to cast molten iron with a robot, there

was at the time only one robot that

could cope with the very high payloads

of about 950 kg: the Kuka titan.”

At that point, no experience had been

gathered in the application; as a result,

the system was first set up in a preliminary

test using a loaned robot. “In the

tests, the titan impressed us not only

with its payload, but also and above all

with its very good size and mobility,”

says the project manager. In July 2012,

Figure 1: The AMR-molding plant in

Mettmann has significantly raised

the bar in the resource and energy

efficient production of lightweight

components made of iron and Sibo-

Dur. The industrial robot for the so

called contact casting is hidden

by a silver protective cover

(Photo: Andreas Bednareck)

the system started series production.

“The Kuka KR 1000 titan F can be integrated

into complete systems very effectively

and without requiring expensive

special foundations, because of its

highly compact design and comparatively

low weight of 4,700 kg,” adds

Ralph Nitsche, Kuka Key Technology

Manager Foundry R-GE, who supervised

the tests.

The KR 1000 titan, which is even listed

in the Guinness Book of Records as

the world’s strongest robot, is not only

able to lift exceptionally heavy loads,

but also to position them with utmost

precision. It bridges distances of

up to 6.5 m with ease. Its strength lies

in its compact design, which optimally

utilizes the workspace and allowed

space-saving and cost-efficient integration

into the system.

At Georg Fischer, they are firmly convinced

by the robot-based solution

following the first few months. “The

product has confirmed the correctness

of our decision in many respects,” explains

Schott. “Using the robot gives

us new opportunities that represent a

clear competitive advantage.”


Figure 2: Robot with flanged casting trough when pouring the molten iron.

Below the cope boxes of the molds can be seen, which are pouring off one

after the other by the Kuka-titan (Photo: Kuka)

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 31


Author: Thomas Köhler, Managing Director, Hesselmann & Köhler Prozessautomation GmbH, Limburg

Function-oriented inspection of

failure-critical vehicle components

The pressure is rising on foundries to examine more closely their inspection processes during the

production of components for the automotive industry and optimize them. Process Compensated

Resonance Testing (PCRT) is an alternative to classic inspection procedures worthy of consideration

Car recalls are currently on the agenda.

This spring’s fires in the Porsche 911

GT3 luxury sports car were particularly

spectacular. They forced the carmaker

from Zuffenhausen, Germany, to recall

all cars of this construction class to

the workshops. The costs and damage

to image may have been immense. The

call for a function­oriented inspection

of safety­relevant and failure­critical

components – quite correctly – becomes

louder with each case of this kind.

During production most failure­critical

components in the automotive

industry are insufficiently inspected

for their functionality under extreme

conditions. The classic defect inspection

process applied by most automotive

suppliers is incapable of testing the

criteria of functional relevance and the

extent of the defects. Against the background

of increasing demands being

made of these components (smaller,

lighter, cheaper) and the simultaneous

rise in stresses (higher temperatures

and driving speeds) it is precisely these

criteria that are becoming increasingly

important for ensuring vehicle safety.

Upgrading inspection systems

Most current inspection processes for

quality assurance, however, fail to keep

up with the rate of change – particularly

given that failure­critical components

are also becoming ever more

complex and multi­variant. The frequency

of recalls due to component defects,

such as that of Toyota and, more

recently, Porsche, will continue rising as

long as component producers do not upgrade

their internal inspection systems

in line with the current technologically

The location of the fault (red) is different from that of the visible fracture

(green) (Photos: Quasar Europe)

possible product properties. The benchmark

must be a fully automatic structural

component inspection integrated

in the production process that can provide

verifiable statements about the extent

of damage and functional impairment.

Carma kers must ask themselves:

“Can my components withstand the

stresses of faster, hotter and more vulnerable?”

For the affected suppliers this correspondingly

means that they must ask:

“Faster, hotter and more vulnerable –

do my inspection processes also test my

products reliably for these demands?”

What is clear is that quality producers

not only market cars, but also sell trust

in their safety, while suppliers not only

market components, but also sell trust

in their function. With each safety problem

and every recall, the topic of inspection

reliability and quality increasingly

becomes the subject of attention in the

automotive industry. It is high time to

examine the real cause (a lack of effective

inspection processes) for the apparent

cause (an installed defective part).

The alternative: Process Compensated

Resonance Testing

What can PCRT (Figure 1) do that other

inspection processes using the resonance

method cannot do? The most

important difference is that there is a

structural component inspection fully

integrated in the production process

that tests the parts for functional rele­

32 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

vance and quantitatively evaluates the

extent of the defect (Figure 2). PCRT

testing determines the structure­borne

sound of the test­piece, analyses the vibration

resonances, and compares them

with a database of known in­order (IO)

and not­in­order (NIO) test­pieces. In a

single pass, a number of defects are analyzed,

both within the test­piece and on

the surface. Pseudo­rejects based on surface

fault indications are no longer generated.

The risk of delivering a defective

part is significantly reduced. The inspection

is entirely computer­supported and

runs fully automatically. There are no

environmentally damaging fluids, and

energy consumption is low (Figure 3).

The process was developed on the basis

that every industrial production process

is subject to a scattering, so­called

process variation. Process variation is

caused by a range of factors and can have

a major effect on the resonance spectrum

of the test­piece. A precise evaluation

of the different resonance spectra

of IO and NIO parts despite process variation

takes place using special Vibration

Pattern Recognition (VIPR) software.

Modern and well­adjusted production

processes show a recognizable resonance

pattern for each part. Components that

deviate from this pattern provide information

on variations in the production

process or a defect in the part. Deviations

in the resonance patterns indicate

a defect. Possible defects include, for example,

cracks, inclusions, faults in heat

treatment, hardening faults, missing

properties such as holes, insufficient

material quantities, or material and processing

faults. One example is the hardness

penetration depth of a steel shaft –

an inspection process here should also

be able to detect invisible defects of relevance

for the function of the component

but whose presence is not demonstrated

by any crack, inclusion or similar

structural problem.

Figure 1: PCRT workstation (test station)

Physical properties are tested

PCRT detects invisible defects because it

measures the physical properties of the

test­piece and not just assesses visual indications.

There is a structural test of the

component. The results are repeatable

and quantifiable. Repeat measurements

are carried out for each component using

the same test­piece in order to assess

repeat accuracy, typically resulting in a

deviation in the range of from 0.002 to

0.02 %. The test evaluation takes place

without any human quality assessment

or quality effect emanating from

the part itself. Producers can adjust the

evaluation limits themselves in order to

ensure that all defects really are assessed

as NIO. The central element of a PCRT

inspection is the sorting module, which

receives a definition of the resonance

pattern of the IO test­piece. Firstly, the

resonance pattern of a reference quantity

made up of IO and NIO parts is measured.

This pattern is then stored in the

VIPR software. VIPR analyzes the resonance

pattern and generates the sorting

module. In the subsequent production

process this then makes the decision between

IO and NIO parts.

A simplified example: the simplest

form of a sorting module according to

this principle is based on just a single

frequency. Hitting a glass with a fork

results in a sound. This sound changes

when the glass has a crack. Theoretically,

a defect shifts the resonance

point downwards so the frequency is

thus lower. The simple sorting module

correspondingly examines a frequency

window for the expected resonance

point. If no resonance point is found

here then the part is an NIO part.

PCRT compensates for process


In practice, however, the process variation

present in every production process

leads to a shift in the resonance

point. This shift sometimes has a stronger

effect than changes caused by real

defects. A simple sorting module with

just one resonance point would be unable

to cope with the analysis because

it could no longer differentiate between

process variation and a defect. It could

no longer reliably detect small defects

in the presence of the typical process

variation of an IO part because the process

variation generates enough noise

and shift of the resonance point to

mask and suppress the real defects. If an

inspection system cannot compensate

for this process variation it will detect

only very coarse and obvious defects.

Moreover, there is a direct dependency

to the batch problem so that conventional

simple systems generally have

to be readjusted for every batch. This

problem is a considerable disadvantage

Insignificant defect Minor defect Typical defect Serious defect Major defect


0.1 1 10

Frequency change in %

Figure 2: Effect of typical defects on the change in resonance frequencies

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 33


of inspection systems using the classic

pulse method (simple sound testing). In

addition, the conventional inspection

methods employed by most industrial

companies cannot evaluate from what

point onwards a measurable defect is

function­relevant. Many critical process­relevant

factors remain untested.

PCRT compensates for process variations

that could falsify the results within

a defect search. There is a function­relevant

inspection and the extent of the

damage is quantitatively assessed. In

this way, producers can achieve a major

improvement towards the 0 ppm defect

demand for safety­relevant failure­critical

components. And considerably reduce

cost­intensive pseudo­rejects.

Figure 3: PCRT inspection station (test bench)



34 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

Authors: Xu Peng Cheng, Zhang Lei, Zhang Zhouqin, Toshiba Hydro Power Co., Ltd., Hang Zhou, China

First understand, then optimize!

Toshiba uses Magma 5 to reduce inclusions in its steel castings

Inclusions on the outer surface after machining (Photos: Toshiba Hydro Power)

With increasing quality demands on

steel castings, steel carrier rings used in

thermal power units are manufactured

under very strict quality specifications.

Toshiba Hydro Power in Hang Zhou,

China, has been producing these ringshaped

castings for over se ven years for

its parent company. One of their most

significant challenges has been the presence

of inclusions on the outer ring surface,

which accounts for over 40 % of

the total defects.

Due to the high quality requirements,

these inclusions had to be removed by

polishing and subsequent welding. The

cost for the welding electrodes alone

was extremely high. The welding took

roughly 12,142 total hours per year and

about 2,600 kg of weld rods were used

to achieve high quality castings for four

projects during 2011 ( Figure 1). In order

to find a solution that would decrease

or eliminate this problem, a number of

measures had been investigated over the


By mastering Magmasoft by Magma

Gießereitechnologie GmbH, Aachen,

Germany, the abilities and skills in understanding

process knowledge were

constantly enhanced and the foundry’s

experts were convinced that they

had to first identify the root causes of

the problem in order to solve it. Before

purchasing Magmasoft, many different

factors were suspected to be the cause

of the inclusions, such as melt quality,

molding materials and inclusion formation

due to reoxidation. However, it had

always been guesswork to predict which

factor might have contributed most to

the problem.

With the purchase and implementation

of Magma 5 in 2012, the foundry

simulated their current casting layout

using the “inclusion” criterion. The

simulation clearly showed the potential

endangered areas (Figure 2). The filling

process was also evaluated in detail. It

was determined that excessive turbulence

at two main ingate areas resulted

in an enlargement of the melt free

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 35


Consumption of weld rods in kg






1 2 3 4


Figure 1: Consumption of weld rods

in 2011

Figure 2: Inclusions predictions are similar to the findings in real castings

surface and led to large amounts of entrapped

air, which in resulted in the creation

of reoxidation inclusions found

on the outer surface (Figure 3).

Based on these findings, measures

could be implemented to solve the problem.

The key approach was to reduce the

turbulence during filling and reduce the

contact time between air and melt. Any

remaining inclusions would be moved

into the risers.

With their growing confidence in

Magma soft, the foundry experts at

Toshiba investigated many other ideas,

with Magma 5 acting as a virtual foundry

shop. During the simulation process, it

was noticed that as long as ingates were

located directly under the risers, inclusions

would be pushed into areas between

them. Their engineers used virtual

experimentation with the gating

system to move the gates between the

risers with the idea to force the inclusions

into the feeding system. The sim-

Figure 3: Turbulent melt flow during the filling process

36 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

Figure 4: Final version with a significant reduction in inclusion indications on the real casting

ulation results confirmed that this assumption

was correct. Later, two parts

were produced with the new methoding.

After performing all inspections,

the castings were qualified with minimal

amounts of inclusions (Figure 4).

Through the application of Magma 5

in the first year, the average weld rod

consumption was reduced by 1/3 per

cast ton (Figure 5). With continuous

improvements resulting from using

Magma’s software, the users expect

the upgrading effort can be further reduced.

Due to the reduction in the casting

defects, the total production time

could also be significantly shortened,

increasing profitability. After a year the

engineers at Toshiba are convinced that

they can make use of the program for

the upfront optimization of many new

castings due to their increased confidence

by mastering Magmasoft.

Figure 5: Perfect steel casting quality after being optimized using Magma 5


Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 37


Author: Robert Piterek, German Foundry Association, Düsseldorf

Hub for railway technology in

southeast Europe

DIHAG’s Euro Metall iron foundry in the Hungarian capital Budapest, produces brake parts for railways.

Together with a German and a Polish foundry the company thus covers Europe’s markets

The molding boxes are slowly moving

forwards in the AFA 20 molding

plant. One after another, two casters

approach the casting line, each pulling

a 350 kg ladle filled with glowing

molten metal suspended from a hall

crane. Then casting takes place: there’s

a hiss, and the molten metal rapidly

disappears into the inlet, almost unrecognizable

in black bentonite molding

sand. After a short time, smoke rises

from between the two molding box

halves, flames flicker. The men concentrate

on holding the ladles in position

for a minute or two. Beads of

sweat form on their foreheads above

the dark protective goggles.

Proven technology on historic


Some of the foundry machinery used

stems from the former East Germany

and continues to do its duty reliably

here in the suburb of Újpest in the

north of the Hungarian capital: the

flasked molding plant with a capacity

of 93 - 110 boxes per hour and the

sand regeneration plant. The recycled

used sand is mixed with bentonite after

each cycle and then renews its journey

– through the vibrating presses

to the cope and drag boxes, along the

core insert and casting lines until being

shaken out. The plants are logically

installed one after the other in an area

measuring about 50 x 20 square meters.

Many hundred thousand tonnes

of castings must have been cast here

during the foundry’s 111-year history.

One is confronted with the past wherever

one goes on the works grounds: a

bunker from the Second World War is

located right next to the administration

A caster scrapes free the slag opening on the cupola furnace. Euro Metall is

one of about ten iron foundries in

Hungary (Photos: Warren Richardson)

wing, a locomotive with a red star on the

front shows visitors the way to the production

building and, next to the foundry

on the repair grounds of the Hungarian

state railway, old steam engines of all

ages stand in ramshackle halls – a paradise

for railway enthusiasts. The timeless

atmosphere in the casting hall fits

in well here: vibration presses rattle, the

smell of amines lies in the air, and casters

do their work in long aprons and protective

clothing – weathered writing in

large letters on the wall call for order and

safety. On the wall next to the pair of cupola

furnaces only the calendar provided

by the Austrian binding agent and

facing experts Furtenbach (on which a

pin-up girl displays her assets to full advantage)

provides a reference to the present

by displaying the year 2014.

MÁV is largest single customer

László Retter has been Managing Director

here for two years. His foundry,

called Euro Metall Kft., has been a member

of the Essen-based DIHAG group of

foundries since 2002. The works currently

produces 13,500 tonnes of castings

per year, which corresponds to adjusted

sales of 10.9 million Euros. The

factory is thus working at about 80 % capacity

utilization. The foundry produces

brake technology – brake blocks, weight

castings and ribbed plates – and, with

this product portfolio, is the group’s

southeast Europe hub for the markets

in Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Serbia,

Croatia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Some of its production, however,

is also exported to Austria, the UK and

Germany, as well as to some other west-

38 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

ern European countries. DIHAG holds

65 % of the shares while the Hungarian

state railway company MÁV – which

obtains all of its brake parts from Euro

Metall and is thus the foundry’s largest

single customer – owns 35 %.

“Regarding rail technology, the other

European markets are covered by

Eisenwerk Arnstadt (EWA) in Thüringen,

Germany, and the OZB foundry

in Poland’s Bydgoszcz,” explains Retter

and adds: “We are powerful when we

act jointly in Europe.” For Euro Metall

a thoroughly appropriate modification

of DIHAG’s corporate motto “Strong Together”.

Within the group (consisting

of ten foundries) Euro Metall profits,

in particular, from its contacts and exchanges

with the two DIHAG subsidiaries

active in the same product segment

– EWA and OZB. The foundries from Poland,

Germany and Hungary cooperate

in quality assurance and technical matters,

as well as the transfer of expertise.

Lower production costs

Retter is a pragmatic man with a solid

education as a foundry engineer, gained

in Hungary’s Miskolc. He worked for a

long time in the automotive industry

and became familiar with all the important

career stations on the way to

Managing Director – from technician,

through Works Manager and Quality

Manager, to Deputy Managing Director.

He knows that uncomplicated

parts such as brake blocks can be produced

more economically in Hungary

than in high-wage-countries like Germany.

They have already been producing

them for ten years with the grey iron

alloys GG 25 or 20. A share of 0.8 to 1.1

% of phosphorus is added to the alloy to

improve braking power. “35 to 50 kg of

casting iron is used per box – the brake

blocks on the casting clusters weigh 8 or

11 kg each,” the manager describes his

products. In recent years investments

have been made in a dedusting unit and

in oxygen injection on the two cupola

furnaces to optimize their performance.

Maintenance-intensive melting


At Euro Metall the charge is made up

manually. Two foundry employees are

loading rusty brake blocks, cast iron

Making up the charge manually. The iron foundry uses only recycled material

The AFA 20 molding plant in operation: the employee on the right monitors

drag-box production on the vibrating press. The drag boxes are then transported

to the core insertion station on the conveyor belt

scrap, coke and lime into an enormous

tub that they weighed in advance on a

set of scales. Then the material is transported

upwards to the feeder shaft by

lift and tipped out. If the observer follows

the path of the lift upwards they

will notice nozzles installed in a ring

around the cupola furnace shell. They

continuously spray water onto the outer

shell and thus cool it down. “Since

last year cooling now also takes place

in a closed water circulatory system,”

explains Retter. This has had no effect

on the need for maintenance of the

ten-year-old furnaces with their capacities

of 6.8 tonnes per hour each.

They need relining every day: while

one furnace is melting, the other is being

maintained – a material- and personnel-intensive

process. It is therefore

currently being considered whether to

modernize the old pair of cupola furnaces

or install a new low-maintenance

long-term cupola furnace. The

64 employees at Euro Metall work in

two-shift operation from 6.00 a.m. to

2 p.m. and from 2 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Quality assurance takes place through

regular sampling. A spectral analysis

is carried out every 20 minutes in the

works laboratory. The charge is altered

if the melt has the wrong composition.

Finishing of the brake parts is carried

out by strong men in the neighboring

hall who grind off burrs throughout

the shift times . “These men clean

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 39


Temperature measurement during casting. The melt is

now at about 1380 - 1400°C

Red-hot brake blocks on the cooling line. The castings

must cool for about 35 to 45 minutes before being knocked


Finishing is heavy work. Some railway

components weigh over 10 kg

Euro Metall Managing Director László Retter shows where, on a railway

wheel, his castings are required

ten tonnes of castings every day,” Retter

praises their performance. A machine

with an unusual producer name

is used for blasting: the blasting plant

is made by the Czech producer Škoda –

also known for its cars.

Expansion of the product portfolio

is planned

Railway technology represents a solid

business basis for Euro Metall. During

the course of the coming five years,

however, Euro Metall’s production

range will be expanded with castings

for agricultural and machine construction,

Retter reveals.

The country’s politics will also play

an important role in the implementation

of future plans. Hungary has increased

taxes for many multinational

companies since Viktor Orbán and

his right-leaning national conservative

party Fidesz took over power four

years ago. A further increase in taxes is

feared following re-election of the Hungarian

Prime Minister in April. Retter

is relaxed about this: “This foundry is

very important for Hungary’s state railway

system. I do not think that there is

very much danger that business might

be impaired.” And it’s true: the Hungarian

state railway repairs its brakes right

next door, in a neighboring hall. Production

and operation thus take place

at almost the same place – a perfect


Good prerequisites for Euro Metall,

then, which now exports well over half

of its production. With this in mind:

good luck or, as the Hungarians say, Jó



Picture gallery of the Euro Metall iron



40 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

Latin America Special

High growth potential despite political

and economical difficulties


The foundry industry in

Latin America

From the viewpoint of foundry operators Latin America is a region in the world with great potential.

Three countries have established foundry industries: Brazil is 7th in the world ranking of

the largest casting producers, Mexico is ranked 11th and Argentina is still on no. 26. However,

the conditions in the three countries are both politically and economically highly variable

A total of 361 million people live in Latin

America in an area amounting to 13.3

million square kilometers (for comparative

purposes: the USA is 9.8 million

square kilometers and Europe 10.2 million

square kilometers). The Latin American

nations jointly achieve a gross domestic

product of about 4 bn. US-Dollars

(3.2 bn. Euro). Roughly 76 million cars

travel the roads between the Rio Grande

(the river that forms part of the border

between the USA and Mexico) and Tierra

del Fuego in southern Argentina. It is

an economic area with major potentials,

considering that it includes the economically

powerful Brazil (a member of the

emergent BRICS group of nations – Brazil,

Russia, India, China and South Africa)

and Mexico, which maintains close

economic relations with the USA in the

North American Free Trade Agreement

(NAFTA). Only three Latin American nations

have well-established foundry industries:

Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

Key data on these three countries in the

Table below.

Energy supplies

Three-quarters of Brazil’s energy is supplied

from renewable, mainly hydroelectric,

sources. Almost 12 % is covered by

thermal power stations, i.e. coal, oil, etc.,

5.3 % from other sources, and the largest

of Latin America’s countries has to import

about 8 % of its energy requirement.

Installed total capacity is 95.7 GW.

The proportion of renewables in the

southern neighbor of Argentina is only

36 %, with 60 % provided by thermal

power stations and 4 % coming from

other sources. Installed total capacity

is 31.1 GW.

In Mexico, dependence on fossil fuels is

even higher at 72 %, followed by 22 %

covered by renewables, while 3 % of the

energy requirement is generated by nuclear

power stations and another 3 %

comes from other sources. Installed total

capacity is 51.5 GW.

Raw materials

In terms of raw materials, Argentina and

Brazil are independent of imports while

Mexico’s main providers are the USA

and Canada.

Brazil is the largest producer of pig

iron in Latin America (Figure 1). Argentina

takes some of the surpluses

from its neighbor, and Mexico is Latin

America’s largest importer of iron ore

from Brazil.

Recycling of their own industrial ferrous

and non-ferrous scrap doesn’t always

meet demand so imports from foreign

markets are occasionally necessary.

Political and economic development

Current political developments in these

three countries vary considerably. Argentina

has slid back into insolvency

after 13 years because a US court ruled

that Argentina has to pay back the outstanding

debts of a US hedge fund and

it refuses to meet these demands. This



could lead to a dangerous downward

spiral during the coming year: the peso

could come under pressure, real wages

fall, and the recession worsen. Up to

now, however, the economic mood has

not been greatly affected.

President Dilma Roussef has recently

been reelected in Brazil for a second

term. The mood for change in the

country failed to gain sufficient traction.

Thus the people’s concerns regarding

corruption, constantly rising

prices, poor transport systems and a

lack of security, as well as the anger over

poor schools and the chaos in the hospitals,

will perhaps continue to be ignored.

Companies and consumers currently

have little confidence in the

country’s economic development. In

the area of foundry technology, however,

Brazil’s workers are well trained.

There are courses on foundry technology,

as well as a wide-ranging variety of

university courses on metallurgy or

foundry engineering.

In Mexico there is, on the one hand,

economic confidence while, on the

other hand, the country is sinking into

a drug war that is endangering the hitherto

impressive modernization of Mexican

industry. Only recently, 43 students

on a demonstration disappeared

without trace. Both the regular police

Brazil Argentina Mexico

200.4 41.4 122.3

Area (km²) 8.5 2.8 1.97

GDP (USD bn.) 2.2 0.488 1.3


vehicles (m.)

25.9 10.0 39.7

42 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

force and drug gangs have been connected

with their disappearance – the

situation is thus extremely complex.

From the economic point of view, Mexico

profits from the growth effects resulting

from the NAFTA free trade

agreement. Upcoming liberalization of

the energy sector could considerably

reduce production costs, so Mexico

could develop into Latin America’s economic

star in the coming decade. Experts

believe that electricity costs for

Mexican producers might fall by 20 %

in future – and foundries in this Central

American country could also profit

Figure 1: Brazil has a surplus in its main raw materials

from this substantial competitive advantage.

Brazil’s foundry-related expertise is

also reflected in the importance of its

foundry industry in international

comparisons: according to the 47th

Census of World Casting Production

compiled by the magazine Modern

Casting in December 2013, Brazil holds

seventh place in the ranking of the

largest foundry nations with 2,859,898

tonnes. Mexico holds a good 11th

place with 1,651,679 tonnes, while Argentina

is an ‘also ran’ in 26th place

with just 166,100 tonnes.

Figure 2: Currently, Brazil and Mexico have the same level of vehicle production

Argentina’s foundry industry

The foundry production of the smallest

of the three foundry nations has reached

a ten-year low. 68 % of its foundry products

are made from cast iron, 23 % from

non-ferrous metals and 9 % from steel.

The main customers are to be found in

the automotive sector (57 %), agriculture

(20 %), capital goods (10 %) and the railways

(4 %).

Mexico’s foundry industry

At 45 %, the share of non-ferrous production

in Mexico is very high. In a

worldwide comparison, the country is

also in seventh place in the ranking of

aluminum producers. Half the foundry

production, however, still involves

cast iron. Steel castings only represent

5 % of total capacity. Most of Mexico’s

casting exports (87 %) go to the USA. A

high level of dependency on the automotive

industry can be seen in all three

Latin American foundry nations: 57 %

of Argentina’s output is used for vehicle

production, 58 % of Brazil’s and between

75 and 80 % of Mexico’s. Concrete

figures on vehicle production

in the three countries can be seen in

Figure 2. A comparison of the number

of vehicles per person in the three

countries shows that Latin America’s

automotive sector still has major potentials

for growth.

Brazil’s foundry industry

The dominant material in Brazil is

cast iron, with a share of 83 % of total

production, compared to just 9 % for

non-ferrous metals and 8 % for steel.

71 % of the cast iron products, a large

majority, are still made using cast iron

with lamellar graphite. In the case

of the non-ferrous metals, the most

common material is aluminum. 73 %

of aluminum castings are supplied to

the automotive industry. Steel castings

are mainly carbon steel followed

by high-manganese steel, alloyed steel

and stainless steel. The distribution of

foundries within Brazil is also interesting.

91 % of all foundry production

takes place in the south or south-east of

the country. 55 % of exported castings

are delivered to the USA. ­Figure 3 shows

the development of exports in Brazil divided

up into the various materials.

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 43

Umschlag_CPT_03_2014 Kopie.indd 1 05.12.14 08:05



Vehicle production in Brazil is expected

to rise to 6.3 million vehicles by 2020.

This will have positive knock-on effects

on the domestic production of machinery

and on the other foundry customer

sectors. Demand in Latin America has

the potential to help these countries

catch up with more developed industrialized

nations. Further potentials exist

in the petrochemical industry (e.g.

the pre-salt oilfields off the coast of Brazil)

and in development of the transport

matrix in Brazil. Despite the financial

difficulties facing Argentina and the

drug-related problems in Mexico, these

three countries are politically stable.

They all have democratic regimes.

On the negative side, however, the

high cost of electrical energy in Brazil

makes aluminum production unfeasible.

The economic situation in Argentina

will continue to have a negative

impact on development there. Growth

in the three countries’ income in recent

years has lagged behind the global

average. In Brazil, in particular, there

is a high tax burden (36 %) that is also

impairing development.

Figure­3: Evolution of exports in Brazil, my metal unit in million US-Dollars


However, the demand for casting in

Brazil should continue to grow in the

coming years. A total of 700 million

US-Dollars (561 million Euro) will be

required to increase installed capacity

and 180 million US-Dollars (144 million

Euro) to improve foundry technology –

representing a big market for suppliers.

Sources: Speech of R. de Simone, President of

the Brazilian Foundry Association ABIFA,

at the IFF in Venice, Italy, in September

2014; Newspaper “Handelsblatt”, Newsmagazine



Try out the new CP+T International e-journal

Important notice: The CP+T-iPad app will cease shortly. As a perfect

substitute, we have developed the new CP+T International

e-journal – up-to-date information for mobile or desktop use –

compatible with all common operating systems.

Your advantages:

- digital replica of the printed magazine

- handy FlipBook with perfect rendering


- operate, browse and navigate



- download articles or even the

whole issue to read offline and

share with friends


Environmental Protection

Officer Laluk gives insides on

her job at Victaulic Drezdenko


Efficient steel casting for

the production of Mercedes

Benz turbine housings

Quality Assurance

The use of a coating

preparation plant to improve

the core-coating process

Available as


The latest information about casting, plant and technology is now

available on the Internet – instantaneously and easily accessible.

The CP+T International e-journal, which comes in the form of a

FlipBook, is a perfect digital replica of the print version. It provides

digest and multiple zoom-in features for both tablet and desktop

PC’s. Articles can be retrieved and stored for offline use, in case

of poor Internet connectivity or if your mobile device is in flight


Work up your curiosity and try it out at www.cpt-international.com.

Keep in mind, this iPad app will cease as per end of 2014.

44 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

Media_CPT_D_2015_210_148.indd 3 05.12.14 09:49



30th anniversary of foundry

IT pioneer

Software companies, which are active

in the foundry industry for more than

30 years, are rare. One of those early

IT pioneers is RGU, which celebrated

its 30th anniversary on September 5,

2014. Many distinguished guests were

present to celebrate this special day

with RGU. The well-known German

foundries Fritz Winter, Stadtallendorf,

and Gontermann-Peipers, Siegen,

were amongst the well-wishers.

With its consulting and IT concepts,

RGU played a decisive role in the

foundry industry in the course of the

last 30 years. RGU, for example, introduced

the term FRP (Foundry Resource

Planning) for its foundry solution,

since it does not relate, as common

The team of RGU at the Old Tram Depot in Dortmund, Germany, where the

celebrations of the anniversary took place (Photo: RGU)

ERP systems, to standard-related companies,

but has been developed exclusively

for foundries.



Automated heat treatment

system for structural components

Can-Eng Furnaces International Limited,

Niagara Falls, Canada, has been

contracted to design, manufacture

and commission an automated system

for the heat treatment of high

integrity, lightweight aluminum automotive

structural components for

a tier 1 automotive component provider

with installation locations in

North American and China respectively.

These high volume continuous

heat treating systems include a

solution furnace with rapid quench

transfer capabilities and an artificial

aging oven utilizing natural gas heating

systems. Both installations include

Can-Eng’s proven Precision Air

Quench (PAQ) Technology. The PAQ

system integrates a unique combination

of air handling technologies and

computational fluid dynamic modeling

which uniformly delivers conditioned

quench media leading to repeatable

and uniform property and

dimensional results, while minimizing

residual stress levels. The systems

will be installed with Can-Eng’s

Level 2 automation system which integrates

product recognition, tracking

and processing parameter historical

trending capabilities. Quench parameters

are developed for each component

configuration and once validated

can be integrated as part of the

product recipe.

Aluminum structural component

heat treatment systems along with a

wide variety of other ferrous and

non-ferrous heat treatment systems

are made available by Can-Eng Furnaces

International. The company is

a global provider of state-of-the-art

thermal processing systems and is a

significant supplier to automotive

community through direct and tier




Bulk density measurement

The successful automatic SPC (Statistical

Process Control) sand testing

system by Sensor Control, Neuwied,

Germany, has been supplemented by

another measured value.

Up to now residual moisture, temperature,

bulk density and batch weight

could be measured during preparation

of the molding material in used sand,

and the variables compactability, compression

strength, shear strength, moisture

and temperature determined in the

prepared sand. Now bulk density can

also be measured in the prepared sand

and shown on the display.

Homogeneous molding material can

be produced thanks to the control potentials

provided by this large number

of parameters.


Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 45



Winners of UK Cast Metals

Industry Awards 2014

With three top award winners and a sell

out event, the 12th Cast Metals Industry

Dinner was a resounding success. Held

at the Manor Hotel in Meriden near

Coventry, the room was filled with 160

of the heads of the UK cast metals industry,

coming together to celebrate the

‘Best of British Casting’.

The flagship Component of the Year

Award went to Grainger & Worrall Ltd,

Bridgnorth, for their engine block development

for the Ford US pickup truck, the

first CGI petrol production engine in the

world. The Company Achievement

Award went to Thomas Dudley Ltd, Dudley,

for their success in turning round the

company, investing for success and considerable

educational and development

activity. The 2014 Innovation Award was

won by Blayson Olefines Ltd, Cambridge,

for their research and development of a

new investment casting wax with greatly

reduced thermal hysteresis.

“The whole event showed an industry

achieving world class success in a competitive

environment,” said John Parker,

Chief Executive of the Cast Metals Federation

which organizes the awards and

the annual dinner. “All of our shortlisted

companies in the three awards are

doing remarkable work, and choosing

the winners was very difficult.”

“The three shortlisted entries in the

Component of the Year Award were

testa ment to the remarkable breadth of

components that our industry makes.

The CGI iron engine block from

Grainger & Worrall was in competition

with a pair of tiny zinc castings from

PMS Diecasting Ltd, Rotherham, in the

Gripple Angel, a new hanging system

for use in the building industry, and the

massive continuous cast 650-700 mm

diameter iron bar involving 22 tonnes

of metal from United Cast Bar Ltd”,

The UK Component of the Year

2014, a CGI engine blocked developed

by Grainger & Worrall Ltd for

Ford in the US (Photo: CMF)

John Parker continued. “Each component

is a remarkable achievement, yet

all so different.”



Klaus Draeger, Board of Management

of BMW AG, Purchasing and

Supplier Network (left), and Frank

Coenen, CEO of ASK Chemicals,

Hilden (Photo: ASK)

BMW Innovation Award for

manufacturer of foundry


At the beginning of October, the BMW

Group held its “BMW Supplier Innovations

Award 2014” ceremony to celebrate

the achievements and innovations

of its suppliers. ASK Chemicals

from Hilden, Germany, was awarded as

one of the eight most innovative suppliers

in the category sustainability.

The prize was received by CEO Frank

Coenen for the development of the

Inotec generation of inorganic binders

for high-volume series production in

engine casting.

The industrial implementation of this

innovation was a joint feat by BMW and

ASK Chemicals, which set high benchmarks

for emissions protection and

economy. In addition, both partners

were willing from the very beginning

to systematically make the project a reality,

despite the enormous demands of

the production process.

“In the years of collaborative development

between ASK Chemicals and

BMW, the composition and manufacture

of inorganic binders were perfected

to such a degree that they were able

to replace organic binder systems in

high-volume series production. This

has enabled the BMW Group to implement

zero-emission foundries and to

further improve working conditions

for its employees. At the same time,

productivity and the quality of the casting

components have increased,” said

BMW of its reasons for honoring ASK


Working together, BMW and ASK

Chemicals have developed and brought

to market a key technology that is a major

milestone for the automotive industry.

Many renowned car manufacturers

have followed this example and are today

also intensively utilizing inorganic

core production technology.

“The innovation award is an incentive

for us to keep on researching and developing

products, in order to bring these

to industrial viability together with our

partners. However, the idea and the innovative

product are nothing without

the resolute will of the user to successfully

implement a new technology on

an industrial scale,” commented Frank

Coenen, CEO of ASK Chemicals, on accepting

the award.


46 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014



A long and proud tradition

lives on!

The well-known foundry plant manufacturer

Künkel Wagner from Alfeld

in Germany was sold on 1st September

2014 through an asset deal and is

now operating as Künkel Wagner Germany

GmbH. The workforce has been

retained, and the product line remains

strong. The acquisition creates huge

opportunities and opens up enormous


Künkel Wagner Germany GmbH is

now 100 % owned by QME, an enterprise

with headquarters in Qingdao,

China. This parent company successfully

leads a consortium of several

technology-based companies in China

and already has shares in a successful

company in Germany as well as joint

ventures with leading German companies

in China.

QME is specialized in producing

high quality products and operates

mainly in the following three business

areas: high-tech engineering, quality

In 2011 this molding line with a capacity of 225 molds per hour, 14 manual core

depositors seats and two fully automatic core insertion devices was considered

to be the world’s most powerful modern plant (Photo: Künkel-Wagner)

automotive components and electrical

and electronic components. With

these activities QME has been increasingly

successful in international competition.

Künkel Wagner’s excellent market

reputation as a traditional German mechanical

engineering company, their

strong experience and highly qualified

employees were essential criteria for

the takeover by QME.


Fairs and Congresses

Metal Middle East

January, 10-13, 2015, Dubai/United Arab Emirates


15th International Die Casting Conference

March, 5, 2015, Bad Homburg/Germany


IFEX 2015

February/March, 27-1, 2015, Greater Noida/India


Metal + Metallurgy China 2015

March/April, 31-3, 2015, Shanghai/China


Advertisers‘ Index

voestalpine Böhler Welding GmbH 2

Giesserei Verlag GmbH 44, 52

GTP Schäfer GmbH 34

Hannover Milano Fairs Shanghai Ltd. 29

HOMA Hochstromtechnik GmbH & Co. KG 17

Meltech Ltd. 9

RGU GmbH 13

Konrad Rump Oberflächentechnik

GmbH & Co.KG 34

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 47


Aluminium melting solutions

12 pages, English

This brochure features furnace equipment for aluminium melting offered by

Andritz under the brand HI T.E.Q. The line of equipment includes stack melters,

crucible melting and holding furnaces, mini melter furnaces, dry hearth furnaces,

reverberatory and chip melting furnaces as well as degasssing, filtration and launder

systems, etc.


3D scanning and inspection

6 pages, English

A brochure outlining the Atos ScanBox, a measuring cell for fully automated 3-D

digitizing and inspection, developed by GOM. It combines reliable and industrial

hardware with process-safe software for early trend and root cause analyses, as well

as higher productivity and increased efficiency in quality control.


Innovative suction and filtering technology

40 pages, English

A comprehensive brochure setting out the portfolio of Teka in the field of mobile,

stationary and central suction and filtering systems. The described equipment includes

gas cutting benches, welding benches, collecting elements, fans and ducting,

visibility protection and soundproofing solutions.


Blasting plants

8 pages, English

A brochure summarizing the product and service range provided by SLF Oberflächentechnik

in the field of blasting technology. It summarizes the advantages

and features of blast rooms supplied by the company and describes the blasting

robot “ReCo-Blaster”, automatic blasting and hand blasting cabinets as well as different

types of lifting platforms.


48 Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014

Foundry technology for green sand castings

6 pages, English

This brochure provides an overview of plants and equipment supplied by Küttner

for serial production of green sand castings. The range of technology includes

systems for charging, melting and iron treatment, for separating castings and sand,

for finishing and sand reclamation, as well as secondary dedusting and filtering



Cast, forged and welded parts and constructions

16 pages, English, German

A company brochure featuring Cast-Con Engineering, an engineering office and

trading house specialized in the construction, optimization and supply of castings,

welding constructions and forgings. As a full-service partner, the company consults

on the choice of materials and design, develops optimized solutions and produces

the parts in cooperation with production plants.


Solutions and products for the foundry industry

24 pages, English

This brochure presents the range of products and services provided by Drache for

aluminium as well as steel and iron casting. In addition to the full line of ceramic

foam filters, the company offers filter boxes, launder systems, precast shapes, fused

silica and other refractories.


Mobile metals analyzer

6 pages, English

A product brochure featuring the Q4 Mobile spectrometer developed by Bruker

Elemental. The 24 kg unit, with its patented optical system, source generator and

orthodonal plasma observation, provides an analytical performance close to laboratory

instruments. Even applications like carbon, sulphur or nitrogen determination

are possible.


Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 49


16 – 20 JUNE 2015

The Bright


of Metals


gmtn1502_00128.indd 1 10.07.14 08:57

Call for papers

As a part of GIFA/NEWCAST 2015, the BDG

Bundesverband der Deutschen Gießerei-Industrie e. V.

and the VDG Verein Deutscher Giessereifachleute

e. V. are again organizing conferences focussed

on topics of interest to the metal casting industry,

such as:

the GIFA-Forum

is primarily addressed to foundry suppliers and deals

with topics like

> melting and casting processes

> pattern and die making

> moulding and core making

> manufacturing technology including machining

> foundry engineering and equipment

> foundry chemicals

> foundry consumables

the Technical Forum in cooperation with

VDI (Verein Deutscher Ingenieure)

offers researchers, managers and foundrymen the

opportunity to get information on the latest trends in

casting technology focussing on

> R&D on casting processes

> process simulation

> process control

> automation

> information management

> environmental sustainability and conservation

of resources (casting processes)

the NEWCAST Forum

presents perspectives for the application of state

of the art cast materials and products. The technical

presentations will concentrate on

> new casting product development

> substitution of materials and processes

> component design

> optimization and simulation

> light-weight design

> environmental sustainability and conservation

of resources (products)

This forum is intended to support a mutual dialogue

between suppliers, designers and foundrymen and

achieve synergies for both research and industry.

Both English and German (with simultaneous

translation into English) presentations will be

accepted at all the conferences.

Please send a short abstract and your vita by 31th

Dezember 2014 to:

Bundesverband der Deutschen Gießerei-Industrie

attn.: Simone Bednareck

Hansaallee 203, 40549 Düsseldorf

E-Mail: simone.bednareck@bdguss.de

Tel.: +49 (0)211/6871-338

Fax.: +49 (0)211/6871-364


Preview of the next issue

Publication date: 12 March 2015

Selection of topics:

Special: 30 years of CP+T International

“An active bridge for the exchange of information in the foundry industry.”

This is how Eberhard Möllmann (President of the German Foundrymen’s Association,

the former publisher of CP+T) described the task of the international

English-language periodical in the first issue, published in March 1985. A review

of 30 years: about 4,000 copies of each issue are delivered to foundries all

over the world, providing plenty of material for discussion: between foundries

with each other, of suppliers and foundries, and between people from different

cultures. Mission accomplished!

S. Geisweid: A milestone in steel foundry modernization

The old green sand molding system at the Promlit foundry in the Russian city of

Cheboksary has been replaced by a modern HWS molding machine. In order to

improve mold quality, as well as mold larger models and automatically change

them, the modernized plant uses the Seiatsu air flow press-molding process

instead of vibrating press molding.

B. Gottsauner: RFID for tracking batches and monitoring

steel quality

A foundry has optimized the composition of its melt material by using radio frequency

identification (RFID): the transport buckets for pig iron and scrap steel

are equipped with transponders that are detected by a UHF RFID reader at the

electric induction furnace. This results in increased process reliability, consistent

dosing accuracy, and complete batch tracking.


Pub lish er:

Ger man Foundry As so ci a tion

Ed i tor in Chief :

Michael Franken M.A.

Ed i tor:

Robert Piterek M.A.

Ed i to ri al As sist ant:

Ruth Fran gen berg-Wol ter

P.O. Box 10 51 44

D-40042 Düsseldorf

Tele phone: (+49-2 11) 68 71-358

Tele fax: (+49-2 11) 68 71-365

E-mail: re dak tion@bdguss.de

Pub lished by:

Gies se rei-Ver lag GmbH

P.O. Box 10 25 32

D-40016 Düsseldorf, Ger ma ny

Tele phone: (+49-2 11) 69936-200

Tele fax: (+49-2 11) 69936-225

E-Mail: cpt@stah lei sen.de

Man ag ing Di rec tor:

Jürgen Beckers, Arnt Hannewald

Ad ver tis ing Man ag er:

Sig rid Klinge

Cir cu la tion:

Ga briele Wald

Pro duc tion Man ag er:

Burk hard Star kul la


Peter Büchele

Ad ver tis ing rate card No. 25 from 1.1.2014

Pub li ca tion: Quar ter ly

An nu al sub scrip tion rate (incl. post age)

Home: 110,– incl. 7 % VAT; Mem ber States

in the EC: Sub scrib ers with VAT-No. and

Third Coun tries: 110,–; Sub scrib ers without

VAT-No.: 110,– plus 7 % VAT; Sin gle

copy 33,–.

Min i mum sub scrip tion pe ri od 12 months.

Ter mi na tion of sub scrip tions can only be

made from 31st De cem ber and no tice of ter -

mi na tion must be re ceived by the Pub lish ers

by 15th No vem ber.

Oth er wise, the sub scrip tion is au to mat i cal ly

re newed and pay able for a fur ther 12


© 2014 Gies se rei-Ver lag GmbH. Düsseldorf

Print ed by:

Kraft Druck GmbH

Industriestr. 5-9

76275 Ettlingen, Ger ma ny

Printed on paper bleached totally chlorine-free

All rights, in clud ing those of trans la tion

into for eign lan guag es and stor age in data

banks, re served.

Pho to me chan i cal re pro duc tion (pho to copy,

mi cro copy) of this tech ni cal pub li ca tion or

parts of it is not al lowed with out spe cial per -

mis sion.

The re pro duc tion in this jour nal of reg is -

tered trademarks does not war rant the as -

sump tion, even with out any spe cial marking,

that such names are to be con sid ered

free under the trade-mark law and may be

used by any one.

Cer tifi ca tion of cir cu la tion by the

Ger man Aud it Bu reau of Cir cu la tion

ISSN 0935-7262

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 xx


Preview of the next issue

Publication date: 12 March 2015

Selection of topics:

Special: 30 years of CP+T International

“An active bridge for the exchange of information in the foundry industry.”

This is how Eberhard Möllmann (President of the German Foundrymen’s Association,

the former publisher of CP+T) described the task of the international

English-language periodical in the first issue, published in March 1985. A review

of 30 years: about 4,000 copies of each issue are delivered to foundries all

over the world, providing plenty of material for discussion: between foundries

with each other, of suppliers and foundries, and between people from different

cultures. Mission accomplished!

S. Geisweid: A milestone in steel foundry modernization

The old green sand molding system at the Promlit foundry in the Russian city of

Cheboksary has been replaced by a modern HWS molding machine. In order to

improve mold quality, as well as mold larger models and automatically change

them, the modernized plant uses the Seiatsu air flow press-molding process

instead of vibrating press molding.

B. Gottsauner: RFID for tracking batches and monitoring

steel quality

A foundry has optimized the composition of its melt material by using radio frequency

identification (RFID): the transport buckets for pig iron and scrap steel

are equipped with transponders that are detected by a UHF RFID reader at the

electric induction furnace. This results in increased process reliability, consistent

dosing accuracy, and complete batch tracking.


Pub lish er:

Ger man Foundry As so ci a tion

Ed i tor in Chief :

Michael Franken M.A.

Ed i tor:

Robert Piterek M.A.

Ed i to ri al As sist ant:

Ruth Fran gen berg-Wol ter

P.O. Box 10 51 44

D-40042 Düsseldorf

Tele phone: (+49-2 11) 68 71-358

Tele fax: (+49-2 11) 68 71-365

E-mail: re dak tion@bdguss.de

Pub lished by:

Gies se rei-Ver lag GmbH

P.O. Box 10 25 32

D-40016 Düsseldorf, Ger ma ny

Tele phone: (+49-2 11) 69936-200

Tele fax: (+49-2 11) 69936-225

E-Mail: cpt@stah lei sen.de

Man ag ing Di rec tor:

Jürgen Beckers, Arnt Hannewald

Ad ver tis ing Man ag er:

Sig rid Klinge

Cir cu la tion:

Ga briele Wald

Pro duc tion Man ag er:

Burk hard Star kul la


Peter Büchele

Ad ver tis ing rate card No. 25 from 1.1.2014

Pub li ca tion: Quar ter ly

An nu al sub scrip tion rate (incl. post age)

Home: 110,– incl. 7 % VAT; Mem ber States

in the EC: Sub scrib ers with VAT-No. and

Third Coun tries: 110,–; Sub scrib ers without

VAT-No.: 110,– plus 7 % VAT; Sin gle

copy 33,–.

Min i mum sub scrip tion pe ri od 12 months.

Ter mi na tion of sub scrip tions can only be

made from 31st De cem ber and no tice of ter -

mi na tion must be re ceived by the Pub lish ers

by 15th No vem ber.

Oth er wise, the sub scrip tion is au to mat i cal ly

re newed and pay able for a fur ther 12


© 2014 Gies se rei-Ver lag GmbH. Düsseldorf

Print ed by:

Kraft Druck GmbH

Industriestr. 5-9

76275 Ettlingen, Ger ma ny

Printed on paper bleached totally chlorine-free

All rights, in clud ing those of trans la tion

into for eign lan guag es and stor age in data

banks, re served.

Pho to me chan i cal re pro duc tion (pho to copy,

mi cro copy) of this tech ni cal pub li ca tion or

parts of it is not al lowed with out spe cial per -

mis sion.

The re pro duc tion in this jour nal of reg is -

tered trademarks does not war rant the as -

sump tion, even with out any spe cial marking,

that such names are to be con sid ered

free under the trade-mark law and may be

used by any one.

Cer tifi ca tion of cir cu la tion by the

Ger man Aud it Bu reau of Cir cu la tion

ISSN 0935-7262

Casting Plant & Technology 4/2014 xx

30.09.2008 8:08:15 Uhr























Manfred Sachse



3rd Edition





3rd edition 2008. 25.6 x 31.9 cm.

304 pages, mostly in colour,

photographs and technical drawings.

ISBN 978-3-514-00751-2 79.00 €

For personal members

of Steel Institute VDEh: 71.10 €

Including VAT, excluding postage and packaging

Manfred Sachse


Myth | History | Technology | Applications

This book is a comprehensive and in-depth description of Damascus

steel and steelmaking. After the introduction “Magic and myth of sabres”

by Helmut Nickel, the author describes the development of the material

and the history of European, Middle Eastern and East-Asian forge-welded

composite steels used in the design of blades and fire arms.

A special chapter is dedicated to the great variety of Oriental dasmascus

steels (wootz steels). The author covers the topic of historical and

modern fakes and how they can be recognized as well as conservation

and restoration of Damascus steels. In one chapter he demonstrates

that not only weapons but also decorative articles of daily use and jewellery

can be made of Damascus steel.

Extensive research both into the history and theory of Damascus

steelmaking as well as practical work at the forge.

Distributed by Verlag Stahleisen GmbH

P. O. Box 105164 · 40042 Düsseldorf · Germany · Fon: +49 211 69936-264 · Fax: +49 211 69936-266

E-Mail: annette.engels@stahleisen.de · www.stahleisen.de

More magazines by this user