CPT International 03/2016


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








Melt treatment improves

quality, productivity and

melting capacity


Made in Germany –

a success story!

Germany has a worldwide reputation for its great cars, its beer brewing artistry

and its successful world-class football. German engineers and technology

have also been considered pioneering since the industrial revolution in the

19 th century – with the invention of the car, jet propulsion engines and nuclear

fission, for example. While these inventions marked far-reaching technological

upheavals, German engineers have also made their mark on developments

in many other sectors. Such as in foundry technology where, for

example, Dr. Adey first produced cast iron with spheroidal graphite in 1939,

revolutionizing the foundry world. The German foundry industry is now considered

the most productive worldwide, which is not least due to its state-ofthe-art

plant technology and its innovative capability in areas such as sand

preparation, core production, smelting operations and, last but not least, quality

assurance and simulation technology.

CASTING, PLANT & TECHNOLOGY takes these technologies out into the

world: in this issue we focus on, among other things, core production technologies.

We examine the production of cores at the Halberg Guss foundry from

two different perspectives: first we consider the maintenance-free Fibromat

rotary table for transporting parts (from P. 12) then we take a look at the fully

automatic assembly of core packages by 25 Kuka robots (from P. 16)!

Articles on quality assurance form another large section in this issue – from a

sophisticated coating preparation plant (P. 20), through turbo-grinders for wind

turbine castings (P. 24), to cryogenic deburring of non-ferrous parts (P. 28).

German foundries produce top quality in all sizes, as can be seen from the

Siempelkamp foundry in Krefeld: they recently produced the world’s longest

casting made of cast iron with spheroidal graphite for a Czech company (from

P. 30). Another article is dedicated to the production of castings for the energy

transition (from P. 34).

This issue is rounded out by a user report on the TimeLine-Guss ERP/PPS system

in Dutch foundry BUVO Castings in Helmond (from P. 38), and the works

report “Shaping the future with die-casting technology” about KSM Castings

in Hildesheim – a successful example of Chinese-German industrial cooperation

(from P. 40).

Have a good read!

Robert Piterek

e-mail: robert.piterek@bdguss.de

Casting Plant & Technology 3/2016 3



Bosse, Manuel

“Replacing equipment and simulation improves quality automatically” 6


Görke, Hanna Maria; Zille, Jörg Ulrich; Demary, Marc

The impact of grain distribution on molding material parameters 8


Schauder, Thorsten

Rotary table transfer increases reliability in the core production of foundries 12

Schwarzbach, Laura

In perfect harmony 16


Foseco Foundry Division

Vesuvius GmbH

Gelsenkirchener Str. 10

46325 Borken

Tel: + 49 2861 83-0

Fax: + 49 2861 83-338



Casting at Foseco's technology center in Borken, Germany.

Note: Please read our Foseco-article on page 20!


Genzler, Christoph; Gruber, Mathias

Customized CPP – Fulfilling demanding customer requirements 20

Wenke, Heiko

Light turbo-grinders for heavy wind-turbine castings 24

Sinner, Ralf

Cryogenic deburring of non ferrous die castings 28



25 Kuka robots assemble crankcase core packages at Neue

Halberg-Guss. The machines perform all assembly steps

fully automatically and with utmost precision (Photo: Kuka)

XXL foundry production: 23.5 m was the length of the crossbeam

for a 2-column machining center for a Czech company – the longest

casting made of ductile cast iron ever! (Photo: Siempelkamp)


3 | 2016




Weil, Mathias

Longest casting made of ductile cast iron 30

Rieck, Helmut

Energy conversion with Siempelkamp cast components 34


Holzapfel, Matthias

Additional performance through enhanced efficiency 38


Piterek, Robert

Shaping the future with die casting 40



News in brief 48


Fairs and congresses 58

Preview of the next issue/Imprint 59


KSM Castings Group – with plants in Europe, the USA and China – has strengthened its competitive position as an automotive

supplier with a major investment of 13 million euros at its Hildesheim site to increase the added value of its magnesium components

(Photo: Andreas Bednareck)


“Replacing equipment and simulation

improves quality automatically”

Manuel Bosse is environmental and energy management expert of the BDG-Service GmbH in

Düsseldorf, Germany. He played an instrumental role in EffSAFound 2 , a joint German-South

African project dedicated to improve energy and resource efficiency in South African foundries

Photo: BDG/Soschinski

South African foundries have to cope

with high scrap rates and their energy

use is often very inefficient. What

was your impression of the situation

during your visits to South Africa and

what has EffSAFound achieved in this


Until 2008, the foundries in South Africa

had benefited very much from low

energy prices. Between 2008 and 2011,

the utility company Eskom raised the

electricity price every year by 20 %. At

the same time, the foundries were required

to reduce electricity consumption

by 10 %. The melting furnaces and

molding equipment in the foundries

are quite old. Power consumption had

never been an issue. Furnaces used to

be operated without closing the covers

and the practice of ladle preheating was

the exception and, if practiced at all, it

was done by means of molten metal. 95

% of the furnaces in South Africa are

powered by electricity. All of a sudden,

foundry operators were faced with the

situation that they had to save energy.

Since 2010, there has been a rise in investments

in modern equipment. This

perfectly coincided with our joint project,

which was kicked off in May 2013.

Energy and material efficiency were exactly

our areas of focus. When foundries

replace their obsolete equipment or

start to simulate their processes, quality

will improve automatically. Since

2013/2014, also the issue of material

efficiency has been moving in the focus

of attention. It had been common

practice to simply dump used foundry

sands, but the foundries were faced

with constantly increasing dumping

costs. We made the foundry operators

aware of the possibility of recycling the

sands 30 or even 40 times. We did this

by presenting suitable products and explaining

that the efficient use of material

and energy also provides economic

advantages. The local foundries are

very much under pressure: Since 2005,

the number of foundries has shrunk

from 270 to 170, due to cheap castings

from China sold on the South African


The skills of personnel in South African

foundries leave much to be desired.

Has EffSAFound been able to

render support in this respect?

According to a survey 70 % of the people

working in South African foundries

have never gone to school or only

have basic education. This makes

training and further education very

difficult. One has to resort to illustrations

and videos to train the people.

Only 25% have a school-leaving certificate.

Those are usually the supervisors.

They do their best to train the

workers, but it’s a hard job. And, finally,

there is a 5% with a university graduation.

Those hold the managing positions

in the foundries. Since 2010, all

institutions in South Africa related to

the foundry industry have been joining

forces to promote education in the

foundries. For example, the University

of Johannesburg has set up a programme

dedicated to bringing more

coloured and black people into management

positions. For example, all

engineers graduating from the University

of Johannesburg have spent a

semester at a foreign university, for instance

in Freiberg, Germany, and more

and more of them occupy leading positions

in South African foundries. In

order to train those 25 % of the workers

with a school-leaving certificate,

the German Society for International

6 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016


October 11 – 13, 2016

Cologne – Germany

The Filtration Event




Core-setting line: The workers at Guestro Foundry, Benoni, South Africa, insert

freshly produced cores into the 35-year-old molding plant (Photo: Palesa Riba)

Cooperation (GIZ) has opened a training

foundry near Johannesburg, where

most of the foundries of the country

are located. Every year between 20 and

40 young people are trained there to be

head melters, mouldmakers and machining

specialists. By this approach,

the Society has introduced the classical

German model of dual apprenticeship

in the country. We have supported this

programme by providing teaching material

and know-how. To reach those

workers who have no school education

at all, we have introduced a software

programme which Heger Pro uses in

quality management. We have translated

to software to English and added

the topic of energy management.

In the staffrooms of the foundries, the

software runs on a display. Thus the

workers learn from pictures, for example,

showing a furnace with an open

cover versus one with a closed cover.

The project ran from May 2013 until

October 2015. GUT Giesserei Umwelt

Technik GmbH, Freudenberg, Germany,

specialists in chemically bonded

sand systems and sand reclamation

systems, will continue to provide

training courses in Durban, Johannesburg

and Cape Town, the three largest

cities in South Africa, in order to

spread the knowledge to those foundries

which had not had the opportunity

to participate in the project. In

November, I will present the final report

of the project updated with new

information at a colloquium staged

by the Metal Casting Technology Station

at the University of Johannesburg.

Last but not least, Ametex, the

South African sales partner of Magma,

will play an active role in ensuring that

the knowhow transferred to the local

foundries during our project will not

get lost.




for fast track entry




How is the cooperation between the

German and South African foundry

industries going to be continued, now

as the project has ended?


Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 7

Your Contact: Suzanne Abetz

E-mail: info@filtech.de

Phone: +49 (0)2132 93 57 60


Aerial view of Quarzwerke GmbH in Haltern with screening plant (on the right) (Photos and Graphics: Quarzwerke)

Authors: Dr. Hanna Maria Görke, Dr. Jörg Ulrich Zilles, Marc Demary, Quarzwerke GmbH, Frechen

The impact of grain distribution on

molding material parameters

duction. Optimized distribution curves offer advantages, since they impact the molding materi

al’s gas permeability

The significance of quartz sand from

Haltern in Germany is indisputable

in the foundry industry, yet this basic

molding material’s potential for special

applications is still underrated.

In the ceramics and concrete industry,

the modelling of packing density

through the selection of grain size distribution

is an important element in

the development of high-performance

materials. For foundry applications,

however, the demands are very complex.

These might require for example

an improvement in strength values

or a reduction in the use of binding

agents, necessitate high uniformity in

the distribution curve for automation,

or entail particularly high demands in

terms of surface quality or gas permeability.

In any case, it must be taken into account

that the change of one parameter

impacts a number of other parameters,

with implications for the molding

material’s system.

This is why several factors need to

be taken into consideration when op-

8 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

timising the sands, because the resulting

properties can no longer be directly

assessed. The statistical design

of experiments (DoE) was used for an

in-depth examination of the impact of

different grain sizes on the outcome

of molding material-relevant tests

relating to strength, gas permeability,

coarseness, bulk density and flow


In this multi-parameter system, it is

vital to identify and model the right

balance of application properties for

a given application. Quartz sand from

Haltern offers a solid material basis

given its rounded grain shape and

high purity. The results of these experiments

in combination with the possibility

of customising individual sieve

fractions can be used for a targeted depiction

of optimum distribution curve

designs for special applications on an

industrial scale.

Figure 1: Impact of bulk density on gas permeability of quartz sand from Haltern

Experimental background

Depending on their grain size, the

quartz sands were split into six grain

fractions in the Haltern screening

plant. These fractions were then combined

according to specific mixing ratios

and examined in view of the parameters

relevant to casting. Design

Expert, a DoE software, was used to

define a relevant sand mixture that

would cover the entire system of parameters.

In addition, the software is also used

to evaluate the results. The following

grain fractions were selected as parameters:

> 0.710 mm, 0.170 mm, 0.355 mm,

0.250 mm, 0.180 mm and < 180 mm.

A cold-box binding agent was used with

a ratio ranging from 0.5 to 0.9 %. The

resin and curing agent amount was kept

at a constant mixing ratio of 1:1. The

parameters grain distribution, packing

density, degree of uniformity and flowing

property were determined based on

the loose sand. To examine gas permeability,

test specimens were produced

using the automatic core shooter Lut-c

and the permeability measurement device

LPOR-3e of Multiserw in combination

with common cold-box binding



The acquired data were examined with

regard to the major influencing factors

on bending strength [1]. The evaluation

indicates that strength values and

the impact of the binding agent content

increase in proportion to the fineness

of the sand’s grain size. For the extreme

case of a particularly coarse grain

(AFS grain fineness number 20), no increase

in strength concomitant with

binding agent content can be observed

within the examined range. For coarse

sands, it can therefore be assumed that

a binding agent concentration of 0.5 %

already leads to the saturation of the

particle surfaces. The picture is different

when taking a look at the positional

stability of the cores. Here, a correlation

with the binder content, yet not

the grain size, was observed. When relating

gas permeability to the immediate

strength level, the tendency of lower

strength values at high gas permeability

can be observed. This relation, however,

is not linear. With a smart selection

of the grain distribution, it is thus possible

to positively impact both gas permeability

and strength. [1]

This article analyzes the data in relation

to the major influencing factors

for gas permeability. Bulk density

of the particles is crucial for gas permeability.

In a real batch, bulk density

depends on grain size, grain form

and grain distribution. Bulk density in

turn has an impact on strength, surface

quality, flowability, thermal conductivity

and sand requirements – in

addition to gas permeability.

The test results can be used to exemplify

these theoretical correlations

with concrete data for quartz sand

from Haltern. If bulk density is considered

as a function of gas permeability

of the different grain size distributions

under scrutiny as indicated in

Figure 1a, it becomes evident that different

gas permeability values can be

achieved for average bulk densities.

The gas permeability extremes with

values > 3000 m 2 /108 Pa occur in mixtures

that consist almost entirely of the

fraction > 0.710 mm, which is not used

in this form in common foundry applications.

For a clearer illustration of the grain

distributions in the depicted mixtures,

different properties were highlighted

in different colours in the figures 1b

to 1d.

In figure 1b, the grain size is highlighted

and shows that a low bulk density

is achieved with fine sand (light

Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 9


Figure 2:

colour). In case of an average bulk density,

gas permeability largely depends

on the grain size. Extremely high gas

permeability values are achieved with

very coarse sand.

Bulk densities and gas permeability

values vary considerably in case of

average grain size distributions. They

depend on the composition of the distribution

curve. In addition to the AFS

grain fineness number, the degree of

uniformity is relevant as well. Figure 1c

illustrates the degree of uniformity of

the mixtures with different colour gradients.

It shows that higher bulk densities

are achieved with a lower degree

of uniformity. Mixtures with a high degree

of uniformity achieve low to average

bulk densities. Here, the grain size

plays the decisive role. In figure 1d, the

measured values for the sand mixtures

are highlighted, 90 to 100 % of which

consist of just one fraction. These mixtures

come closest to the mono-grain

distribution of real applications.

The results show that for these mixtures

with a very narrow grain distribution,

both bulk density and gas permeability

increase with the grain size.

This deviation from the ideal theoretical

packing density can be traced back

to the fact that in a real bulk, the number

of voids in a package increases with

particle quantity [2]. This is why we observe

an increase in bulk density with

increasingly coarse grain.

The increase in gas permeability

with coarser grain can be explained

with the so-called Bernoulli principle,

an important equation in theoretical

fluid dynamics. It indicates

that a less linear flow in packages

with smaller particles leads to a higher

pressure loss and lower gas permeability,

despite the lower packaging


It is known that the packaging density

of a sand filling impacts its flowability.

Figure 2 is therefore an illustration

of bulk density as a function of

flowability. In figure 2a, the degree of

uniformity is highlighted. This illustration

shows clearly that flowability

decreases as a function of bulk density

and with a falling degree of uniformity.

The colour gradient in figure 2b

indicates the grain sizes for the recorded

measured values. High flowability is

achieved with a coarse grain and an extremely

narrow grain distribution.


The demands made on the sand can

differ largely. An improvement of one

or several parameters through a change

in the sand’s grain distribution always

impacts other sand parameters. This is

why it is important to be aware of and

consider all the properties when optimizing

the grain distribution. Based

on the results of these comprehensive

tests and given the high quality

of sands from Haltern, it is possible to

design optimized processes through a

balanced interaction of all properties.

The increase in gas permeability with

coarse grain can be explained with Bernoulli’s

principle, which states that the

speed of a fluid increases exponentially

with the flow diameter and that a higher

fluid speed leads to lower dynamic





10 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

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Author: Thorsten Schauder, Business Development, Business Unit Rotary Tables , Fibro GmbH, Weinsberg

Rotary table transfer increases

reliability in the core production of


While conveyor solutions in core shops are widespread, the Neue Halberg-Guss GmbH is going

in a different direction: On a fully automatic core machine system for engine blocks, it is completely

forgoing linear conveyor technology and instead using maintenance-free Fibromat rotary

tables for the transport of the parts. Downtimes due to handling have since fallen to virtually

zero since then. And other plants will soon follow

Halberg Guss utilizes a total of eight Fibromat rotary tables in the fully automatic core machine system (Photos: Fibro)

Since the fully automatic core machine

system at the Saarbrücken site

has gone into operation, it has literally

been an “all round” success at Halberg

Guss. With a previously unimagined

and unique process stability, 3,000

core packages for engine blocks leave

the plant each day. Eight modularly designed

Fibromat heavy-load positioning

tables handle the transport of the

cores and core packages on two lines arranged

in parallel ( Figure above). No

conventional belt conveyor technology

is needed. “By using rotary tables for

transferring the parts, we have been able

to achieve a significantly higher process

stability of the entire system when

compared to the previous solutions”,

explains the Head of the Core Shop,

Christian Ast. “The Fibro rotary tables

run so stably that our servicing team has

not had to intervene once even after 18

months of continuous operation”, adds

Sebastien Becker, Segment Manager of

12 Casting Plant & Technology 3/2016

Halberg Guss

The Neue Halberg-Guss GmbH is one

of the leading foundries in Europe for

the development and production of

engine blocks, cast iron cylinder heads

and cast crankshafts. Its products

range from sophisticated three-cylinder

blocks for automobiles to large

volume V8 aggregates for commercial

vehicles. In addition to this are also

spheroidal graphite iron bearing tunnels

as well as aluminium bedplates.

Due to the high level of competency

and the close cooperation during

the development of efficient, inexpensive,

powerful drive units and other

cast components, the company is a

sought-after partner in the European

automotive industry. The Saarbrücken

site has a workforce of approx. 1,200.

Figure 1: On the core-shooting system (left), the grains of sand are initially

deburred and then transferred to the second station (right)

the Core Shop and responsible for the

running operation of the system.

High precision and reliability

even in dirty environments

Before the investment, the team tested

the positioning tables and the associated

transfer principle in two smaller

applications. The weaknesses of the

conventional belt conveyor technology

were clearly apparent: positioning

inaccuracy, problems with transport

or susceptibility to wear of the individual

components, which the new solution

had none of. “The rotary tables

behaved absolutely reliably in the test

system – and despite the very dusty environment,

underscores Christian Ast.

“They facilitate a significantly higher

precision and process reliability than

other transfer solutions, without increasing

the procurement costs for the

entire system.” And with the running

costs as well, the rotary table transfer is

the clear winner thanks to the extremely

low susceptibility. As a result, the decision

was an easy one to make.

Immediately after the core shooter,

a robot now positions the cores for deburring

on the first Fibromat rotary table

(Figure 1). On a second and larger

Fibromat, the cores are then stacked,

transferred as subpackage to the third

Figure 2: A total of 26 robots are active in the system. During the mounting

of the core packages, the Fibromat rotary tables ensure a high process reliability

and precision

rotary table station and packetized there

to approx. 80 kg complete packages.

The fourth station subsequently serves

to feed the screwed together complete

packages to the sizing process and to finally

eject them from the system.

Modular design facilitates efficient


The decision by Halberg Guss to use

the heavy-load positioning tables from

Fibro (Figure 2) for all stations was a

perfectly consistent one. Since its pre-

Casting Plant & Technology 3/2016 13


Figure 3: The flat Fibromat rotary tables facilitate an optimal accessibility of

the individual stations and are extremely easy to maintain

Fibro GmbH

Fibro is a pioneer among rotary table

manufacturers and offers the

world’s most extensive rotary table

programme from a single source with

more than 150 types of rotary tables.

The rotary tables are used as swivelling

or positioning axes and as workpiece

carriers in highly productive machine

tools, assembly and production

systems. The greatest possible standardisation

of the individual series

also makes the company an interesting

partner with regard to cost aspects.

Numerous projects in various industries

around the globe prove how strongly

customers profit from the high solution

competence and worldwide service

network of the rotary table specialists

from Weinsberg, Germany.

mier roughly four years ago, the modular,

and thus price-performance-optimized

rotary table has been writing

its exemplary success story ever since.

Regardless of the type and number of

motors, size of the centre borehole,

roller bearing or stiffness-optimized

cross roller bearings, media distributor,

collector ring transfers, or absolute

measuring systems needed, the

maintenance-free quick-change artist

offers such a high freedom of design

that extensive and thus expensive and

lengthy special solutions have become

the exception rather than the rule (Figure


Depending on the size, the repeat

accuracy lies at around 10 arc seconds;

with absolute measuring systems,

this accuracy can be increased

to 5 arc seconds. Since the gearbox

is not self-locking, this prevents any

damage to the mechanical system of

the rotary table in the event of a sudden

power failure or emergency stop.

In addition, the table does not swing

open during positioning, even with

superstructures on the table top. The

precision required by Halberg Guss in

the decimal range are easily ensured.

And absolutely no comparison to the

fluctuation margins of conventional

transfer systems in foundries. All seals

are already covered as standard and

thus ideally suited for use in challenging

environments such as in foundries

or welding in automobile body


A clear advantage is Fibromat’s flexible

range of application. With pneumatic

indexing, for example, up to 38

divisions are possible. If a master-slave

drive is alternatively utilized, any arbitrary

position can be freely taught and

tensioned using the motor brake without

play by software with a master-slave

drive. Even though Halberg Guss hardly

exhausts this potential with the current

pivoting movements of 90°, 180°

and 270°, it still offers leeway for mod-

Figure 4: The modularly designed Fibromat

heavy-load positioning table

is available in four sizes with tabletop

diameters of 800 mm, 1,000 mm,

1,250 mm and 1,600 mm

14 Casting Plant & Technology 3/2016

ifying the process over time or for integrating

new versions and products

into the system. The heavy-load positioning

tables (Figure 4) are available

in four sizes, with tabletop diameters

of 800 mm, 1,000 mm, 1,250 mm,

and 1,600 mm. The smallest size allows

setups up to 4,500 mm in diameter

and transport loads up to 10,000 kg

while the largest setup permits up to

9,500 mm and 25,000 kg respectively.

The central borehole measures between

320 mm and 1,200 mm. Special connecting

dimensions and customer-specific

drilling templates can be implemented

quickly and easily.

Rotary table transfer will soon

be the new standard

From Sebastien Becker’s perspective,

the system concept has proven itself

outstandingly. “With only two employees

per line and per shift, we are able

Figure 5: Christian Ast (left) and Sebastien Becker (right) speaking with

Thorsten Schauder (centre), responsible at Fibro Business Development.

to completely finish the immediately

ready-for-decantation core packages.”

In comparison to a different system

with conventional conveyor technology

and five robots, the significantly

larger rotary table system with 26 robots

performs exceptionally well. This

applies to both the pure system availability

as well as for broken cores and

bearing changes. It makes perfect sense

that Christian Ast and Sebastien Becker

are planning to apply the rotary table

transfer concept to other systems. “We

are assuming that this principle will establish

itself as the new standard”, emphasize

both specialists (Figure 5).

Foundry sands

99.5% SiO 2


excellent temperature resistance

standard grain sizes and customized blends



GmbH & Co. KG

Letter Bruch 13 | 48653 Coesfeld | Fon 02546.93401-27 | Fax 02546.1733

info@qwb-lette.de | www.quarzwerk-baums.de

The different types of robots harmonize like an orchestra (Photos: Kuka Roboter GmbH)

Author: Laura Schwarzbach, Kuka Roboter GmbH, Augsburg

In perfect harmony

25 Kuka robots assemble crankcase core packages fully automatically at Neue Halberg-Guss

With 2250 employees at sites in

the German cities Saar brücken and

Leipzig, Neue Halberg-Guss GmbH

produces and develops cylinder crankcases,

cylinder heads for industrial

motors made of cast iron and cast

crank shafts. The company is a European

market leader and technological

pioneer. The product range extends

from delicate three-cylinder blocks

for cars to large-volume V8 units for

commercial vehicles. Other pro ducts

include bearing tunnels made of ductile

cast iron and bedplates made of

aluminum. Customers include renowned

automotive and commercial

vehicle manufacturers such as Volkswagen,

Daimler, BMW, Audi, MAN,

Scania and Iveco.

The company’s Saarbrücken plant

was in search of an automated solution

for the complete assembly of crankcase

core packages. Neue Halberg-Guss decided

to use a large number of Kuka robot

in one system: 25 machines from

the Augsburg-based robot and system

builder perform all assembly steps fully

automatically with utmost precision.

The core packages are prepared in parallel

by two systems – in other words,

by a total of 50 robots.

The Kuka robot orchestra

“As a development partner with experience

and expertise, we accompany

our customers from product idea to

series production readiness. Designing

core packages in such a way that

they can be assembled fully automatically

poses a particular challenge,” explains

Peter Koch, project manager at

Neue Halberg-Guss. Here, robot-based

automation offers the best solution in

terms of flexibility, productivity and

quality. For the assembly of crankcase

core packages, a maximum of three

different robot sizes were to be used.

These had to be ideally suited to the

special conditions in a foundry environment

and also to allow a particularly

space-saving and compact cell

concept. Thanks to the company’s

comprehensive robot portfolio, Kuka

was able to offer the optimal solution

for both the wide variety of work steps

and the interaction of the individual

robots. “The Kuka models we chose

16 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016


were the KR 300 R2500 ultra F from

the KR Quantec series as well as the KR

Agilus small robot series and the KR 5

arc,” explains Mr. Koch. At Neue Halberg-Guss,

the 25 robots now work together

like an orchestra in perfect harmony.

A total of twelve KR 300 R2500

ultra F, eleven KR 5 arc and two KR 6

R900 sixx robots have been assembling

crankcase core packages fully automatically

since 2013 (Figure 1).

Ideal interplay in the concert of


The first robots in the assembly process

are the KR Quantec Foundry robots.

They first remove the complete

set of cores – consisting of water jacket,

balance shafts, channel cores, water

pump core, thermostat core, wheel

core, crankcase cores and a sole core –

from the core shooting machine and

set these on turntables no. 1 and no. 2.

These tables then rotate 180 degrees

to the smaller KR 5 arc robots. During

the subsequent part assembly and deburring

“concert”, the flexible KR 5 arc

and KR Agilus robots come into action

– positioned overhead, side-mounted

on a pedestal and upright. They

deburr and assemble the thermostat

core and drill holes in the water pump

with the utmost precision – and then

in the wheel and crankcase, in the water

jacket core and in the crank and

sole core. Once both turntables have

turned back to the original position,

three further Kuka robots from the KR

Quantec series pick up the individual

cores and set them down on turntable

no. 3 for partial assembly. After another

180-degree turn, two further KR 300

robots set down the completely assembled

package (Figure 2). The next robot

removes the package and moves it

below the stationary screw-fastening

station. Following screw fastening, the

six-axis robot sets it down on turntable

no. 4, which then rotates the assembled

package towards the washing

cell. Once there, a KR 300 picks up the

package and immerses it in the wash.

By pivoting and rotating the package,

it ensures that the wash is applied

evenly and then leaves the package to

drip. Since the washing process takes

90 s, and is thus longer than the entire

Figure 1: 25 Kuka robots guarantee a fully automated and highly accurated

assembly process at Neue Halberg-Guss.

Figure 2: The robots work close together during the assembly process

assembly of the core packages (60 s),

two washing robots are used simultaneously

so as to guarantee ideal cycle

times (Figure 3). The washed package

is then set back down on the turntable

and once again rotated 90 degrees

towards a manual inspection station.

Following approval by the worker, the

last robot in the ensemble picks up the

core packages and sets them down on a

rack with eight slots. Once all of these

are filled with wet, washed core packages,

the racks are transferred into the

drying oven before finding their place

among the finished products in the

high-bay warehouse.

Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 17


Figure 3: Two Kuka

KR 300 robots

guarantee perfect

cycle times in the

refractory dressing

Figure 4: Deburring, mounting,

drilling, handling: The spectrum of

tasks done by the robots is huge.

Harmonious combination of

robot types

With the KR300 R2500 ultra F robots,

Neue Halberg-Guss has opted for veritable

foundry experts. The robots of

the Quantec ultra product family are

characterized by high payload capacity

combined with maximum performance

and the most streamlined design

on the market. Their ideal area

of use is the handling of heavy workpieces

and high-accuracy machining.

In the foundry design, the robots have

an impact-resistant, corrosion-protected

foundry wrist, which is resistant to

both acids and alkalis. It is also protected

against dust and dirt and able

to withstand temperatures of up to

180 °C for short periods. The KR 5 arc

robot and the KR Agilus stand out in

the assembly process thanks to their

outstanding precision, flexibility and

speed. At the same time, the robot variants

from the small robot segment and

the low payload range allow particularly

space-saving installation in the compact

cell concept.

A further ensemble of eleven

robots already in the planning


“The robot-based system has led to

a 50 % increase in both productivity

and quality,” concludes Mr. Koch. Today,

each system of this robot orchestra

assembles around 400 core packages

per shift. In addition, production

costs have been significantly reduced.

The robot-based automation solution

also guarantees the Saarbrücken-based

company a consistently high quality

for the assembled crankcase core packages.

The systems can assemble two

different types of core packages without

the need for a gripper change. All

that is required is a special change of


Neue Halberg-Guss GmbH and its employees

are very pleased with the solution:

“Thanks to the positive experience,

we are planning a further system

with a somewhat smaller ensemble of

eleven Kuka robots,” states Mr. Koch,

providing a glimpse into the future. The

robots are to be used for unloading, deburring,

assembling and washing here

as well (Figure 4).



Automatic SEIATSU-ACE Moulding Machines and Plants

Flaskless Moulding Machines and Plants

Vacuum Moulding Machines and Plants

Pouring Units, automatic and semi-automatic

Modernization of existing plants

Software for Foundries




Bahnhofstrasse 101 · 57334 Bad Laasphe, Germany

Phone +49 2752 907-0 · Fax +49 2752 907-280



Authors: Christoph Genzler and Mathias Gruber, Foseco Foundry Division, Vesuvius GmbH, Borken

Customized CPP – Fulfilling

demanding customer requirements

With the continued focus of foundries on producing more complex components and improving

as-cast quality to minimize the requirement for re-work and eliminate scrap, the need for process

control is becoming more and more important. As a significant contributor to the as-cast

quality of castings, the use of coatings is in many applications essential, however without process

control and consistency of application the significant benefits of applying the correct coating

can easily be lost [1, 2]

The Coating Preparation Plant contributes to increase the process safety in foundries (Photos and Graphics: Foseco)

Previous technical articles [1, 3, 4]

have described preferred methodologies

for the control of coatings to deliver

consistent layer thickness application.

These articles prescribe the use

of coating density as the key parameter

relating to applied layer thickness on

the basis that other variables such as

temperature and the rheological properties

of the coating can be kept constant.

The relationship between density

and applied layer thickness as a

coating is diluted is shown in Figure 1.

Further process control can be implemented

through the use of automatic

measurement of the coating on

a continuous basis [3, 4] using a Coating

Preparation Plant, with the density

of the product kept constant through

automated additions of either undiluted

coating or dilutant (water or alcohol).

This provides significant benefits

over the traditional manual control

methods where a product is sampled at

spe cific time intervals and adjustments

made if required and removes operator

variance from the process.

20 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

The need for process automation

is even greater in foundries where robots

apply the coating, such as Georg

Fischer Foundry, Mettmann in Germany

(+GF+) and Atlantis Foundries

(pty) Ltd in Atlantis, South Africa [4],

as there is less opportunity for modifying

the application to accommodate

variability of the product consistency.

Implementation of automated

coating control

+GF+ Mettmann is a world class supplier

of cast components to the automotive

and commercial vehicle sector and

prides itself on the quality and consistency

of its products. One of the core

competencies of +GF+ is “Added Value”

through “the high level of automation

in production and great flexibility

with simultaneously high process

reliability to guarantee efficiency in

manufacturing and the quality of our

solutions”. With these goals in mind

+GF+ and Foseco undertook a project

to modernize and improve the coating

control and application process in

their Mettmann foundry.

The installation at +GF+ (Figure 2) incorporates

a Coating Preparation Plant

(CPP) being fed from an existing bulk

storage tank that contains the undiluted

coating delivered by bulk tanker.

Figure 1: Relation between wet and dry coating layer and coating dilution

The CPP unit measures the density

of the prepared coating on a continuous

basis and automatically makes addition

of coating or dilutant to maintain

the density at the defined level

and homogenizes the coating so that

it is ready for use. The preparation tank

is then connected to a pipework “loop”

system that allows the prepared coating

to be pumped around the coreshop

before being returned to the

preparation tank for rehomogenization

(Figure 2).

The core-shop has eleven dip-tanks,

each of which can draw coating from

the supply loop when required. Overflow

from the dip-tanks is also pumped

back into the supply loop, where it

passes through a set of filters to remove

any sand or core debris, before

being rehomogenized in the preparation

tank, maintained at the correct

density and subsequently recirculated

within the supply loop.

From a quality assurance perspective

the CPP continually records the density

of the supplied coating and the additions

of both coating and water that

have been made.

Process approval

As +GF+ supplies the automotive industry

with highly demanding, safety

Figure 2: Schematic of CPP with dip

tank connected to bulk silo

Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 21


critical components which are highly

specified, it was important to demonstrate

the capability of the system and

gain approval for the process change

from +GF+’s customers. To demonstrate

the consistency of the process

control a set of tests were conducted

over a four week period:


The weight pick-up of coating was

measured both before and after drying

The wet and dry weight pick-up of the

coating is respectively proportional to

the wet and dry applied layer thickness

of coating, and knowing the area

Figure 3: Automated dipping of test


Figure 4: Quality assurance checks of wet layer coating thickness


Transverse test bars were produced

using a PUCB binder following a

standardized procedure


The uncoated weight of each test

piece was recorded


Sample coating was removed from

the Coating Preparation Plant at

regu lar intervals


The density of the sampled coating

was measured accurately using a calibrated

pyknometer and recorded, as

was the solids content of the sample.


Coating was applied to the test pieces

using an automated dipping device

(Figure 3) which controlled

both speed and dwell-time of the

dipping operation

of coverage and density of the coating

allows the average layer thickness

to be calculated. The result of this intense

study over the four week period

showed that:


At a target density of 1.15 g/cm 3 the

average CPP density was 1147g/cm 3


The standard deviation for the dataset

was only +/- 0.001g/cm 3


The measured dry coating weight

per core was on average 11.2 g with

a standard deviation of only +/-

0.25 g

Overall this was assessed as extremely

accurate and reproducible, with the

variance in weight pick-up onto the

cores indicating that the layer thickness

was very consistent over the four

week trial period as the CPP maintained

the coating density within very

tight control limits.

The test method was designed to

replicate the foundry process where

the coating supplied at specific density

is applied to the cores using automated

robots that control both speed

of dipping and dwell time within the

coating. Subsequent quality checks

within the foundry continue to validate

the process, with the CPP maintaining

a very consistent density of

supplied coating and regular wet layer

thickness checks (Figure 4) confirming

consistent coating layer application.

Process assurance

For the control of water-based coating

products it is essential to implement

good housekeeping procedures

22 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

to prevent contamination of the product

resulting in bacterial attack and a

degradation of the product rheology

leading to a change in application


In order to avoid this risk, +GF+

has chosen the optional water disinfection

system to be installed on the

CPP. This system ensures that all incoming

water used for dilution is disinfected

and hence avoids

any coating product deterioration

due to bacterial infection

over time.

The advantage of the

system installed is that it

achieves this disinfection

without the use of harsh

chemical additives that may

cause dermatological reactions

if in contact with operators

or adversely affect the

rheological performance of

the coating.

continuous improvement and can be

tailored to every customer requirement.


Thanks to +GF+ Mettmann Automotive,

in particular Mr M.Busch for his

invaluable and trustworthy cooperation.

Our value

adding solutions

for your process




Customized CPP at

Georg Fischer,

Mettmann, Germany



The benefits of the implementation

of the CPP into

the full casting process at

+GF+ Mettmann can be concluded


1. Continuously controlled

coating application

2. Repeatability of applied

layer thickness

3. Quality assurance and

historical data availability

4. Operator independent

5. Cost savings through reduced

scrap and re-work

6. Maintaining core shop

and foundry-processes at

an optimized balance

7. Improved working environment

Considering the continuously

growing demand for

foundry process consistency,

an acknowledgement of the

need for a consistent coating

due to its influence on

casting quality is required.

The CPP concept is now accepted

as the way forward to

achieving this goal. As with

all technical equipment, the

CPP design is subjected to

Our services provide you with real added value.

ASK Chemicals experts look forward to hearing from you:

Phone: +49 211 71103-0

E-Mail: addedvalue@ask-chemicals.com



Up to 20 t of liquid iron pass from the pouring basin to the mold via the discharge system in just 120 s – to become

rotor hubs, machine frames, stator end-bells or main shafts (Photo: Enercon)

Author: Heiko Wenke, Atlas Copco Tools Central Europe GmbH, Essen

Light turbo-grinders for heavy

wind-turbine castings

Production at Enercon, a leading manufacturer of wind turbines, has moved into top gear. The

company processes castings weighing up to 16 t with a new type of turbine grinder at its GZO

foundry in the East Frisian region of Germany’s Lower Saxony. The grinders are considerably

lighter and much more robust than the devices previously used, and offer by far lower energy

consumption than conventional equipment

“Our wind turbines already save energy

before they have generated their

first kilowatt hour of electricity,” says

Thomas Bliesner, Manager of Casting

Finishing at the Enercon Group’s GZO

foundry in East Frisia. “Because we use

tools supplied by Atlas Copco – with

much lower nominal air consumption

than classic pneumatic tools – for

machining the surfaces of large workpieces.”

Although the casting specialists

really do not need to worry about

24 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

Enercon GmbH

With the founding of the company in 1984, engineer

Aloys Wobben initiated the economic /

ecological success story of Enercon with a small

team of engineers. The first wind turbines with

a nominal output of 55 kW were the result. Initially

equipped with gears, from 1992 there was

a steady switchover to gearless plant technology.

The use of fewer rotating components enabled an

almost frictionless flow of energy with considerably

lower mechanical stress, lower maintenance

requirements, lower operating costs and longer

service lives.

The further development of all components offers

customers technologically sophisticated products

with an electrical output of up to about 8 MW.

This is exemplified by, say, the new rotor blade

geometry introduced in 2004 – which significantly

increased profitability, reduced noise emission

and reduced the loads affecting the wind turbine.

In addition, all Enercon wind energy plants have

a grid feed system that meets the latest grid connection

requirements and can be integrated in all

supply and distribution structures.

Enercon, with its headquarters in Aurich in Lower

Saxony, has been a worldwide leader in wind energy

for well over 30 years. Enercon is the market

leader in Germany and employs more than 13,000

personnel. With about 27,000 installed wind energy

plants in more than 30 countries, Enercon is

also the third-largest producer in the world. Research

& Development, Production and Sales are

continuously being expanded.

Deburring of a rotor hub with the GTG 25. The maneuverability of

the turbo-grinder is increased by a MultiFlex swivel coupling. This ergonomic

detail is a compressed air connection that turns through

360° in two planes and follows the movements of the tool, reliev ing

the operator of bending stresses in the air hose (Photos: Atlas Copco)


Thomas Bliesner is Manager of the Casting

Finishing Department of Enercon’s GZO foundry

in East Frisia and has subjected twenty angle

grinders to an endurance test in his department

the energy consumption of their works

near Aurich because its entire electricity

requirement is covered practically

climate-neutrally from renewable

sources of energy. But sustainability determines

many of the processes at the

works in the municipality of Südbrookmerland

on principle, proven by certification

of its energy management system

with DIN EN ISO 50001 since 2014.

“We have been casting all the large and

important components for our Enercon

generators since 2010, keeping the transport

paths for production short. This

provides ecological benefits, and our

competence for these important components

remains in-house,” Bliesner explains

the company philosophy and goes

on to describe the production portfolio:

“Machine frames, stator end-bells, rotor

hubs or main shafts with unit weights

of up to 16 t are typical products.” The

GZO, which has developed into one

of Europe’s largest and most modern

foundry operations, produces up to 70

of these very large heavyweights every

week in serial production. “With rising

rotor blade diameters and increasingly

powerful wind turbines, the already

very large dimensions are growing even

further,” Thomas Bliesner is certain, and

even considers a doubling of dimensions

and casting weights a realistic prospect.

Processing meter-high unmachined


The departmental manager is well

aware that the processing of the me-

Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 25


ter-high unmachined parts after shaking

out from the sand mold is extremely

stressful for the tools used. “The

grinding machines, in particular, are

seriously challenged here,” acknowledges

Bliesner: “Our special spheroidal

graphite cast iron is a particularly

tough material that demands everything

of the tools when removing

the burrs and roughing the surfaces!”

During three-shift operation on five

days a week the angle grinders undergo

net operating times of 15 - 18 h a


Tido Moritz, the Deputy Manager

of Casting Finishing, also emphasizes

that the entire sector is undergoing

a change from more hand-crafted traditional

production to the use of industrial

processes, and reports that

during the five years since production

started at the GZO the work’s capacity

utilization has increased massively.

“We have introduced additional

shifts in order to meet the demand.

The 90 personnel in our department

work on a piecework basis and treat

the tools very ‘robustly’.” The industrial

angle grinders from Atlas Copco,

Essen, Germany, for the large 230 mm

diameter abrasives have already been

in use for a long time and can take the

rough treatment, but standard devices

for the smaller roughing and cutting

disk dimensions did not survive such

heavy-duty use for long.

“We had to adapt our tooling to

the changed conditions. The many

defects and failures among both the

electric and pneumatic grinders disrupted

production work,” Moritz

describes. The pneumatic grinders

with vane motors and the electrical

high-frequency grinders ultimately

only had service lives of at most eight

to twelve weeks. After this period, at

the latest, the extreme stresses meant

that expensive repairs were needed

– and often even scrapping. “All the

machines were economic write-offs

after just a few weeks and had only

scrap value. We couldn’t accept this

state of affairs anymore because, with

a total of 250 tools in use, this represented

a considerable time and cost

factor.” We therefore tested various


The new generation of turbo-grinders exceeded the expectations of the Enercon

foundry in East Frisia. Weighing just 2.1 kg, the GTG 25 provides 2.5 kW

power output and is very popular among the employees because of its low

level of vibrations during operation.

GZO Department Manager Thomas Bliesner (left) and his Deputy Tido Moritz

(center) are convinced by the results of the surface treatment. With them is

Atlas Copco application consultant Christian Hofmann (right).

The fettling shop as an extended


“At first, we couldn’t find any satisfactory

solution,” say Bliesner and Moritz.

“But the proposal from Atlas Copco

Tools to give us the prototype of a new

turbine grinding machine to test – and

to accompany us during these trials –

seemed very promising.” The developers

at Atlas Copco were looking for a suitable

testing site for the latest generation

of their Geared Turbine Grinder (GTG)

with gear reduction. They worked together

as partners because the extraordinarily

high demands of the foundry

in East Frisia ideally matched the device,

which weighs only 2.1 kg, and both the

user and the supplier could profit from

the trial. The easy-to-handle machine

is suitable for abrasives with diameters

26 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

When the going gets tough…: 4.5 kW GTG 40 turbine grinders have asserted

themselves for heavy roughing and deburring work at the GZO. They are

used with 230 and 180 mm abrasives.

of 125 and 180 mm and exerts an output

power of 2.5 kW on the disk. Its low

overall height of just 59 mm above the

spindle straightaway made the device

eligible for use at Enercon for grinding

work where space was limited, as well as

in difficult-to-reach component corners

and on edges.

Employees no longer suffer

from lame arms

A total of twenty GTG-25 turbo-grinders

were initially used at the GZO and

were deliberately not treated gently.

The Enercon users quickly reported

their first positive feedback to the

Essen-based suppliers. There was, of

course, an acclimatization period with

initial teething problems, but these

only involved minor aspects and were

quickly disposed of. “By and large, the

little turbos worked remarkably well

right from the start. Their performance

was good and our test personnel didn’t

want to give the versatile angle grinders

back again,” Moritz describes the

trial. “The machines are really fun to

use. Even when working overhead I no

longer get a lame arm,” says one worker.

No wonder, because a GTG 25 only

weighs half as much as a conventional

grinder in this performance class.

That comment about fun was meant

very seriously, and was of major importance

for those responsible at the

GZO, stresses Bliesner: “The significance

of ergonomy in our processes

is as important as productivity!” That

the GTG 25 can do both is due to the

combination of its extremely strong

drive and its effective vibration damping

system. The lower vibration values

are achieved by an automatic imbalance

compensator (auto-balancer)

that suppresses vibrations to a very low

level of less than 3.8 m/s², measured in

three axes. The noise emission value of

76 dB (A) is also comparatively low. In

addition to the excellent ergonomic

properties, there is also the low nominal

air consumption, considerably decreasing

energy costs: in full-load operation

just 12.8 l/s per kW – a level that

is practically impossible for conventional

pneumatic tools.

Economical, powerful and userfriendly

“Because downsizing is not entirely unproblematic,

we were as curious as the

producer about how such economical

and compact high-performance tools

would perform in the long term,” Bliesner

and Moritz agree. Their endurance test

showed that about 60 % more material

was removed with the GTG 25 than

with conventional grinders. This is why

the two reckoned with a correspondingly

high level of tool wear, as they were unfortunately

accustomed to from the small

grinders hitherto used. “Luckily, Atlas

Copco disillusioned us in this regard! Although

after 1,000 operating hours the

turbos looked pretty ravaged externally,

when they were completely taken to pieces

and all the components thoroughly examined

there was still no sign of internal

wear and tear.” Bliesner and Moritz admit

to having expected a much worse outcome.

So they are all the more pleased to

be able to carry out roughing and grinding

work with the new GTG 25 tools considerably

quicker, better and more cost-effectively

than before.


Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 27


Author: Ralf Sinner, Head of Sales, Mewo GmbH & Co KG, Olpe

Cryogenic deburring of

non ferrous die castings

There are various established deburring processes for pressure die cast parts. They all have one

thing in common: To a certain extend, they all lead to a change in the appearance of the as-cast

surface, a shift of tight-tolerance dimensional accuracies, changes in the outside geometry as

well as in the microstructure – and with that, in the most extreme case, this may even change

the material properties of the treated part

Example of application: zinc die casting

with finished surface (Photos: Mewo)

Thanks to technical innovations and

highly complex, movable tooling arrangements,

it is possible today to produce

pressure die cast parts made of non

ferrous (NF) metals for most different industries

and applications. Such applications

and constantly growing or even

completely new requirements on dimensional

accuracy, tolerances, surface

conditions and reduced roughness call

for finishing processes that safeguard a

part’s quality, which often required a

great technological effort to be achieved.

Moreover, in series production 100 % reproducibility

has become a standard requirement

(Figures 1, 3 and 4).

Mewo Maschinenfabrik, Olpe, Germany,

which since 1948 has specialized

in equipment for deburring processes,

a few years ago accepted the

challenge to develop a deburring solution

specifically for the current requirements

placed on NF-metals die

castings on the basis of the company’s

cryogenic blasting process, an established

process for the treatment of

elastomers and molded plastic parts.

This application of the cryogenic blasting

process is able to fulfill the requirements

placed by customers on the full

range of deburring processes – from

prototype making through to fully automatic

large series production.

Cryogenic deburring is a process

which involves freezing of the cast

parts to a predefined range of below-zero

temperatures by means of liquid nitrogen.

The temperature is set according

to the specific requirements of the

parts on hand. The process extracts

sensible heat from the castings, leading

to embrittlement of the excess material

flown out during the casting process.

The cast part proper freezes only

superficially, i.e. down to the root of

the burr. The core of the casting is less

affected by the low temperature and

therefore retains its elasticity. When

the cast parts are in this state of embrittlement

induced by freezing, they

are subjected to the blasting treatment.

The treatment can be targeted on specific

spots of the part or the entire part

can be treated. Polycarbonatic material

is used as blasting medium. Depending

on the specific application

and the requirements, different geometries

and grain sizes from 0.15 to

2.0 mm are used. During blasting, also

the medium is constantly subjected to

the low temperature, giving it the necessary

abrasive resistance and impact

strength for the process. Deburring is

thus effected by knocking off the excess

material and not by abrasion.

In the PLC controlled deburring machines,

the entire process takes place automatically

(Figure 2). The process consists

of various individual operations.

First, the parts are cooled to the specifically

defined target freezing temperature.

Then, the actual blasting process

takes place. Finally, media re sidues are

removed from the cast parts and separated

from broken burr material. Depending

on the geometry, size and max-

Figure 2: Mewo Rotor TS 7.12 for batch

deburring and inserts for holding devices

Figure 1: Example of application: aluminium casting with article-specific

holding device

Figure 3: Example of application:

batch deburring of zinc parts

imum usable kinetic energy, the entire

process takes 3 - 6 min on average.

Just for parts with very delicate surfaces

it is recommended that they should

be dried after deburring in order to accelerate

defreezing. This reduces the

temperature gradient between the ambient

air and the surface temperature

avoiding fogging of the cast parts and

subsequent staining caused by thaw or

rust formation. Also for this case and for

parts that have to meet extremely exacting

cleanness requirements, Mewo

offers an optional system specifically

designed to clean and post-treat such

parts, avoiding any unnecessary handling

and shifting of filigree parts for

downstream processes. An outstanding

feature of this sophisticated variant of

the Mewo technology is the fact that it

is suitable for any parts in any conditions,

i.e. as cast, after punching or after

machining, and for any geometries,

including thin-walled and crack-sensitive

contours. The process provides extremely

precise deburring and is 100 %

Figure 4: Zinc castings – left: as cast,

right: deburred

reproducible. It is even suitable for surface-finished

parts. Another advantage

of the Mewo process over conventional

processes is the fact that it does not affect

in any way the surface, microstructure

or appearance and feel of the part,

nor the material properties or dimensions.

Moreover, any risk of fire during

equipment operation can be generally

ruled out. Instead, all pre-existing tolerance

values and dimensions, sharpedged

contours or polished surfaces

will be 100 % retained. Plus, due to the

excellent deburring result achieved by

the process, there will be no additional


Depending on the geometry and

material of the parts, the Mewo process

achieves fine and ultra-fine deburring

of up to 0.2 mm thickness and burr

tolerances of up to 0.02 mm, with the

minimum material thickness of the

part being 0.5 mm. Renowned foundries

use this process predominantly

for parts made for the automotive and

electronics industries, because the potential

risk of “burrs getting loose”,

which has been moving increasingly

into focus, can be generally ruled out

when using the Mewo process. Mewo

Maschinenfabrik has an own service,

development and training centre.

There, interested customers may test

the deburring process on their own



Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 29


Author: Mathias Weil, Siempelkamp Giesserei, Krefeld

Longest casting made of ductile

cast iron

23.5 m – not a typo but a particular requirement which the customer TOS KUŘIM placed on

Siempelkamp Giesserei. 23.5 m was to be the length of the crossbeam for a 2-column machining

center which the Czech company intended to award as a contract. After an in-depth consultation

on feasibility, Siempelkamp Giesserei applied for this project, which it was awarded over

three competitors from Germany and abroad, winning the contract for the ”longest casting

made of ductile cast iron ever“!

The longest cast part of ductile iron that has ever been cast has been realized by the Siempelkamp Foundry in Krefeld.

With this casting the company wrote history. (Photos: Siempelkamp)

In June 2014 TOS KUŘIM, a member of

the Czech ALTA Group, Pilsen, Czech

Republic, submitted the inquiry for the

king-size project. The particular challenge

in such a contract: ”There are

no manufacturing-specific tolerances

for casting and patternmaking in

this size category; technical standards

no longer apply. Only the skills of the

engineers and technicians, as well as

TOS KUŘIM: Profile


Founded in 1942 with the product spectrum

of boring, polishing, turning, console

milling and special purpose machines.


A joint-stock company since 1992.

Member of the ALTA Group since 2005.


Location: Brno, second-largest city in

the Czech Republic.


Business segment: production of precise

machine tools and machining centers,

especially with mobile columns

and portal machining centers for complex

component parts.


Fields of application: heavy machine

engineering, po wer en gineering, aircraft

industry, shipbuilding, railway engineering

30 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

the patternmakers, molders and fettlers

can make this project a success

( Figures 1-4). The experience of our

employees is the be-all and end-all in

such a project,“ explains Mathias Weil,

a Sales Representative at Siempelkamp


23.5 m in length, with a unit

weight in the raw casting of almost

120,000 kg – only a few foundries in

Europe are able to produce such a large


Siempelkamp‘s reputation in this

field is well-known in the Czech Republic.

Therefore, one of the locations

where the inquiry from the machine

tool manufacturer was placed was


One important criterion in the decisionmaking

process for the order:

Siempelkamp operates three machines

which are considered to be the best

reference for such a contract. For example,

the Vertimaster VME 10 vertical

turning, boring and milling machine

at the Krefeld location is able to

Figure 1: With a depth of 3.2 m and a length of 25 m the longest casting pit that

was ever required for a project emerged in the Siempelkamp molding shop

process components of up to 17 m in

length. This large carousel machine

made by Schiess, Aschersleben, Germany,

with a 10 m faceplate and a

16 m processing star has been a positive

addition to the Siempelkamp

machine park since 2012. Secondly,

Siempelkamp in Krefeld operates two

gantry-type CNC portal milling machines

(Schiess VMG 6), which belong

to the largest portal milling machines

in the world.

The large castings for these machines

were cast at Siempelkamp Foundry –


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Visions become reality.

29 Nov – 1 Dec 2016

Messe Düsseldorf, Germany


Organised by


Figure 2: Grinding and deburring of a casting in the fettl ing shop

Figure 3: A cast with 140 t melt was required to realize this unique casting. Here it

is raised in a hall with a crane, to lift it onto a waiting semi-trailer truck

a good argument in favor of the machines.

Component length + component

weight = trust in Siempel kamp


The company‘s experience with corresponding

large dimensions was the deciding

factor in issuing Siempelkamp

with the contract for the record casting.

”In this order of magnitude there

is a lot that is uncharted territory. At

first it was important to present the

customer with what we considered to

be the important specifications and

recom mendations. This was followed

by a lively dialog, ultimately the finalization

process and therefore the okay

from our customer to follow our recommendations,“

reports Mathias Weil.

Receipt of the order was followed by

numerous working steps before it was

time for the core tasks – molding and

casting. The pattern was planned accurately

down to the last detail – in this

case a combination pattern, as TOS

KUIM also intends to be able to mold

an 18 m version. Here, the customer

and foundry remained in close contact

in accordance with the foundry‘s philosophy

of ”Modern engineering technology

meets experience with solid

craftsmanship“. What are the specific

requirements of the customer? How is

the casting installed on the machine?

What stresses does it have to be able to

withstand in which areas? These were

questions which were tabled in the dialog

with the customer in order to implement

the casting techniques and model

concept in the best possible manner.

At the same time as the model planning,

the foundry team assessed the initial

solidification simulation results so

32 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

that it could then optimize the model

concept on this basis. With a component

whose engineering technology is

so complex, the residual stress is also

analyzed and evaluated. The results

of this calculation highlight any weak

points and the caster can still carry out

design optimizations in cooperation

with the customer and patternmaker.

An important requirement: The deformation

of the cast part during the

cooling process alone amounts to

35 mm. This has to be taken into consideration

during the patternmaking

and mold making processes.

Figure 4: 23.5 m long, 120 t weight –

only a few foundries in Europe are able

to produce such a large component.

Largest component – largest pit

If a casting is as large as this, the boundary

conditions during production also

have to be right. In the Siempelkamp

molding shop this required the creation

of a pit which was 3.2 m deep

and 25 m long – the longest pit that

was ever dug for a project! The sand bed

alone on which the model is molded

is 400 mm thick and extremely compacted

in order to extensively avoid deformations

during the cooling process.

Such a molding process takes three

weeks. Over 30 different core shapes

have to be positioned with millimeter

accuracy; only then is 140,000 kg

of molten iron cast at 1350 °C. Within

70 s the iron has to spread out from

below in the long mold and rise uniformly

so that the mold does not collapse

before it is completely filled due

to the heat produced. For two weeks

the crossbeam then cooled down in

the pit to 300 °C – only then was it

possible to determine whether the

casting process had been successful.

The three-week long fettling and inspection

process of the longest but

also very delicate component was the

next challenge. ”The tests showed that

the quality required by our customer

had been reached, so that the component

could be primed before being

sent on its way to the Czech Republic,“

says Mathias Weil. Thanks to the outstanding

cooperation of all of the departments

involved and the customer

this was a successful project!



29.09 01.10. 2016

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Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 33


Ready for acceptance testing: the top and bottom section (right) of a compressor housing set (Photos: Siempelkamp)

Author: Helmut Rieck, Siempelkamp Giesserei, Krefeld

Energy conversion with

Siempelkamp cast components

What started 45 years ago with the production of compressor housings from gray cast iron has

developed into a special range of products and services at Siempelkamp Giesserei GmbH: turbines

and compressors with cast iron components made by Siempelkamp are a familiar brand in

the energy industry, thanks to large casting competence, super-high precision and specialization.

A new feature, however, is that for the first time the foundry is now supplying a product mix

covering the entire spectrum of required components

Housings for large continuous-flow

machines by Siempelkamp, Krefeld,

Germany, are currently in great demand.

Even after the rapid development

of the energy transition, it can be

seen that fossil fuel-fired power plants

will retain their central significance for

global energy supplies. Industrial turbines

are required here for steam and

gas power plants, as well as for combined

cycle power plants.

Large-scale compressors for manufacturing

synthetic fuels are playing an

ever greater role in the energy industry.

In rapidly growing national economies

with rising energy requirements,

the focus is on gaining independence

from oil imports, e.g. with the aid of

air separation and coal liquefaction. In

Chinese “coal-to-liquid” (CTL) plants,

synthetic fuels and other hydrocarbons

are created from the extensive

coal deposits present in many regions.

The Siempelkamp Giesserei has also

consistently accompanied the development

of the largest steam turbines.

Housing sets have been built with upper

and lower sections weighing an

enormous 120,000 kg per housing;

those dimensions were achieved over

five years ago in Krefeld, Germany, and

have yet to be beaten.

Modern combined cycle power

plants likewise require relatively

large components for gas turbines.

For around a year now, the foundry

has been supplying this rapidly developing

market with new components,

which are currently assuming starting

34 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

positions for series production. As a result

of the design, the maximum unit

weight is 25,000 kg.

In the field of large-scale compressors

for synthetic fuel extraction, a

new demand arose two years ago for

correspondingly large-scale systems.

The foundry was able to meet this demand,

manufacturing and delivering

four housing sets (upper and lower sections),

each weighing 70,000 kg.

“Follow-up orders are in sight, and

we are already working on plans to

significantly exceed the current maximum

weights for steam turbines, just

in case demand becomes acute,” says

Helmut Rieck, looking to the future. He

is the one responsible at Siempelkamp

Giesserei for component sales.

Whether for electricity generation,

locomotive manufacturing, shipbuilding,

or aerospace, all the developments

of industrialization went

along with clever designs for steam or

gas turbines (see box). Since the 1970s,

Siempelkamp has been manufacturing

large-scale components for the applications

of today, and its ability to combine

king-size casting capabilities with

super-high precision has earned it pole

position in the market.

The very first models were the compressor

housings for gas and steam turbines

in gray cast iron, which Siempelkamp

always supplied as individual

components. Today, large-scale components

for steam turbines occupy an

important position in the portfolio of

the foundry.

Steam turbine components:

high-performance and solid

Modern steam turbines deliver an output

of up to 1,600 MW, dividing the

steam flow between separate subsidiary

turbines that share a single shaft.

The blade lengths in the low-pressure

sections of such machines exceed

2,000 mm, and during operation the

blade tips can reach speeds of up to

500 m/s. This is one and a half times

the speed of sound!

Figure 1: Cast components for continuous-flow

machines today make up

an important percentage of the


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Figure 3: Ready for transport: Large casting on a truck

Figure 2: Fettling of a housing for an

underwater turbine

In order to cope with these high internal

pressures, the steam turbines

require solid housing sections. As the

expert, this is where the Siempelkamp

Giesserei comes into play. “We have recently

realized housing set weights of

120 metric tons, and thus support our

customers with components that are

ideally suited to their requirements for

solidity,” explains Helmut Rieck.

A magic word among the requirements

is “efficiency”: particularly in

steam and gas turbine power plants

with outputs of over 100 MW, the operators

aim to achieve efficiency levels

of over 60 %. The higher this level, the

lower the energy consumption and environmental


The design of the inner and outer

housings of the turbines makes a decisive

contribution to optimizing the efficiency.

This is where Siempelkamp‘s

competence in designing super-heavy

and large-scale cast components in

nodular cast iron pays off. This is how

the foundry has positioned itself at

the front of the market. “Compared

to welded designs, nodular cast iron

is characterized by improved damping

and exceptional mechanical properties

during continuous operation. Nodular

cast iron castings also display superior

damping properties when compared to

cast steel,” says Helmut Rieck.

Compressor components: heavyweights

for pressure generation

Compressor components for centrifugal

and screw compressors are

also manufactured by Siempelkamp

Giesserei. These are among the largest

cast components, which can weigh

from 10,000 to 25,000 kg.

These components are required e.g.

for axial compressors, continuous-flow

machines in which the air flows in an

axial direction (Figure 1), through an alternating

series of rotating and stationary

blades. The air is first accelerated and

then compressed. The blade channels

form diffusor-like extended channels.

Here the kinetic energy generated by the

rotational motion of the air is decelerated

and converted into pressure energy.

These axial compressors are continuously

increasing in size for use in coal

liquefaction. Systems with a throughput

of 1.4 million m 3 /h of air have been

built. Siempelkamp is keeping up with

this development process. “In 2013

alone, we were able to fulfill the requirements

of our customers by manufacturing

four housing sets with a total

weight of 70,000 kg each. Further

increases in performance are planned,”

says Helmut Rieck.

Gas turbine components: high

performance, lower weight

Siempelkamp is also staying on the ball

when it comes to components for gas

turbines. These turbines demand high

machine performance, low weight and

dimensions, and quick-starting capabilities.

It is not least for these reasons

that they are used in modern combined

cycle power plants.

Owing to the steadily increasing

power plant sizes, corresponding stationary

gas turbines have been developed.

Siempelkamp has been active in

this market for the last year with components

of up to 25,000 kg. It is not

currently anticipated that there will

be demand for yet larger components

in the near future. The most powerful

stationary machine currently delivers

an output of 375 MW.

Three product facets – three

examples of Siempelkamp commitment

to continuous-flow


Whether for gas and steam turbines or

for compressors, when it comes to the

requirements for and sustainability of

its products, over the years the Siempelkamp

Giesserei has remained up-todate

at all times. The ompany has also

kept in step with the changing focus

of demand resulting from the special

market situation (Figure 2).

“In the 1980s the gas turbines were

on top, and in the 1990s it was the

36 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

steam turbines. From 2007 to 2010,

under conditions of booming demand,

we seriesmanufactured large steam turbine

housings for the first time,” describes

Helmut Rieck. This demand

has eased off substantially. In 2014, inquiries

received by Siempelkamp have

predominantly been for individual job

manufacturing of compressor housings

and compressor spirals, and for series

manufacturing of components for

screw compressors. Individual manufacturing

jobs for steam turbines and

series manufacturing for large-scale

compressors are also taking on an important

role among the incoming orders

for the first half of the year.

With all this changing demand, to

this day there has always been one

constant: the good reputation of the

Siempelkamp Giesserei and its team

when it comes to serving the complex

requirement spectrum of the market

Gas and steam turbines: Premieres

1791: First patent registration for a gas turbine

1883: Gustav de Laval invents the impulse steam turbine

1884: Patent for the steam turbine of British inventor Charles Parsons. Parsons‘ turbine

was more complex in design than that of Laval, but achieved better efficiency,

and was more easily adapted to increasing steam pressure and output.

It was used for electricity generation and in marine drive systems.

1911: The first turbine with a noteworthy degree of efficiency is built

1938: First stationary gas turbine

1939: The first jet aircraft takes to the air

2011: Irsching 4 combined cycle power plant: coupling of gas and steam turbines

with an efficiency of 60.75%

(Figure 3), e.g. high precision and tolerance

requirements, in some cases

with extreme surface requirements.

The work of the molders, fettlers and

inspection personnel is also subject to

strict quality criteria.

In general, demand is tending to

move towards individual job manufacturing,

while series production requirements

are concentrated on centrifugal

and screw compressors. “High

requirements, less series production,”

will be the motto with which Siempelkamp

positions itself in this special

market in future.


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Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 37


Author: Matthias Holzapfel, Villingen-Schwenningen

Additional performance through

enhanced efficiency

Implementation of the industry solution TimeLine at BUVO Castings BV

The foundry manufactures products in large quantities on a production area

of around 11,000 m 2 (Photos: BUVO Castings BV)

The Aluminum high-pressure foundry

BUVO Castings BV, Helmond, The

Netherlands, has set itself the goal to

permanent be one of the top foundries

in Europe. For this, a fundamental

prerequisite is the ongoing modernization

and optimization of the manufacturing

process. Within this framework,

in order to improve the data processing

system, the aged own-developed isolated-solution

EDV has been replaced with

the ERP/PPS-system TimeLine, “perfectly

streamlined to the needs of a foundry.

This way we managed not only to integrate

business management, logistics

and casting specific business processes

inter-divisional into one system but

also reduce the workflow and increase

existing capacity through more transparency

and efficiency“, so Twan van

den Elzen, Financial Manager at BUVO


BUVO Castings BV was founded 1980

and is an aluminum high-pressure

foundry specialized on casting and mechanical

processing of products to be

used in various domains. Furthermore,

the company comes with its own tool


The foundry includes a 11,000 m 2

production area, 250 employees and

16 high-class casting machines (clamping

forces of 250 to 1,000 t) in order to

mass-produce lot sizes from 5,000 up

to more than 5,000,000 products per

year (unit weights between 10 g and

15 kg). The international clientele includes

renowned companies in the

areas automotive, gas, office equipment,

telecommunications and medicine.

Redundancy through standalone-solutions

for the own

developed software system

Since its founding, BUVO Castings BV

has attached great importance to continuous

investment in state-of-the-art technology

and manufacturing processes.

Managing Director Jos Smeets: “A

high degree of automation is of major

significance as to ensure a market-driven

development and manufacturing of

technically high-grade aluminum die

cast parts. Thereby, commercial, manufacturing

and logistics tasks, from

the conception – including the tools

– to the processed respectively assembled

end product, represent an immense

challenge“. Therefore, in order

to support business processes, an

own DOS-software system has been

developed and maintained by a BUVO

employee and „it has proven to work

satisfactorily for years but then increasingly

revealed weak points“, Financial

Manager Twan van den Elzen added.

First, the initially homogeneous EDV

changed more and more to a heterogeneous

system made of isolated solutions

with detrimental consequences

as interface problems or redundancies;

on the other hand, due to the missing

integration, important information

were not available to all departments.

Moreover, as a result of the respective

employee having left the company,

maintenance or further development

were threatened by a complete standstill;

over time, the more demanding

requirements of customers such as EDI

or delivery call-off sealed the final end

of this solution.

“TimeLine speaks our language!“

In the spring of 2013 a shortlist of various

ERP/PPS-Solutions providers has

been processed – thereby some systems

impressed with regard to their business

functionality, others with regard

to the mapping of process-related requirements.

Twan van den Elzen: “With

TimeLine we have certainly found a soft-

38 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

ware that convinced us both in terms of

commercial department and manufacturing

technology and particularly in

terms of explicit oriented functionality

on foundry specific requirements“.

About ten years ago, out of a founder

circle of seven foundries and the

Gebauer GmbH in Solingen, Germany,

emerged TimeLine, an industry solution

for sand-, mold- and casting foundries,

that also covers in addition to the business

management respectively production

related functions of an ERP/PPS

system all casting specific requirements

such as cast calculation (with metal

prices calculation, melting costs and

variant costing), graphical planning,

co-product orders (for the proper management

of mixed pattern plates), tool

and pattern management, management

of metal and energy price increase surcharge

(MTZ/ETZ), external production,

melting process management or quality

assurance – “TimeLine consultants comprehend

what pressure die-casting is

about and simply speak our language”,

continued the Financial Manager.

The acquisition and in parallel running

adjustments of the old master

data including production-, customers-,

suppliers-, items- or purchase

items data, as well as the training of

the key-users were followed by the going

live of TimeLine on a total of 50

TimeLine working stations according

to plan and schedule in March 2014.

Overview with responsibility

“We used the great industry functionality

of TimeLine already in the introduction

phase as an occasion to analyze and

study, eventually even modify numerous

organizational procedures in our company

“, explained Twan van den Elzen.

The workflow at BUVO Castings is being

dominated nowadays by a project plan,

defined by diverse milestones that can

be complemented with free text. These

milestones are linked with all sorts of

data, among others with toolmaking respectively

with external suppliers.

The degree of automation is an important factor in modern production

Additional performance throu-


The implementation of TimeLine at

BUVO Castings lead after a short runtime

to noticeable improvements: processes

can be integrated inter-divisional

and hereby handled much more

quickly with increased process and

data security; the implementation of

foundry specific requirements in Time-

Line enables a more efficient work in

the production area, liberating capacities.

“Standstill means a step backwards.

Therefore, our old EDV isolated-solution-software

could nowadays

no longer respond efficiently and effectively

to the stringently demands

of a fast, complex and global market.

With TimeLine we do have found a stable

solution, which permits demands

to be fulfilled easily, transparent and effectively“,

so Jos Smeets. Twan van den

Elzen drawing positive conclusions:

“Whether production planning, order

tracking, costing depth or comprehensive

results: today, TimeLine represents

the administrative core of the entire

company – consistently, transparent

and integrated in one system. This way

we can easily react promptly and flexibly

to constantly changing customer

requirements and price developments

for raw materials and energy”


Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 39

After die casting, the magnesium components are rough- and precision-machined, undergo high-pressure deburring,

are washed, checked for tightness and finally laser-marked (Photos: Andreas Bednareck)

Author: Robert Piterek, German Foundry Association, Düsseldorf

Shaping the future with die casting

KSM Castings Group – with plants in Europe, the USA and China – has strengthened its competitive

position as an automotive supplier with a major investment of 13 million euros at its

Hildesheim site to increase the added value of its magnesium components. In recent years, the

foundry group has repositioned itself with innovative material development, flexible recruiting

methods, and consistent investments in modern light construction with a global reach

The new machine park for machining

magnesium components stretches out,

bright and clean, across the 1,400 m²

plant hall, whose walls are lined with

long pipes. A model industrial scenario

with the typical background noise

of mechanical processing: screeching

milling sounds, whirring robot joints,

the humming of motors and the occasional

wail of sirens. Busy KUKA robots

get on with their work behind safety

fences: the metal colleagues place

transmission housings in twin-spindle

turning machines that process two

housings simultaneously, before the

robots load them onto conveyor belts

that take them to the blasting plant or

the washing line.

Large-scale production for


The automotive foundry KSM Castings

in Hildesheim, Germany, has expanded

its machine park with three inspection

plants and six robotic machining

centers. The investments in the hall

and equipment were spurred by KSM

customer Daimler, which will in future

be supplied annually with 340,000 finished

9-gear automatic transmission

housings made of magnesium. Does

this major project represent a trend

towards greater use of this light metal

among automotive producers? “No,”

states Dr. Klaus Greven, Manager of

Technological Development at KSM

Castings Group. “Only Daimler gets

its transmission housings made from

magnesium, our other large automotive

customers such as ZF will continue

to use aluminum. Dr. Greven

adds: “The use of magnesium is ex-

40 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

tremely demanding. Firstly there is

the very high level of contact corrosion

when the material touches other

metals, such as iron. Then there is

the lower rigidity compared to aluminum,

and the substantially lower creep

resistance at high temperatures. In addition,

there are increased risks at the

foundry regarding safety at work and

fire prevention.” And he continues:

“This is all reflected in the costs!” The

physicist is therefore convinced that

magnesium components will remain a

niche product. The magnesium transmission

housings for Daimler are made

from the alloy AS-31 with 3 % aluminum

and 1 % silicon. “This enables us

to improve the magnesium’s low level

of creep resistance,” according to the

head of development.

An industrial robot places a finished magnesium housing on a conveyor belt

to the washing line

Unbroken trend towards light


Despite all the disadvantages regarding

the material and the process, in view

of a weight advantage of 33 % compared

to aluminum and an unbroken

trend towards light construction,

the material’s potential is attractive

and KSM Castings has the appropriate

process and material expertise: the

Hildesheim team gained their first experience

when they started low-pres-

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sure sand casting with magnesium.

About ten years ago, the then ThyssenKrupp

Fahrzeugguss GmbH began

die casting magnesium on a small machine.

“These were magnesium steering

parts for ThyssenKrupp Presta, and

we were able to build up a lot of internal

expertise and gain qualified personnel

who were familiar with, among

other things, the topics of magnesium

melts and protective gas,” Dr. Greven

remembers. The production process

was further optimized in subsequent

years. During this time, KSM Castings

was first taken over by private equity

company Cognetas and finally, in

2011, by Chinese investor CITIC Dicastal

Wheel Manufacturing Co. Ltd.,

Qinhuangdao, China. With eight

sites in Germany, the Czech Republic,

China and the USA and 3,291 employees,

the KSM Castings Group is

now globally positioned and achieved

sales of 520 million euros in 2015.

Hildesheim, with 1,030 employees

and sales of 182 million euros, is the

heavyweight of the Group. Its main

customers are VW, Daimler, Audi, ZF

Friedrichshafen, Magna, Great Wall

and FAW.

A financially strong investor

CITIC Diecastal, the new owner of

the Group, is the world’s largest aluminum

wheel rim producer. Together

with KSM Castings it is one of the

world’s 100 largest automotive suppliers.

30 to 40 million aluminum wheel

rims leave CITIC Diecastal’s conveyor

belts every year – more than at any other

serial caster. To compare: the camshaft

carrier line is one of the largest

series at Hildesheim, with 1.3 million

components a year. The involvement

of this strategic investor has brought

a variety of advantages: “This partnership

offers great financial stability

without the new owner interfering too

much in our daily business,” explains

Dr. Greven. “CITIC is not interested in

the basics of the casting process, they

already master these themselves. It is

more about our production system and

our way of producing components, in

other words about quality,” Then he

goes into more detail, continuing:

“This is a win-win situation in my

opinion. CITIC is interested in our expertise

and we have the advantage of

being able to offer our customers global

solutions. It is thus possible to offer

VW wheel carriers from China that are

produced using the same processes and

with the same alloys and properties as

those produced in Germany. Not many

foundries can offer that!”

Dr. Greven, who has worked at KSM

since 2005, believes that the greatest

growth potential is anyway in China,

though KSM Castings also built a new

plant in Shelby in the US state of North

Carolina in 2014 in order to profit from

the light-construction potential on the

American market. “This strategy also

safeguards jobs here in Germany,” he


A complicated process

Change of scene to a magnesium melt

operation: dressed in a matt silver protective

suit, magnesium melter André

Höltermann (who trained as a foundry

mechanic at KSM Castings) opens a

hatch on the melting furnace. He is illuminated

by a cone of searing white

light and, with practiced movements,

he starts deslagging the 2.3 metric ton

furnace. In order to prevent contamination

of the melt through contact

with air, a trough filled with argon protective

gas runs from the melting plant

42 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

KSM has increased its manufacturing capacity among

other things by six machining centers with robots



Metalworker Raphael Sanchez works on bearing frames

for Volkswagen’s 1.6 and 2.0 liter diesel engines

Melter André Höltermann deslags the magnesium melting

furnace. Cleanliness and organization are top priorities when

working with magnesium

to a 440 kg dosing furnace on the 2,700

metric ton cold-chamber die-casting

machine. Long distances are avoided

because of the risk of fire when the

hot metal exits the melting plant – so

the melting furnace and the die-casting

plant are located near one another.

Aluminum die-casting – with which

KSM Castings in Hildesheim generates

the lion’s share of its sales – involves

considerably less trouble: a fork-lift

truck is used to transport the melt from

the melting furnace to the holding furnace

at the die-casting plant, where the

mold is shot. Contact with air and special

safety measures play no major role

with this comparatively straightforward


“The casting processes for aluminum

and magnesium are identical

– simply die casting. On the technical

side, however, one needs to know

that the solidification morphology of

magnesium is different to that of aluminum

and this has to be taken into

account during process development,”

Dr. Greven describes process differences.

Over the years, KSM Castings has

worked out a production process for

magnesium die casting that uses protective

gas but no vacuum. “The devil,

of course, is in the detail. Venting

ducts are particularly important when

die-casting without a vacuum. This

is the only way to ensure that the air

present in the mold can escape quickly

enough,” reveals the graduate from

RWTH Aachen. The aim of the degassing

is magnesium die casting that is as

free of pores as possible.

Design freedom is trumps

The proportion of magnesium components

is comparatively low compared

to the total capacity of the plant

(30,000 metric tons in Hildesheim,

70,000 m.t. throughout the entire

Group), as can be seen from the number

of magnesium die-casting machines:

only two of the 28 machines

from producers Idra, Italpresse and

Bühler are designed for casting magnesium.

One more has just gone into operation

in exchange for an aluminum

die-casting machine: an investment of

6.5 million euros.

Head of technolgy development,

Dr. Greven, is convinced of the growth

prospects of light construction, particularly

with aluminum. He is also confident

when it comes to casting as the

production process: he expects growth

regarding both body and chassis components.

He therefore believes that

casting is also a production process

with a future, because of the increasing

use of design software to optimize

topologies: “The programs remove material

from wherever it is not needed,

resulting in so-called bionic structures

that can often only be made by casting”

– competitive advantage from design


The components produced by aluminum

die casting at KSM Castings

can be assigned to four product families:


Engine, i.e. components of the engine

periphery such as cylinder head

covers or camshaft carriers.


Powertrain, including transmission

housings as well as parts inside the



Chassis, bodywork – produced in

both the gravity die casting process

as well as using the die-casting process,



Steering, parts for the steering and

pedal systems that include, for example,

pedal bracket systems. Audi

is the largest customer here. The Ingolstadt-based

company has not,

like many others, jumped on the

train for hybrid or plastic parts but

continues to use proven aluminum


Aluminum castings also undergo

wide-ranging machining in order to

44 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

The holding furnace of an aluminum die-casting cell is refilled: when different

casting cells need the same alloy, several cells can be refilled with just one

fork-lift truck journey

The 20-year-old trainee tool mechanic

Marcel Bodenburg milling a component

in the training workshop

We look forward

to seeing you!



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Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 45

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maximize value creation, for example

on the camshaft carrier line through

which 1.3 million aluminum parts pass

every year. One special aspect there is

a portal robot that – like the overhead

railways in Wuppertal or at Düsseldorf

Airport – travels backwards and

forwards on both sides of a suspended

track and fills the machines with components,

like something straight out of

a science fiction film!

Versatile foundry processes –

innovative alloys

The variety of the global player’s casting

processes – exploiting the potentials

of the materials – is particularly attractive

for automotive customers: heat

treated and weldable castings are produced

using its patented CVC die-casting

vacuum process. During development

work on a chassis frame for BMW,

the casting process has developed in recent

years in such a way that it is suitable

for serial production and, simultaneously,

delivers very high-quality

castings. During vacuum die casting

the air is almost entirely sucked out of

the mold so that no more pores can be

generated in the solidifying casting.

The Counter Pressure Casting (CPC)

process is used for highly stressed

components, such as chassis parts.

“This production process is similar to

low-pressure casting. It is like a bottle

of fizzy mineral water. When it is under

pressure it does not lose any carbon

dioxide, but it bubbles up when

one opens the bottle. The air in the

mold behaves similarly,” compares

Dr. Greven. While this process offers

very good mechanical properties with

higher yield strengths of 260 megapascals

and an elongation at fracture of

more than 8 %, the developers at KSM

in Dr. Klaus Greven’s team were not satisfied:

at stake was, and is, competition

with iron casting and aluminum forgings.

“We wanted to get away from the

all-singing, all-dancing, all-rounder

AlSi7Mg and develop an alloy specially

for this process”.

They succeeded with the new alloy

Tensal. Compared to AlSi7Mg it has

slightly less silicon (3 %), a bit more

magnesium and an additional bit

of chromium for hardening. A yield

A tree of hands with 952 hand imprints from KSM employees. Next to it,

a robot sculpture made of aluminum castings produced at the works

strength of 300 - 320 megapascals, tensile

strength of 360 - 370 megapascals

and an elongation at fracture of 6 %

speaks for itself – and has not gone unnoticed

by the big OEMs: “We were

able to establish a new level and acquire

new serial orders from Audi and

another OEM,” the head of development

says, not without pride.

Whereby KSM Castings anyway cannot

complain of insufficient capacity

utilization: There were more than 40

new starts at the site during the last

36 months. Regular investments have

been made for this purpose: 4 million

euros for the new Tensal product for

Audi and 4 million for a new secondary

treatment line in the CPC foundry

are the next ones on the agenda.

Specialists sought!

The numerous casting processes and

different materials not only require a

lot of expertise, but also qualified specialist

personnel. “Despite an expected

increase in productivity we may

not be able to implement all our expansion

plans. The limiting factor is a

lack of specialists,” announced Franz

Friedrich Butz, CEO of the KSM Castings

Group, in a press release in late

September 2015. “The shortage of specialists

in the company involves metallurgists

with foundry expertise, in

particular, and extends throughout

all the plants and up to Shelby in the

USA,” emphasizes Lothar Mutzen, HR

Manager at the Hildesheim site, who

has been at KSM Castings for 14 years.

Whereby, given demographic developments,

long-term planning is particularly

important. “Old hands must be replaced

in good time,” he stresses. For

this reason, Hildesheim collaborates

particularly closely with the universities

in Magdeburg, Hanover, Clausthal

and Aachen. Newcomers can exploit

the entire repertoire of career starts in

cooperation with the universities: dual

study programs, grants, as well as Bachelor

and Master theses in companies.

“We recently took over one employee,

who studied in Magdeburg with a KSM

grant,” Mutzen quotes an example.

The company also places great value

on developing management trainees:

“We have employees who have started

here as apprentices and ultimately become

Managing Directors.” KSM Castings

has come up with various ideas for

training specialists: they thus offer further

education to master craftsmen and

-women and to technicians, as well as

offering work for extra-occupational

courses. The good company pension

and the ‘support fund’ (which offers

employees and their dependents financial

assistance for medical expenses

such as spectacles and dental prostheses

for a low income-dependent

monthly contribution) are particularly

attractive. “One must, however, see

46 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

this on an individual level: money is

important for one person while another

appreciates flexible working hours,”

reports the economist from his practical

career experience. At present, the

company is looking for about 20 trainees

from all areas: foundry and industrial

mechanics, industrial electricians,

mechatronic engineers, tool mechanics,

industrial clerks and IT specialists.

Then there are the specialists who are

prepared to undertake an overseas stay

in the plants in the USA or China. Mutzen

has already had an idea for China:

KSM will train six to ten Chinese graduates

with German university degrees

and send them to China – in keeping

with the Chinese-German partnership

that now characterizes the company.

Future-oriented products and

processes for a globalized world

Training Managers Jörg Gustke and

Bernhard Twickler are in charge of the

plants’ training workshop: the technical

patternmakers Marya Schmidt

and Melissa Wolpers are woodworking

a model while, next to them, the

20-year-old trainee tool mechanic

Marcel Bodenburg machines a component

with a universal milling machine

and a group of trainees gets to

work. The almost 70-year-old plant has

a long training tradition of which the

robot sculptures on the plants grounds

– made of castings welded together

(the final works of former trainees) –

act as a reminder.

The two full-time trainers currently

have 50 trainees under their wings

– every year another 12 - 14 new ones

are added – as well as four foundry mechanics

and two technical patternmakers.

Twickler confirms that the

number of applicants has fallen in recent

years. “But we do a lot, with advertisements

for specialists at GIFA and at

the Ideas Expo in Hanover, as well as

with invitations for school classes to

visit the plants, and our participation

in Applicants’ Night.” Bern hard Twickler

has already worked at KSM Castings

for 36 years, ten of them as a trainer.

The trainees are satisfied with their

work because they enjoy it and because

of the company’s good reputation in

and around Hildesheim, as well as because

they have the feeling that they

are needed here. A poster on one of

the hall walls at the plant shows a cable

railway supported by a KSM structural

component, which also supports

a man hanging above a precipice: advertising

for the high quality of KSM

products. The company’s trainees have

no reason to fear the precipice: they are

placing their futures in the hands of a

company that exploits future-oriented

products and processes for a globalized

world – and appreciates the value

of well-trained personnel!




5151 RP Drunen (The Netherlands)

Foundry Machines



VIP PT 250 CR Dual-Trak (2009), cap. 12,5 t and 2x “Junker”,

cap. 25 t; casting ladles, cap. 1-10 ton; VIBRATORY SHAKE-

OUT PLANT “Axmann”, cap 20 ton/h; 6 SAND MIXERS incl.

“IMF” T36/20-S; sand regeneration plant “Stordy”; filter units;

450 CASTING FORMS, size 800 x 800 mm up to 3600 x

3600 mm; coquille forms, stackable bins, lifting chains, hoist

beams, casting form inverters, counter weights, heater, sand

dump silos; chip cleaning system “Mayfran”; metal working

incl. milling machine, lathes, saws; laboratory/test equipment

incl. spectrometer “Ametek” Spectromaxx, sanding machines,

2 test melting ovens “Smit-A.C.E.C.”, “Westeneng”; tractor,

heavy material transport trailers, skid steer loader “Bobcat”, etc.;


Viewing: Friday 16 September from 10.00 till 16.00 hrs








O.M.LER 2000 s.r.l.

Strada Montà della Radice, 15/A 12042 Bra (CN) ITALY


Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 47



Defect evaluation for

die castings

As a new option, Yxlon, Hamburg,

Germany, now also provides the ASTM

E2973 digital reference images for aluminum

and magnesium die castings

in its imaging software Image2500

and Image3500 of X-ray inspection

systems including Y.MU2000-D and

MU60 AE. The reference images, which

so far have only been available as an

image catalog for radiographic inspections

with film, can now be deployed

in digital radioscopy for defect evaluation

of aluminum and magnesium alloys

in die castings via a second review


Digital reference images ASTM

E2422 (aluminum), ASTM E2660

(steel), ASTM E2699 (titanium) and

ASTM E2869 (magnesium) have already

been available with Yxlon X-ray

system since 2012, an important enhancement

has now been realized with

ASTM E2973 for aluminum and magnesium

die castings in order to support

flaw classifications for these parts and

document inspection decisions according

to industry specifications.

Y.MU2000-D by Yxlon can now be used for defect evaluation of aluminum and

magnesium alloys in die castings via a second review monitor (Photo: Yxlon)

Although digital X-ray inspection is

faster, more reliable, less expensive and

more environmentally acceptable due

to the elimination of chemicals compared

with film, some industries still

hesitate to embrace it. The digital

ASTM reference images are an effective

basis for film replacement, and users

quickly appreciate the benefits of the

easy and safe image storage as well as

the simple digital data exchange.



Latin American cooperation

with OEM specialist for automotive

cast parts

After the joint venture in China and

the establishment of subsidiaries in India,

voxeljet, Friedberg, Germany, has

now set its sights on the Mexican market.

To this end, the leading provider

of large-format 3-D printers and on-demand

services has entered into a cooperation

with ART in Mexico.

Mexico, the world’s seventh-largest

car manufacturer, is an important and

growing OEM market for cast parts in

the automotive industry. But in addition

to automotive, global player

voxel jet has also turned its focus on the

Mexican machine building, transportation

industry and energy industry. It

is expected that these sectors will experience

enormous growth in the Latin

American market in the next few years.

To secure market share in the automotive

sector, 3-D print specialist

voxel jet acquired a strong partner in

Mexico, the automation company Art

Abastecedora Industrial S. de R.L. de

C.V. (ART). During the last few decades,

ART successfully placed brands such as

Automatic Feed Co. and Mayfran International

on the Mexican automation

market. The company provides hightech

solutions for automation companies,

and counts the “Big Three” in the

automotive industry (Ford, General

Motors and Chrysler) as well the VW

Group & Nissan, among its suppliers.

“With its extensive experience in the

automotive sector and its collaboration

with global leaders, ART is the

ideal business partner for the Latin

American market. As an automation

expert, the company contributes comprehensive

competence for marketing

our products in Mexico in the future,”

is how Christian Träger, Sales Director

at voxeljet, explains the idea behind

the cooperation. “Our industrial 3-D

printing systems are front and center

in our collaboration with ART. By using

3-D printers from voxeljet, large

foundries can optimize their production

processes for molds and models.”

Foundries that produce for the automotive

industry use these molds and

models in the rapid prototyping process

for prototype building and rapid

manufacturing, hence in small series

production. The advantage offered by

3-D printing technology is obvious:

Production processes become faster,

more cost-effective and more precise.

The Mexican foundries profit from

voxeljet’s large-format industrial 3-D

printers, since complex cast parts can

now be acquired directly through ART.

48 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

With a continuous build volume of 4 x 2 x 1 m, the VX4000 from voxeljet is

the world’s largest industrial printer. The huge build space provides sufficient

room for the rapid production of very large individual molds, but can also be

used for the efficient production of small series – also a promising feature for

the Mexican market (Photo: voxeljet)

Foundries and car makers around the

world value the German quality standards

of the voxeljet 3-D printers,

which increase flexibility and efficiency,

and accelerate production processes

– a prerequisite for keeping up in a

hotly contested global market.

Through its cooperation with voxeljet,

ART will add industrial 3-D printing

to its product portfolio in the automotive

segment. ART was founded in

Mexico City in 1988, and initially

made a name for itself by providing

die-cutting and installation services

for the automotive industry. Now the

company offers an extensive product

portfolio of machines, accessories and


Europe’s newest iron foundry

to be opened in 2017

On the 26th of July 2016, Cranfield

Foundry held the Ground-breaking

ceremony in Probishtip, Macedonia,

to mark the start of the construction

of a modern foundry. It is forecasted

that the production will begin in 2017.

In the presence of Macedonia’s

Prime-Minister, Deputy Prime-Minister,

Minister of Foreign Investment,

the Mayor of the city of Probishtip

and other distinguished guests, the

automation systems for the automotive

sector. The company covers Mexico,

through the main four industrial

regions with headquarters at México

City. Effective immediately, the Mexican

expert for automation solutions

will also be in charge of marketing the

voxeljet 3-D printing systems and associated


“We are pleased to develop the market

for industrial 3-D printing in Mexico

together with voxeljet, while at the

same time addressing the considerable

market demand”, adds Rafael Martínez

Velásquez, President of ART.


shareholders and the CEO of Cranfield

Foundry have laid the first corner-stone

of the 8,000 m 2 foundry.

This project was initiated in 2014. The

first steps were to build a team and find

quality partners to ensure successful

execution of this greenfield investment.

Designed by Gemco Engineers B.V.,

Eindhofen, The Netherlands, the turnkey

solution provider for Cranfield

Foundry with over 30 years of experience

in the foundry industry, this factory will

be able to produce grey iron castings of

EN-GJL 150-350 and other related grades;

as well as ductile iron castings of EN-GJS

350-800 and other related grades.

Pneumatic conveying


For dry, free-flowing,

abrasive and abrasion

-sensitive material

Core sand preparation


For organic and inorganic

processes, turn-key systems

including sand, binder

and additive dosing

and core sand distribution



Reclamation systems for

no-bake sand and core sand,

CLUSTREG for inorganically

bonded core sands

KLEIN Anlagenbau AG

Konrad-Adenauer-Straße 200

57572 Niederfischbach

Fon +49 2734 501 301

Fax +49 2734 501 327



Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 49


The foundry equipment will come from

some of the most well-known brands in

the industry: DISA Industries A/S, Taastrup,

Denmark, and ABP Inductions Systems

GmbH, Dortmund, Germany, will

provide the key components of the foundry

which will be used to produce a wide

range of products such as fittings, valves,

decorative and other custom-made quality

castings to serve customers in diverse

industries such as automotive, agriculture,

railway, construction, oil and refinery.

Dariusz Dziuba, the CEO of Cranfield

Foundry, in his speech during the

ground-breaking ceremony said: “Today

is a significant milestone towards

achieving Cranfield Foundry’s aim and

that is to service customers from

high-volume businesses in the Middle

East and Europe by delivering on time,

competitively priced, quality castings.”


Emil Dimitriev, Prime-Minister of

Macedonia, at the ground-breaking

ceremony (Photo: Cranfield Foundry)


New heavy-duty blast wheel

cuts costs and blasts better

Surface preparation expert Wheelabrator,

who belongs to the Norican

Group, Taastrup, Denmark, has officially

launched its new blast wheel for

heavy-duty applications: Comet HD.

The new wheel achieves a clearly defined,

even blast pattern and higher

peak blast intensities at reduced abrasive

flow rates, thereby reducing abrasive

consumption while improving cycle

times and first-time pass rates.

With Comet HD, Wheelabrator has

optimized the journey of the abrasive

from the ground up, using advanced

testing and imaging technology to

identify and eliminate all instances of

waste in the blast process.

The R&D team deliberately chose a

broad definition of “waste”, to include

things like loss of energy of each abrasive

particle, unnecessary wear, overconsumption

of power or blast media,

uneven hotspot or uncontrolled blast

pattern, as well as time spent on overly

complicated maintenance or time lost

due to incorrect machine set-ups.

The result is a blast wheel that

achieves more with less, is easy to assemble,

service and upgrade, is impossible

to configure incorrectly on re-assembly,

wears less, and blasts fast and

with precision. All this adds up to measurable

and considerable cost savings.

Examples of savings:


Comet HD achieves over 5 % higher

peak blast intensities at 7 % less abrasive

flow, when compared to a proven,

current HD blast wheel design,

resulting in at least a 7 % saving in

abrasive (a typical foundry may use

around 100t of abrasive per year);


In the same set-up, the abrasive breakdown

rate is reduced by up to 24 %;


Tested against an existing wheel design

on a foundry application,

Comet HD

achieved a similar blast

result within a blast cycle

time that was almost

a fifth (17 %) shorter,

and at an abrasive flow

reduced by 8 %.


Taken together, the

above equates to a potential

total abrasive

saving of up to 29 %.

» Comet HD’s semi-curved

blades with special wear

tip last around a third longer

than previous blade

types, reducing maintenance

and part costs and

increasing machine uptime;


Thanks to its clever design,

Comet HD is uniquely accessible

for maintenance, reducing maintenance

time by around 30 %, freeing up

headroom for additional production.


First shown as a prototype at GIFA

2015, Comet HD is available globally,

both in metric and imperial. It can

be retrofitted on existing Wheelabrator

or non-Wheelabrator equipment.

Characteristics of Comet blast wheel:


single-directional design for optimized



asymmetrical housing for better

blast pattern position


smaller footprint to suit almost any

existing wheelblast machine


front-face access to wheel assembly

and ‘hot parts’ via 4-point quick release


precision bolted housing construction,

for improved fit and alignment


simplified, easy-to-change five-part

Wheelabrator’s new heavy-duty blast wheel Comet

HD (Photo: Wheelabrator)

liner system – end liners ‘snap fit’

without fasteners


optimized control cage with machined

areas, acceleration ramp and

special wear tip


self-securing double taper fit blade

lock-up system


blades optimized for best abrasive

pick-up point, strategically strengthened

to reduce wear


“Precision Lok” and centring plate for

repeatably correct blast wheel set-up

Clifford Parr, President & COO at

Wheelabrator Plus, said: “With Comet

50 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

HD, we are a redefining what constitutes

a great blast wheel. It’s one that tackles

all the concerns around blast machines

that our customers have told us about:

operational costs (how much abrasive is

used and how often do I have to change

wear parts?), machine and part durability

(how often does a machine need

maintenance or repairs, how long will

it last?) and performance (how long

does it take the machine to process a

part, will it achieve the desired result in

one go?). We’ve taken an R&D approach

that results not just in a million precise

impacts on a part surface, but in one big

impact on our customers’ bottom line.”



Four furnace chargers and a

fully automatic charging plant

In the summer of 2015, ConviTec

GmbH, Offenbach, Germany, delivered,

installed and commissioned

four furnace chargers, each equipped

with weighing device, and a fully automatic

charging plant, also including

weighing device, for a Turkish customer.

The four furnace chargers, having a

capacity of 16 t each, are based on a

drive frame each with 4 load cells.

Their evaluation is carried out by Siemens

control, incl. SIWAREX, which is

integrated in the charging vehicle. Siemens

IWLAN ensures signal exchange

with the main control cabinet of the

charging plant.

The scope of delivery of the charging

plant comprizes a group of 6 bunkers

with ultrasound filling level sensors,

having a magnetic feeder and discharge

flap each. Underneath there

are two mobile weighing devices with

containers for the charging batch. Two

precision laser distance sensors with

The four furnace chargers, having a capacity of 16 t each, are based on a

drive frame each with 4 load cells (Photo: Convitec)

SSI interface ensure precise positioning

under the bunkers.

The scope of delivery also includes

two charging cranes, which fill two

charging troughs each and the 6 bunkers

automatically. The drives of the

cranes, not only for the stroke but also

for longitudinal travel, are operated by

means of a frequency converter. Two

precision laser distance sensors with

SSI interface ensure precise longitudinal

positioning. An absolute encoder

with SSI interface integrated in the

crane control ensures the exact stroke.

Three PCs for recipe preselection, incl.

log printer, provide control, monitoring

and documentation of the respective


The Turkish customer manufactured

the steel construction incl. 6 bunkers

for the charging plant according to

ConviTec production drawings on his

own account.

The plant works fully automatically

after preselection and start-up of the



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Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 51



Order for a single chamber

melting and casting furnace

Austria Metall AG (AMAG) has placed

an order with Hertwich Engineering,

both Braunau, Austria, to supply

a melting/casting furnace with a capacity

of 55,000 t of aluminum per

year including a charging machine.

Commissioning of the new furnace is

scheduled for mid 2017.

The aluminum industry assumes

that worldwide consumption of rolled

aluminum products will grow by 70 %

over the next ten years. With this dynamic

growth in demand, AMAG started

an ambitious enlargement program

in 2012 with an initial volume of 220

million euros. In 2016, the company is

additionally starting a new rolling

plant project (strategy project “AMAG

2020”), with which the capacity should

be boosted to more than 300,000 t per

year by 2017. The furnace ordered is

part of this enlargement program.

With the increase of rolling production,

the quantity of production scrap

also rises, which needs to be remelted.

The furnace is designed for this task.

The tiltable melting and casting furnace

is a joint development by AMAG

and Hertwich. The first unit of this

type has been taken into operation by

AMAG in 2013. With a holding capacity

of 70 t this furnace was already of

impressive size. The current furnace

unit now ordered, with a liquid metal

volume of 110+ t, once again greatly

exceeds the size of the existing unit.

The single-chamber furnace used for

melting is able to also take over the

function of a casting furnace, if necessary.

For heating, two pairs of regenerative

burners are installed above the

melting bath level. With a specific maximum

gas consumption of 500 kWh for

each ton of aluminum the plant satisfies

the strictest requirements, both in

economic terms and also in terms of

environmental impact. To ensure clean

Aluminum melting and casting furnace (70 t) at AMAG, Ranshofen

(Photo: AMAG)

combustion an oxygen regulation system

and separate regulating systems for

natural gas and combustion air are provided.

An electromagnetic pump ensures

thorough metal circulation, constantly

high melting performance and

homogeneous temperature distribution

in the furnace.

The scope of supply also includes a

rail-guided, pusher-type charging machine

(capacity: 25 t), with which the

furnace can be charged efficiently in

only a few charging cycles.



SA-Foundry counts on

German foundry technology

Any foundry that has origins dating

back to the 1940´s and is still operating

under the same company name

is a rare occurrence in South African

(SA) foundry industry. Guestro Casting

and Machining is one of a few.

Guestro belongs to Naledi Inhlanganiso

(Pty) Ltd and is a manufacturing

group established in 2013 focusing its

operations on iron and steel manufacturing

for the rail, mining, energy and

automotive market sectors. The main

operations are located in Ekurhuleni,

Gauteng Province, South Africa.

Guestro Casting and Machining is a

foundry casting 150 to 200 t of ferrous

and non-ferrous metals daily.

Continuous improvement and process

optimization is also indispensable

for Guestro in order to continue its

successful company history. This is

why they ordered two IFM 7

multi-function furnaces with

Twin-Power systems by ABP Induction

Systems GmbH, headquartered in

Dortmund, Germany, in 2014. This

order also included two charging machines

type FC 12 T by Cyrus GmbH

Schwingtechnik, Recklinghausen,

Germany, which serve to feed the furnace


The mobile chargers are fed by means

of the existing charging bay crane with

a charge make-up of black scrap or casting

returns. The black scrap has a bulk

density of 1.1 t/m³. The charging machine

comes with a capacity of 11 m³,

which corresponds to a load-carrying

capacity of 12 t. The machinery supplied

by Cyrus also stands out with its

high user friendliness. The central control

aisle allows both systems to be controlled

by just one operator. This ensures

maximum utilization.

Guestro not only attaches importance

to user friendliness but also to functional

reliability. Here Cyrus has further optimized

important safety-critical details

with its latest generation of machines.

52 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016

The operator-friendly machine array as well as system functions were simulated and

tested during factory commissioning at Cyrus in Recklinghausen (Photo: Cyrus)

Due to an even higher quality choice

of material, the sandwich bottom floor

of the charging bunker is substantially

lower-noise when in operation than

comparable machine generations before.

Furthermore, a footswitch is employed.

By activating this switch the

machine travel is interrupted immediately

in order to avoid any obstructions

caused by foreign objects and to protect

persons in the area of the charging

floor. Moreover, a retainer flap prevents

unintentional material leakage.

This and other measures increase

both ease of use and operating safety

substantially. Commenting in this Holger

Ververs, Head of Planning and Applications

Technology at Cyrus GmbH

Schwingtechnik, says: “The installation

of two more of Cyrus’ charging machines

in South Africa makes us proud

and underscores that the added value

our machines bring, our expert knowhow

in this field and our quality are all



Technical Features:

Charge material: Scrap / Grey Iron

Charge volume: 11m³

Charging output: 12 tons

Max. piece weight: 100 kg

Ambient temperature: -20 to +40°C

Drive power: 2 x 2.7 kW (vibrating

trough), 1 x 1.5 kW (travel drive)

Temperature Control.

Smart. Reliable.



Many European countries are realizing

the economic benefits of making

more efficient use of material resources

like metals, fossil fuels and

minerals. But more action is needed

to underpin this trend in resource efficiency

with stronger policies on energy,

material resources, waste management

and on circular economy. These

are the findings from a new European

Environment Agency (EEA) assessment.

The EEA report “More from less – material

resource efficiency in Europe”,

takes an in-depth look at national approaches

and policies on resource efficiency

and explores similarities and differences

in related policies, strategies and

targets. The report builds on a survey, in

which 32 of the 39 EEA member and cooperating

countries took part. Countries

provided detailed information on their

resource efficiency polices and examples

of good practice initiatives.

The main objective of the report is to

encourage countries to share information

Individual solution &

optimised performance

Get more out of your production

facilities right from the start - with

temperature control units from

REGLOPLAS. They are matched

to your requirements and compatible

with your components and processes.

Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 53



Production of aluminum die-castings in the new Audi die-casting foundry in

Münchsmünster, Germany. The new foundry for structural components is one

of the world’s most advanced. Energy and resource efficiency played a major

role in the planning stage of the foundry (Photo: Klaus Bolz)

and their experiences in the development

of resource efficiency policies. The work

contributes to broadening know-how on

resource efficiency and the circular economy

and increases understanding of policy

approaches in these areas.

Between 2000 and 2014, resource use

in the European Union as a whole fell

both in absolute terms (down by 12 %)

and per person (from 15.5 to 13.1 t per

person), according to the survey. The

economic benefit of improving resource

efficiency is the most important

driver in many countries, indicating

that the logic of doing more with less

has been widely embraced. The most

recurrent drivers to improve efficiency

were the desire to increase competitiveness,

to secure the supply of raw

materials and energy and reduce dependence

on imports, and to lower

pressures on the environment.

The report stresses that the key challenge

will be to ensure that the recent

gains in efficiency are sustained, and

that the situation does not revert to the

long-term pattern of economic growth

accompanied by increasing resource

use. The survey also concludes that

there is room for improvement in policy

design and implementation, as well

as significant potential benefit in the

exchange of good practice, since big differences

between countries still exist.

The report and the accompanying 32

individual country profiles were produced

together with the Agency’s network

of member and cooperating countries,

known as Eionet and the European

Topic Centre on Waste and Materials in

a Green Economy (ETC/WMGE).

Key Findings:


Only three countries, Austria, Finland

and Germany, adopted dedicated

national strategies for material

resource efficiency. Two further countries

have dedicated strategies at a regional

level, in Flanders (Belgium),

and Scotland (United Kingdom).


Most of the improvements in resource

productivity occurred between

2007 and 2014, although not

necessarily as a result of a comprehensive

policy intervention. The

gains were mostly due to the sharp

decline in construction activity as

a result of the economic crisis that

started in 2007-2008, which led to

huge falls in material use, but had

rather limited impact on gross domestic



A majority of countries (26) identified

certain waste streams and secondary

materials as the most common

group of priority materials. Key

waste streams are plastic and packaging

(17 countries), construction and

demolition waste (16 countries), and

food waste (15 countries). Energy

sources, like fossil fuels and including

renewables, were mentioned by

18 countries as priority resources.


Manufacturing was singled out most

frequently as the key economic sector

for improving material resource

efficiency, followed by agriculture

and forestry, construction, and waste



The service sector – currently accounting

for some 70-75 % of GDP in most

European countries – is potentially

significant with respect to material

use and the resource efficiency of the

economy. However, very few countries

mentioned service-oriented sectors

among their priorities for improving

material resource efficiency.


Nine countries have adopted targets

for national material resource efficiency:

Austria, Estonia, France, Germany,

Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Portugal

and Slovenia. In most cases, these targets

are based on gross domestic product

relative to domestic material consumption

(GDP/DMC) – the EU’s lead

resource productivity indicator.


Germany, the Netherlands, and the

region of Flanders (Belgium) reported

having a dedicated circular economy

strategy, which aims to create a production

and consumption system that

generates little waste and keeps materials

in use for as long as possible. Several

countries acknowledge the need

to move away from the current linear

economic model and stated that the

circular economy and closing material

loops are already policy priorities. The

majority of reported policy initiatives

related to the circular economy focus

on waste management, with only a

few examples going beyond increasing

recycling rates and a higher use of

secondary raw materials.


54 Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016


Up to date blasting technique

on Ankiros show

AGTOS, Emsdetten, Germany, provides

the foundry industry with surface

technology. Besides manufacturing

turbine wheel shot blasting plants

for cleaning, derusting, descaling

and shot peening the company also

pro jects complete machining centers

including the conveyer technology.

At the exposition Ankiros from

29 September to 1 October 2016

AGTOS will be presented on

the booth of its Turkish

agent Teknometalurji. The

visitor will see examples of

projects that were carried

out in Turkey and other

countries. Inno vative turbine

and filter technology as

well as elaborated ways in

maintenance ensure the

economic treatment of surfaces

of casted parts.

The company provides shot

blast ing solutions for roughen

ing, derusting, de-scaling,

and hardening of surfaces.

With a wide range of

applications, ranging from

small chain components, to

large steel constructions,

the surface technology specialist

has virtually no limits

on providing blast cleaning

solutions to meet the needs

of many different industries.

The company has the capability

to offer refurbished

shot blast machines, repairs,

updating and modernization

of machines from other shot

blasting manufacturers.

Special emphasis is put on

an extensive service regarding

the blasting technology.

Therefore the company provides

the suitable spear parts

and carries out the repairs for

machines out of the own and

other productions.


Castings on a hanger on their way to the blasting machine (Photo: AGTOS)

We are a medium-sized company that is expanding all over Europe, operating in the foundry

and steel construction industry at two locations in Germany.

We wish to strengthen our team, and we are looking for a sales agency for our location in

Poland, i.e., a

Self-employed Sales Agent (m/f) in

Field Service / Sales and

Customer Acquisition

What you can expect:

Your job will be professional telephone acquisition as well as local consulting and support

for customers. You will work with various customer target groups in careful and systematic

ways and perform exciting special activities, always using the right approach.

What we expect from you:

• Completed commercial training as well as knowledge of the foundry trade

• A high capacity for team work and excellent communication skills

• Convincing negotiation strengths and a talent for sales

• Confident and reputable manners and an affinity for dealing with customers

• An extensive knowledge of MS Office and an excellent use of „new media“

• An excellent knowledge of German and Polish (spoken and written)

We will offer you:

• A responsible job with good prospects for the future

• A diversified and challenging job

• An attractive, performance-based compensation that you will essentially

determine through your successful sales

If you are interested in this job, we are looking forward to your complete application


Please send us your application (cover letter, resume, certificates in one PDF file)

by mail to our “HR department” – info@foundry-service.de

STA Foundry Service_128_174.indd 1 12.07.16 13:38

Casting Plant & Technology 3 /2016 55


Insulation technology

4 pages, English, German

A product brochure describing the key features of the Thermo-Protector insulation

system offered by Lippmann. The product provides excellent insulation efficiency

over a temperature range from -50 °C to +250 °C. It is self-adhesive, water-repellent,

self-extinguishing and self-vulcanizing and ideally suited for convoluted or flexible

piping systems.


Automatic water dosing for shake-out and cooling drums

4 pages, English

In this brochure, Sensor Control explains how water dosing in shake-out and cooling

drums can be automated by using efficient instrumentation sensors. Sensors are

applied to measure fresh air into the drum, the mold box temperature, the exhaust

air leaving the drum, used sand temperature, moisture and height on the belt behind

the drum, etc.

Information: www.sensor-control.de

Molding sand management system

20 pages, English

A brochure featuring FoMaSys, a modular sand management system, offered by

Michenfelder Elektrotechnik. The system is composed of four interacting sand testing

and moisture control modules. The brochure describes in great detail the functions,

features and visualization options of the system.

Information: www.michenfelder.com

Magnesium and aluminium foundry and machining facility

4 pages, English

In this brochure, Explat presents its activities as experts in magnesium and aluminium

alloy casting and as specialists in parts machining. The foundry has a capacity

of 100 t. The weights of the aluminium and magnesium castings produced range

between 200 g and 330 kg.

Information: www.explat.cz

56 Casting Plant & Technology 3/2016

Vibrating feeder

4 pages, English

This product brochure features vibrating feeders supplied by JML. It includes technical

data and photos of two feeder models, one for large quantities of bulk materials

and one for small to medium material flows. They are both designed for castings

weighing up to 450 kg.

Information: www.jml-industrie.com

Foundry equipment

5 pages, English, German

In this brochure, Webac Gesellschaft für Maschinenbau summarizes their product

and service range for the foundry industry. Specially featured are molding and core

sand preparation plants, sand regeneration plants, sand coating plants as well as

cold resin pattern plants.

Information: www.webac-gmbh.de

Melting and heating technology

16 pages, English

A comprehensive brochure setting out the expertise of Marx in melting, ladle and

extrusion technology. Detailed descriptions are provided of channel and crucible

furnace plants; induction furnace plants; insulation technology; casting, transport

and treatment ladles; gearbox series, etc.

Information: www.marx-gmbh.eu

Chemical metallurgical products

24 pages, English

This brochure provides information about fluxes offered by Hüttenes-Albertus for

ferrous and non-ferrous casting applications. Each flux series is described in great

detail, including a listing of available products, the forms in which they come, a

summary of their specific purposes, temperature ranges, etc.

Information: www.huettenes-albertus.com

Casting Plant & Technology 3/2016 57


Fairs and Congresses


September, 12-16, 2016, Brno/Czech Republic


56. International Foundry Conference

September, 14-16, 2016, Portorož/Slovenia


Metal – 21. International Fair of Technologies

for Foundry

September, 20-22, 2016, Kielce/Poland


Euromold 2016

September, 20-23, 2016, Düsseldorf/Germany


IFF – International Foundry Forum

September, 23-24, 2016, Dresden/Germany


4. China Int’l Aluminum Industry Exhibition 2016

September, 26-28, 2016, Guangzhou/China


Ankiros Annofer Turkcast 2016

September/October, 29-01, 2016, Istanbul/Turkey


2016 China International Die Casting Congress &

The First CEO Forum

October, 18-21, 2016, Jiaxing/China


Indometal 2016

October, 25-27, 2016, Jakarta/Indonesia


6. International Foundry Congress & Exhibition

November, 23-24, 2016, Lahore/Pakistan


CastTec 2016

November, 24-25, 2016, Darmstadt/Germany


2016 Japan Die Casting Congress & Exposition

November, 24-26, 2016, Yokohama/Japan



November/December, 29-01, 2016, Düsseldorf/Germany


Alucast 2016

December, 1-3, 2016, Bangalore/India


Fundiexpo 2016

October, 5-7, 2016, Queretaro City/Mexico


Advertisers‘ Index

AGTOS Ges. für technische

Oberflächensysteme mbH 60

ASK Chemicals GmbH 23

ASTI Gießereigeräte GmbH 51

Quarzwerke Baums GmbH & Co. KG 15

voestalpine Böhler Welding GmbH 11

Büro für angewandte Mineralogie 27

ConviTec GmbH 33

Gustav Eirich GmbH & Co. KG 2

ExOne GmbH 35

FAT Förder- und Anlagentechnik GmbH 41

Filtech Exhibitions Germany 7

Foundry-Service GmbH 55

GTP Schäfer GmbH 43

H20 GmbH 45

Jasper Ges. für Energiewirtschaft &

Kybernetik mbH 37

JÖST GmbH & Co. KG 43

Klein Anlagenbau AG 49

O.M.LER 2000 S.R.L. 47

Reed Exhibitions (Deutschland) GmbH 31

Regloplas AG 53

RÖSLER Oberflächentechnik GmbH 45

RUMP Strahlanlagen GmbH & Co. KG 15

Troostwijk Veilingen b.v. 47

Heinrich Wagner Sinto

Maschinenfabrik GmbH 19

WOKO Magnet- und Anlagenbau GmbH 32

58 Casting Plant & Technology 3 / 2016



Preview of the next issue

Publication date: December 2016

Vehicle of the Mercedes-Series BR 222 (S-Class) showing the position of the rear strut tower – an aluminium structural casting (Photo: Daimler)

Selection of topics:

K. Vollrath: Aluminium structural die cast components: More capacity for Europe’s premium vehicles

With the delivery of large-scale structural castings for the hybrid body of the new C-Class Mercedes Swiss DGS Druckguss Systeme AG,

St. Gallen, has proven its expertise as a development partner for the global large-scale production of such castings. The next step is now the

development of production and logistics structures that are capable to satisfy the needs of the European premium manufacturers.

P. Hofer et al: Tungsten-based composites as a die material in high-pressure die-casting

Local microstructure improvement in high-pressure die-castings by influencing thermal and mechanical process parameters were examined.

Within the examination of the cooling of hpdc-tools the process related properties of the tungsten-based composite Densimet 185 (D185)

were tested. The material D185 is compared with iron-based die materials.

H. Wang et al: Optimization of a brake caliper

Due to safety reasons, brake calipers are produced to the highest quality requirements. The Shanghai Sandmann Foundry (SSF) developed,

and is successfully producing a car caliper made of ductile iron which was acquired to be optimized in a DISAMATIC casting process.


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

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E-Mail: cpt@stah lei sen.de

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Ad ver tis ing Man ag er:

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ISSN 0935-7262

Casting Plant & Technology 3 / 2016 59

Competence in

Shot Blast Technology

We offer a complete service in surface

preparation technology, not just as machine

designers and manufacturers.

Our emphasis is on providing reliable

service on:

• Wear and Spare Parts

• Repair and (remote) maintenance

• Inspection and process advice

• Machine upgrades and performance


• Upgraded used machines


Gesellschaft für technische Oberflächensysteme mbH

Gutenbergstraße 14 · D-48282 Emsdetten

Tel. +49(0)2572 96026-0 · info@agtos.de



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