CPT International 02/2017


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








FRP – the digital transformation

of metal casting industry


Adjusting screws

to optimize casting!

In the foundries of the 21st century it is no longer merely a matter of mass

production with maximum productivity, but increasingly making castings of

higher quality, with greater energy efficiency, greater flexibility – and thus

increased future-orientation. The issue that you are currently holding offers

some examples of this. There is, for example, the expert analysis by Heinz

Kadelka from Linde Gas in Düsseldorf, who has examined the current possibilities

of pre-warming ladles by means of porous burners and natural gas oxygen

burners. Turn to P. 10 to find out which burner system could optimize

your casting process.

The specialist article by Steffen Geisweid and Dennis Wolzenburg from Heinrich

Wagner Sinto is another highlight. They report on the installation of a

high-tech EFA-SD Seiatsu.plus molding plant and P-30-M casting plant at

M. Busch in Wehrstapel, Germany. These so-called Foundry 3plus systems

represent the current state-of-the-art in modern molding plant construction.

Find out more on P. 20.

There are also numerous possibilities for improving casting technology –

whether by optimizing production with ANSYS Space-Claim software, used at

Eisenwerke Erla in Schwarzenberg (from P. 24), by simulating castings with

Magmasoft at the large Chinese FAW automotive foundry in Changchun (from

P. 26), or through the use of 3-D printers at the Industry 4.0 Christenguss

foundry in Switzerland (from P. 30). The aims that they all share are always

greater flexibility, higher quality, and the maximum possible exploitation of

design freedom during casting.

This issue is also dedicated to a topic that is sometimes only mentioned at the

fringes of the foundry sector, but which should receive far more attention:

safety at work. The global player Georg Fischer (GF) from Schaffhausen in Switzerland

has declared war on sources of danger at foundries with its zero-risk

campaign: awareness of this topic among the workforce has been raised with

poster motifs and a variety of events. The result: the accident rate has fallen

considerably. Tina Köhler, head of communications at GF, stresses that many

people still consider foundries to be dangerous places. “We need to get away

from this image, so we have to do something about safety at work,” she is

convinced. More about this on P. 32.

Have a good read !

Robert Piterek

e-mail: robert.piterek@bdguss.de

Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 3



with Christopher Boss

“EUROGUSS is to become an even better refection of the industry” 6


Strunz, Alexander

High-performance tungsten-based materials enable

improved casting process 8



Karl-Harr Str. 1

44263 Dortmund

Tel.: +49 (0) 231 419970

Fax: +49 (0) 231 41997-99



The software company RGU, which has

provided the cover image to us, focuses

exclusively on foundries. FRP stands for

Foundry Resource Planning (derived from

Enterprise Resource Planning, ERP). Read

more on RGU on page 43.


Kadelka, Heinz; Weber, Mike

Ladle heating examined under the aspects of energy


Geisweid, Steffen; Wolzenburg, Dennis

Commissioning of Foundry 3plus at M. Busch in Wehrstapel 20


Tosse, Thomas

Quicker solution concepts with ANSYS SpaceClaim 24

Baosheng, Lu

Manufacturability of a cylinder block sand core 26

xx 10 xx 20

How do porous burners perform in camparison to natural

Linde Gas and Gienanth foundry (Photo: Linde Gas)

With the commissioning of Foundry 3plus the German

foundry M.Busch has made one of the largest investments

of its company history (Photo: M. Busch)


2 | 2017




Dizdarevic, Mirela

On the way to “Casting 4.0” 30


Piterek, Robert

On course for a new safety culture 32


Paarmann, Ralf

The future is big! 36


Beste, Dieter

Matthies Druckguss: combining tradtion with innovation 40


Editorial 3

News in brief 43

Brochures 48

Fairs and congresses/Ad index 50

Preview/Imprint 51

xx 30

With its vision of Guss 4.0, Christenguss AG of Bergdietikon in Switzerland is also blazing the trail into a digital future. The

foundry manufactures complex sand casting molds in a 3-D printing process. Florian Christen, CEO of a traditional family

business in its fourth generation sees his company as an innovation technology leader (Photo: Christenguss AG)


“EUROGUSS is to become an even

better refection of the industry”

From 16 to 18 January 2018, the European die castings sector will meet once again in Nuremberg

at the EUROGUSS trade fair. The exhibitors’ applications are ongoing, the trade fair preparations

in full swing. We spoke to Christopher Boss (31), the new Director Exhibitions, about the

development of EUROGUSS and the international involvement of the NürnbergMesse Group in

the die casting sector. Boss has a degree in business science, has been in the trade fair and exhibition

branch for around 10 years and has worked for NürnbergMesse for around one year.

EUROGUSS 2016 was the most successful

ever staged. With around 580 exhibitors,

more than 12,000 visitors and

the additionally-occupied exhibition

hall, it set new records. You recently

took over as Director Exhibitions from

Heike Slotta, who in future – continuing

her strong bond with EUROGUSS

– will be increasingly involved strategically.

Which objectives have you set

yourself for the coming fair?

In Europe, EUROGUSS is the leading trade

fair for the entire die-casting value-added

chain: from raw materials through to

technology and processes up to finished

products. I was fortunate to immediately

experience the fair live already in my

second week at work and I’m delighted

to continue to be involved in future in

shaping this meeting place which is recognized

and popular in the sector.

In terms of both exhibitors as well as

visitors, EUROGUSS has in recent years

recorded impressive growth rates. My

objective, together with the team, is to

continue this growth trend. In 2018,

we are seeking to break the 600-mark

for exhibitors and further increase internationality.

How would you like to reach this objective?

Since I started at NürnbergMesse, I’ve

been travelling a lot to customers and

events at home and abroad. I have conducted

numerous, interesting, specialist

discussions and meetings aimed at

getting to know the sector better and

finding out which adjustments we can

make in order to establish EUROGUSS

even more strongly as a mirror for

Christopher Boss is new Director Exhibitions of the EUROGUSS Trade fair in Nuremberg,

Germany (Photo: NürnbergMesse)

the sector. We will retain the product

range core of the event, but further

extend the range depth. The focus of

EUROGUSS will continue to be Europe.

Of course, die casting is in particular

dependent on the automotive sector,

but we will also be increasingly inviting

target groups from other sectors to

EUROGUSS, for whom the die casting

process with its many advantages offers

a genuine alternative.

Are there changes to the trade fair


The EUROGUSS concept has proved

itself most effectively. This is confirmed

to us not only by the fantastic

exhibitor and visitor figures from the

last event, but also by the top ratings

awarded in the exhibitors’ and visitors’

survey. 98 % of the visitors surveyed

stated that they were satisfied with the

range presented at the fair and 94 % of

exhibitors assess their trade fair participation

as an overall success. So we

should not tinker with the trade fair

concept in general. Nevertheless, it is

necessary to further refine the concept

and extend the trade fair range to include

attractive formats.

What should exhibitors and visitors

look forward to at the next EURO-

GUSS in 2018?

The exhibitors’ applications process

is going very well. Three quar-

6 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

ters of exhibition space is already

booked around 10 months before

the event. Many exhibitors have enlarged

their stands. Of course, all the

market leaders are once again present,

but new exhibitors are also on

board. The theme of surface technology,

which was highlighted for

the first time at EUROGUSS 2016, is

being extended further and presented

in a pavilion. The “Forschung, die

Wissen schafft” (Research for Knowledge)

special show, where the latest

research projects from universities

and technical colleges are presented,

has been popular with the trade visitors

for years. It too will of course also

be part of the event again. The exhibitors

and visitors can also look forward

to interesting lectures and presentations

on current themes and issues

at the “Internationaler Deutscher

Druckgusstag” (International German

Die Casting Congress) specialist

event, which is being organized by

our esteemed partner, the Verband

Deutscher Druckgießereien (VDD,

Association of German Die-Casting


There will be excitement surrounding

the award presentations for the

International Aluminium Die Casting

Competition and the Zinc Die

Casting Competition. As you can see,

there is once again a great deal on offer


In addition to EUROGUSS in Nuremberg,

the NürnbergMesse Group,

within the framework of its internationalization

strategy, has indeed for

several years also been successfully

staging die casting trade fairs and

exhibitions worldwide, for example

in China and India. What advantages

does that bring to the company?

Yes, that is correct. For several years,

the NürnbergMesse Group has been

strengthening the positioning of its

successful events at the home location

of Nuremberg through so-called

product families worldwide. That

means in the case of EUROGUSS that

this event is functioning as the mother

of the product family so to speak

and has offshoots in attractive foreign

markets outside Europe. As an

international product manager, I am

trying to make use of the synergy effects

between the individual members

of the product family in the various

markets. It is important for us that

these events are always perfectly tailored

to the requirements of their respective

markets. We are accompanying

our customers on their way into

these exciting and prospering markets

and offering them the proven exhibition

quality and service they are

familiar with from Nuremberg. In this

connection, for example last December,

the largest die casting trade fair

in India was held with around 140

exhibitors, ALUCAST, organized and

staged by NürnbergMesse India. According

to forecasts, the Indian die

casting market offers great growth

potential for European companies.

The date for the next ALUCAST is 6

to 8 December 2018 in Delhi. In China

too, the largest die casting market

in the world, we have been active

since 2013 and are involved in shaping

the dynamic development of the

CHINA DIECASTING trade fair in

Shanghai through our subsidiary

NürnbergMesse China. Last year,

CHINA DIECASTING registered 295

exhibitors and 12,027 trade visitors.

The next fair will be held from 19 to

21 July 2017. We are expecting around

350 exhibitors and 15,000 trade visitors.


your competent partner

for Cast Iron !

Gray cast iron up to 70 t

Nodular cast iron up to 50 t

Steel cast

up to 6 t

Mechanical processing


Dimensions: length: 14,5 m

Ø 7 m

weight 70 t

EMDE Industrie-Technik GmbH D-39418 Staßfurt

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Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 7


Alexander Strunz, Munich

High-performance tungsten-based

materials enable improved casting


Bayerische Metallwerke GmbH, Dachau, Germany, offers an innovative material for casting tool

construction with its product family Triamet A, a tungsten-based heavy metal alloy that can

withstand more frequent temperature changes

Fire cracks and corrosion are the most

common types of casting tool damage

in light metal casting. Usually such damage

reduces product quality, which may

worsen even further under some circumstances

due to adhesion or inadequate

heat dissipation. With its Triamet A product

family, a tungsten-based heavy metal

alloy, Bayerische Metallwerke GmbH offers

an innovative and ecological alternative

that avoids these problems. Thanks

to a tungsten content of up to 98 %, the

Triamet A materials withstand the stresses

of frequent temperature changes in

the casting process over the long term

and set themselves apart with high corrosion

resistance compared to aluminium

and copper alloys.

With many types of hot work steel

used in light metal casting for the production

of tools, the hardness and

strength decrease relatively quickly

due to the high thermal stresses. Crack

formation caused by thermal fatigue of

the material is common. This can reduce

the quality of the end product

and lead to significant financial costs

The Triamet A materials are used primarily in

gravity diecasting and high-pressure diecasting,

for instance for the production of aluminium

rims and cylinder heads

(Photos: Wolfram Industry)

8 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

and time expenditures for repair work

and loss of use.

With the Triamet A product series,

Bayerische Metallwerke GmbH offers

various tungsten-based alloys that can

avoid these problems. Tools made of

Triamet A are highly resistant to liquid

aluminium and magnesium. This can

increase the service life by 10 to 500

times compared to conventional materials,

depending on the field of application

and the type of casting process.

The negligibly small alloy formation

tendency and the formation of a natural

separating layer counteract sticking

of the work piece to the casting mold,

which has a positive impact on product

quality as well.

Low thermal expansion co-

Fire cracks in casting molds are caused

mainly by thermal fatigue due to alternating

compressive and tensile stress

on the tools. The lower the thermal

conductivity and the higher the thermal

expansion coefficient of a material,

the greater this stress will be. Compared

to the commonly used steel, the

thermal conductivity of Triamet A at

70 to 105 W/mK is about 3 to 5 times

higher while the thermal expansion

coefficient at 5.2-6.5 [10 -6 K -1 ] is simultaneously

only about 50 %. This greatly

reduces stresses in the tool. The high

resistance to temperature changes significantly

reduces the fire cracking tendency

and therefore greatly increases

the service life.

binder phase

Bayerische Metallwerke GmbH uses a

nickel and iron binder phase (Figure 1)

for the production of Triamet A, added

to the tungsten powder at the rate of 2

– 10 %. Nickel acts as a catalyst that accelerates

diffusion processes on the surface

of the tungsten power and thereby

reduces the sintering temperature by

about 1,000 °C. Subsequently the Triamet

green parts are sintered at about

1,500 °C – in contrast to the 2,500 °C

required for pure tungsten – so that a

unique microstructure with a spherical

tungsten phase encased by the

binder phase is formed. All Triamet A

series products set themselves apart

with a very high density from 17.0

± 0.15 g/cm 3 for Triamet A17 to about 18.8

± 0.2 g/cm 3 for A19.

The Triamet A materials are used

primarily in gravity die casting and

high-pressure die casting, for instance

for the production of aluminium rims

and cylinder heads.

Figure 1: The lower the proportion of the binder phase, the higher the density will be.

However, the ductility of the heavy metal also increases as the binder proportion rises


Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 9

used for ladle heating and holding at operating temperature (Photos & Graphics: Linde Gas)

Heinz Kadelka, Linde Gas, Düsseldorf, and Mike Weber, Gienanth GmbH, Eisenberg

Ladle heating examined under the

cost optimization


employed to heat ladles used for pouring and treating melts of grey cast, ductile or compacted

graphite iron

Field experiment

The objectives of the experiment were to

examine the economic efficiency, flexibility,

energy efficiency, service life, sintering

and temperature changes during

and associated with ladle heating. The

tests were conducted with a 4-t pouring

ladle for cast iron melts. They involved

the heating of the ladle by porous burners

and natural gas/oxygen burners.


Ladles account for a significant share of

the total energy input in iron melting

processes. They have to be heated to operating

temperature and then continu-

10 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

above the inside bottom

All in

one line

M3: In the middle of the refractory

inside bottom

the inside bottom

Figure 1:

ously held at that temperature. This is

to be performed with maximum efficiency

and flexibility, while subjecting

the ladle to fewest possible temperature

changes, in order to maximize the lining

life and minimize ladle repair.



Temperature measurement in the

Test set-up

Figure 1 shows the positions of the

thermocouples in the refractory lining

of the 4-t pouring ladle.

Inherent energy content of

a pouring ladle at operating


Through-heating of a ladle depends

largely on the heat content of the refractory

material, especially the superheating

of the inside surface zone. After

the molten metal has been filled

into the ladle, the thermal energy

from the melt is introduced into the

ladle and transferred towards the outside

via the refractory lining. Especially,

the reading at measuring point M 1,

at 2.5 cm from the inside refractory surface,

shows a pronounced temperature

rise (approx. 970 °C; Figure 2) after the

molten iron has been filled into the ladle.

For the here presented experiment,

the ladle was filled with 3 t of molten

iron, simulating optimal through-heating.

After 8 min, the melt was poured.

At that stage, the first 2.5 cm of the refractory

lining thickness were superheated

(Figure 3). Within this surface

layer of only 2.5 cm thickness, a temperature

difference of more than 550 °C

Temperature in °C









12:01:26 12:02:53 12:04:19 12:05:46 12:07:12 12:07:12 12:10:05 12:11:31 12:12:58

Figure 2: Heating of the refractory lining by the melt for approx. 8 min. Thermal be-

the iron melt in the ladle at 12 o’clock: 1,501 °C

between the surface and M 1 was measured.

In case of ladle preheating by

burners, it is recommended that care

should be taken to ensure that this heat

content be input by the burner. Otherwise

it would be extracted from melt.

Time in min

Resistance to temperature


When ladles are being filled with molten

metal, the inside surface layer of the

ladles heats up. The temperature transfer

from the melt is lower when the temperature

of this layer is already at a high

level before the molten metal is filled in,

(figure 3). When this layer is “cold” or

has not been heated up to a sufficiently

high level, the temperature changes

will be great, leading to early wear,

short lifetimes and slag caking in the ladles.

After pouring, this energy content

is transferred into the interior of the refractory

lining via the superheated surface

zone, as shown in figure 3.

Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 11


Cooling down of the refractory


In Figure 4, this process can be observed

to take place at M 3 for a period

of approximately 30 min from 14:04 to

14:20 h. The thermal energy is introduced

into the refractory material like a

wave, resulting in a rise in temperature.

The superheated mass in the surface layer

of the refractory lining (walls and bottom)

can be assumed to amount to more

than 200 kg. Heat content: approx. 4 to

5 m 3 of natural gas. Even if the inside ladle

surface is already “cold” (dark red),

a few millimeters down into the refractory

lining temperatures clearly above

1,200 °C must be expected.

Criteria for the comparison

The basic objective was to achieve natural

conditions as described above

as “the inherent energy content of a

pouring ladle at operating temperature”.

For the investigated 4-t pouring

ladle, the temperature level in the middle

of the refractory lining was used as

a basis of reference. The objective was

to heat the ladle by means of the different

burner systems in such a way

that these temperatures were reliably

reached and held at a constant level.

During the experiment, at measurement

point M3 in the middle of the refractory

lining temperatures between

approx. 640 °C and approx. 660 °C

were measured. At M1 near the inside

surface, temperatures above 820 °C

were to be reached, in order to achieve

the same temperature level as a ladle in

the actual production process.

Temperature in °C







0 5 10 15 20 25 30

Distance from inside surface in mm

Figure 3: Heat transfer into the inside refractory surface zone (2.5 mm); M1 the surface

temperature corresponds to the molten iron temperature, idealized (after “8 min”)

Temperature in °C









652 °C

650 639°C

605 °C




559 °C

572 °C


14:02:24 14:09:36 14:16:48 14:24:00 14:31:12 14:38:24 14:45:36 14:52:48 15:00:00

Time in min

Figure 4: Temperature curves after the melt was poured, with the ladle covered and

without use of burner

Preliminary considerations

concerning the ladle management

and current practice

Ladle heating by means of porous

burners, as currently practiced in the

foundry, was used as the reference for

assessing the economic efficiency. Actually,

the current situation could already

be optimized by simple means,

e.g. improved ladle covering in connection

with a precisely controlled

natural gas/air ratio. Also thermocouples

installed in the ladle lid, which

would control or interrupt the operation

of the burner as required after

reaching the pre-defined temperatures,

would provide an improvement.

Creating awareness among the operating

staff may also lead to a significant

reduction in energy use. Only after

these conventional measures have

been implemented should the reference

situation be re-defined. This situation

should be used as decision basis

for future heating strategies. The comparison

was based on the neutral cost

assumption, including of course technical

oxygen costs. Generally, it is attempted

to achieve an optimal or physically

feasible situation as well as the

effect of “near-surface zone superheating”,

in a cost-neutral way no matter

which type of burner system was used.

Heating of the 4-t pouring ladle

by natural/gas oxygen

burners (oxyfuel burners)

After 90 min, the self-defined target

was reached attaining a temperature of

649 °C. At 2.5 cm from the inside surface,

the temperature reached 832 °C

(Figure 5), which corresponds to the

12 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017


temperature attained in the ladle at operating

temperature after melt filling (figure

2: 823 °C). The surface temperature of

the refractory lining was securely above

1,550 °C, which is in line with other measurements.

The burner achieved a degree

of efficiency (ETA v) of 71 %.

Heating of the 4-t pouring ladle

by porous burners

Porous burners

The current design provides the possibility

of individual height adjustment.

The burner roof is suitable for almost

all ladle diameters. The ladles are covered

in such a way that there is only a

small open gap at the circumference.

Waste gas removal is via a tube integrated

into the roof. The combustion

gas and the combustion air are guided

through porous ceramic material

and ignited inside a high-temperature-resistant

stainless steel tube. The

tube, which is connected with the ladle

lid, is lowered down into the ladle

until the burner sits on the ladle rim.

The combustion gases will then rise between

the inside ladle wall and the outside

burner tube.


For material-technological reasons,

the gas temperature must not exceed

a certain limit. In the experiment,

the temperature was not to exceed

1,000 °C (thermocouple at the outside

of the burner tube). Iron foundry

Gienanth in Eisenberg defined the

target temperature at 1,000 °C (taking

into account design-related and material-specific

requirements to avoid excessive

thermal stress).

Parameters of the experiments

Natural gas input was determined to

be 12.44 m 3 /h; the maximum temperature

measured at the surface of

the burner tube was 1,020 °C. The maximal

waste gas temperature was just below

1,000 °C. From these facts it can

be derived that heat transfer into the

refractory material does take place at

this temperature.

Achievement of target temperatures

at the measuring points in the refractory


Refractory temperature in °C

With a total energy input of 56 m 3 of

natural gas and after an average heating

time of 4.5 h , 538 °C were measured

at M3 in the middle of the refractory

lining. At 2.5 cm from the

inside surface, 650 °C were measured

(M1, ). The efficiency relative

to the temperature in the middle

of the refractory lining was calculated

to amount to approx. 47 %. The porous

burner failed to reach the target

of heating the ladle to operating temperatures

(> 640 °C) at neutral costs

(538 °C). Consequently porous burners

are unable to achieve the effect of

surface zone superheating.

General comparison of the

preheating performance

After approx. 4.5 h (270 min), heating

by means of the porous burner

achieved a temperature of 538 °C (ETA

v 47 %). In contrast, the oxyfuel burner

achieved this temperature already after

1.22 h (73 min), (ETA v 71 %). The

oxyfuel burner reached the temperature

level of the porous burner (538 °C)

with approx. 10 % less energy costs (in-

Figure 5: Heating of a 4-t ladle to operating temperature by means of a natural gas/oxy-


Refractory temperature in °C













10:04:48 10:19:12 10:33:36 10:48:00 11:02:24 11:16:48 11:31:12 11:45:36 12:00:00


Time axis in min

Heating curve of a porous burner. Comparison of a porous burners with an O 2





08:24:00 09:36:00 10:48:00 12:00:00 13:12:00 14:24:00



Heating time in min

14 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

cluding technical oxygen) (Figure 7).

Prolonging the heating time of the porous

burner leads only to an insignificant

increase in temperature. At the

same time, the efficiency (ETA v) decreases

dramatically. In the experiments,

the oxyfuel burner achieved

the actual temperature level of the ladle

in the casting process already after

90 min (649 °C). Corresponding

comparisons are provided in figures 2

and 5. The energy input to make up

the difference in temperatures in the

refractory lining measured in M3 in

case of porous burner use (538 °C) and

in case of oxyfuel burner use (649 °C)

has to be compensated by thermal energy

transferred from the molten metal

(higher tapping temperature) into the

refractory lining. However, it would

be more useful to employ burners to

achieve this exchange of energy rather

than to accept the negative metallurgical

effects of an excessively high

tapping temperature.

Temperature in °C








73 min

0 50 100 150 200 250 300

Figure 7: Heating curves of a porous burner versus a natural gas/oxygen burner

M3 porous burner

Time in min

267 min


on the temperature

With the melt being tapped from the

induction furnace at almost identical

temperatures in both cases

(1,530/1,531 °C), 3 min after ladle filling

the temperature difference between

porous burner use and oxyfuel burner

use amounts to 29 K (1498/1469 °C), af-

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Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 15


ter another 5 min the difference has increased

to 63 K (Figure 8). In the experiment,

temperature losses of 125 °C were

measured in the ladle heated with the

porous burner. In the ladle heated with

the oxyfuel burner, temperature losses

of only 61 K were found – a difference

of 64 K between the two burner types.

From this a potential for lowering the

tapping temperature in the induction

furnace can be derived. The advantage:

Cost savings on electrical energy and

proven metallurgical benefits.The process

advantage of a natural gas/oxygen

burner is shown in figure 7. The physical

aspects will be discussed below in

the paragraphs dealing with convection

and radiation. The reference temperatures

in figure 2, which were measured

as part of the experiment, were reached

with natural gas/oxygen heating, thus

fulfilling the requirement for the comparison:

measuring point M1, near the

inside surface, approx. 820 °C and measuring

point M3, in the middle of the

refractory lining, approx. 640 - 660 °C.

Ladle heating by means of the oxyfuel

burner differs only marginally from a ladle

in the production process heated by

molten metal. Particularly Figures 9 and

3 show that the inside surface zone retains

a similar temperature level.

Temperature difference between

the inside surface of

the refractory lining and the

subsurface measuring point

M1 (25 mm)

An important aspect to be considered is

the energy content of the temperature

difference. As shown in figure 9, after

4.5 h the porous burner achieved a temperature

of 990 °C at the surface of the

refractory lining. Compared to the temperature

achieved by the oxyfuel burner,

there is a different of more than 560 K.

The energy content in the surface zone of

the refractory lining is the same as that of

a ladle at operating temperature.

Accordingly, whenever the ladle is

heated by a porous burner, the refractory

lining needs additional energy input

of 185 K to make up for the difference

(M1, 647/832 °C) (figures 5 and 6). This

additional energy has to come from the

melting process. Consequently, higher

melt temperatures would be necessary.

Temperature in °C








Refractory temperature in °C








1530 1531

Melting temperature

in induction furnace

Figure 8: Iron temperatures for different heating methods. Temperature level of porous

burner versus O 2


0 2 4 6 8 10 12

Temperature at different refactory lining depths in cm

Figure 9: Comparison of the achieved temperatures at the measuring points in the inside

lining surface zone, in the middle of the lining and in the lining close to the ladle wall.

Comparison of heating by molten metal, natural gas/oxygen burner and porous burner

Physical aspects and comparison

of natural gas/air combustion

and natural gas/oxygen


Flame temperature

The flame temperature basically depends

on the natural gas/air or natural

gas/oxygen ratio and the burner design.

The comparison is based on the

use of natural gas (methane, figure 9).

In practice, natural gas/air combustion

only achieves flame temperatures of


Temperature in ladle, 3 min

1469 1469


molten iron



Porous burner

Porous burner

Temperature, 8 min after

pouring of the melt

< 1,700 to 1,800 °C, O 2

burners temperatures

< 2,850 °C.

Combustion with air versus combustion

with technical oxygen (approximate


» Original fuel rate:10 m³/h of natural

gas (CH4).

» Combustion at 100 m³/h of air.

» Combustion requires approx.

20 m³/h of oxygen and approx. 80 m³

of nitrogen (air: 20,9 % O 2

, 78 % N 2


16 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

Spectral radiation

Spectral radiation density

Wave length

Figure 10: Planck’s radiation law





Methane (natural gas)

Table 1:

Temperature Control.

Smart. Reliable.

» Combustion products: H 2

O and CO 2


» Lost energy (N 2

): If a temperature of

approx. 1,100 °C is measured in the

waste gas flow of the ladle, 33 % of the

required energy provided by natural

gas is needed to heat up the nitrogen.

Combustion with O 2

In case of combustion with technical

oxygen no burden in the form of nitrogen

needs to be heated. Consequently,

only 6.6 m 3 /h of natural gas are needed.

The higher flame temperature in

case of combustion with pure oxygen

(2,860 °C according to ) provides

a further energetic benefit, namely the

radiation effect (Figure 10). Versus combustion

with air, this effect reduces the

necessary energy input by another approx.

15 % . Compared to combustion

with air, the use of oxygen reduces the

consumption of natural gas to approx.

5.1 m 3 /h for virtually the same combustion

result. This equals a reduction by

approx. 50 %. Natural gas/oxygen combustion

achieves adiabatic temperatures

of more than 2,860 °C. All state-of-theart

burner equipment provides the possibility

of accurately adjusting the mixing

ratio (stoichiometry). Therefore, the

differences in efficiency depend exclusively

on the burner design.

Heat transfer by radiation

Figure 11 illustrates the heat transfer

by radiation.

» Radiation in case of porous burner

use: Gas temperature 1,300 K,

Proven quality

& Swiss precision

Reliable Swiss quality, in use successfully

for 50 years. The temperature

control units from REGLOPLAS are

convincing because of their precision,

long service life and compatibility.

Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 17



wave length 2 μm, spectral radiance

105 W/ (m² μm).

» Radiation in case of natural gas/oxygen

combustion: Gas temperature

3,100 K, wave length 0.77 μm, spectral

radiance 106 W/ (m² μm). As a result

of the higher temperatures, the

wave lengths are shorter. This produces

tenfold higher heat transfer rates.

Heat transfer by convection

No physical strategy for ladle heating

can be derived from the calculation

of the heat transfer from a gas mixture

of 1,000 °C into a refractory wall

of 1,300 °C. Actually, the wall surface

transfers heat into the combustion gas.

The consequence is that heat is extracted

from the refractory wall (surface),

leading to a drop in the wall temperature

(figure 11), but not to the heating

of the ladle.

Fluid temperature



Fluid 1

Thermal interface

Solid wall

Figure 11: Principle of heat transfer by convection

Thermal interface

Fluid 2



Fluid temperature

Negative convection

Particularly during this phase the surface

temperature has to be kept at a

high level in order for the ladle to retain

its operating temperatures for the

next melt without suffering any major

temperature changes.

Comparison: Holding at temperature

– Heating up and

holding an in-process ladle at

operating temperature

Porous burner

The burner design as well as the used

materials and their thermal properties

put constraints on the temperature control

between the inside surface of the ladle

and the burner sleeve of the porous

burner system. Consequently, the temperature

depends directly on the materials

used in the porous burner design.

A thermocouple installed in the burner

limits the heating process to a maximum

temperature of approx. 1,000 °C.

It can be assumed that the gas temperature

between the surface of the burner

sleeve and the surface of the refractory

lining in the ladle is not significantly

higher. The natural cooling curve in

Figure 12 represents cooling with the ladle

covered and without any additional

energy input. Immediately covering the

ladle is therefore more efficient than using

a porous burner.

Temperature in °C






M3 porous burner


10:04:48 10:19:12 10:33:36 10:48:00 11:02:24 11:16:48 11:31:12 11:45:36 12:00:00

Figure 12: Comparison of the natural cooling behaviour of a ladle at operating temperature

in the covered state versus use of porous burner heating for 1 h with 12.5 m

Burner use

Despite the energy input by the porous

burner, the ladle temperature fell


the ladle is covered

burner use

natural gas

Time in min

Comparison: Holding at temperature

(M1 (2.5 cm))

The ladle was transferred to the respective

burner stand right after the

melt had been poured. The intention

was to demonstrate that it would be

possible to hold the ladle at a maximum

temperature level. Figure 13

shows that the above explained physical

effects lead to the situation that in

case of porous burner use the surface

(M1) cools down, negating the heating

effect of the hot refractory surface

zone. From this it can be concluded

that the porous burner should only be

used after temperatures < 500 °C have

been reached (M3). This would mean

a waiting time of more than 3 h, without

any actual effect on the intended

18 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

Temperature in °C

Figure 13: Comparison of the temperature holding performance of a natural gas/oxygen

burner using 4 m of O 2

versus a porous burner using

of natural gas and air directly after pouring; at M1

Savings euros/year






0 10

20 30 40 50

30 000

25 000

20 000

15 000

10 000



Porous burner

Time in min

service life

Savings potential

Savings on electricity

Figure 14: Savings potential provided by a natural gas/oxygen burner based on approx.

25,000 t of molten metal per year

the use of conventional porous burners.

The shortfall in energy incurred

when using porous burners would

either have to be compensated by a

higher tapping temperature or higher

temperature losses would have to be

tolerated when pouring the first melt

(difference of up to 60 K in case of the

investigated ladle). In the overall comparison,

the cost-benefit ratio is clearly

in favour of the natural/gas oxygen


The advantages:

» high flexibility, operating temperature

after 60 to 90 min

» short non-productive times

» longer service times

» improved resistance to temperature


» cleaner ladles

» lower tapping temperature of induction


» less lining repair

Cost advantage of the natural

gas/oxygen burner

Especially the use of natural gas/oxygen

burners for heating the ladle to operating

temperature provides obvious

cost saving potential, optimizing the

overall “thermal costs” of the process

( ). The reduction in necessary

energy costs associated with the melting

process is clearly assessable. Moreover,

the problem of thermal fatigue is

alleviated, guaranteeing extended service

lives in conjunction with the effect

of cleaner ladles. The statement

that the ladles are “cleaner” is backed

by the fact that material caking from

the pouring process melts off at high

temperatures and deposits at the ladle


heating of the ladle to operating temperature.

Natural gas/oxygen burner

Immediate use of a natural gas/oxygen

burner requires extra energy and may

lead to ladle overheating. Therefore, it

is indispensible to control the burner

operation by means of thermocouples.

Operating times can be programmed

according to the size of the ladle. The

effect of ladle covering on the operating

temperature and the cooling behaviour

is shown in figure 4. After approx.

60 min, a temperature of 605 °C

(at M 3) is reached, which is almost the

same as in the beginning.


By means of natural gas/oxygen burners

it was possible to achieve operating

temperature states very similar to

those in an in-process ladle, at energy

costs not exceeding those involved in

Bottom line

In an iron foundry, the applicability

of porous burners is limited. However,

their use is justified in case of low

pouring temperatures, great wall thicknesses

and for ladle drying. Compared

to this, the use of natural gas/oxygen

burners for ladle heating achieves a

physically optimal operating result at

lower energy costs.




Pouring line during the pouring process of pouring units 1 and 2 (Photos & Graphics: M.Busch)

Steffen Geisweid and Dennis Wolzenburg, Heinrich Wagner Sinto, Bad Laasphe

Commissioning of Foundry 3plus

at M. Busch in Wehrstapel

The company M. Busch GmbH & Co. KG located in Bestwig, Germany, has made one of the

largest investments in their company history: At its site in Wehrstapel the nearly 200 years old

company positions itselves soundly for the future with the new Seiatsu molding plant using the

modern compaction process Seiatsu.plus

20 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

Figure 1: View of the two steps of the molding plant

Figure 2: Left: cope molding machine; right: drag molding machine

After 24 years of operation of the existing

Seiatsu molding plant of Foundry

3, the new molding plant type

EFA-SD Seiatsu.plus including an additional

pouring unit type P-30-M

has now been started up successfully.

Both machineries were delivered

and installed by the local “world market

leader” Heinrich Wagner Sinto

Maschinenfabrik GmbH (HWS) who

are domiciled in Bad Laasphe in South

Westphalia, Germany.

The task presented to the suppliers

was a modernization and increase of

output of the foundry at the same time.

For the scope of the molding plant, the

existing pattern plates should be useable

in the new molding plant without

any adaption, the length and the

width of the molding boxes remained


During the preliminary planning,

the logistics and material flows of the

old foundry were reassessed by Busch.

On this basis, the areas for molding,

core setting, pouring and shake-out

were defined. The use of available

building surfaces permitted installation

in 2 steps so that production was

not hindered during the first phase

of installation. The green sections in

the drawing (Figure 1) identify step 1,

the red sections show the subsequent

step 2. The flow of the molding boxes

is represented in yellow/orange.

Due to the required output of molds,

it was no longer possible to work with

one single molding machine only. As

the existing building structures had to

be maintained, it was not feasible to

use a so-called twin-type molding machine.

So HWS developed a concept

with two single molding machines

that mold the drag and the cope each.

Both molding machines are operating

with the proven Seiatsu molding

process using a multi-ram press for

the hydraulic secondary compaction.

For another increase of precision and

dimensional accuracy of the molds,

the molding machine for the copes is

equipped with the pattern-side compaction

process Seiatsu.plus of the latest

generation. In this respect, it must

be noted that the compaction from

pattern side has been realized successfully

in more than 20 molding plants

since 2004. By using this process, up

to 30 % higher values of edge compaction

can be achieved (depending on

the complexity of the component geometry)

(Figures 2 and 3).

The direction of travel is opposite to

the previous plant because of the redevelopment

of the material flows, the

core setting line could be placed into the

same area as before. Thus, the optimal

Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 21


Figure 3: Drag with molded cods for brake drums

Figure 4: View onto the drag/core setting line; left above is the cope line

connection to the core-making shop remains

as it is (Figure 4).

The pouring line was relocated to the

opposite side of the foundry which results

in a considerably shorter transportation

distance for the supply of liquid

iron. As a result of the required mold

output, there are two fully automatic

HWS pouring units type “P-30-M” (M

= accompanying changing unit of ladles)

at the pouring line. One of them

had been installed shortly before at the

previous pouring line, the second new

pouring unit is identical in design. The

key function of the pouring units is the

software-monitored fill quantity of the

ladle and data communication. Thus,

the pouring units can “decide autonomously”

which unit pours which mold

so that the logistics of the supply of liquid

metal proceed in an optimal way.

For cooling the poured molds, Busch

still relies on the proven concept of the

mold cod cooling. After a defined cooling

phase inside the molding box, two

mold cods each are transferred into a

mold jacket. The 4-floor cooling structure

that had already been installed at

the former molding plant, was extended

by using additional steel structure in

order to reach the required total cooling

time. The lifting and lowering devices

at the front faces have completely

been redesigned according to the current

state of the art. Shake-out of the

jackets is done by means of a cod lifter

that lowers the cod into the cellar and

pushes it off onto a new casting cooler.

Monitored and controlled is the

molding plant by the latest version

of the production monitoring system

ALS 2010 Advanced that has been developed

by HWS themselves. This system

provides the administration of

process and pattern parameters, the visualization

of cooling times and plant

states as well as the data communication

with the peripherals.

The GLS 2010 (monitoring system for

pouring units, Figure 5) has been developed

particularly for the administration

and processing of data of pouring

machines. It assists the plant personnel

by displaying all important process data

such as pouring weight, pouring time

and pouring temperature as well as by

the representation of molding box information

of the molds that are located

in the pouring area.

Further important functions like a

comfortable administration of pouring

parameters, an evaluation of malfunction

periods and cycle times and a detailed

logging of quantities are also part

of the standard package of this management

system. The GLS uses, of course,

the same operating interface as the ALS.

For fully automatic pouring, a repeat

accuracy of 100 % of the pouring

parameters must be ensured at the

pouring machine in case of a pattern

change. By means of an optional data

communication to the control system

of the molding plant, the transmitted

pattern number enables the automatic

loading of a pattern-specific pouring

program. Using these regulation

and control parameters, the fully automatic

pouring is started.

The whole pouring process can be

observed by an installed camera. For a

22 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

Figure 5: Monitor view of the HWS pouring unit monitoring system GLS 2010

Figure 6: Monitor view Vision Control System (VCS)

later analysis of the process, the pouring

cycles are available in an archive.

Integration to other systems is ensured

by defined interfaces, such as MRP interface,

export database or Excel or XML interface.

A tool for permanent quality assurance

is the Vision Control System

(VCS) that has also been developed by

HWS (Figure 6). This system serves for

the camera-based automatic check of

green sand molds for molding defects.

It is suitable to check the produced

molds and thus for quality assurance

at the same time. The examination is

based on a comparison of the molds

with reference data and reference parameters

that are defined and filed in

a pattern-specific way. In connection

with other data collecting and data

evaluation systems, Foundry 4.0 arrives

latest by now.

The first step had been installed in

spring 2016 and comprized the two

single molding machines, the punchout

unit, the central hydraulic station

and other peripherals. In order to be

prepared best for the critical second

step, a preliminary commissioning of

the first step had been realized, i.e. the

central hydraulic station as well as all

drives themselves have been tested in

operating mode, even the molding cycle

of the molding machines had been


During the company holidays in

summer 2016, the second step was installed.

Commissioning and acceptance

of the molding plant were carried

out on schedule and with success.

Both the existing (and relocated) and

the new second pouring unit have

started their work and are pouring now

the liquid metal fully automatically.

The new Foundry 3plus at Busch is

producing now with one of the most

modern molding plants that have

ever been delivered by HWS. Equipped

with the latest software solutions and

the compaction process Seiatsu.plus,

Busch are now well prepared for the

requirements of the future.



Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 23


Thomas Tosse, Munich

Quicker solution concepts

with ANSYS SpaceClaim

Eisenwerk Erla GmbH in Schwarzenberg, Germany, is one of the longest established companies

and most important employers in the entire Ore Mountains. The specialist for castings of turbocharger

and exhaust manifold components employs 400 specialized employees and achieved

sales of 110 million euros in 2012/13. The Development Department of the automotive supplier

uses all leading CAD systems - but only one during the offer phase: ANSYS SpaceClaim

Collaboration during product


Development activities should lead to

maximum customer satisfaction. For

this purpose, employees exploit the latest

versions of all common automotive

3-D CAD systems, e.g. CATIA, Pro/Engineer

and Solid Edge. In addition, simulation

software is used for solidification

and mold-filling processes in order to

turn customer definitions into a foundry-implementable

product as quickly

as possible, as well as find savings potentials

and optimization approaches.

iron hammer on the River Erl (Photos: ANSYS Germany GmbH)

After an eventful 600-year history, Eisenwerk

Erla is now one of Germany’s most

modern and efficient jobbing foundries.

In its lavishly renovated works, highly

specialized personnel develop, manufacture

and process demanding products in

all modern casting materials in compliance

with all environmental standards.

The range extends from mass-produced

automotive castings with complicated

and core-intensive designs in high-alloyed

materials to components for machine

construction (Figure 1). The works

has a total annual capacity of more than

23,000 tonnes for producing castings

weighing from 0.1 kg to 40 kg for more

than 200 customers worldwide. Eisenwerk

Erla advises its customers on the use

of numerous materials, from spheroidal

or lamellar graphite cast iron, through

SiMo and Ni-Resist, to stainless steel. The

company’s competences also include the

development of materials for special cases.

It maintains close relationships with

universities, and exploits modern test

bench technology in the works.

Making viable offers quickly

This begins with the comprehensive examination

of incoming customer enquiries,

as well as analysis of the specifications

on the basis of the drawings and

appropriate data sets provided, in order

to create an optimum production feasibility

assessment as quickly as possible.

Eisenwerk Erla receives new enquiries

every day. An item can take between

half-an-hour and two weeks to process,

depending on its complexity. During

this phase, the company has been using

two licenses a day from 3-D direct modeler

ANSYS SpaceClaim since 2012. The

design team got to know SpaceClaim

at Euromold 2011 and then evaluated

a test version. They were immediately

impressed by the rapid potentials for

directly manipulating geometries. No

information is available on the history

and parametric design of the original

systems because interested parties only

provide neutral STEP files of the desired

parts with their enquiries ( ).

Nevertheless, the component must be

comprehensively analyzed and requires

numerous modifications before an economically

and technically optimum offer

can be made.

24 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

models using ANSYS SpaceClaim opens

Direct manipulation of geometries

on STEP models

Without considering the development

history of the component, the direct

modeler permits rapid changes to the

filleting of the components, addition of

demolding inclines, or enlargement of

individual model areas. For cost reasons,

the castings should require as few cores

as possible for production – so the inner

contours and undercuts must also be reworked.

Particular geometries can easily

be pulled out with ANSYS SpaceClaim

and then further processed for core production.

There are simple commands

and rapid methods for arranging several

parts in clusters. Missing connectors can

also be rapidly reconstructed. “We can

carry out all manipulations of the STEP

files, from necessary foundry-related fillets

to removal of interfering contours,

quicker and easier with SpaceClaim than

with other CAD systems,” says one of the

responsible designers. Using SpaceClaim

ANSYS SpaceClaim

during this phase shortens Eisenwerk Erla’s

processing time by about 10 %.

Holistic production concept

For casting simulation, SpaceClaim provides

data in STL format so that it can be

analyzed according to the finite element

method in WinCast Experto (from RWP

GmbH in Roetgen). The data for each

optimization loop must be saved so that

one can understand modifications and,

if necessary, change them back again.

“It is helpful here if the models can be

changed with backward steps or parameters,”

say the designers. The final work

step is checking the separation of components

from the cluster. It is often necessary

to construct special equipment so

that the individual parts can be safety

and accurately separated again after casting

– another cost factor in the technical

solution. Here, too, SpaceClaim scores

with rapid geometry creation for all aspects

of existing components.

If one has ever seen a rocket take off, flown in an airplane or driven a car,

worked with a computer or mobile device, crossed a bridge, or put on wearable

technology, the chances are good that one has used a product for

which software from ANSYS played a critical role in its creation. ANSYS is

one of the world’s leading suppliers of technical simulation solutions. The

company helps the most innovative companies in the world to implement

radically better products for their customers. Insofar that ANSYS offers the

best and widest range of technical simulation software, the company helps

customers solve the most complex of design challenges and design products

that go to the limits of human imagination.

Finally, enquiries are answered with

a holistic solution concept in which all

technical and economic issues are clarified

and assured. Numerous models

and drawings from ANSYS SpaceClaim

contribute to this – the original modelling

is not supplied in the offer phase.

Creation of drawings too in


In a close network with pattern and

tool construction partners, the Development

Department determines right

from the start the best symbiosis between

the required design, accuracies

and practical implementation in production.

For this purpose, even more

meaningful drawings should in future

be created: Eisenwerk Erla wants to particularly

emphasize in the drawings certain

controlling dimensions that may

not be changed. For this purpose, there

will soon be another training course at

LINO GmbH in Hagen, the authorized

sales partner of ANSYS SpaceClaim. Except

for the basic training in 2012, and

a course on “Expanded modelling techniques”,

its services have hardly been

exploited: “ANSYS SpaceClaim really is

a very good program,” says the Design

Manager. “When direct modelling is

involved, we cannot think of any comparable

system with which very complex

external models can be so quickly

and easily processed with several measurements

and mold inclines.”


Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 25


Lu Baosheng, Changchun, China

Manufacturability of a cylinder

block sand core

Quality sand cores are a natural requirement for most high integrity castings. Just as for the castings,

the challenges are related to technical, environmental and cost aspects. One key factor for a

robust core production is manufacturability: the reliability of production considering the given facility

conditions. For FAW Foundry, core process simulation using MAGMA C+M is an important

tool to establish a robust state-of-the art production of lightweight automotive cylinder blocks

Sand core production is as complex

and demanding as the manufacture of

metal castings. A robust and high quality

production means efficient development,

reduced energy consumption

and waste, and foremost a guaranteed

consistent quality. A typical example

for these diverse targets is a core for an

automotive cylinder block being produced

for a renowned and internationally

active automobile company.

Through the consequent and early use of MAGMA C+M The FAW engineers have

saved a considerable amount of resources (Graphics: MAGMA)

Simulation at the initial

design of cores

When engineering a new product, the

FAW team, Changchun, China, uses

simulation to develop and verify their

shooting and curing process as early as

possible to ensure an effective development

process. The complex interaction

of sand and gas flow during core box filling

and binder curing can be visualized

and assessed at early stages of the design

and without the need for real core boxes

and experiments. FAW operates several

types of core shooting machines,

with different types of shoot heads, core

boxes and cores. To effectively plan the

work flow in their facility, knowledge

regarding the machine configuration

and shooting and gassing parameters

suited to produce each core is essential.

The key point was: Could FAW

manu facture the cylinder block core

on different machines, possibly with

different core boxes and core designs?

When challenged with this question,

the FAW engineers had already

successfully developed Design

A, combining their experience with

26 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

Figure 1: Sand core of design A - result of the core shooting simulation with MAGMA C+M (left), produced cores (right)

Figure 2: Simulative determination of design changes with MAGMA C + M at machine change: (left) 3-D-CAD model, design A,

(right) 3-D MAGMA model, design B

virtual experimentation in MAGMA

C+M by MAGMA Gießereitechnologie

GmbH, Aachen, Germany. The design

featured a horizontally split core

box, including optimized placement

and size of shoot nozzles and vents.

The results of the real core production

and the predictions of the simulation

matched well (Figure 1), and cores

were being produced successfully.

Testing of core production on

other machine types

However, when the core shooting machines

used were considered for production

of another core, the suitability

of a different machine type needed

to be evaluated quickly and reliably. To

get the job done, the FAW engineers

again relied on MAGMA C+M.

While the new and old designs shared

the same general concept, the possibilities

to place shoot nozzles and vents

were different (Figure 2). This mainly

concerned two nozzles on the core’s

side arms, which could no longer be

used. Regardless, the cores had to be

produced according to the same quality

specifications. Early prototyping

shop floor tests were impossible, as production

was being carried out “just in


To get a reliable answer, the engineers

created a new design, ran the

MAGMA C+M simulation and checked

the results. Within just a few hours,

their virtual experiment produced the

results needed to get them answers to

their questions.

Simulative assessment of the

First, the core box filling was evaluated

using the MAGMA C+M results

‘Sand Density’ and ‘Sand Trace’. The

Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 27


former is a criterion for the local density

of the sand and the latter shows

the shoot nozzle from which the sand

originates. Considering these results,

problematic areas where different sand

fronts meet can easily be identified. Secondly,

the binder curing was assessed.

MAGMA C+M determines the amount

of adsorbed amine in the core, indicating

core sections not cured sufficiently.

This result can also be used to identify

the smallest possible amount of amine

needed to produce sound cores, cutting

down consumable costs and avoiding

production waste.

Simulative analysis of the

curing process

As it turned out, the design modifications

resulted in critical problems. For

the filling, the results showed incompletely

filled core sections in the middle

and the lower parts of the arms.

Severe problems were also identified

Figure 3:

Figure 4:sign

B (left), not completely hardened area in the lower core half, design B (right)

28 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

FAW Foundry Co., Ltd.

...is a wholly-owned subsidiary

of the FAW Group, is a stateowned

enterprise, and is the

largest production base for automotive

castings in China. FAW

Foundry was founded in 1953

parallel to the establishment of

the FAW Group. It consists of 7

branch companies, 1 subsidiary

and 2 joint stock companies.

FAW Foundry produces iron,

aluminum, magnesium and other

nonferrous parts covering all

important automotive castings.

With its own R&D Department –

Technical Center, FAW Foundry

has capacity for casting development,

design, scientific research

and CAE application in product

design and manufacturing.

during curing, especially in sections

in the lower core half, which was insufficiently

cured. Further simulations

considering different core shooting

parameters like blowing pressure and

blowing time were quickly carried out,

but these measures could not resolve

the issues.

Based on the simulation results,

the engineers could not recommend

switching the core shooting

machines. When discussing how to

proceed, the simulation results were

essential in communicating the problems

to be expected. In the end, the

engineers’ advice was followed and a

switching of the machines avoided.

Later, a trial series with the modified

design was carried out within a research

project. Once more, these trials

showed a good match between the results

of the software and the cores produced

on the shop floor.

In the end, FAW saved significant resources

with minimal effort by consequently

using MAGMA C+M as early

as possible in engineering its core production




Christenguss AG is already producing complex sand molds in 3-D printing (Photos: Christenguss AG)

Mirela Dizdarevic, ExOne GmbH, Gersthofen

On the way to “Casting 4.0”

Industry 4.0, Foundry 4.0, Guss 4.0 – nowadays developments are occurring so fast that instead

of new concepts, only version designations are being assigned. With its vision of Guss 4.0,

Christenguss AG of Bergdietikon in Switzerland is also blazing the trail into a digital future.

The real and the virtual world are increasingly

growing together. Industry

4.0 – the fusion of modern information

and communications technology with

production – has become an essential

development and is currently a much

discussed topic. There are already a

few companies in the foundry industry

implementing innovative solutions

on the way towards Foundry 4.0. From

the outset, Christenguss AG in Switzerland

has been committed to progress.

The constant pursuit of modernization

and optimization mean that Christenguss

is already presenting itself as a top

modern foundry that manufactures

complex sand casting molds in a 3-D

printing process. It is in this way that

the Bavarian company ExOne from

Gersthofen near Augsburg provides a

valuable service with an S-Max production

printer. This allows the foundry

the production of sand molds of the

highest quality and great individuality,

from batch sizes upwards. The innovative

3-D process also takes sustainability

into account, as ExOne Sales Manager

Holger Barth explains: “Thanks to

maximum process reliability and high

product quality, the rejects are reduced

to a minimum, and only the parts that

are effectively needed are produced.

This saves resources, because the energy

required for the remelting of defective

components is reduced.”

Quality, individuality and

process safety

These points also convince Florian

Christen, CEO of the traditional family

business in its fourth generation and

a man with a strong drive for innovation.

He sees his company as an innovation

and technology leader in the

field and would like to make it the most

advanced in the industry. In his own

words, he even plans to “fundamentally

change the entire foundry industry

with innovative Ideas.” Christen

wants to consciously use the opportunities

offered through digitization

in the foundry – both for itself and for

its customers. His vision is called Guss

4.0 (Guss is a play on words in German,

meaning “cast” or “casting”). If in the

future things go according to his wishes

the production of each individual

casting will be able to be automatically

controlled and regulated. The desire

to increase efficiency and to optimize

product quality forms the background

of his plans. Besides Guss 4.0, which

is the vision of a fully automated cast-

30 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

Figure 1: For complex internal contours, the contours of the casting are measured

by means of a CT scan

ing process, Christenguss is putting its

faith in using the latest technology in

the digital detection of raw parts. This

is a costly undertaking, especially due

to the fact that in older models, it is often

the case that no drawings or original

data are available (anymore) to

form the basis of the casting’s digitalization.

To also avoid storage, insurance

and inspection costs and to prevent

tool loss, the tool data can be digitized

and archived as a precaution.

In each of these cases, the solution

is “reverse engineering”, i.e. detailed

reverse engineering. In conjunction

with 3-D printing, this is not only an

efficient method for simulating parts

that are no longer available, it is often

the only way to reconstruct certain

components quickly and at relatively

low cost. Christenguss uses the ExOne

S-Max for 3-D printing.

Since the digital capture of castings using

laser scanning are pushed to their

limits especially when it comes to complex

inner contours (Figure 1), in this

case Christenguss also has the option to

detect with a CT scan. In this process,

the raw part is x-rayed three-dimensionally

so that even the most complex inner

contours are mapped. A dataset is then

generated in the STL format from the CT

scan. This dataset or the corresponding

same point-clouds are read in the course

of reverse engineering and the data is

aligned to the coordinate system. After

performing data analysis, non-cast-relevant

parts are removed and the polygons

are optimized. Using SolidWorks design

software, the part is then constructed

digitally and the casting systems and

the mold are drawn ( ). Then,

the mold is printed at Christenguss on

the ExOne S-Max and cast on site. Lastly,

the finished cast blank finally undergoes

a visual inspection. The timeline

for the entire process from the CT scan

to the finished blank only amounts to

about three to four weeks. Thus, the respective

digital three-dimensional data

can be obtained very quickly from any

existing object of any size or shape without

the original data.

“Obsolete parts can thus be quickly

reproduced in reverse engineering

by means of the digital process,” confirms

Holger Barth of ExOne. “For example,

if the original manufacturer is

no longer in business or no longer offering

the part.” He also makes the point

that Christenguss has become a real

specialist in the field of tool-less mold

production – particularly by using the

S-Max-printer: “It produces complex

sand cores and molds directly from CAD

data, eliminating the need for physical

models. In this way, Christenguss even

produces complex inner contours with

a printed sand core from the S-Max.”

Changes and optimizations in the CAD

data can be immediately implemented

in the product design and the casting

can therefore start within a short time

and without additional tools. There is

also a great freedom of design when

printing detailed, high-precision cores

and complex geometries.

In conclusion, Florian Christen again

refers to time and cost savings: “Thanks

to the 3-D-printing of the molds, positioning

systems can also be integrated

directly into the sprue for a casting.

As a result, this means specific set-ups

for machining and plastering of parts

are only necessary to a very limited extent.”

This is another benefit for the

foundry and thus also for their customers

– and a wonderful prospect for Florian

Christen’s vision of Guss 4.0.

The casting systems and the casting mold are generated in the software


Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 31


Robert Piterek, German Foundry Association, Düsseldorf

On course for

a new safety culture

Georg Fischer Automotive initiated its Zero-Risk Campaign in 2015 with a series of posters, a

training video and a variety of events. The aim is to considerably increase safety at work at production

sites in Europe, Asia and America. The campaign, which will last for several more years,

“Safety at work is not a sexy topic.”

Tina Köhler has no illusions and

adds, “When colleagues talk to an employee

about wearing protective goggles

his request will most probably receive

a grumpy response.” The head

of communications at Georg Fischer

(GF) wants the Zero-Risk Campaign to

change this attitude to safety at work at

all the Group’s works and thus ensure

that all workers are healthy when they

go home in the evening. The Manager

of Marketing & Communication has

set the bar high: safety rules should become

second nature for all Group employees

so that one day they will thank

their colleagues for such instructions.

Tina Köhler (GF Automotive’s Head of Communication), Robert Piterek (BDG-Editor)

and Frank Bettinger (Manager of Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety at

GF Singen) during a tour of the works at the Georg Fischer foundry in Singen (left to

right, Photos: Klaus Bolz).

Accidents happen because

risks are taken

Georg Fischer decided to call it the

Zero-Risk Campaign because Köhler

wants this campaign to fight the causes

of accidents. “Accidents happen because

risks are taken,” she explains. And “Zero-Risk”

should gain worldwide recognition

and thus be standardized at all the

Group’s works. Köhler’s fervent commitment

to greater awareness of risk comes

from an accident at the Georg Fischer

works in the Westgerman city of Mettmann

that focused her attention on

health and safety at work. Since then she

has been using marketing and communication

methods to advocate maximum

safety at her employer’s production sites.

With support from the Head of GF

Automotive, Josef Edbauer, the campaign

got underway at all the company’s

works in Germany, Austria and

32 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

The almost-silent electric fork-lift trucks

are equipped with a blue light in order

to prevent accidents caused by collisions

with them.

sponsible for environmental protection

and occupational safety at the

Singen works, early on started aiming

to reduce accident rates to zero.

The Singen works of Georg Fischer

Automotive is a high-tech factory

where manual work on its five production

lines has been reduced to a minimum

over the course of time. As in

many other modern foundries, robots

are components of foundry equipment

that are now taken for granted, as are

ergonomic workplaces, e.g. for core

insertion and the machining of castings.

But this cannot completely rule

out the risk of an accident for the workers,

even if accident rates have fallen

considerably. The Zero-Risk Campaign

was therefore right on cue for Bettinger,

who has been working at the automotive

suppliers for more than 25

years: “Here in Singen we had already

introduced some effective measures

before the campaign started. The introduction

of a safety culture was the

next important step for us.”

Smelter in full gear at an induction furnace in the works. The personal protective equipment

used by GF’s smelters has no back because no danger is posed from this direction.

“We want to protect workers whilst burdening them as little as possible,” says Frank


China in 2015. This affected more than

5,000 employees, who had achieved

production of 600,000 tonnes of iron

and light metal castings in 2015 with

sales worth 1.23 billion euros. The focus

was initially on the three most frequent

types of accidents – involving

eye injuries, serious cuts, or tripping

up. Whereby the benchmark for the

correct treatment of health and safety

at work was the Georg Fischer Singen

iron foundry near Lake Constance,

which employs about 1,100 personnel

and had already been making great

efforts to reduce the number of accidents

since 2010. Frank Bettinger, re-

The illusion of invulnerability

It is in the nature of accident prevention

measures that they eventually

reach their limits: “We do a lot for our

employees, but cannot wrap them in

cotton wool or keep them in a bubble

– there is no 100 % safe work,” admits

Bettinger. So there is no way around

having a safety culture in order to

minimize residual risks. The aim must

be to place safety at work in the foreground

so that employees are always

aware of potential risks. But one cannot

simply decree a safety culture – because

there are three human behavioral

traits against it: “Firstly, there is

the illusion of invulnerability that we

all know from driving,” explains Tina

Köhler. “Most of us are convinced that

we will not have a car accident – it only

happens to others. Recognizing this

illusion is important in order to increase

awareness for safety at work,”

she stresses. Then there is the risk of

too much or too little routine during

the work. Both are considered frequent

causes of accidents. Finally, there is our

treatment of rules which, for various

reasons (such as time pressures), are

not observed. Breaches of the rules rapidly

become dangerous for one’s own

health and that of others.

The communication experts at

Georg Fischer avoid the use of shocking

pictures in order to make the series

of campaign posters as effective as possible.

The reason: pictures of bloody

helmets or amputated limbs achieve

the opposite to what is intended. Experts

confirm that this merely results

Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 33


in a suppression of the risks. The posters

therefore have an almost aesthetic

design, a blue eye patch, a pink crack

in a hand, or yellow stairs deviding a

male’s leg, bearing the slogan “Everything

is fine before the accident. Everything

is different afterwards.” The focus

is on the content!

Machining castings at GF Singen. Fettlers need particularly good protection while


Campaign prevents every

The three topics were then worked on

at the various sites last year. First came

the warning against eye injuries, accompanied

by appropriate posters

and events, as well as the so-called

“walk-in eye” that made a stopover

in Singen for three days. This allowed

the personnel to admire a large walkin

eye, undergo an eye test, and have

their intraocular pressure measured.

Whereby the highlight was that they

could also be temporarily deprived

of their eyesight there. Tina Köhler is

certain that, “This gave them a totally

different understanding of the topic.”

GF Singen also invited the employees

and their families to coffee

and cake in the works. “Our ulterior

motive for this was that the presence

of their families at the works provided

stimuli to avoid taking any risks,”

Bettinger remembers. There was also

an event organized by UVEX, which

produces protective goggles. Beyond

2016, further events on the topics of

hand injuries and tripping risks will

then follow. A glance at the accident

figures clearly shows that the campaign

has had an effect – they fell by

more than a quarter (26 %) during the

first six months of 2016, compared to

the same period of the previous year.

There has been a reduction of about

20 % in the number of accidents compared

to the business years of 2015

and 2016.

Shake-out station for cast iron. Cranes for handling the castings provide ergonomic support for the employees during their work

34 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

Taking your eye off the ball

No accidents at work

Everything is fine before an accident.Everything changes after one.

For you, your family and your friends. Don’t let it come to that. Protect

yourself! Don’t take any risks. Look out for yourself – and for your

co- workers.

Aesthetic series of posters: potential dangers

at works are referred to tastefully

during the Zero-Risk Campaign

The core-setting line of a molding plant. Protective goggles and hearing protection

are standard safety equipment at almost all workplaces

On-site risk assessment is


Georg Fischer’s safety at work campaign

has had a dramatic effect on accident

figures throughout the Group.

The main work for the wellbeing of the

employees, however, will continue to be

carried out by those responsible on-site,

such as Frank Bettinger. When he talks

about his everyday work it soon becomes

clear that he is leaving no stone

unturned in order to prevent accidents

at the Singen works or rule out any repetition

of them: a three-man team is constantly

underway among the roughly

1,100 employees at the site to provide

information on safety at work and carefully

investigate how any accidents occurred.

There were 63 accidents at work

last year, a fall of almost 60 % compared

to 2010 (during which 148 accidents

occurred) – a major success that

can be traced back to Bettinger’s commitment,

in particular. He and his team

enter departments every day and observe

the processes in order to estimate

the risks. Modifications, that could be

new sources of risk for the employees’

workplaces, are often undertaken on

the extended company grounds in central

Singen. When new workers are engaged,

Bettinger tries as hard as possible

to rule out potential hazards before

they start work – from individual provision

of personal protective equipment

(PPE) to ergonomy at the workplace.

For the experienced engineer, poor ergonomic

working conditions are “Accidents

waiting to happen, that must be

closely monitored, particularly considering

demographic change.”

He faces a mammoth task by the end

of 2017: training all 1,100 employees

within the framework of the Zero-Risk

Campaign. But instead of throwing his

hands up in horror because of having

to organize 80 - 100 courses in groups

of 10 - 15 personnel, the Manager of

Environmental Protection and Occupational

Safety is looking forward to

being able to give his specialist field

a completely new significance in the

company, and he is already certain

that the campaign will change the

company from within.

A training video has been made for all

the sites – in German, English and Chinese

– in order to drive forward and stabilize

cultural change in the company.

The video portrays the sources of risk

in an exaggerated form and shows what

should not happen. Executives and

managers are all closely integrated in

the process. An accident occurring in,

say, Singen must be investigated by the

manager, documented, and preventive

long-term or short-term measures defined.

“And he or she must immediately

ensure that the accident does not happen

again during the next shift,” stresses

Bettinger. “We thus obtain very good

information, and will continuously improve

safety at work,” he adds.

Zero-Risk Campaign to be


Talks about the second phase of the

Zero-Risk Campaign have already taken

place with Dirk Lindemann, Head

of Iron Casting Europe, and Markus

Rosenthal, Head of Light Metal

Die-Casting Europe. The further course

of the campaign will be decided at a

meeting scheduled for autumn. Then

this information will be passed on to

the Managing Directors of the works.

According to Frank Bettinger, positive

side-effects of the efforts undertaken on

the topic of occupational safety include

the reduced number of sick days among

employees, fewer plant downtimes, and

– as Tina Köhler stressed – the additional

attractiveness of jobs: “Unfortunately,

many people still believe that foundries

are dirty, loud and dangerous. The

entire sector has to move away from this

image – the up-and-coming generation

wants highly technical jobs, so we have

to do something about safety at work!”


Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 35


Ralf Paarmann, Burscheid

The future is big!

The potentials for improvement, however, is to be found in the small details, one could say. Although

northern Germans tend to be on the quiet side, one exception is located on the River Elbe.

Global Castings GmbH, in Stade, is developing at record speed and, although everything is consis-


has taken place there in collaboration with blasting media producer Ervin Amasteel

The stage was set for growth when the

Danish Global Castings Group took

over the foundry of Casting Technology

Stade (CTS) in August 2014.

The production site now extends to

30,000 m² and the number of employees

has risen from 30 to 170. Casting at

Stade mainly consists of components

for offshore wind energy – workpieces

that weigh 20 to 60 tonnes each.

With two 40-tonne melting furnaces,

the company is designed for casting

and processing unit weights of up to

120 tonnes. These northern Germans

therefore rank among the true heavyweights

of casting technology.

Three times a month became

four times a day

As a result of its rapid development –

casting in Stade used to take place only

two or three times a month, but now

occurs three to four times a day – decisions

at Global Castings have to be

made quickly. “We do not take long

practising, we simply act,” explains

Marian Bienek, Production Manager

at Global Castings in Stade. Given

this drive, there was an immediate reaction

when the cleaning results for

the steel-casting giants no longer met

quality demands, necessitating laborious

and time-intensive post-processing

in Denmark before delivery. This

was not compatible with the company’s

straightforward philosophy.

Read more on page 38 >>

Among other things, the offshore windenergy

industry relies on high-quality cast

components produced by Global Castings

in Stade (Photo: Shutterstock)


Attention turned to the steel


Global Castings wanted to achieve

the best possible surface quality onsite

and was prepared to make the corresponding

changes to the parameters

involved in cleaning the castings.

Production Manager Oliver Schmidt

( Figure 1) focused on the blasting-media:

“It was only a matter of nudging all

the other factors, adjusting the numbers

behind the decimal point. But

when it came to the blasting-media we

believed that we could make the most

difference here, i.e. achieve shorter

blasting-times, lower costs, longer service

lives and, above all, considerably

better cleaning performance.” The bottom

line was that quality and economic

efficiency had to be right.

Before the takeover by Global Castings,

blasting was carried out in Stade with

a high-carbon round-grain steel blasting-media

from a Slovenian producer.

This used to be sufficient, according

to Schmidt: “The demands made

of the parts we produced were lower

at that time; the surface became verifiably

clean at some point – finished.”

Quality demands rose enormously

with Global Castings and the focus on

construction for offshore wind-energy

plants, because the standards and inspection

requirements for the wind industry

are extremely high, particularly

for components that are installed at

sea and exposed to considerable stresses.

“If something fails there, one cannot

simply nip out to a wind turbine of

these dimensions and repair it quickly.

Things have to work properly for at

least 30 years,” comments Schmidt.

The Global Castings Group

The international Global Castings Group in Denmark has other production

sites in Denmark, Sweden and China. The Group is owned by the VTC

holding company in Munich. www.globalcastings.com

The production site of Ervin Amasteel Germany is located in Glaubitz.

The parent company is located in the USA. www.ervin.eu

Figure 1: Production Manager Oliver Schmidt (left) and Marian Bienek (Photo: Ralf Paarmann)

An Amamix from Ervin

Amasteel, made up of shot

and grit, was the favourite

So Global Castings started scouring

the European market for a new steel

blasting-media that could meet all

the demands. In the end, a product

from blasting-media producer Ervin

Amasteel proved decisive. The right

blasting-media mix was quickly found

in collaboration with the experts from

Ervin (which has been operating a

production site in Glaubitz in Saxony

since 2014). A mixture of high-carbon

round grain (shot) and a medium-hard

high-carbon angular grain (grit) was

chosen. A series of tests in the laboratory

showed that the Amamix (Figures 2

and 3) would probably not only meet,

but clearly exceed, the requirements of

Global Castings.

in practice

Workpieces at Global Castings are

blasted via seven turbines in an overhead-rail

blasting-plant designed for

large castings. All the laboratory results

with the Amasteel blasting-media

were confirmed here. Without

damaging the material surfaces, the

cleaning performance of the Amamix

was considerably better than

that achieved with the previous blasting-media.

Furthermore the low consumption

of the Amasteel product was

a positive side effect. No detour via

Denmark has been necessary for the

castings since then.

38 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

It was not only the result that impressed

Schmidt, but also the straightforwardness

of the blasting-media producer:

“We explained what we needed

and that is precisely what we got. There

was a mutual exchange of experiences

that rapidly brought us to our objective.

And when we at Global Castings

see that the path taken is going in

the right direction, then we consistently

continue along it and make the appropriate


The direction is towards large

castings in serial production

This is equally true of the entire development

of the company in Stade. For,

while others are getting smaller and

disappearing into micro-technology,

precisely the opposite is taking place

at Global Castings. “The future is big,”

Schmidt is certain. The production processes,

the casting plant and the finishing

work with the installation of two

enormous new machining centres, are

designed for high-volume production at

the foundry. In addition, there will soon

be a second blasting-shop to ensure

that surface treatment does not lag behind

at Stade. The production of higher

unit weights in serial quality makes the

foundry unusual in the sector.

Figure 2: Amamix fresh grain (Photos: Axel Elkemann/Amasteel)

Figure 3: Amamix operating mixture.

Port terminal was an important

locational factor

The site at Stade was deliberately chosen

from this point of view. In addition

to the modern foundry, there is a port

terminal on the company grounds – a

decisive factor. The extremely heavy

workpieces can be delivered rapidly

and economically to their destinations

by ship from the port. The personnel

at Stade want nothing to do with the

rigid and closed image that foundries

have. “We are open at Global Castings

and have discussions with other companies.

Our own employees also come

from a variety of sectors. One constantly

has to learn, develop and improve,”

states Schmidt. The company leaves

nothing to chance in its continuous

optimization process, because potential

is often found in the little things,

even for those who play big as in this

case with the blasting-media.


Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 39


Dieter Beste, Düsseldorf

Matthies Druckguss: combining

tradition with innovation!

Longstanding customers and loyal personnel – Jörn Matthies has many constants at his works.

After all, Matthies Druckguss is a real family-run company whose 60-year history makes it highly

appreciative of its values. There is also, however, a lot of change in the range of activities offered

by Matthies Druckguss. And a focus on the future. Important prerequisites that enable the entrepreneur

to compete on the market, and even prove that he is a pioneer

Since 1974 Jörn Matthies has been continuing

what his father, Willy Matthies,

started in 1955: die-casting production.

In 2008 Jörn’s son Marco also

joined Matthies Druckguss as Works

Manager. And with him 20 more employees

in production and administration.

Many of the personnel have been

loyal to the company for more than 25

years. A real family-run company. And

one that can evidently take on the big

players. This is no accident, but the result

of an unflagging innovative spirit.

The company’s impressive variety of

working materials, for example, is convincing:

it offers a total of nine different

aluminum, zinc and brass alloys.

Moreover, the company undertakes

unit numbers that competitors only

rarely offer – with minimum runs from

just 1,000 units per series. That this is

profitable, despite the high mold costs

that initially accrue for die-casting, is

also due to the large number of active

customers. Many of them regularly

have their castings produced by Matthies,

sometimes over decades. This is

another steady feature of the company’s

history. In addition to German

customers, Matthies also supplies companies

from Austria, Romania, Norway

or India, for example. Customers come

from the most varied of sectors: from

machine construction to sanitary engineering.

Most of the products are

destined for use in safety technology

and shading equipment (including

castings for awnings, blinds and other

elements that provide protection

Successful together! The Matthies team builds upon personal contact, a holistically functioning process chain, and extensive expertise

(Photos: Matthies).

40 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

against the sun). New markets have

been opened up in the lighting industry

thanks to the increasing use of LED


A holistic process chain for

high added value

The company’s ambition is to present

customers with precisely the result

that they want. And with a quality that

sets standards. In order to ensure that

this is the case, Matthies Druckguss

employs a completely holistic process

chain – from the very first consultation,

through acceptance of the pattern,

to production itself. This also includes

the machining that gives the

products their final finishing touches.

CNC processing and milling are now

an integral part of the company’s portfolio,

further distinguishing Matthies

from the pack.

And the company never loses sight

of quality management, including

not just inspection and measurement

technology, but also the regular training

of employees. This keeps standards

high. Finally, the company maintains

its own forwarding company – ensuring

reliable, safe deliveries that arrive

on time.

Matthies cast design – surface

The brand Matthies cast design is the

company’s latest milestone. This process

of surface finishing makes it possible,

for the first time, to produce optically

high-quality die-castings with

A good ERP system supports the employees

with documentation and archiving.

Matthies exploits state-of-the-art measuring equipment and inspection methods, such

as X-ray inspection, spectral analyses and heat-imaging cameras

in compliance with the DIN EN ISO

9001:2008 standard since 2003

Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 41


high-gloss polishing. And economically

too, which in turn ensures that

the castings can be used for decorative


Thus, for example, high-gloss polished

aluminum castings are excellent

for the furniture industry, for the interiors

of vehicles, or for décor. The production

process is also advantageous

for corrosion protection. The new process

helps protect the environment

and cuts costs because it does not require

any expensive galvanic chrome

plating of the parts. The use of acids,

chemical cleaners and additional polishing

waxes is also unnecessary, and

the electricity consumption of the production

steps is considerably reduced.

Customers expect complete


Jörn Matthies considers activities such

as these vital if his company is to remain

competitive in the long term,

“Customers do not want to take any

risks nowadays. They therefore expect

a single contact that will take on the

entire responsibility, consolidate their

requirements, and offer them complete

solutions. This has changed our

role enormously over time: we now

mainly consider ourselves to be service

providers.” And many customers want

to keep their stocks to a minimum –

which is fine for Matthies considering

the low unit numbers that they can

deliver if necessary. Despite his service-provider

attitude, however, the

entrepreneur also considers a cooperative

approach with his customers important:

“Both sides should make sure

that the joy of doing business remains

intact, and that one can meet and work

together as equals.”

Exchanges within the sector

How are customer demands changing?

What direction is the market

taking? These are also questions that

interest the Coastal Group of the German

Foundry Association (BDG). The

Committee represents eight northern

German foundry companies. Jörn

Matthies has been involved with it as

the Chairman for six years. He profits,

above all, from the possibility of

exchanging information within the

Matthies Druckguss is now managed by Jörn Matthies. Since 2008 he has been supported

by his son Marco Matthies (right) as Works Manager

View of the production hall at Matthies Druckguss

sector. “The Group provides an ideal

platform for discussing certain topics

and for learning from the experiences

of the other members.” The agenda

often includes costs meetings, for example,

at which representatives from

the companies discuss price structures

in the sector as well as savings potentials.

“This allows us to better assess

where we stand and what challenges

we will have to expect in the future.”

And he does not underestimate the importance

of this opportunity to drive

forward BDG activities, and thus influence

political decisions made in the

sector’s interests.

In November 2016 the company was

re-certified as being in compliance

with DIN EN ISO 9001:2008. A sign

that Matthies Druckguss continues to

take his values and intentions seriously

– and is working to achieve the best

castings results for his customers.


42 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017



Since November 2016, RGU GmbH,

Dortmund, Germany, has a new presence

in the Asia-Pacific region with an

operation based in Singapore covering

all markets as its regional Headquarter.

“The new entity opens up possibilities

for strategic and project-related

work directly on site. We believe in this

region and are establishing our RGU.

FRP software family here – increasing

our presence in the Asia-Pacific region,”

says Ronald Kreft, Managing Director

of RGU GmbH.

RGU was founded in 1984. For more

than 30 years the company has been

delivering specific software solutions

to foundries. From the initial enquiry

through to when cast parts are ready

for shipment, RGU supports processes

with its RGU.FRP software.

Because RGU focuses exclusively on

foundries, FRP stands for Foundry Resource

Planning (derived from Enterprise

Resource Planning, ERP).


This year the Faculty of Foundry Engineering

in Krakow, Poland, can look

back on 65 years of R&D in foundry

technology. The occasion was celebrated

in a two-day event in Krakow.

Two scientific sessions for graduate and

PhD students were held on the first

day along with an industries session

where, amongst other things, practice

in foundries and modern research solutions

and measuring instruments for

science and industry were considered.

The day of celebrations ended with a

traditional Foundryman’s Ball organized

by the faculty student council

at the Faculty of Foundry Engineering.

The main part of the 65th anniversary

of the Faculty of Foundry Engineering

took place on the second day

in the Witek Conference Center in Krakow.

This Jubilee gathered together

over 200 participants and was attended

by the department staff and a large

group of invited guests, representing

the domestic and foreign research

units and academic associations related

to casting. The anniversary was attended

by representatives of international

scientific institutions including

the University of Jonkoping, Sweden,

the University of Bucharest, Romania,

the Central Metallurgical R & D Institute,

Egypt, and the University of Burgundy,


The Faculty of Foundry Engineering

at AGH (AGH University of Science and

Technology Krakow) educates specialists

for the whole spectrum of foundry

technology, making it a unique faculty

of this profile and scope within universities

in Poland and Europe. The Faculty

educates in two fields of study – engineering

of foundry processes and

computer-aided engineering processes

– and offers full-time and extramural

engineering, MA and PhD courses.

There are four departments: the department

of foundry process engineering;

the department of cast alloys and

composites engineering; the department

of molding materials, mold technology

and cast non-ferrous metals;

and the department of chemistry and

corrosion of metals. A very important

activity is the collaboration with leading

universities and research centres in

Poland and abroad. The Faculty actively

co-operates with approx 80 % of the

country’s almost 500 foundries.

Source: Foundry Trade Journal

Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 43


Two companies – O/Cava Meccanica

S.P.A., Ferrere, Italy and Heinrich Wagner

Sinto (HWS), Bad Laasphe, Germany

– have committed themselves to a

joint approach towards the foundry industry,

based on trust and mutual technical


O/Cava Meccanica is a leading company

producing high-quality casting

components for industrial vehicles, axles

and agricultural machinery. It

strives to offer customers high-tech finished

products with high added-value.

HWS, a world-class manufacturer of

tight-flask molding lines, aims to continue

its approach to achieve perfection

in every single mold.

In May 2017, HWS was awarded an order

for a completely new molding line for

O/Cava Meccanica’s foundry in Ferrere.

Flask size is 940x940x400+60/350 mm

with a maximum capacity of 200 molds

per hour. The line is equipped with a ZFA-

SD 5 twin-molding machine with Seiatsu

airflow and multi-ram piston squeezing,

combined with Seiatsu.plus cope and

drag from the pattern side. It completely

replaces the old molding machine and

line installed in 1990.

Initial concept meetings between O/

Cava and HWS took place about threeand-a-half

years ago. Various scenarios

were discussed before finally achieving

joint approval of a new concept converting

a molding line with vertical and

horizontal electro-mechanical drive

systems and cooling inside the cooling

house to double cooling jackets within

a welded structure.

Just two years ago, O/Cava awarded

HWS an order to replace the existing

Mecana pouring automat. Nine months

later, the new HWS automatic pouring

system passed the final acceptance test.

During the design, installation and

commissioning phases both companies

confirmed that this partnership would

be further expanded, and that that they

would team up to rebuild the heart of

the foundry, i.e. the molding plant.


Refining technology by Monometer,

Leigh-on-Sea, UK is now being applied

successfully to achieve selective removal of

heavy metal impurities down to 100ppm

in copper secondary metallurgy. Related

applications for this technology include

degassing, desulphurization and decarburizing.

Metallurgical treatment combines

flux injection with gaseous diffusion and

is supported by plc-controlled and repeatable

variable flame chemistry.

Utilizing established Monometer rotary

furnace operating parameters and

design, the Monometer refining technology

integrates seamlessly with existing

processes of smelting, refining and

alloying. With optional retro-integration,

foundries achieve the higher purities

and specifications of products typically

associated with more costly feed

materials – despite using lower-grade

charge materials.

The rotary furnace technology of the

British company extends to smelting

the typical foundry dross and oxide

wastes formed during normal furnace

operations. Each of the smelting, refining

and alloying processes is carried out

Monometer Rotary Furnace

(Photo: Monometer)

44 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

in a single furnace system for a range of

metal specifications while avoiding carryover

contamination between cycles.

For example, Monometer’s recent installation

in the Chelyabinsk region of

Russia enabled the production of copper

granules from Birch/Cliff scrap to a suitable

specification for the ultimate production

of copper sulphate for the food industry.

Monometer supplied the turnkey

installation including the furnace system,

charger, flux injector, refining injection

technology and bag house filter system.

The Monometer furnace system is typically

supplied with a 4.5 to 6 tonne capacity

Monometer rotary tilting furnace, although

furnaces with bath capacities up

to 10 m 3 are available as standard. All furnace

sizes are suitable for higher temperature

processes, such as the treatment of

copper concentrate, sponge iron and

metallur gical adjustment of cast irons, or

may be applied to applications such as degassing

of aluminium, by the diffusion of

argon or nitrogen, and targeted element

removal such as for sulphur and carbon.

Heavy metals such as nickel require cycles

of selective flux treatment in the process of

oxidation followed by reduction. Other

components of the plant may include the

Monometer low dust and low noise rotary

charger, porous gas diffusion technology,

oxy-fuel burner system, exhaust filter for

all particulates and fines including hooding,

settler, bag filter, the fluxing agents injector,

and consumable spare parts.

Monometer continues to develop rotary

furnace technology to increase flexibility

and thermal efficiency. As part of this programme

fully regenerative burner systems

suitable for a range of medium temperature

processes are now supplied in areas where

oxygen is either relatively expensive or

practically unavailable.Regenerative burners

offer energy efficiency and reduced cycle

times approaching the performance of

oxy-fuel melting, without consuming

bought-in oxygen. Monometer’s lower cost

options for burner technology include low

no x

systems operating with high efficiency

multi-pass tubular recuperators, and a

range of low and medium pressure burners.

All Monometer burners are designed to operate

with most liquid fuels incl. standard

furnace and diesel oils, reclaimed oils, coal

tar fuels and many bio fuels.

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way to improve quality control in their visual inspection process

with Hawkeye ® Pro Borescopes. We stock over 80 models of rigid,

flexible and video borescopes, and accessories. The right scope for

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South Africa is actively expanding

supply-side support for local metals

and components manufacturing as

the manufacturing industry moves

into the fourth industrial revolution.

In addition, South African (SA) metal

casting businesses need to transform

in terms of human capital, innovation

and sustainability to arrest the decline

of the sector and compete on a global


South Africa has about 170 foundries

which directly employ about 9,500

people. A total of 25 foundries have

closed in South Africa since 2010, shedding

1,600 jobs.

This emerged at the Metal Casting

Conference in March which was held

in Johannesburg and included the

World Foundry Organisation (WFO)

Technical Forum as well as the 7th

BRICS Foundry Forum.

“In the next Industrial Policy Action

Plan (IPAP), we are emphasizing the

importance of supporting the metals

and casting industries to modernize

and grow. This requires support in

terms of research and development,

human resource development and

supply-side support in the form of incentives

for the metals and agroprocessing

industries. Along with demand-side

initiatives, such as local

procurement designations, this support

will help to grow demand,” said

General Lionel October, Director of the

South African Department of Trade &


The 291 delegates heard emphasis

being given to new markets and strategy

as well as leaders for the future in

the plenary sessions. Metallurgy, technology

and processes were covered in

industry and technical presentations

as well as academic streams, and 28 exhibitors

participated in the exhibition.

John Davies, CEO of the South African

Institute of Foundrymen, said,

“Foundries need to embrace and adapt

to the new manufacturing technologies

of the fourth industrial revolution

by being informed of the latest research

and developments. While there

are challenges, ultimately there is a

need to modernize for sustainability.”

Some of the challenges faced by

foundries include the costs of compliance

with new regulations, such as air

emissions standards. They put a strain

on small and medium-sized foundry


businesses, which are also dealing with

a lack of off-take agreements and high

levels of capital investment requirements

due to ageing infrastructure and

capital equipment.

The 7th BRICS Foundry Forum, in

conjunction with the World Foundry

Organisation working group for Human

Capital Development, hosted a

collaboration workshop with international

and local industry players to

find practical and immediate actions

to drive the growth of the global industry.

New site in China

In order to meet the increasing demands of clients throughout

the country and serve as a hub to support clients and projects

throughout the Asia Pacific region, the site of Italpresse

in China has been relocated to a larger shop in Kunshan.

Italpresse, Capriano del Colle, Italy, has been active in

China since 1990 and the branch in Shanghai was established

in 2005 with the aim of supporting sales activities,

project management and service for local customers.


Vibration machines and conveying technology

Project planning – Manufacturing - Service

www.convitec.net · 069 / 84 84 89 7- 0

The site will be coordinated by Marco Antonacci, the new

General Manager of Italpresse Kunshan Die Casting Equipment,

CO, LTD., who will be supporting customers as regards

sales, spare parts, service and technical requests with the cooperation

of the onsite sales and service team.

“Our expansion in China’s market reflects our continuing

commitment to providing superior service to our global clients

as well as our local China-based clients,” stated Antonacci,

“The entire Asia-Pacific market remains a key strategic

area for Italpresse.”

Every year the Chinese market demands further improved

quality and performance, which is why Italpresse intends to

improve its presence in China. The new site intends to meet

the needs of the customers, increasing spare parts availability

on site, customer care and project management capability.

46 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

In the manufacture of castings, the molten

metal’s temperature is still often

measured manually with immersion

thermometers. For measuring, the immersion

probe is dipped into the melt.

A new element is necessary for each

measurement. Because of costs of about

1 US-dollar (0.9 euro) per element, the

mere running costs reach several thousand

dollars a year. Excluding costs for

the operating personnel.

With the modern CellaTemp PT 183

infrared thermometer from Keller HCW,

Ibbenbüren-Laggenbeck, Germany, the

operator of the casting machine can

now measure infrared radiation – and

thus the temperature of the molten

metal – without contact and from a safe

distance. The device, specially developed

for measuring molten metals, can

detect the correct temperature of slag

and oxide-free surfaces within seconds

due to its intelligent filter function. The

two-color or dual wavelength measuring

method ensures stable and accurate

temperature readings, despite dust and

smoke in the field of view. The rectangular

measuring area of the pyrometer

also contributes towards reliable measurement,

even in a fluctuating pouring


The portable CellaTemp PT 183 is

used at the runner of blast and cupola

furnaces, when pouring into the ladle,

and especially when pouring the melt

into molds. This measuring location, in

particular, is decisive for the process and

enables the control and documentation

of compliance with the permitted pouring

temperature for each casting produced.

Proof of compliance with the necessary

pouring temperature cannot be

provided because the temperature is

measured using immersion probes in

the furnace or ladle before filling. Complex

components have a scrap rate well

over 10 %. Measurement with the pyrometer

can reduce the scrap rate to below

3 %. The resulting cost savings amount

to several thousand dollars a month, depending

on output quantities.

Fixed measuring systems with connection

to central data acquisition are

available on the market. The CellaTemp

PT 183 mobile device is used for quick

checks in between. A patented traffic

light status indicator, integrated in the

viewfinder, tells the user the optimum

measuring distance.

In contrast to immersion thermometers,

infrared thermometers are wearfree,

maintenance-free and extremely

long-lived. Investment costs are therefore

amortized in 2 - 3 months.

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Briquetting systems

4 pages, English

This brochure outlines the range of metal chips briquetting machines offered by RUF

Maschinenbau. With the systems, metals can be processed into briquettes measuring

between 60x50 mm and 150x120 mm with throughput rates between 30 and


briquette formats.

Information: www.briquetting.com

Foundry vibratory equipment

14 pages, English

Specialists in vibratory equipment, interVIB, manufacture a wide range of machinery for


trough conveyors, vibratory screens, etc.


Solutions for the foundry industry

8 pages, English, German

This brochure provides an overview of the wide range of vibration and conveying sys-

molding, core sand transport and recycling solutions, including the lost foam process

and melting operations.

Information: www.joest.com

LIBS element analyzers for the recycling industry

12 pages, English

In this brochure, SECOPTA describes the advantages of employing LIBS (Laser Induced

grouping of aluminium alloys, assorting low-alloy steel scrap, separating stainless steel

Information: www.secopta.de

48 Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017

Engineered valves for critical applications

24 pages, English

A comprehensive brochure detailing the range of valves engineered by IMI TH Jansen

for applications in areas such as iron and steel, water management, and chemical and


Information: www.imi-critical.com

Strip centre measurement at high temperatures

6 pages, English

EMG-Vivaldi® sensor designed for measurements through the furnace insulation and

an enclosed, gas-tight plate on the furnace wall. The system is based on the use of a

ultra-wideband slot antenna, which is also called Vivaldi antenna.

Information: www.emg-automation.com


20 pages, English

A brochure providing information about coating products offered by SG Group. Includ-

for steel and iron castings, lost foam casting, metal mold surfaces in aluminium casting

and specialized products such as chill coatings.

Information: www.shengquan.com

Sand plant installations

2 pages, English

systems built by JML, including all stages of the sand preparation processes from the


Information: www.jml-industrie.com

Casting Plant & Technology 2 / 2017 49

Fairs and Congresses

Metal + Metallurgy China 2017

Metef 2017


5. International Cupola Conference


2. International Thermprocess Summit

China Diecasting + Aluminium 2017

57th International Foundry Conference 2017

Advertisers´ Index

Admar Group 45

AGTOS Ges. für technische

Giesstechnische Produ

Jasper Ges. für Energiewirtschaft und

Monometer Group


Preview of the next issue

Publication date: September 2017

Brake disk production at Grohmann Aluworks GmbH & Co. KG

Selection of topics:

M. Holzapfel: Grohmann relies on new software

In order to remain competitive, foundry company Grohmann from Bisingen, Germany, has replaced its insulated IT landscape

with software that has also rationalized and optimized business processes throughout the company.

C. Gallerne: Virtual manufacturing solution for castings

Until recently, there has been a lack of simulation solutions that take the real performance of die-casting machines into account.

Procast is software that calculates the hydraulic injection force by including geometrical and gas counter-pressure.

T. Möldner: From simulation to the optimized furnace

Researchers have developed a system for monitoring and controlling the melting process, enabling a significant reduction

in melting times and improvements in energy efficiencies of up to 15%.



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