CPT International 01/2019



Foundry technology

made in Germany!

German foundries and their suppliers are resourceful when it comes

to modernization. Evidently with success, because Germany is the

­world’s fifth-largest producer of castings – and has been the uncontested

world champion in productivity for years.

Robert Piterek

e-mail: robert.piterek@bdguss.de

This newly designed issue of CP+T

shows particularly clearly the

answers that German engineers

and molding material developers have

found for the daily challenges facing

foundries. The vibration technology

expert Joest, for example, manufactures

casting coolers and sells them worldwide.

The interview with Managing

Director Dr. Marcus Wirtz reveals the

strategic considerations of the company,

but also deals with the consequences

of e-mobility and Industry 4.0

(more on this from P. 6).

The topics covered in other engineering-related

articles range from a new

thermal regeneration plant, through a

shredder solution for aluminum rejects

at the BMW works in Landshut and a

process-integrated blasting plant, to an

intelligent coating unit for automating

coating preparation and inspections.

The company report from P. 12

provides a concrete view of a German

foundry. The iron foundry Dinklage

produces counterweights for forklifts.

Business is booming, but the workforce

at the company is insufficient – a problem

that is affecting many foundries


Countries’ increasingly stringent

environmental legislation in response to

climate change and international treaties

such as the Paris Agreement is forcing

foundries and molding material

developers to find new solutions

regard­ing the composition of sand

cores and molds. Inorganic substances

have long played a role here. Now a

new process accelerates the hardening

of inorganic sand cores by means of

electricity (more on this from P. 20)

To assist in your orientation at the

GIFA (at which about 1,000 exhibitors

and 80,000 visitors are again expected)

this issue also includes a GIFA Special.

An article deals with Industry 4.0, the

focus topic area of the trade fair. As

GIFA and the quartet of technology

trade fairs called “Bright World of

Metals“ will offer a special show on

additive manufacturing this year the

Special also includes an article on this

“key issue for future production

engineering“. Visit GIFA and gain an

insight into the current state-of-the-art

of foundry technology – I am looking

forward meeting your there!

Have a good read!





Successful, even in uncertain times

Joest is a specialist for vibration technology and

2019 becomes 100 years old – Interview with

Managing Director Dr. Marcus Wirtz

Michael Vehreschild


Full order books –

but shortage of personnel

The iron foundry Dinklage in the German federal

state of Lower Saxony uses hand molding processes

to cast counterweights for the forklift sector.

Robert Piterek



blast cleaning of die castings

Die casting of aluminium is an extremely productive

method for the manufacture of large-series

parts which can be controlled at a high level.

Klaus Vollrath


Dr. Marcus Wirtz in

conversation with

CP+T reporter



A foundry in Lower

Saxony casts counterweights

for the booming

forklift sector.


Development of a new process for fast

electrical hardening of inorganic sand cores

The development of a new process for the hardening

of inorganic sand cores aims at the faster and

more cost-effective production of inorganic sand

cores, Wolfram Bach, Eric Riedel


Fritz Winter Eisengießerei GmbH & Co. KG,

Albert-Schweitzer-Straße 15, 35260 Stadtallendorf,

Germany info@fritzwinter.de



The ICU is the next

step in simplifying

the coating application

in the foundry


Fritz Winter is supplier of the global auto mo tive, commercial

vehicle and hydraulic industry with sites in Germany,

USA and China. The company develops and manufactures

castings as well as complex system components.





Blast cleaning of

die castings.


From waste to molding material

Optimization of circulation for organically bound

no-bake sands, Marco Cassens


Additive manufacturing –

a plus for modern metal casting

Many industrial manufacturers claim to be excited

about metal additive manufacturing – a process that

makes possible previously unmakeable shapes – but

how many are actually doing anything about it?

Andreas Bastian


GIFA 2019 – the future is digital

“The Bright World of Metals” is focusing on digitalization

and Industry 4.0 in 2019, Gerd Krause

Additive manufacturing: the key issue for

production engineering in future

“The Bright World of Metals“ is devoting a special

show to the subject of additive manufacturing.

Gerd Krause


ICU – Intelligent Coating Unit

By intelligent coating control, a great number of

new automation applications become possible.

Christoph Genzler



Production of cylinder

crankcases at the

BMW Lightmetal

foundry in Landshut.

A new pre-shredder

reduces srap.

Pre-shredder in aluminium foundry reduces


Implementation of a sophisticated safety concept

for the monitoring of container filling levels.

Sophie Kesy










“Naturally, our employees are central to our

success. Everyone carries the foundry DNA in


Joest is a successful specialist in the field of vibration

technology. The picture shows Dr. Marcus Wirtz in front

of a dryer manufactured by Joest

Successful, even in

uncertain times

100 years of Joest this year – Interview with Managing Director, Dr. Marcus Wirtz

These are turbulent times – the Diesel

emmission scandal, political shocks,

e-mobility and Industry 4.0 challenge

the foundries. Nevertheless, Joest continues

to write its success story unabashed.

Rising sales and employee

figures show that the company is

doing a lot right. Joest can confidently

look forward to its 100th anniversary

next year. How did the company from

Duelmen achieve this? CP+T spoke to

Joests Managing Director, Dr. Marcus


Photo: Jöst

Your company is successful in the market

and boasts increasing sales and

employee figures. You obviously did a

lot of things right. In your opinion,

what was decisive for this development?

One of the key aspects of our success

story is the history of the company.

Joest celebrates its 100th anniversary

next year. We have remained true to

ourselves throughout the years. We

have been manufacturing vibratory

machines for a long time, but have

remained open-minded and have added

additional technologies to our portfolio.

We have developed these consistently

and made it possible for the company

to continue to grow in a generic

and organic way with new applications

and technologies. Today we offer everything

the market asks for – from small

individual machines to large solutions.

We fulfill the wishes of many foundries

with complete solutions. We have

developed ourselves in line with the

customers and their needs. Listening

On the road to success with Jöst: Managing Director Marcus Wirtz looks to the future with


and counseling is essential – and of

course experience.

What were the milestones in the

development of Joest?

To steadily strengthen its growth, Joest

has made acquisitions that are optimally

suited. In 1995, we acquired the

Uhde-Schwingungstechnik. Herweg

joined in 2002: In addition to the vibration

technology, Joest now also offers

weighing technology and special solutions.

The conveying in vacuum was

made possible. In 2006, Joest took over

DIETERLE, a manufacturer of lifting and

tipping equipment that transports, lifts,

tilts, doses or decants bulk materials.

DIETERLE GmbH & Co. KG merged with

Joest GmbH + Co. KG early 2018 and is

no longer an independent company,

but another strong Joest group brand.

In this way, we have expanded and supplemented

our portfolio, and now offer

an even wider range of products.

A company is only successful in a team.

What is the role of your employees in

the growth?

Naturally, our employees are central to

our success. We attach great importance

to employing primarily foundry

engineers in our foundry division or

Photo: Michael Vehreschild



employees from the foundry sector.

Everyone carries the foundry DNA in

themselves. This allows for a completely

different access to customers. Furthermore,

Joest has a very good staff structure

of older and younger employees,

from experienced and talented employees.

Today, having on-site contact is

more important than ever in international

business. We have a total of ten

subsidiaries. At least one on each continent,

where we also manufacture, have

spare parts ready and employ

engineers. A key success of the Joest

group lies in the successful internationalization

strategy of the last 20 years.

Now we are present in different countries

and keep a close eye on what each

country needs. This global presence also

makes it possible to balance a weakening

market with a stronger one.

Photo: Michael Vehreschild

How does success translate into


The success can be seen in the development

of sales and employee figures.

They rose by 10 to 15 % respectively in

the past three years. Today, Joest has

365 employees in Germany – 15 more

than a year and a half ago. Sales worldwide

rose to more than 90 million


On the 1st of November

2018 Joests new

tech nical center started


Good numbers despite adversity – the

Diesel emmission scandal also had an

impact on the suppliers to the automotive

industry. How did it impact Joest?

Of course, the exhaust gas scandal has

damaged the image of German mechanical

engineering. At first there were

irritations, projects were sometimes

postponed. But there were reinvestments,

the irritations are only insignificant.

The scandal was so far not as significant

as expected. We were able to

balance the dent with other applications.

Especially since the European

foundries are becoming more and more


Photo: Jöst

What impact do growing expectations

for efficiency and sustainability have

on your business?

We pay attention, for example, to efficiency

in drive technology, which has

always been one of our core competencies.

An example: We have produced a

large cast iron cooler – the largest vibrating

machine in Europe – which is only

powered by a 15 KW motor. We lower

the energy consumption, even as the

cast coolers get larger and larger. In

addition, we at Joest naturally optimize

our own production processes and production

halls. The conversion to stateof-the-art

technology, such as LED lighting

and cold-beam heating systems,

significantly saves on energy.

How did you manage to meet the

increasing demands?

In fact, the requirements are becoming

more and more complex – but we enjoy

tackling them. To do this, we develop

new processes and optimize machines,

controls and plant technology. This

applies for example to the core sand

crushing. In order to meet high requirements,

we have also steadily increased

our development staff. We also offer a

dual degree program, which we are significantly

expanding for the different

areas. In addition, we are preparing

ourselves as a strong training company

for the future. We currently have 35

trainees – from the commercial sector

to production. As customers increasingly

demand a local presence, Joest

founded another new company in

Korea in 2017. In China and Korea,

there is a clear demand to produce

locally, which we also live up to. We are

well informed about different countries

and we have a combination of local and

international staff here.

Business units usually do not all

develop at the same pace. Which

product portfolio for foundries shows

a particularly strong growth at your

company? What are the reasons?

A current trend is that due to increasing

demand, several brake disk foundries

are investing in box form plants with

horizontal division in order to produce

the castings with a structure which is

point symmetrical to its axis of rotation.

The configuration of the molding boxes


“The share of hybrid drives will rise significantly

in the coming years. This requires

about 25 to 30 % more weight in castings. “

Investments are essential -

that‘s what Jöst stands for.

Michael Vehreschild (right)

interviewed Dr.-Ing. Marcus

Wirtz on the question of what

makes Jöst so successful.

Photo: Jöst

is maximized; the performance of

modern molding equipment is significant.

This requires casting/sand separation

plants in appropriate dimensions.

In the production of engine blocks

made of cast iron materials increasingly

methods are used in which the casting

has no direct contact with the wet casting

sand, but rather is enclosed by an

outer contour core structure to meet

the accuracy and reproducibility,

demanded by the required thin casting

wall thicknesses of up to 2.5 mm. Such

filigree castings require special unpacking

procedures. This can not be managed

with conventional separation channels.

In the production of aluminum

cylinder heads and several components

for electric cars in gravity die casting,

the cavities of the castings are mapped

by built cores. For reasons of emission

protection, increasingly inorganic binders

are used for the production of

these cores, replacing the traditional

organic cold box process. It has been

found, however, that the dust produced

during the various post-coring process

steps is significantly finer and partially

respirable, i.e., penetrates into the

alveoli. This considerably raises the

demands placed on the plant technology

with regard to dust-proofness and

wear resistance. Since our concepts consistently

reflect the indispensable feedback

of customer experience, we have

suitable solutions that meet these


Which markets may come to the fore?

We can see expansions in Mexico and

Turkey. The automotive industry is growing,

increasing the need for foundries.

Especially since end users expect the

foundry to be located nearby. In addition,

there is an investment backlog in

North America. Much of the production

was shifted especially to China. Now a

lot can come back. The political and

financial problems and conflicts –

recently in Turkey – as well as tweets

from the US, however, can stop such

developments overnight and lead to

shifts to other countries. Therefore, our

international presence is essential.

E-mobility is thus coming increasingly

into the spotlight. How do you rate this


It will be a long time before there are

no more combustion engines left. The

demand for trucks is very high.

Truck transport is increasing enormously

and e-mobility is less important here

and will not represent a solution for the

foreseeable future. I consider the goals

of e-mobility announced by politicians

in Germany to be unrealistic. But I have

the impression that this will calm down

and they will come to their senses, to

more realistic assessments and time frames.

(Including combustion engine).

This includes hydrogen propulsion and

the classic internal combustion engine

in other regions, where these are constantly

optimized. To meet future requirements

for fleet consumption

The share of hybrid drives will rise

significantly in the coming years. This

requires about 25 to 30 % more weight

in castings. According to expert estimates,

this trend will continue until at least

2035. If the share of pure electric

vehicles increases gradually, the proportion

of castings will decrease significantly,

but many castings will be required

for the charging infrastructure and

the growing number of wind turbines.

Could markets develop differently?

In China, North America – and Africa in

the long term – the demand for engines

is immense, and the distances to be

covered are even greater. The internal

combustion engines will continue to

play their part in this. But one thing is

clear: E-mobility is a trend, the share of

E-mobility will continue to grow. There

will be a mix: in the urban area rather

electric motors and hybrid technology

(with internal combustion engine). This

includes hydrogen propulsion and the



classic internal combustion engine in

other regions, where these are constantly

optimized. In order to meet

future requirements for fleet consumption,

the share of hybrid drives will

increase significantly in the coming

years. This requires about 25 to 30 %

more weight in castings. According to

expert estimates, this trend will continue

until at least 2035. If the share of

pure electric vehicles increases gradually,

the proportion of castings will

decrease significantly, but many castings

will be required for the charging

infrastructure and the growing number

of wind turbines.

Industry 4.0 is the future. How do you

position yourself here?

Industry 4.0 is a special opportunity, we

are working intensively with it. We

have already developed some solutions:

Thus, we provide a clear allocation of

data on the castings, bring together

numerous parameters and allow tracing

of data. For example, the customer

knows where things are. The goal is to

detect mistakes earlier and avoid them.

It’s all about reporting of faults, avoidance

of failures and preventive maintenance.

Our vision is that you can tell

why a casting error occurred. All data

– such as temperature, speed, humidity,

inventory and noise level – should be

merged. An important example: The

controllers we develop should not just

control. We already have intelligent

controls – the platform is there, so the

hardware is there. Now let’s see how

we use them, so that these controls can

unfold their full potential. For this purpose,

the controllers are additionally

equipped with intelligent software. We

want to offer both: normal and intelligent


Without innovations there is no further

development of the company. With

what strategy do you proceed here?

The field of research and development

is essential for us. That is why we work

together with various universities, for

example with the Technical University

of Aachen and the University of Applied

Sciences of Münster, Steinfurt department.

We award master’s and doctoral

theses. Furthermore, I am a member of

the board of the VDMA trade association

Metallurgy and Chairman of the

Department of Mineral Processing.

Here, global strategic issues are discussed.

What investments did you use to accelerate

the development of your company?

We have been here in Dülmen since

1990 and have since been constantly

expanding by investing in new plants

and production capacities such as halls.

The floor area increased from 40,000 to

approximately 65,000 square meters. An

example: Eight years ago, we built a

completely new blasting and painting

plant using state-of-the-art technology.

Since then we can perform all paint specifications

up to the highest quality

requirements in a flexible and timely

manner. This is especially important

when offering premium quality with


The foundry business field at Joest offers machines and systems for green and

no-bake sand molding systems. Companies in the steel and metallurgical

industries are supplied with, among other things, hopper discharge chutes for

supplement management, and alloying plants for the various melting processes

in steelworks. In addition to metallurgy, the main business fields are primary

raw materials, secondary raw materials/recycling, as well as chemistry

and food.

Vibration machines and systems for almost all industrial sectors are conceived,

designed, produced and tested at the headquarters in Dülmen on a total

surface area of about 65,000 m². The company, which considers itself an

expert in bulk materials, has undergone strong growth in recent years. Several

subsidiaries have been founded abroad: in South Korea (since 2017), India,

China, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, France, and in the USA. So, according to

Joest, customers all over the world can exploit the company’s expertise with

local support, production and service. Sales volumes and the number of

employees are constantly rising. Joest has 365 employees in Germany, and

more than 700 worldwide. Worldwide sales total more than 90 million euros.

Joest will celebrate its 100-year history next year. The Managing Directors

include Dr. Hans Moormann (also Managing Partner), Dr. Marcus Wirtz and Dr.

Christoph Stephany.

short delivery times. On November 1,

the new technical center went into operation.

We built this even larger. Here

we can run tests with customers for all

solutions as well as machines and prototypes

offered by Joest. Over the past

few years, we have invested a total of

more than 10 million euros in our main

site in Dülmen.

Are there plans for further investment

in the next few years?

Yes, this includes, for example, the new

machine technology of the flame cutting

machine with integrated machining

centers. We also employ welding

robots to achieve productivity at a consistently

high level of quality. As the

world leader in vibration technology

with manufacturing facilities on every

continent, quality is our top priority, no

matter where in the world customers

buy from us. Therefore, we continue to

focus on Germany and plan further

expansions, especially for quality-critical

parts and components.

Investments are important, but also

require qualified employees. How do

you deal with the shortage of skilled


We must note that it is becoming more

difficult to find trainees. This applies

especially to the field of electrical

engineering. Basically, we are working

very actively to avoid a shortage of

skilled workers. Thus, for example, we

have a good network with associations

and universities. And we can offer

employees many benefits. We have

very good transport connections. We

are in close proximity to Münster as

well as Duisburg, Dortmund and Dusseldorf

– without having to renounce

the advantages of inexpensive rural

living. A great location advantage. The

dual course of study that we offer is

also very attractive. Young employees

have many and good international

opportunities for development. Out of

consideration for the families, the fitters

are still working in the factory.

The employees assemble the machines

here, but then accompany them to the

construction site for final assembly. It

is important for us not only to keep

our employees, but to offer an attractive,

motivating work environment

with prospects. And this is confirmed

by the fact that they want to stay


The interview was conducted by

Michael Vehreschild, Kleve.








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Full order books –

but shortage of personnel

Melt on the march! Cupola

furnaces replenish the molten

iron in the iron foundry

The iron foundry Dinklage in the German federal state of Lower Saxony uses hand molding

processes to cast counterweights for the forklift sector. Business is booming, but the

necessary capacity expansion is at risk because of a lack of personnel. Managing Director

Björn Ploch wants to modernize and expand the works – with Swabian industriousness

and good ideas.

by Robert Piterek, Düsseldorf

Photos: Andreas Bednareck

Drive past special steel producer

Stallkamp and axle manufacturer

Gigant and you reach the Dinklage

iron foundry in the industrial park

of the small town of Dinklage (population

12,800) in the Vechta district of

Lower Saxony. The production hall,

about 70 meters long, stands at right

angles to the administration building,

in front of which employees and visitors

can park their cars. The works, which

looks fairly inconspicuous from the outside,

is an essential element in the production

chain of a type of vehicle

which, although an everyday sight in

industry, is only ever seen on Germany’s

roads firmly strapped to the back of a

truck. The iron foundry is owned by the

Frankfurt-based KION GROUP which

also controls, among other companies,

the major forklift producers Linde

Material Handling and STILL. Components

for excavators and mobile cranes

are also produced here for Switzerland’s

Liebherr group of companies. The

owners of the iron foundry should be

pleased about the extremely good

orders situation. Managing Director

Björn Ploch puts it succinctly: “The

forklift market is booming!” Whereby

his task is the foundry-based production

of the counterweights – necessary for

balancing the loads that the forklifts

busily transport around the factories of

the world – annual sales of which are in

the high double-digit millions of euros.



Managing Director

Björn Ploch (left) ex ­

plains the charging of

the furnace to CP+T-

Edi tor Robert Piterek

– reasonably priced

input material is becoming

increasingly rare.

Work is now in full

swing in the foundry.

Here, on the semi-automatic

molding line.

An older caster treats a mold with an

alcohol-based coating. Almost 40 %

of the workforce is over 55 years old.

The workforce is too old

The hand molding foundry is located in

a region that has no foundry tradition

and where the unemployment rate of

2 % is nearing full employment. A poor

starting point for a works that employs

167 personnel (including agency workers

and trainees) and whose workforce

is gradually ageing too much. “The proportion

of 55-year-olds in the workforce

is currently 38 %,” according to Ploch.

“This will catch us out badly in two or

three years,” the Swabian adds gloomily.

He comes from Königsbronn in the

Swabian Alb region and started working

at the Dinklage iron foundry in


Ploch’s fascination regarding

foundry work started at SHW in Königsbronn.

Here he developed from a skilled

worker to a master, before taking a

commercial Chamber of Industry and

Commerce course and then moving to

Hasloch to be Works Manager for Kurtz,

where he helped Managing Director

Graziano Sammati expand the smart

foundry. Ploch’s eyes light up when

asked whether he would also set up

Industry 4.0-based production in Dinklage

if it were possible, though he

avoids the comparison. “The technology

and design at Kurtz were brilliant, but I

think that the automated transport systems

there are too susceptible to

faults,” he recalls, and then ventures to

transfer the vision of a smart foundry to

his works: “I see what they have at

Kurtz on rails here – and there would

also have to be a manipulator.” But the

necessary manpower would have to be

recruited here before he could approach

these tasks in concrete terms.

Automatic preparation

of coatings

Some new developments, however,

have been completed and are already

improving the quality and expanding

the capacity of the current 36,000 tonnes

per year of production – because

the order books for 2018 and 2019 are

full to the brim. And the restless Swabian

does not lack plans. Ploch and his

team recently invested in an automatic

coating preparation system from

foundry supplier Foseco, Borken, to

meet customers’ quality demands.

“There was often a lot of mineralization

in the shaft area. When we took

measurements, we found that there

was insufficient viscosity in our old coating

tank. Our water-based dip therefore

failed to provide the desired

effect,” the Managing Director ex ­

plains. “Our flood basin used to be

manually mixed every morning,” he

recalls. Ploch got the idea for the

Foseco coating preparation system

during a visit to the sister foundry run

by Linde Material Handling in Weilbach,

where an almost identical plant was

already in operation. After a few modifications,

the pool has also been providing

optimally mixed coatings in Dinklage

since January 2018.

Human sources of error are ruled

out by the computer-controlled

movement of the reddish brown liquid,

which is gently stirred in the pool by a

current and then applied to the core.

The mineralization problem at Dinklage

is now a thing of the past, and Ploch is

happy to have a German partner for the

coating. “The advantage of Foseco is its

closeness. Other producers are located

in Italy, and the reaction time is not

quick enough. We have had two problems

since the plant was installed.

Foseco was here in four hours and provided

immediate help, while also offe­



ring service,” stresses Ploch. According

to Foseco, the advantage of the plant is

cost reduction – thanks to a lower reject

rate and less extra work – as well as

increased productivity and optimized

drying, with positive effects on the quality

of the castings.

An alcohol-based coating is not an

alternative solution for Ploch. “On our

casting line we still use alcohol coatings

for the cope and drag boxes, but

water-based for the cores. The disadvantage

of the alcohol coating is that

the surface of the binder bridges can be

destroyed by the heat, resulting in loss

of mold strength. Water-based coating

is gentler, it does its job, evaporates and

I can work on the core again after eight

hours. There is also less smell.” The iron

foundry uses no-bake furan resin sands

with 20 % of new sand and 80 % of old

sand for the cores.

Ploch is a pragmatist through and

through, and is totally involved with his

job. He is prepared to put up with various

hardships: he lives in Dinklage

during the week, commuting to his wife

and children in Heidenheim, 600 kilometers

away, on weekends and for

family celebrations. In addition to his

profession and family, Ploch has two

other passions: the German Premier

League football club VfB Stuttgart and

Thai boxing. He is also working on professionally

rounding out his rise from

foundry mechanic to Managing Director

with an additional course he is taking in

foundry technology at the German

Foundrymen’s Association (VDG) Academy

in Düsseldorf.

The cope and drag boxes are

put together on the closing

machine, then the casting boxes

are transported to the molding

line opposite, where they are


The molding boxes are prepared

for casting by workers with respirators.

No-bake furan resin

sand is used.

Induction furnace tandem to

replace cupola furnaces

The replacement of the two cupola furnaces

with induction furnaces is fully

planned, but has not yet received final

approval. Every hour, the cupola furnaces

currently supply ten tonnes of melt

of the alloy GJL 250, the only metal

used at Dinklage. While one furnace is

actively melting, the other receives

maintenance – requiring manpower for

which Ploch must maintain 3-shift operation.

This melting system, especially

suitable for serial casting, is now rarely

found in Germany. Only about 60

cupola furnaces are still operating in

German foundries.

The two cupola furnaces have a

central position in the production hall

in Dinklage. Water constantly flows

over the outer shell and the refractory

material of the melting furnaces to

cool them. Ploch and his team have calculated

that 2-shift operation could be

reintroduced with induction furnaces.

At the same time, although the overall

electricity price is rising, the basic price

for the iron foundry would actually fall

as a result of the higher purchase

quantity: 15 instead of 1.6 MW of electricity

a month. There are, however,

numerous other reasons for changing

the melting technology. For one thing,

there is the problem of the smell

(which annoys residents in the immediate

vicinity of the foundry), as well as

difficulty procuring input material. As

flexible as cupola furnaces are, reasonably

priced input material – Grade 3a

commercial casting scrap, consisting of

old radiators and water pipes, up to

now obtained from Poland, the former

East German states and the Czech

Republic – is becoming increasingly

rare, leading to rising prices. A new

induction furnace tandem would double

melt performance while reducing

the workload and eliminating the

smell problem – arguments for the

change that Ploch considers unbeatable.

He estimates the costs for the furnaces,

the periphery and installation at

5 million euros.

In order to equip the foundry for

the future, Ploch also wants to install a

sixth processing center with a 5-axis milling

machine in the machining shop, as

well as buy a molding sand mixer and a

casting cooler. There should also be a

cooling section for the castings, and

drying furnaces for the cores. Solution


The iron foundry was able to

ensure mold stability with the

fully automatic coating pools

from Foseco.

of the personnel shortage, however, is

of fundamental importance for increasing

yield with the help of the new

technical equipment in the machining

shop: “I currently have five machines

but only four operators,” the Managing

Director points out.

Five processing centers

are currently in operation

– and there is

already one operator

too few. Machining is

nevertheless to be


A forklift counterweight

with sprues and

burrs in the fettling

shop. Most of the work

here is done by agency


The casters from the Swabian Alb

Work in the production hall is now in

full swing. Most of the space in the hall

is taken up with the semi-automatic

molding plant. Finished drag boxes containing

cores for STILL counterweights

are currently being transported to the

closing machine, where the cope and

drag boxes are automatically put

together. The boxes are perfectly flush

with one another and are then transported

to the casting line opposite,

where they are shot. 65 to 80 molds are

thus filled with red-hot melt every day

– the largest counterweights weigh six


To the left of the molding plant the

drag boxes are prepared for casting,

coated, provided with cores, and secured

against the lifting force. An older

employee is currently hooking a bulky

core to a hall crane and can thus effortlessly

transport it to the waiting drag

box. Elsewhere in the foundry it also

becomes clear that most of the workforce

have already passed the height of

their productive capacity.

In order to get to grips with the personnel

problem, Ploch first got in touch

with his own contacts in the Swabian

Alb. As in the case of his 56-year-old

pattern constructor, who originally

managed a family-run company in

Aalen but had to give it up because he

could not find a successor. Thanks to

Ploch’s persuasive power, the man now

works here in Dinklage.

Trainee Mario Faiss also came to the

small Lower Saxony town from the Swabian

Alb to start his career. He is in his

second year of training to become a

foundry mechanic, and is being introduced

to the profession in the works by

trainer Fred Säwert. He completed his

vocational college work in block lessons

at the Wilhelm Maybach College (WMS)

570 kilometers away in Stuttgart,

although there is also a foundry academy

in nearby Varel. “They do not,

however, have a training foundry of

their own, and that is important for

me,” stresses Ploch, who also learned

his trade at the WMS. “The Maybach

College also explicitly trains casters –

training is divided into pattern constructors

and casters. That is different

from a general vocational school, where

the subject is only available as an elective,”

he adds.

The iron foundry pays for Mario’s

apartment, in addition to his normal

pay packet, in order to make his training

more palatable. Ploch also sent the

21-year-old to the STILL works in Ham­



Painted and unpainted


are stored on the

foundry grounds.

burg shortly after he had signed his

contract. “I wanted to show him that

no forklifts can exist without counterweights,”

says Ploch. The visit made an

impression on Mario: “I was able to

experience how the forklift is constructed

around the counterweight in the

factory,” he remembers. He was also

impressed by the machines used. Marco

now feels more at home in the north

than in the south. He enjoys hanging

out with friends, for whom he designed

a very special present: a cast iron backside

with ears! Trainer Säwert is already

preparing himself to receive more

trainees: he has been undergoing

further education as a trainer at the

German Foundrymen’s Association Academy

since September.

Trainer Fred Säwert (left) and trainee Mario Faiss. Faiss comes from the Swabian Alb,

Säwert from East Frisia. More trainees are to be recruited to ensure sufficient personnel


The e-forklift is on the way

The necessary generational change at

the works comes at a time when the

forklift sector is also in transition.

e-forklifts are increasingly asserting

themselves in factories all over the

world. This also affects the design of

the counterweights. “The weights are

becoming lighter because the battery of

the e-forklift also adds weight,” explains

Ploch. The battery is located in the

middle of the forklift, while the counterweight

is at the back. Ribs have been

integrated into the structure of the

counterweight in order to reduce its


Crossing the yard, in which two-anda-half

thousand tonnes of charging

material is stored, one reaches the paint

shop, which rounds out the value-creation

of the counterweights and turns

the iron foundry into a ‘system supplier’.

This is where the finished red and

orange counterweights are arranged in

rows, ready for dispatch to Linde and

STILL, where they are installed on diesel

or e-forklifts that will continue to be

required in factory and dispatch logistics

for the foreseeable future. The

struggle to fill vacancies in the region

will remain challenging. Bonus payments

have already been made for procuring

new personnel. The companies

neighboring the iron foundry, Stallkamp

and Gigant, have also poached

one or other urgently required worker

from Ploch. Trainee Mario Faiss will, in

future, help Björn Ploch by recruiting

secondary school-leavers starting their

professional lives, and perhaps the iron

foundry will also succeed in getting an

agency worker to commit themselves

with a fixed contract. There is certainly

enough work in Dinklage – three people

could immediately start work at the

machining shop, and another two or

three for the melting operation in the

foundry. And in order not to lose sight

of Industry 4.0, Ploch also needs IT

experts with foundry knowledge to set

up an ERP system in the medium term

– so that the future also comes to Dinklage






blast cleaning of die castings

At ae group shift housings for

automatic transmissions are cast

on casting line 2 and then blasted.

Die casting of aluminium is an extremely productive method for the manufacture of

large-series components which can be controlled at a high level. In order to achieve

a maximum degree of reliability and quality, casting lines at the ae group in Gerstungen

are laid out to ensure that as many process steps as possible are linked and fully automated,

thus dispensing with manual interventions. A blasting concept was therefore

realized with parts lying flat on conveyor belts and being treated in a continuous process.

This eliminates the unavoidable manual suspension and removal tasks associated

with hanger-type blast machines.

Klaus Vollrath, Aarwangen, Switzerland

Photos: Klaus Vollrath

We supply the automotive

industry with our die-cast

aluminium parts and face the

toughest international competition in

this respect”, says Tino Kunkel, manager

of one of the production lines at the ae

foundry in Gerstungen. Automation of

as many processes as possible is the

recipe employed here for lowering costs

and, simultaneously, enhancing quality.

The fundamental maxim governing the

complete process chain is that castings

should only be physically touched by

hand where absolutely necessary. Operation

of die-casting machinery

(cold-chamber machines with die clamping

forces ranging from 12,500 to

14,000 kN) and its peripheral units is

completely automated. Castings which

have already been deburred on the

die-casting machines are fed onto a



Discharge side of one

of the shot blast

machines installed at

ae in Gerstungen.

Casting line 2 encompasses


cold-chamber die-casting

machines for aluminium

in the final

expansion stage.

Castings which have already been deburred on the

die-casting machines are fed onto a common conveyor

route at half the height of the facility where

they are forwarded to fine blanking.

common conveyor route at half the

height of the facility where they then

travel on for fine blanking. The process

continues into the next hall where the

parts are first blasted for cleaning and

surface pretreatment before being forwarded

to laser systems by conveyor

belt where they each receive an individual

QR code and are packaged. Very

strict quality criteria apply along the

entire process chain, which is why every

step is carefully monitored and documented.

Similarly strict criteria apply to the

machines employed. These must be

designed or modified and installed so

that they correspond to the process

management and quality philosophy of

the company. In addition to reliable

engineering, human dependability and

the support and service of manufacturers

also play a significant role. Immediate

assistance is expected where problems


Fully automated continuous

shot blast machines

The ae group opted for AGTOS Type BS

08-05-3.6-08-11.0 machines for cleaning

and surface preparation of castings

from casting line 2 in Gerstungen. Use

of a hanger-type blast machine was

dispensed with, given that relatively

flat, strongly structured parts with a

large surface (but not bulky geometries)

are mainly involved, such as shift

housings for automatic transmissions.

This also had the advantage of permitting

selection of a direct continuous

process without manual interventions.

The solution chosen involves the continuous

transportation of the parts

through the plant with the aid of a

wide-meshed wire conveyor belt. They

are blasted with special abrasive from

above and below during this with the

aid of a total of eight shot blasting turbines,

ensuring all-round cleaning and

surface treatment.

The belt is divided into two tracks

through a central “guide rail” consisting

of plates, meaning that two different,

but typical components (e.g. the

upper and lower parts of a shift

housing) can be processed simultaneously.

As the parts only have minor

indentations, residual abrasive material

can be removed with comparative ease

through a blower unit in the blast

machine outlet.

Treatment of abrasive ensures

stable process parameters

When it comes to treatment of castings

through shot blasting, the condition of

the abrasive employed plays a significant

role. This moves continually in a

cycle, whereby its consistency and composition

are altered during use through

two main interfering factors. These are

soiling of the abrasive through fine

non-metallic and metallic dust and dirt

particles and contamination through

flash and flakes parted during the blasting

process. The abrasive moving in

the cycle therefore needs to be carefully

treated during each passage to

maintain the consistency of its composition

with regard to granular size and

impurities within narrow limits. This

occurs during the return of the abrasive

from the machine abrasive collection

hopper trough to the storage bunker

located on top. Transportation is realized

via a bucket elevator. On reaching

the top, the abrasive passes through a

screening section to remove coarse

impurities such as flash and flakes. This

is followed by wind sifting which sorts

out dirt and dust particles and the

finest abrasive fragments (so-called


The castings receive an individual

laser marking following the shot blasting


fines). The abrasive cleaned in this manner

is conveyed to the storage bunker

for the blasting turbines.

Support from the machine


As aluminium is a comparatively soft

material, it can be damaged by excessively

hard blasting. It was therefore

important to evaluate the effect of the

machines prior to deciding on their

purchase. AGTOS was more than willing

to conduct these preliminary trials

on its own machinery. Initial blasting

trials were first conducted on an

AGTOS machine in Emsdetten with

four turbines. Following the positive

results of these tests, further trials

were conducted on a large machine

with eight turbines at the AGTOS plant

in Konin, Poland. This machine was of

the same design as the model being

offered. Notable features here were a

modification of the blasting turbine

layout to optimize the effect of the

blasting abrasive. A special abrasive

consisting of non-ferrous metals which

wide-meshed wire conveyor also facilitates

blasting of the castings from below.

was recommended by AGTOS was also

used during the trials. Flakes from

burrs were removed with this and the

surface of the components roughened

slightly while maintaining the smoothness

of the bore holes which had been

already punched.

Engineering, consulting and

service satisfaction

In addition to the quality of the machines

themselves, consultation and service

competence proved significant criteria

in the decision to purchase the

machinery. The former was favourably

evaluated during the prior test phase,

and the ae group had already gained

positive experience at an earlier stage

of the reliability of AGTOS engineering

and service. Shot blast machines are

exposed to extremely severe stress

during use, meaning that breakdowns

are practically unavoidable. Fortunately,

the response speed of the manufacturer‘s

service department and proactive

maintenance realized in advance

mean that extremely few faults have

been encountered during machine

operation. Following an initial procurement

in 2013 and in the following

years, this operating record now led to

the installation of two further systems.





Photo: Soplain

Inorganically bound sand cores with different graphite contents, which influences the thermal conductivity of the sand binder mixture and

thus the hardening times.

Development of a new process

for fast electrical hardening of

inorganic sand cores

Inorganics are becoming increasingly important for the production of sand cores. The

development of a new process for the hardening of inorganic sand cores by means of

electricity aims at the faster and more cost-effective production of inorganic sand cores.

Further advantages such as low energy consumption and homogeneous hardening are


Wolfram Bach, Welsleben, and Eric Riedel, Magdeburg


The use of cores is indispensable for the

foundry industry. Complex, internal and

thin-walled geometries as well as indentations

are not possible without lost

cores. Thus, they pave the way for innovative

casting technology solutions in

order to meet the high demands placed

on modern castings today and in the

future. Core production is therefore of

great importance in terms of variety,

complexity and surface quality. Core

shooting in cold box or hot box processes

has been established for many

years. The cold box process, on one

hand, is characterized by the fact that

the sand cores are hardened in nonheated

boxes by a compressed air amine

mist gassing. The required binder for

cold box usually consists of a two-component

system consisting of phenolic

resin and polyisocyanate. The hot box

process, on the other hand, usually uses

moist bound molding materials, which

are completely hardened in the core box

by absorbing the stored heat energy.

Despite the extensive use and high

productivity of core shooting, many

companies are working on further and

new developments in the field of core

production. One of the most important

developments at present is certainly the

additive manufacturing or the colloquial

3-D printing of lost cores. A development,

which is advanced among others

by ExOne, Voxeljet, the BMW AG or

Bosch Rexroth, in order to name only

some companies, and which shows

again that the Additive Manufacturing

procedures are versatile applicable and

are becoming increasingly important.

The motivation behind this develop-




















1 Upper mould box half

2 Lower mould box half

3 Mounting plate (electrically isolated)

4 Isolation plate


5 Electrodes (arranged parallel)

6 Mould material (electrically conductive)

7 Mould cacity

8 Sand-binder mixture / Core

9 Control of voltage

10 Square

11 Isolation screw

12 Alignment bolt


Graphics: University of Magdeburg

Figure 1: Schematic illustration of the core box design (left) with detailed illustration of the fastening of the mold material in the mold box.

ment is a reduction in fixed costs, since,

e.g., the production of the necessary

core boxes and tools, the purchase of

which usually only pays off with large

quantities, is no longer necessary or the

production of small batch sizes at large

series costs. Thus, 3-D printing of lost

cores opens up new possibilities with

regard to complexity, individuality and

quality of the models in small and

medium series production, e.g. for manufacturing

of prototypes.

Nevertheless, the manufacturing

processes are too time-consuming for

mass production, especially for larger

geometries, and will remain so for the

foreseeable future. In addition to Additive

Manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing

is at the top of the agenda of

the local and global foundries, not least

due to increasingly stringent political

restrictions on behalf of the EU and the

federal government(s).

The introduction of inorganic binder

systems, such as the Inotec binder system

developed by ASK Chemicals, Hilden, or

the Cordis binder system developed by

Hüttenes Albertus, Düsseldorf, has

already led to great success in reducing

pollutant emissions in recent years. However,

ongoing cost pressure and the

ongoing need for new innovations are

constantly prompting the industry to

make further developments in this area

so that foundries can remain competitive

in the future.

With „Advanced Core Solutions“

(ACS) project, Soplain GmbH, Welsleben,

aims to meet this demand and further

increase the importance of inorganic

binder systems. With the

implementation of a new patent

(DE102017217098) for the production

of lost cores and molds, a process is

under development that adheres to the

basic principle of core shooting and

builds on the existing inorganic binders,

but pursues a new approach to hardening

inorganic sand cores. That way, the

new process strives to be both more

efficient and more environmentally

friendly than previous processes.

Process description

The new process is based on the consideration

that the permanent mold and

sand-binder mixture should have



Graphics: Soplain

Electrical resistance [kΩ]

Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3








Electrical resistance [kΩ]

approximately the same electrical conductivity

at optimum working temperature.

Thus, by applying an electrical

voltage, the same level of electrical current

is able to flow in each area of the

tool and the sand-binder mixture. The

result is a homogeneous electrical

energy distribution. The heating resulting

from the electrical power finally

hardens the sand-binder mixture homogeneous.

As with conventional core shooting

methods, this requires a permanent

mold or core box consisting of several

components. As shown in Figure 1, at

least a two-part mold initially consists

of just as many electrically isolated

plates which serve to accommodate the

individual components. On each mounting

plate is the isolation plate mounted

which then contains the electrodes. The

electrodes will provide the electric current

into the actual, electrically conductive


The individual components of the

core boxes are connected to the mounting

plate by means of electrically

non-conductive screws and brackets.

Power [W]

Figure 2: Qualitative curve shape for the determination of the characteristic curves of mold/

binder power and electrical resistance.




does not harden

Without adjustment of the specific

electrical resistance





With adjustment of the specific

electrical resistance

Figure 3: Impact of the electrical properties of the permanent mold and sand-binder mixture

on the hardening process.

t [s]

The individual molds for the sand cores

are assembled by means of a quick-release

system, which enables the permanent

molds to be changed quickly. For

process monitoring, the mold boxes are

equipped with temperature sensors in

order to prevent possible overheating

above the intended temperature range

as specified for the binder. For industrial

use, holes for non-conductive ejection

bolts are provided in the entire tool

(mounting and isolation plate, permanent

mold) to remove the hardened

cores quickly. The selection of a suitable

electrically conductive material for the

permanent mold is made taking the

optimum working temperature of the

sand-binder mixture into account.

Experimental procedure

The efficiency of the processes is highly

depending on the alignment of the

conductivity of the mold material to the

sand-binder mixture. A series of measurements

were carried out to determine

the electrical conductivity of sandbinder

mixtures and various mold

materials to identify the specific temperature

and electrical conductivity


In order to determine different

sand-binder mixtures, the different mixtures

where filled into a sample mold,

which was compacted according to real

application conditions. Measuring

devices were attached to the electrical

components of the core boxes to measure

the current and voltage as well as

the temperatures generated at the electrodes.

A constant voltage was then

applied to the electrodes, causing the

specific electrical resistance of the mixture

to change as a function of temperature.

By doing so, the optimal electrical

conductivity could be determined

per material. The optimal electrical conductivity

is defined by allowing the

maximum energy to be conveyed into

the sand-binder mixture per second.

This point is defined by the lowest electrical

resistance. Figure 2 shows the typical

course of both characteristic values

of such a series of measurements.

The typical course can be divided

into three characteristic phases: The

first phase is the formation of charge

carriers, in which the resistance drops

steeply within a very short time (1 to

2 s) after the voltage has been applied.

In the second phase, a distinctly flattened

electrical resistance is now apparent,

accompanied by a continuous

increase in the electrical power present

in the sample. The electrical power is

transformed into heat inside the

sample. Above 100 °C (212 °F) the

evaporation of water begins and charge

carriers from the binder system are

removed from sample. The consequence

is a significant decline in performance

and thus an increase in electrical

resistance follows in phase 3. The optimal

choice of electrical conductivity is

defined by the minimum resistance, as

the maximum power can be applied

(shown in Figure 2 by the red circle).

The specific electrical conductivity of

the sample depends on the desired

sand-binder mixture and can be influenced

by the variation of the additives

and/or the change of the percentage

components. During the trials, the tested

binders required temperatures between

150 °C (302 °F) and 200 °C

(392 °F) to harden. A specific tested

sand-binder mixture had a specific electrical

resistance of approx. 25 Ωm at a

temperature of ~100 °C (212 °F)

-130 °C(266 °F).

Based on the temperature-resistance

curves and the specific electrical resistance

of the sand-binder mixture, a suit-


able material for the permanent mold

of the cores to be produced could be

determined. Based on the optimal specific

resistance of the selected sandbinder

mixture, the mold-material

should have a specific resistance of

approx. 25 Ωm at approx. 170 °C

(338 °F) and follow the temperatureresistance

curve of the mixture as far as

possible. Otherwise, if the resistivity of

the permanent mold is too low, the

mold may heat up but the molding

material/binder mixture does not

harden efficiently, as Figure 3 illustrates.

Within the framework of the test

series, various silicon carbide compositions

with a variation of additives of the

ceramic mixtures proved to be suitable;

the final selected ceramic has a specific

electrical resistance of approx. 30 Ωm at

a temperature of 180 °C and is suitable

as a material for permanent molds

under consideration of all necessary prerequisites.

The use of less compatible

materials can lead to longer hardening

times. For possible industrial use in

foundries, criteria for the robustness of

the material were defined in addition to

the aspects of electrical compatibility. A

suitable material must also have good

long-term properties with regard to

breaking strength, surface roughness,

thermal expansion and thermal conductivity.

Depending on the final process also

optimal temperature ranges below the

150-200 °C are possible as sufficient

heat energy can be generated already

as of 100 °C. In this case the electrical

conductivity can be chosen based on a

temperature range between 100 °C to

105 °C.

Integration into the production


In a production environment for sand

core manufacturing, the process can be

divided into three basic phases:

warm-up (A), operation (B) and cooling

phases (C). During warm-up phase (A),

the two halves (or more parts) of the

molding box are brought together to

form a closed circuit. The amount of

energy required for the heating process

is supplied by the electrical current.

During the warm-up phase the sandbinder

mixture can be shot into the

mold to validate that sufficient heat is

available and that uniform curing of

the core is possible.

Once the molding material has

reached the required operating temperature

for hardening the binder then

the optimum specific resistance of the

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Reports and

product news on

GIFA 2019




It’s time again in Düsseldorf,

from 25 - 29 June 2019: the foundry

sector once more presents itself as

a high-tech industry.

We look forward to your press releases and

specialist reports for GIFA 2019!


e-mail address: redaktion@bdguss.de

We would be pleased to receive

questions by phone:

Contact: Robert Piterek

e-mail: robert.piterek@bdguss.de

Tel.: +49 (0)211 6871-358

More than 2,000 exhibitors from over 30 countries are expected

at the 14th GIFA international foundry trade fair with

WFO Technical Forum. In the News section, among other places,

the editorial staff at CP+T will report on innovations, new products

and new technical processes in advance of GIFA. Please

send press releases and specialist reports for GIFA 2019 to the

editorial office via e-mail under the heading “GIFA 2019”.

sand-binder mixture is achieved and the

operation phase (B) can begin. After

emptying the test material from the

permanent mold cavity(s), the two

halves (or more parts) of the core box

are closed again and the sand-binder

mixture is shot into the mold, as in conventional

processes. Once the shooting

process is finished the curing/hardening

process can start. Due to the almost

equally specific resistances, the electrical

current flows homogeneously

through the sand core. The sand-binder

mixture thus quickly reaches a temperature

of between 100 and 130 °C. The

evaporation of the water during the

hardening process leads, as described

above, to a reduction of the free charge

carriers, which in turn leads to an

increase in the specific resistance in the

mixture and a decrease in the electrical

current flow within the sand core. Any

potentially required residual heat for

complete hardening of the core can be

supplied to the sand-binder mixture via

the mold, as in previous processes.

In concrete terms: If a sand-binder

mixture with a required operating temperature

of 170 °C is shot into the mold

at a temperature of 20 °C, approx. 2/3

of the required 150 °C is achieved by

resistance-induced heating and the

remaining part is supplied from the

mold via heat transfer to the sand core.

After hardening, the molding boxes are

opened as in existing processes, the

sand core removed and the next cycle

initiated. For cooling phase (C), the

empty core box halves are then simply

moved apart and remain in this position

to cool down.

Advantages of the new method

Multiple advantages have been identified

during the course of the preliminary

investigations. The potential for the new

technology is expected to reduce cost

and energy consumption by 33 % while

increasing the speed to manufacturer

the sand cores. Additional quality benefits

are expected from the fact of the

homogeneous sand core hardening/curing

that prevents a shell formation. Furthermore

can the new process improve

the quality defect cost as each individual

sand core can be analyses based on temperature

increase, energy consumption

and time. The application of six sigma

approach then allows to provide a quality

assessment during the curing process

with the possibilities to mark or remove

sand cores that deviate the from the

standard process. New sand core applications

are possible as much bigger sand


cores could be formed efficiently as the

center of the cores are also cured fully.

Various inorganic binders typically used

in industry have also been successfully

tested so that completely new formulations

are not necessary and existing

binder systems can be used.

The core box molds can use various

materials such as silicon carbide ceramics.

Ceramic molds offer a longer life

cycle due to reduced wear and tear

driven. Furthermore could external heat

generators be eliminated as the heat is

generated directly inside the sand core.

A side benefits will be that family core

boxes with multiple cavities would

allow the replacement of individual

defect cavity molds in less then 3 minutes

by using quick change system.

The strongest benefits versus conventional

processes are foreseen for

large sand cores and sand cores with a

high annual volume.

In direct comparison with conventional

processes, the new process is all

in all showing significant cost saving

potentials. The savings are essentially

the result of two circumstances: Firstly,

the direct use of electrical current,

which does not have to be converted

into heat externally, results in up to

33 % higher energy efficiency compared

with conventional processes. On

the other hand, cycle time savings of up

to 30 % of the time are expected,

whereby the annual operating costs can

be massively reduced.


There is a high potential for this new

process to sustainably increase efficiency

in the production of lost cores.

The basic feasibility studies as well as

the testing on a prototype scale have

been completed and preparations are

completed for testing under near-series

conditions with real-cast sand cores. The

aim of the qualifications are to demonstrate

the benefits at mass production

scale and to allow a meaningful comparison

with current processes. In this

context new foundry partners are constantly

wanted to assess the benefits of

the new process.


Wolfram Bach, inventor of the process,

“Advanced Core Solutions”(ACS) ,

Soplain GmbH, Welsleben, Germany,

and Eric Riedel, University Magdeburg,

Institute of Process Technology and

Quality Management, Department of

Casting and Forming, Germany


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stand A61.

Thermal regeneration plant in operation in a German foundry.

From waste to molding material

Optimization of circulation for organically bound no-bake sands

Marco Cassens, Niederfischbach

Photos: FAT

Is used sand a questionable hazardous

waste or a usable raw material? How

do new sand and landfill costs

develop? Are there ways to regenerate

used sand and how much waste can be

expected? Is there a gentle regeneration

process that hardly changes the

molding material properties? And can

such a process become a worthwhile

investment for foundries through good

results and moderate energy consumption?

Foundry operators will have to deal

with these questions more intensively in

the future.

FAT‘s thermal reclamation plant

– a solution approach

After mechanical reclamation, the molding

material must be recycled with as

consistent a quality as possible. For this

purpose, it is often necessary to dispose

of a part of the sand, at a high price and

enrich the resulting „gap“ with new

sand. If the internal sand circulation is

now supplemented by the thermal

regeneration plants „own new sand”,

the disposal costs for used sand, as well

as procurement costs for new sand, can

be reduced by up to 95 %. Due to its

compact and modular design, the thermal

regeneration plant can be integrated

into any existing plant concept

and is designed for continuous operation

without additional operating personnel.

In recent years, concepts for

used sand based on organic binding

agents such as furan, cold box, pep set,

croning or alpha set have been implemented.

For test purposes, FAT has installed a

thermal regeneration plant with a capacity

of 0,5 t/h at their headquarters in Niederfischbach.

Here, cold resin sands can

be thermally regenerated by the customer

on a trial basis and then analyzed.



Focal point furnace bottom

The quality of the sand is heavily reliant

on the air-gas mixture. The pore burner

system developed by FAT, Niederfischbach,

Germany, ensures an even and

continuous thin layer of sand to flow on

the fluidization bottom of the combustion


In the furnace, each individual grain

of sand is continually in the flame and

therefore treated optimally. A „flame

carpet“ on the furnace floor ensures

particularly good combustion of the

binding agents and constant quality of

the sand batches. This means that even

finer grains can be regenerated very

well. In a following unit, the hot sand is

simultaneously cooled and dedusted. In

order to reduce gas consumption, the

thermal energy of the hot sand is partially

recovered during cooling and

returned to the process.

Thermal reclaimed sand

After thermal treatment, the organic

binder shells are nearly completely

burnt. In addition, there is the geometric

change of the individual grains

after the thermal treatment. Above a

temperature of 573 °C, the quartz leap

ensures a reversible change in volume.

Not only residual binders but also corners

and edges flake off the grain. As a

result, thermal reclaimed quartz grains

have a specifically smaller surface area

than many new sands and thus have a

reducing effect on binder consumption.

The thermal reclamation plant leads

to effective waste reduction with moderate

energy consumption and can

therefore be regarded as a contribution

to environmental protection and

resource conservation.

Especially viewed against the background

of economic considerations,

this solution is becoming more and

more interesting for operators. Payback

times of 1.5 to 2.5 years are realistic.

With increasing plant size and sand

throughput, this value decreases


An outlook on future

application possibilities

In addition to the recycling of used

sand, the disposal of filter dusts is also

becoming more and more important in

many companies. The reasons are the

same as for the problem of used sand.

FAT‘s thermal reclamation plant is

also a solution here. Filter dust from

Thermal reclamation plant in France.

no-bake plants can be used as an energy

source for combustion in the furnace.

To analyze the behaviour of the dust

during operation of the reclamation

plant, the FAT test plant was extended

by a dosing unit. A defined amount of

dust was added to the used sand in the

combustion chamber.

Results are promising, because

during the thermal treatment in the

furnace, the loss on ignition of the

dust could be reduced by ~50 % and

the gas consumption could also be

reduced because of the energy of the

residual binder in the dust. Due to the

fine sand content in the dust, which

leaves the plant with the thermal

reclaim, the amount of dust could also

be halved.

Advantage over mechanical


The organic load in the resulting filter

dust of the thermal regeneration plant

is as follows: ~1 to 2 % of the sand circulation

volume and therefore explicitly

below the high loaded dust content of

approx. 5 to 15 %, which occurs during

purely mechanical regeneration.



This aircraft seat frame made of magnesium, which author

Andreas Bastian is balancing on a finger, weighs 56 % less than

the predecessor model made of aluminum. It was realized in

collaboration with the US investment casting foundry Aristo Cast.

Additive manufacturing –

a plus for modern metal casting

Many industrial manufacturers claim to be excited about metal additive manufacturing

– a process that makes possible previously unmakeable shapes – but how many are

actually doing anything about it?

by Andreas Bastian, San Rafael, USA

Photo: Autodesk

Aside from some early adopters,

many industrial manufacturers

are simply waiting, watching to

see if or when additive-manufacturing

technology matures. You might be one

of them. To be fair, there are several

reasons why manufacturers are sticking

with traditional manufacturing techniques,

such as metal casting, rather

than diving into metal additive manufacturing.

First, there are typically fewer than a

dozen widely available materials in use

for metal additive whereas metal casting

can use hundreds of different alloys

– and it’s really easy to use new custom

materials, even for a single part in a

high-volume project. Second, casting

works for enormous parts while metal

printers generally restrict you to breadbox-size

objects or smaller. Expense and

time are the third factor: Direct metal

laser sintering (DMLS) machines cost a

great deal, and they require a lot of

steps postprocessing, usually including

some sort of hot isostatic pressing and

removal of support structures from the

build plate.

Finally, casting is a well-understood,

qualified process that’s been around for

millennia. You don’t have to recertify

the process, which is extremely time

consuming and expensive.



Fortunately, relying on casting does

not have to preclude any manufacturer

from using the advanced geometries of

generative design or from getting

started with additive manufacturing. In

fact, modern metal-casting techniques

can provide a pathway to those technologies.

Unlike typical metal-3-D-printing

processes, in which shape and material

are defined at the same time, metal

casting separates defining shape and

material into two discrete steps.

Building on this idea lets you benefit

from a trifecta of technology: Using

generative design and digital optimization

can generate high-performance

geometries in the computer realm; nonmetal

additive manufacturing brings

that shape into the physical space as a

mold; and modern casting methods

finalize that shape using the right metal

for the job.

This approach gives industrial manufacturers

an entry point into both generative

design and additive manufacturing,

which will only become bigger

players in the future. And in the present,

manufacturers can benefit from casting

metal pieces from the 3-D-printed molds

– shapes previously unachievable.

Such a process can (and already does

in some cases) benefit businesses for

which lightweighting is concern, such as

in the automotive and aerospace industries.

It’s also great for creating custom

objects, like new knees and replacement

hips for medical-implant companies.

As an example of this tritechnology

production, earlier this year, my colleague

Andy Harris from Autodesk, San

Raphael, USA, and I made an ultralightweight

aircraft seat frame using lattice

optimization, 3-D printing, and investment

casting. We chose to make the seat

Figure 1: The pattern

produced in the

3-D printer has an

extremely filigree

structure. To obtain

the mold, the pattern

is coated with

ceramic and is melted

away afterwards.

frame out of magnesium because it

weighs 35 % less than conventional aluminum

for seat frames, and it has a

higher strength-to-weight ratio. Current

metal-additive printers cannot print

magnesium, so we turned to one of the

few foundries in North America that

pours magnesium, Michigan’s Aristo Cast.

The Aristo Cast team printed the seat

frame in plastic, made the pattern, covered

the pattern in ceramic (Figure 1),

melted away the plastic, and poured

magnesium into the ceramic mold to

make the final seat frame (Figure 2).

Benefit from your molding material preparation.

Take new opportunities and gain both greater flexibility and benchmark-setting quality for your cast parts.

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Figure 2: Casting of

investment casting

molds at Aristo Cast

in Almont, Michigan,

USA. Via inter locking

of casting and

3-D-printing the

manufacturing process

took only two


Figure 3: An aircraft

seat frame made by a

combination of generative

design, additive

manufacturing and

metal casting.

Due to its material and latticed

design, the resulting seat frame weighs

56 % less than typical current models

(Figure 3). That weight reduction could

save 100,000 US dollars (around

87,000 euros) in fuel for a single year of

615-seat Airbus A380 flights or 200 million

US dollars (174 million euros) over

the 20-year life of a fleet of 100 A380s.

It would also translate to a footprint-reducing

140,000-plus fewer tons of carbon

in the atmosphere.

It’s true that many foundries don’t

want anything to do with shapes that

look too foreign or too complicated,

because production work – versus lower-margin

prototyping work – is what

keeps the lights on at their facilities.

Forward-thinking Aristo Cast, however,

has used 3-D-printing technology for at

least 20 years and tests every new technology

that comes online.

Dispelling the casting myth that you

have to wait 18 months for parts, Aristo

Cast can turn parts around in as little as

two days – which is even faster than

metal printing in many cases. Aristo Cast

specializes in investment casting, in

which you make the object you want in

one material, and then through a sacrificial

molding process, you end up with

the object in a material of your choice.

Investment casting can produce

extremely high-fidelity details, down to

submillimeter features. If you leave a

thumbprint on your pattern, that thumbprint

will show up in your final piece.

Another casting technology, sand

casting, produces metal parts from sand

molds, which can be 3-D printed. Sand

casting doesn’t produce as fine of features,

but it can make much larger parts

than metal additive or investment casting:

parts that can weigh tens of thousands

of pounds and measure tens of


Many foundries are finding that into

high quantities of production, additive

is more cost-effective than tooling for

some complex geometries, particularly

in sand casting. But at the end of the

day, once the industry gets over the

hype of using additive for additive’s

sake, it has to be cheaper or somehow

provide more value than traditional

manufacturing technologies if it’s to see

widespread adoption.

Taking one step toward making that

a reality, 3-D Hubs just launched a service

that makes it really easy to get

metal parts quickly and cheaply by combining

additive manufacturing and

metal casting. 3-D Hubs manages the

entire process of printing the mold,

transferring it to the foundry, and getting

it cast. It’s printing on extrusion-based

FDM printers, but with a

material developed specifically for the

casting process that can be vaporsmoothed

to eliminate layer lines (a lingering


Services like 3-D Hubs are a great

way to introduce design engineers to

designing for additive. But whether you

go with a third party or do your own

experimentation, the important thing is

to just give the technology a shot. With

casting, the benefits of additive manufacturing,

generative design, and shape

optimization are all within reach.

Andreas Bastian is an engineer and

designer interested in the blurring line

between materiality and design by developing

and applying cutting-edge additive-manufacturing

technologies. Currently

a principal research scientist at Autodesk,

he studies both novel and established additive-manufacturing

technologies and their

role in the near future.

First publication on www.autodesk.com/

redshift on December 5, 2017





GIFA 2019

Part 1: Opportunities provided by new







International meeting place for the foundry industry:

Around 2,000 exhibitors will be present at the GIFA,

METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST trade fairs this

June. The number of visitors could exceed the 80,000

mark in 2019 (Photo: Messe Düsseldorf).

GIFA 2019 – The

future is digital

First-hand experience of the digital future no longer

requires a visit to Silicon Valley. More and more companies

are realizing that within the quartet of technology


new and exciting topics are being addressed! “The Bright

World of Metals” is focusing on digitalization and Industry

4.0 in 2019.

Gerd Krause, Düsseldorf

Photo: Andreas Bednareck

Heinz Nelissen, GIFA and NEWCAST President and Managing Director of Vesuvius GmbH,

Foseco Foundry Division, Borken, is confident about the digitization in the foundry industry:

„Foundries are well-versed in dealing with data-driven business models,“ he says.

Photo: Messe Düsseldorf

Digital transformation and Industry

4.0 are among the major topics

of the future in the metallurgy

industries. Increasingly

sophisticated sensor technology is providing

more and more data from the

production process in foundries and

steel mills. Every cast slab and every

rolled steel strip requires thousands of

items of data. Even a comparatively

smaller steel mill like Saarstahl’s at the

Völklingen site produces more than 100

terabytes of process data a year with

around two and a half million tons of

steel products – a data volume corresponding

to the contents of around 30

million telephone directories.

It is no longer simply the accuracy of

the data that is the basis for information

but the sheer volume as well. Evaluating

data, recognizing patterns and

obtaining information is no longer pos-



Photo: Andreas Bednareck

sible with conventional IT methods. As

big data analysis, artificial intelligence

and networked cloud systems are

replacing the data centres and relational

databases of the past, the digital

monitoring of machines and systems

reduces maintenance costs, increases

efficiency and has the potential to optimize

products. Cloud technologies, with

their storage volumes that are subject

to hardly any limits, can serve to make

it possible to generate more revenue

from operational product and machine

data with new services.

Metallurgical plant manufacturers

such as the SMS group, Düsseldorf,

hope that digital services will compensate

them for the weakening of their

core business due to worldwide overcapacities

in steel. Steel manufacturers

and foundries link purchasing, sales,

production and logistics in a cost-saving

manner with hardware-based IT application

of Industry 4.0. The development

of digital channels puts the customer at

the heart of the business.

For Essen-based steel and industrial

group ThyssenKrupp, the interlinked

steel factory with a digital channel to

the customer has already been

achieved. The Industry 4.0 hot rolling

mill Hoesch Hohenlimburg in Hagen is

interlinked with the precursor material

supplier Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann

(HKM) in Duisburg. The steel

slabs are cast in Duisburg, then rolled

in Hagen into medium-wide strip,

which is then processed by sheet metal

processors into components for the

automotive industry. Even during the

process, customers can use a PC, smartphone

or tablet PC to determine when

his steel strip goes into production and

make changes to material properties

such as sheet thickness and width at

short notice.

Impression of GIFA

2015, which had

excellent exhibitor

and visitor numbers.

In addition, the

internationality of

the metal fairs quartet

„Bright World of

Metals“ was larger

than ever with 56%

of visitors and 51%

of exhibitors.

Casters in the data stream

Generating process knowledge from

data with the support of Big Data and

implementing solutions in Industry 4.0 is

also on the agenda of aluminium and

iron casters. Solutions such as process

optimization through coupling of the

casting process simulation with datadriven

process models are in demand – a

research approach that Magma of

Aachen, a company specializing in simulation

software, is pursuing in the IProguss

research project. Intelligent energy

and resource efficiency is always an

issue, especially for a process-related

energy-intensive company such as an

iron foundry. Professor Dierk Hartmann,

Kempten University is working on an

optimized solution for the Adam Hönig

iron foundry. The foundry uses barcodes

that are scanned by employees on their

smartphones and transferred to a database.

In this way, new process parameters

can be added to the production

areas and the production process can be

tracked. The aim is to improve energy

and resource efficiency by reducing

overproduction of liquid metal

“Foundries are experienced in dealing

with data-driven business models”,

says Heinz Nelissen, President of GIFA

2019 and NEWCAST as well as Managing

Director of Vesuvius GmbH, Foseco

Foundry Division in Borken. Approaches

related to machine-to-machine communication,

automation and robot use,

computer-aided technologies, and

product and process development will

therefore also be a focus at GIFA 2019.

How Industry 4.0 can look in practice

can be seen at Karl Casper Guss in Pforzheim.

The foundry produces a wide

range of hand-molded parts with unit

weights from 100 kg up to 9.5 t. In

order to be able to react quickly to

changing customer requirements while

guaranteeing high production reliability

and quality at the same time, Casper

Guss relies on an integrated Industry 4.0

solution with three pillars:

1. Interlinking of all operating equipment

2. Planning and control of processes

with 100 % traceability through the

ERP system

3. As an interface to the extranet, a

web portal that gives customers

access to production information.

Linking of all systems from end to end

makes it possible to plan individual

orders directly, as Managing Director

Felix Casper describes. The ERP system

automatically checks feasibility upon

receipt of the order, thus ensuring a high

level of adherence to delivery dates.

Feedback from all production steps

improves throughput and increases quality.

Using the web portal, customers can

call up production information on their

orders from the extranet and directly

enter additions as well as changes to

dates or quantities. “Interlinking of the

customer systems with our own systems

leads to faster and more reliable processing

of orders”, summarizes Casper.

Opportunity of digitalization –

danger of disruption

The digitalization of production creates

a dynamic ecosystem. The potential

opens up opportunities for new competitors

from the start-up scene to offer

new services in order to make estab-

Prof. Dierk Hartmann from HS Kempten supported

the foundry Adam Hönig in digitization.

Barcodes are in use there, which are

scanned from employees by smartphone and

transmitted to a database.

Photo: Andreas Bednareck


lished companies vulnerable – even to

the point of disrupting existing customer-supplier


“Digitalization and disruption are

affecting every company and every

industry”, says Philipp Depiereux,

founder and CEO of Etventure from

Berlin. The only difference is the speed

of change. “What the publishing and

music industries have already painfully

experienced may also affect steel mills

and foundries in the future.” This was

also demonstrated by examples from

other rather traditional sectors such as

the heating industry. In this case,

start-up Thermondo used a good, digital

offer to insert itself between the

end user and established providers in a

very brief time and is today the largest

installer of heating systems in Germany.

Depiereux, who together with Etventure

advised not only plant manufacturer

SMS but also steel trader Klöckner

and assisted in establishing a digital

business model with a start-up in Berlin,

is certain of the following: “Steel mills

and foundries need to be aware of one

thing: Everything that can be digitalized

will eventually be digitalized. They have

to ask themselves whether they want to

Karl Casper Guss data

protection coordinator

Jens Trentini in the

server room of the

iron foundry. The

foundry focuses on

the networking of all

facilities, 100 %

tracea bility via ERP

system and a web

portal as an interface

to the extranet, which

gives customers access

to manufacturing


stand by and watch this change or

whether they would rather take action

themselves before a digital player

attacks their core business”, warns

Depiereux. The digital expert also has

good advice for established companies:

“Above all, they need to understand

what these large digital players and

start-ups do differently and make these

success factors their own.”

It is not convincing to Depiereux

that steel manufacturers and foundries,

forges and rolling mills, as classic representatives

of the old economy with

their heavy and bulky products, appear

at first glance to be less willing to

embrace the new business models of

digital transformation. “Selling a steel

slab digitally is of course more complex

than doing the same with a book. But

that doesn’t mean that it can’t succeed

and that someone will inevitably do it

at some point.”


Photo: Andreas Bednareck

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The possibilities offered by 3-D printing for production technology

are demonstrated by the complexity of this art print. It was printed

by the foundry Christenguss from the Swiss town of Bergdietikon,

where a 3-D printer is in operation since two years. The print has

1.35 billion individual surfaces and was temporarily exhibited in the

Centre Pompidou in Paris

Additive manufacturing: the key

issue for production engineering

in future

Additive manufacturing is the key issue for production engineering in future. Conventional

manufacturing technologies are being supplemented to an ever increasing extent

by three-dimensional printing, which is already in successful operation in many sophisticated

fields like the medical engineering, automotive and aerospace industries. The

foundry, steel and aluminium industries have also recognized the potential of 3-D printing.

For this reason, the four Düsseldorf trade fairs GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS,

NEWCAST 2019 (25. to 29. June 2019) are devoting a special show of its own to the subject

of “additive manufacturing”.

Gerd Krause, Düsseldorf

Photos: Christenguss


look under the bonnet of the

demonstration vehicle shows

the potential that industrial 3-D

printing has for the automotive industry:

few components but with more

functions and considerably less weight.

The new crash-proof front end structure

of the old VW Caddy, which

weighs 34 kg, is made from the

extremely strong and tough high-performance

alloy Scalmalloy from the Airbus

subsidiary APWorks using a 3-D

printer supplied by the German company

EOS. The 3iprint project that was

carried out under the leadership of the

development service provider csi won

the “German Innovation Award 2018”

in mid-June. The aim of the Caddy concept

is to indicate what is technologically

possible in automotive production

using new design methods and new

materials with the help of additive

manufacturing. Three-dimensional

manufacturing processes, which is the

general term used for the various additive

production technologies with all

the different kinds of 3-D printing systems,

are where the future lies. Additive

manufacturing with plastics, metals

and ceramics is already an essential feature

of industrial production today.

Almost 40 % of the German companies

surveyed in 2016 already used 3-D

printing, as the consulting firm Ernst &

Young determined. The potential in all

the different fields is tremendous. 3-D

printing with concrete could revolutionize

the construction industry, while

the bioprinting of living tissue is

already possible – and even the printing

of human organs is an issue that is

the subject of serious research. 3-D

printing is creating new opportunities

for the metal industries from aluminium

and steel to titanium and special

materials – whether foundries and steel

mills or forging and sheet processing

companies are involved. With 3-D printers,

structures are produced layer by

layer on the basis of digital design

data. Material is only used where it is

needed. Additive technologies have

their strengths where conventional

manufacturing processes like casting,

milling or forging reach their limits. 3-D

printing gives designers unlimited geometric

freedom. Complex components

with a bionic structure and integrated

functions can, for example, be produced

with varying wall thicknesses,

cavities and honeycomb structures –

like the heavy-duty, lightweight metal,

automotive structure from the 3iprint

project. The production of small

batches and even of individual components

is economically viable with 3-D

printing too. Die casting molds or forming

tools are not needed, which can

quickly lead to tool cost savings of sev-



Complex sand mold from the 3-D printer.

eral tens of thousands of euros. Individualized

components, prototypes and

spare parts that are rarely needed are

therefore considered to be the domains

of additive manufacturing. 3-D printing

is not, however, the universal “assault

weapon” for attacking the bastions of

established production engineering.

The manufacturing expert Franz-Josef

Wöstmann from the Fraunhofer Institute

IFAM in Bremen says: “Additive

manufacturing is a supplement not a

substitute.” 3-D printing reaches its limits

at the latest where large product

quantities can be made economically

with conventional manufacturing processes.

This is primarily the case in the

high-volume segment of the automotive

industry. Additive manufacturing

with metal is not productive enough

for mass production in series at the

present time. Dr. Stefan Geisler, former

Innovation Manager at KSM Casting

Group in Hildesheim, is certain: “3-D

printing will be increasing for premium

vehicles and for a limited number of

components, but it will not succeed in

replacing foundries.” He is convinced

that the quantities needed in the volume

market cannot be reached even

with the faster layering speeds possible,

for example, using additive manufacturing

with wire. Geisler points out:

“What is often forgotten is that additive

manufacturing cannot overcome

the laws of physics either. In the final

analysis, all that are involved there too

are processes: melting and cooling.

There are limits to the speed at which

this is possible.” In addition to this, the

printed articles need to be machined

into finished functional components.

Another definite disadvantage of additive

manufacturing with metal is the

high energy consumption involved.

Dr Wolfram Volk, Professor of Metal

Forming and Casting at Munich Technical

University, calculates that about

twice as much energy as in conventional

casting is required for the laser

melting of metal, from powder production

to the finished component. Additive

processes are becoming an increasingly

common element of existing

process chains. How additive manufacturing

and machining can be combined

to carry out comprehensive, hybrid processing

in a single machining centre is

demonstrated by, for example, the

machine tool manufacturers DMG Mori

and Hermle. World market leader DMG

Mori supplements laser metal deposition

by subsequent machining in the

form of turning and milling. Its competitor

Hermle extends a multiaxis

machining centre by a thermal spraying

process using its MPA (metal powder

application) technology, in which metal

powder is applied in layers to produce

a soundly built component. The Berlin

Printed sand mold

for a cylinder head

from MAN.

company Gefertec is looking to increase

manufacturing speed in the additive

processing of metals. The 5-axis lines

produced by the expert for additive

manufacturing technologies weld wire

in layers by the electric arc process. The

workpieces produced in this way have

outlines that are very close to the final

shape, which reduces the time and

tooling operations required for subsequent


Foundry: direct and indirect additive

manufacturing processes

The foundry industry can benefit from

additive processes in several different

ways. Direct additive manufacturing

processes give foundries the opportunity

to include individual parts or parts

that are needed in small quantities in

their product portfolio too. In the case

of indirect processes, on the other

hand, they use additive technologies to

produce molds and cores out of sand as

well as models out of plastic. Hybrid

technologies involving a combination

of conventional casting and additive

manufacturing processes have further

potential. In order to take greater

advantage of the potential that aluminium

has to produce lightweight

structures in automotive manufacturing,

the aluminium producer Trimet

from Essen is working on the development

of a hybrid process chain to link

die casting and additive manufacturing.

The approach adopted in the context

of the joint “CastAutoGen” project specifically

involves the incorporation of

3-D printed structures in a die cast component.

German industry holds a prominent

position among the producers of additive

manufacturing systems, as the BDI

(Federation of German Industries) concludes

in a position paper. The country’s

market share is about 70 % with powder

bed systems. The world leaders

Photo: Messe Düsseldorf


among 3-D printing manufacturers

include Concept Laser (metal), EOS

(metal and plastic), SLM Solutions

(metal) and Voxeljet. Voxeljet has specialized

in foundries and markets 3-D

printers for the production of sand

molds and cores as well as of plastic

models for investment casting by the

lostwax process. In order to produce a

casting, what are needed are a mold

and the appropriate cores to form the

cavities in the component that is being

cast. In classic sand casting, the molds

and cores are made from quartz sand,

which is strengthened by a special

bonding agent. While fully automatic

molding machines and automatic core

shooting machines are standard features

at modern foundries for the mass

production of car engines, for example,

it is rarely an economic solution to use

automatic equipment for prototypes

and small batches. 3-D printing is an

increasingly common alternative here.

Sand molds and cores of any complexity

are manufactured from the CAD dataset

via a layering process. Toolless manufacturing

of this kind provides high

flexibility as regards numbers, design

and versions and permits the production

in exactly reproducible quality of

complex molds and cores with practically

any geometry. Voxeljet talks about

cost savings of up to 75 % in the 3-D

printing of molds and cores made from

sand for small batches. The printing of

sand molds and cores is a highly suitable

option for development operations.

The iron foundry Düker with locations

in Karlstadt and Laufach, for

example, does not use models any more

in the casting it carries out for customers.

The CAD dataset is all that is

needed to produce the sand molds that

are manufactured additively. As a

result, new products can be implemented

in castings from computer files

within a short time and can then be

machined for trial purposes. Geometric

adaptations are simple to carry out and

recasting is then possible once the

design data have been changed and

another mold has been printed. Düker

reports that development time is

reduced significantly by this process. It

is apparently standard procedure to

produce initial samples within a few

weeks, for which months are needed in

the series process. Die casting with reusable

molds made from tool steel benefit

from 3-D printing too. “Additive manufacturing

is creating tremendous opportunities

for die casting companies”, as

Dr. Ioannis Ioannides, CEO of die casting



With annual production of 550,000 t, the Swedish company Häganäs considers

itself to be the biggest manufacturer of metal powder in the world. Metal

powders made from stainless and tool steel, nickel and cobalt alloys are produced

for use in the standard metallic additive manufacturing processes, such

as binder jetting, laser deposition welding and selective laser melting. Since

the additive manufacturing operations of the German powder manufacturer

H.C. Starck were taken over, the product portfolio has also included such technology

metals as molybdenum, tantalum, niobium and tungsten. Market

researchers like the 3-D printing experts at SmarTech Publishing are certain

that aluminium alloys have a successful future ahead of them. AlSi10Mg is

considered to be one of the materials that is used most frequently for additive

manufacturing today – from prototypes to series production. Special aluminium

alloys for additive manufacturing, like the scandium-aluminium alloy

Scalmalloy, are very strong and as light as aluminium, while they match the

stretch properties of titanium – although they are very expensive.

Aluminium manufacturers like the Russian company Rosal, the main producer

of the precious alloy element scandium, are therefore working on new

materials for 3-D printing involving a less expensive alloy formulation. Traditional

names from the German and European metals industry can be found on

the powder metals market. The Austrian company voestalpine produces the

necessary powder metals at its stainless steel subsidiaries Böhler in Austria and

Uddeholm in Sweden. Companies like Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, which claims

to be world market leader for high-alloy stainless steel and nickel-based alloys,

and the long-established stainless steel and special metals company Heraeus

also manufacture metal powders. The steel forging company Rosswag discovered

the market for itself four years ago and produces its steel powders itself

from forging residue of its 400 different alloys. Last year, Rosswag also

announced that it was co-operating with the 3-D printer manufacturer SLM

Solutions and the stainless steel recycling company Cronimet on the development

of special and high-performance alloys for additive manufacturing applications.

machine manufacturer Oskar Frech,

Schorndorf, who is both Board Chairman

of the VDMA foundry machine

trade association and a member of the

board of the VDMA additive manufacturing

task force, stresses in an interview

with the foundry magazine

GIESSEREI, sister magazine of CP+T. For

example, Frech uses 3-D printing to produce

a complex key component for its

low-sprue FGS tool technology that

economizes on recycled material (e.g.

aluminium or magnesium). The mold

plays a key role in the die casting process.

It is important that the castings

solidify as quickly as possible. The process

time for a component can be shortened

by faster cooling, while the quality

of the casting is improved at the

same time too. This depends on adequate

heat removal in the casting mold,

which is traditionally achieved via cooling

holes. Due to process constraints,

however, there are limits to how close

to the shaping surface that cooling

holes can be produced. Additive manufacturing

can help here, because cooling

close to the surface is possible even

in critical areas of the mold thanks to

the tremendous amount of design freedom

the process provides.

Special additive manufacturing

show at GMTN 2019

Messe Düsseldorf is supplementing the

metallurgical trade fairs GIFA, METEC,


are being held from 25. to 29. June

2019, by a special additive manufacturing

show. Exhibitors from all over the

world will be presenting new developments

about additive processes on the

GIFA site. Other participants are software

companies, which will be highlighting

solutions from 3-D visualization

and modelling to data processing, as

well as metal powder suppliers and producers

of machines, equipment and

processes for additive processing and

subsequent machining.





Exactpore 3-D filter generation

With its innovative

Exactpore 3-D filters,

ASK Chemicals, Hilden,

offers investment casters

as well as iron and

steel foundries new

and more efficient filtration options for

the highest casting quality. Thanks to

their particularly sophisticated and well

thought-through design, Exactpore 3-D

filters provide the highest structural

integrity and thus safety and efficiency

in use.

Metal purity is one of the most

important requirements in the foundry

industry. Best practice in the field of

molten metal filtration is the use of sintered

ceramic foam filters. But the

structure of the filter foams in particular

means that this form of filtration

also has its limits. During the ceramic

coating and sintering process, tiny particles

may form inside the filter structure,

which are only slightly sintered with the

base material. Flow through the filter

can cause these particles to detach,

which impairs the purity of the melt

and can lead to inclusions in the casting.

The superior structural integrity of

Exactpore 3-D filters ensures the

absence of loose particles and thus prevents

the contamination of the melt by

so-called filter bits and time-consuming


A further key advantage of the new

filter generation is its higher flow

capacity. Due to the uniformity of the

pore design and the structurally consistent

geometry, the flow capacity of the

Exactpore 3-D filters is significantly

higher than sintered ceramic foam filters

with the same filter and pore size

and thus offers foundries an opportunity

to further increase manufacturing


The uniformity of the pore design

and the structural integrity of the new

filters also significantly reduces turbulence

compared to conventional solutions

and greatly protects against reoxidation

caused by entrained air. In fact,

hardly any impurities get into the mold,

which leads to less reworking, improved

surface quality and lower rejection rates

and ultimately increases profitability.

„Finally, our new filters are manufactured

in such a way that the design

possibilities are virtually limitless,“ adds

Bob Gage, Market Manager Filters at

ASK Chemicals, as a further advantage

of the new Exactpore 3-D filter generation.

„With our new filters there are

almost no limitations as to what we can

offer our customers in terms of pore

design: We can produce almost any

pore size – even unconventional ones

– in order to guarantee the best possible

filter quality with constant flow


Hall 12, Stand A22



Feeding and Filtration for Aluminium Foundries

The methoding area

will highlight the optimal

use of foam filters,

die coating and feeding

systems in sand and

gravity die casting

applications. Applications will be

shown for aluminium and copper base

castings demonstrating excellent yield

combined with improved casting quality.

Foseco, Borken, will launch the Feedex

NF1 range of exothermic feeders

designed for aluminium applications.

The sleeve material is highly exothermic,

provides a quick ignition and has a

high strength and due to its excellent

feeding performance, manual application

of exothermic powders is avoided

thereby reducing emissions.

The new range of Dycote Safeguard

products are nano-ceramic top coatings

to be applied on top of the existing

insulating Dycote base coating to

increase the lifetime up to 300 %

(depending on application).

The longevity of a die coating is

essential for the die casting process.

Foseco’s latest Feedex NF1 feeding technology for aluminium foundries.

The longer lifetime leads to reduced

interruptions for touch-up and therefore

increased productivity. Finally, new

case studies of a filter and sleeve combination

with conventional running

and gating systems used in high quality,

technically demanding applications will

be displayed.

All relevant exhibits will feature simulations

using the most recent version

of the Foseco Pro Module for Magmasoft.

Hall 12, Stand A01 + A02


Photo: Foseco



Demonstration of “Complete Connected Foundry”

Photo: Norican Group

“GIFA provides the opportunity to interact,

share latest technical thinking and discuss

emerging needs”, stresses Peter Holm Larson,

President Parts Formation, Norican Group.

Delegates attending

GIFA 2019 will, for the

first time in the show’s

history, find Norican

Group, Herlev, Denmark,

and its 4 technologies:

DISA, Italpresse Gauss, StrikoWestofen

and Wheelabrator,

exhibiting the “Complete Connected

Foundry” powered by Norican Digital

– for both die casting and green sand


The range of innovation, technology

and expertise across Norican covers

every aspect of foundry operations,

from melting, dosing and green sand

molding, through to die casting, surface

preparation and finishing.

With a complete focus on metal

forming and preparation technologies,

and with the additional proposition of

being able to connect machinery, services

and processes using dedicated data

gathering hardware, and sophisticated

IoT software solutions – powered by

Norican Digital, Peter Holm Larson –

President, Parts Formation, Norican

Group – believes this will be an incredibly

important show for the organisation.

“GIFA provides the perfect opportunity

for our industry to interact, share

latest technical thinking and discuss

emerging needs – for example around

aluminium and new materials. We will

be displaying innovation to deliver

results addressing three fundamental

themes; how to boost foundry productivity,

optimize quality and control

resources in line with current manufacturing

demands”, commented Larson.

“As Norican these are conversations

we can have, and customer needs we

can meet, as a single provider with a

unique end-to-end knowledge of

foundry processes and deeper insight

into the market forces impacting on our

customer base. Our presence at GIFA

2019, even down to a new stand location,

is geared towards demonstrating

this capability mix and our commitment

to using that platform to deliver practical

solutions that make a real difference.”

Larson continued: “DISA, Italpresse

Gauss, StrikoWestofen and Wheelabrator

have successfully built long-standing,

trusted partnerships with foundry

customers based on answering needs

efficiently, innovatively and effectively.

Many of those customers will be attending

GIFA expecting to hear about the

latest ways their specific solution provider

can help tackle an individual challenge

or attain a particular production

goal. And they will.”

“But what they will also receive is

additional value that can only come

from a complete foundry picture – from

seeing how all parts of the puzzle fit

together to offer maximum benefit. In

that respect what Norican provides is a

joined-up offering that is greater than

the sum of its parts, borne of our focus

on metal forming and enhancement. To

be able to take this proposition to GIFA

for the first time is a hugely exciting


In addition to showcasing innovations

in metal casting, green sand molding,

die casting, shot blasting/peening

equipment and services – both physically

on stand and using state-of-the-art

displays - Norican will be delivering a

range of technical lectures and workshops

geared at helping customers

address challenges and maximize

opportunities at every point of their

foundry process.

Subjects to be covered during on-stand

sessions and as part of the official GIFA

lecture programme, can be summarized

under the following categories:

> Data-driven foundries – how to

acquire, monitor, analyse data from

every point in the foundry process to

boost productivity and quality now,

and capitalise on IIoT solutions in

the future as part of Industry 4.0.

> Achieving productivity, quality and

resource improvements – how

foundries of all sizes and types can

use new innovation and/or upgrade

existing solutions to be more sustainable,

energy efficient, productive

and profitable.

Hall11, stand A74 – A78





Crucibles for Non-Ferrous Foundries

Foseco, Borken, offers a

complete range of silicon

carbide and clay

graphite crucibles,

retorts and other specialized

shapes for use

in fuel fired, induction and electric resistance

furnaces and new crucibles with a

Thermacoat external coating layer

offering enhanced insulation and

reduced power consumption in induction

furnace applications.

In the Non Ferrous metal transfer

area Enertek ZnO will be featured highlighting

the energy and cost saving

potential in melting and metal processing

furnace applications.

Hall 12, Stand A01 + A02


Enertek ZnO Crucibles.

Photo: Foseco


Miratec-Technology for Turbocharger Casting

To meet increasingly

stringent carbon regulations,

a rethinking of

drive concepts is

required for the longterm.

Until e-mobility

can be used across the board, however,

“conventional“ drive technology will be

further downsized in conjunction with

ever more powerful turbocharger technology

in order to be able to satisfy the

aforementioned requirements. To withstand

higher exhaust gas temperatures,

f. e., turbocharger components are now

cast in steel, a process which places new

demands on coating technology.

In steel casting, it is state-of-the-art to

use zirconium-containing coatings, due

mainly to the good refractory properties

of zirconium. However, against the background

of the rising zirconium prices, it

makes sense to consider new solutions.

ASK Chemicals Research & Development,

Hilden, has developed a new coating

technology for turbocharger series

casting, not only to meet the new

requirement profile for turbocharger

component casting, but also as a

response to rising zirconium prices.

Miratec TC is a zirconium-free coating

technology, which nevertheless performs

with excellent thermal stability. The technology

gives the user more independence

from rising raw material prices

while benefiting from a product that is

in no way inferior to the performance of

zirconium coatings. Due to the significantly

lower density of the zirconium-free

coating compared to zirconium-containing

products, the Miratec TC

series has a wider range. In other words,

in addition to independence from high

raw material prices, Miratec TC technology

also provides the user with an

extremely efficient coating solution. The

new technology shows good suspension

behavior in the dipping plant and

adapted (short) cycle times in the application.

Relatively short drying times are

typical for the products. Thanks to consistent

further development, series applications

show a significant reduction in gas

and surface defects as well as safety in

achieving the required surface values.

„It is our task as a partner and supplier

to offer our customers sustainable

solutions. This includes solutions for new

materials, but also products that are viable

against the background of constantly

rising raw material prices. Of course, ASK

Chemicals always keeps an eye on the

efficiency of the solution,“ sums up

Christian Koch, Technical Product Manager

for coatings. Hall 12, Stand A22


Graphics: ASK


The new technical journal



steel production

application technology

innovation + management





Photo: Foseco

An Intelligent Coating Unit is the next step in simplifying the coating application in the foundry industry and automating the application

almost maintenance-free.

ICU – Intelligent Coating Unit

Today, automation of coating control and preparation is an established process in

many foundries. Since the introduction of density measurement and automatic

online-monitoring by Foseco, Borken, in 2008 substantial developments have taken

place leading to significant improvements of the measurement method and equipment

functionality. By intelligent control, a great number of new automation applications

become possible.

Christoph Genzler, Hengel, the Netherlands

Automated Coating Control

There are two widely adopted techniques

for measuring coating density;

by a pressure differential or by volume/

mass determination. The current methods

of achieving this have some disadvantages,

e.g. the use of measuring sensors

with moving parts that require

thorough and regular cleaning to

ensure consistency of operation or to

accept delays/ inaccuracies in density

measurement due to external influences

such as machine vibration

To overcome these issues a new

design philosophy has been adopted:

There should be as few moving parts

installed as possible, the unit’s components

should be designed as maintenance-free

wherever possible, the

achieved measuring accuracy and speed

should surpass current technology, it

should be possible to integrate the

measuring ‘intelligence’ directly into

other applications, e.g. dip tanks, flooding

or spraying units without having to

invest in a centralized preparation unit.

Furthermore, the unit should be compact

and sturdy in order to withstand

the rough foundry environment.


Figure 1: The pressure

sensors are designed

for a long service life.

Over 170 installed machines


When considering the equation for the pressure in a liquid:



p = pressure in a liquid ρ = density of the liquid

g = gravity at surface of liquid h = column height of liquid

It follows that if you measure the pressure at two different

heights, the formula can be rearranged for density, so that:


One can recognize that the density is related in a linear way

to the measured pressure difference [5].

Example: The pressures in a tank of coating are measured at

two fixed depths, and a difference be-tween the two pressures

is recorded at 0.50 bar. After adding 100 litres of water

to the tank the pressure difference decreases to 0.25 bar. It

follows that since all other factors have remained con-stant, a

halving of the pressure difference is due to the overall density

of the liquid in the tank reduc-ing by 50 %. Note that the

coating and water will need to be mixed to achieve a homogenous


The ICU consists of a coating homogenisation tank, in

which the pressure probes (Figure 1) are incorporated into

the surface of the tank and do not limit the effectiveness of

the mixing unit. The PLC control (Programmable Logic Controller)

continuously monitors the density of the coating,

automatically adding water or undiluted coating to maintain

the required density at all times. The control unit also controls

the mixer timing and speed to ensure homogeneity of

the coating. From this tank coating is supplied to one or more

coating application stations for use, excess coating is returned

to the tank via a filter configuration for re-checking and


The pressure probes are extremely robust with a guaranteed

life time/ warranty of up to 10 years. They also allow the

ICU to monitor each measurement automatically and provide

the possibility to determine any sedimentation tendency of

the coating. Until today this has not been possible with other

units and provides significant benefit. When considering a

possible contamination by bacteria in a water coating it is

important to understand that this will not result in any

change of the density. The coating will change, however,

regarding its properties like matt time, flow length and sedimenta-tion

tendency which will affect indirectly the structure

of the layer - a parameter which must be kept constant

unconditionally [1]. By measuring sedimentation rate it is possible

to monitor rheological changes in the coating and affect

appropriate action.

Welcome to the market leader

of 3D core & mold printing

Visit us at GIFA 2019

from 25-29 June in Duesseldorf

15/A11 • gifa.de

ExOne GmbH

Daimlerstr. 22 • 86368 Gersthofen

+49 821 650 630 • europe@exone.com


Figure 3:

Integrated timer for

container connection.

Figure 2: Optionally, the system is equipped with a

UV water treatment.

Figure 4: The density measurement technology

of the ICU can be integrated directly

into the dip tank.

It is also advisable and possible to

integrate within a pressure sensor a

coating temperature monitor-ing programme

for registering at least critical

product temperatures and fluctuations

that may cause concern [3].

The advantages are: Optimized

processing of diluted coating, continuous

monitoring and recording of coating

density, automatic dosage of coating

or dilutant to maintain density,

coating application (applied layer

thickness) is more consistent and predictable

and reduction of maintenance


Measurement accuracy

The self-control and calibration is

affected by means of a third sensor

enabling comparison of three separate

differential pressures (top-bottom;

top-middle; middle-bottom) and which

thereby not only monitors the homogeneity

in the vessel but also displays

simultaneously a possible increased sedimentation


The pressure sensors which are used are

also employed, for example, in sludge

conveyance and fracking. This means

that they are very robust and designed

for long service life. There is no need

for moving the sensors for cleaning as

they are maintenance-free. It is now

possible to achieve a measurement

accuracy enabling a max. tolerance of

0.1 % of the desired value. For example,

a range from 1.1498 to 1.522, when the

desired density value is 1.1510.


During filling or returning of the coating,

turbulence may introduce air inclusions

and, thereby, undesirable foaming.

In the ICU this is prevented by a

novel filling technique.

Another weak point of existing

plants the shear forces, which due to

stirring or pumping act negatively on

the coating by effecting the balanced

rheological properties of the product. A

shear force, which is too high (for

example due to circulation in a measuring

tank) can change the character and

behaviour of the coating completely.

The newly developed propeller

geometry enables the ICU, to minimize

this shear load by employing extremely

low revolutions (10 - 30 rpm), whilst still

ensuring a homogeneous product.


By means of UV disinfection treatment

(Figure 2) the water used for dilution

can be disinfected without using

any chemicals. This results in longer service

life of the coating and, simultaneously,

less waste.

Historically, additions of undiluted

coating have been left to the user and

it could happen that non-homogeneous

coating additions have a negative influence

on the automatic preparation process.

This was taken in consideration

when the ICU was designed: By means

of an integrated timer control (Figure 3)

the supply containers can be connected

directly to the ICU, homogenised and

used, thereby preventing any overmixing.

Subsequent to the container

change homogenisation of raw coating

is started automatically.

Coating Cleanliness

Molding/core sand is a significant

source of contamination. Sand inclusions

in the coating layer can cause

inclusions in the casting surface, which

quite often can result in a scrap casting.

To avoid this, the ICU is fitted with a

double-filter system which not only

removes these contaminants, but which

also can be exchanged without interruption

to production.

Integrated Application Systems

Many users do not need a central

preparation plant but are employing

stationary units like dipping tanks or

flow coat stations. In such a case, as per

example at Eisengießerei Dinklage, Dinklage,

Germany, the intelligence of the

ICU can be integrated directly within

the dip tank (Figure 4, read company

report from page 12).

Coating monitoring by means of ICU

intelligence is influencing the coating

directly in the combined dipping/ flooding

basin. The consumed volume is

filled up automatically from a connected

coating container. The accurate

and fast determination of the density

enables the ICU to quantify the

required volumes of raw coating or

respectively dilution medium in advance

and replenishment can take place without


Profitability analysis

Profitability analysis for an exemplary


> In the core shop there are 5 dipping

tanks of which 3 are by manual

operation and 2 are fitted with


> Historically a dipping tank cleaning

cycle of 2 times per month is undertaken,

giving rise to a coating waste

amount of 86.4 t/year (24 cleaning

operations per year).

> By employing the ICU, it became

possible to reduce the cleaning cycle

to once per quarter, resulting in a

saving of 64.8 tonnes of coating.

> With waste disposal costs of 0.8

euros/kg, it is possible to save

directly 51,840 euros/year.

> The diluted coating has a cost of

0.30 euros/kg. Therefore, in this case

(64,800kg times 0.3) 19,440 euros/

year less coating costs occur.

In addition to the direct coating costs,

the foundry benefitted from improved

casting quality. The foundry has a

capacity of 54,000 tonnes per year and

produces 16,000 t of a component having

a defect rate of +- 5 %. The costs for

removing this defect are 0.15 euros/kg.

By using the ICU, it was possible to

reduce coating-related defects by

2.5 %. This equates to a quality related

saving of (16million kg times 2.5 %

times 0.15) 60,000 euros per year.

The use of the ICU was thus paid off

in the first year with 131,280 euros.


An Intelligent Coating Unit is the next

step to streamline coating handling in

the foundry industry and for nearly

maintenance-free automation.

In view of the increasing demands in

foundries regarding process-reliability

also process-reliable coating handling is

needed, as this has a substantial influence

on casting quality.

The authors would like to thank the

iron foundry Dinklage, in particular

Björn Ploch, for the valuable and trustful

cooperation. Thanks are also due to

the firm of Schipper/STS at Almelo, particularly

Messrs. B. Jannink, K. Smidt

and M. Wolters, for the joint development

of the ICU. Further thanks go to

the Foseco team for their great support.




Christoph Genzler on

the Intelligent Coating





160 °C.

Hall 11 / H73

Pre-shredder in aluminium

foundry reduces scrap

Implementation of a sophisticated safety concept for the monitoring of

container filling levels in the light alloy foundry of BMW.

Production of cylinder crankcases in Landshut.

Sophie Kesy, Munich

Photo: BMW

At the BMW Group‘s plant in

Landshut all scrap products such

as punching waste and sprue systems

are recycled and then remelted

(Figure 1). For this purpose, the die-cast

parts were previously collected in containers

without being shredded and

were removed from the basement of

the foundry with considerable use of

manpower. In the course of a renewal of

the casting cells in the foundry hall, the

work processes were optimized and

more efficient processes set up. Erdwich

Zerkleinerungs-Systeme GmbH, Igling,

was awarded the contract to design a

plant that enabled the collection and

shredding of the foundry‘s aluminium

waste directly from the press. For this

task, the recycling expert adapted the

RM 1350 pre-shredder to the local conditions.

Onsite shredding means that

the containers with scrap parts and

punching waste have to be transported

far less frequently to a large container,

which contributes to a significant

increase in operating efficiency. In cooperation

with the technical department

of the BMW Group, Erdwich also developed

a sophisticated safety system for

monitoring the condition of the


The light alloy foundry at the BMW

Group plant in Landshut is one of the

most modern foundries in the world.

Every year, around five million aluminium

casting components, such as engine

components or structural components

for the vehicle body, are produced here

using five different casting processes,

with a total weight of 84,000 tons. As in

all areas of the company, the aluminium

foundry works with maximum efficiency

in order to keep the scrap rate as low as

possible. In the past, the regularly occurring

scrap was collected in containers

without being shredded, removed from

the basement and then returned to the

melting process. The cast aluminium

parts had dimensions of up to 2,000 x

1,400 mm and therefore took up a lot of

space in the collection containers. This,

in turn, meant that the containers had

to be emptied frequently, which

required a great deal of time and man-



Figure 1: During the production

of cast aluminium parts,

scrap is produced which is

melted down again. Previously,

these parts were collected

in containers without

being shredded and required

so much space that the containers

had to be emptied


Photos: Erdwich Zerkleinerungs-Systeme

Figure 2: The scrap parts such

as punching waste and sprue

systems fall directly from the

press into the hopper of the

shredding plant and then into

containers. These are regularly

emptied into a large container

and then transported to the


Figure 3: The intermediate shredding systems

allowed the volume of die-cast

parts to be reduced by some 50 to 60 %.

As a result, the containers have to be

emptied far less frequently, which results

in significantly lower time and manpower


power. In the course of reconstruction

measures in the foundry hall, during

which the casting cells were replaced

one after the other, it was planned to

optimize the recycling process.

New plant achieves significant

increase in efficiency

Erdwich Zerkleinerungs-Systeme GmbH

from Igling in Upper Bavaria, which has

decades of experience in the construction

of recycling plants, got the order to

plan and commission the metal shredder.

This was particularly beneficial for

the project in Landshut, as Richard

Adelwarth, project manager at Erdwich

Zerkleinerungs-Systeme GmbH, reports:

„When we visited the site, it quickly

became clear that the solution required

in the tender would not have the

desired effect. We therefore carried out

many trials and consulted another company

in the industry, with whom we

regularly work on larger projects in

order to be able to offer an optimum

solution.” Erdwich finally made a

machine available with which a typical

production process was executed.

The recycling experts designed a

machine based on the RM 1350

pre-shredder. This machine is characterized

by fast and easy maintenance, long

service life, optimum shredding and

high throughput. To date, seven systems

with soundproof enclosures have

been installed for the eight casting cells

and punch presses in the plant. „Loading

takes place in free fall, that means

the molds, which are to be returned to

the melting process, now fall from the

pressing plant directly into the hopper

of the pre-shredder and then into a

container measuring 1,400 x 1,400 x

900 mm,“ explains Adelwarth

(Figure 2). When the container is full, it

is transported outside, emptied into a

large container; and this in turn is

brought to the smelter. The shredding

process has reduced the volume of cast

parts by 50 to 60 %, which means that

the disposal containers have to be emptied

far less frequently and thus require

less time and manpower.

Sophisticated safety system

developed together with BMW

The pre-shredders were adapted to the

special conditions prevailing on site.

The drives of the machines, for example,

had to be mounted on one side

instead of the usual two. The reason for

this was the columns of the building,

which were located in the area of the

installation site and therefore required

a narrower design. In addition, the

crushing tools themselves and their

arrangement within the cutting chamber

were adapted to the local conditions.

Over and above this, the standard

version of the RM 1350 already has a

safety system. This includes a PLC control

system (Programmable Logic Controller)

with automatic reverse and cutout

control, so that the machine is

protected from damage in the event of

overload or bulky solid parts. In addition,

each shaft is equipped with an

energy-optimized frequency converter,

which ensures that the two cutting gear

shafts are driven separately. This

enables optimum adaptation to the

shredding process. Together with the

technical department of the BMW

Group, the safety system was extended

by new features. „Both the filling level

of the removal box located in the basement

and the monitoring of the shredder

itself are now displayed transparently,

so that a quick response can be

made if necessary,“ explains Adelwarth.

Further optimization potential


As soon as all casting cells have been

replaced, a conveyor belt system could

be installed in a further expansion stage

in order to further optimize the disposal

process. Thereby, the shredded rejects

would no longer to be collected in containers

that have to be removed and

emptied by hand – instead, the rejects

would be transported directly into the

large container via a conveyor belt. In

this way, scrap products and punching

waste from all casting cells can be disposed

of simultaneously and without

additional logistical effort (Figure 3). For

the current expansion stage, all necessary

alterations were quickly implemented

so that Erdwich was able to

meet the requirements placed on the

machines. As a result, the work processes

were considerably accelerated.







10th anniversary of foundry pilot plant

ASK Chemicals celebrated the 10th anniversary of its foundry pilot plant together with customers,

partners and employees.

Together with customers, partners and

employees ASK Chemicals, Hilden, celebrated

the 10th anniversary of its

foundry pilot plant at the company

headquarters on the 14th and 15th February

2019. The festivities were rounded

off by a lecture colloquium held the following

day, at which representatives

from the academic world as well as customers,

partners and employees of ASK

Chemicals gave lectures that focused on

the importance of networking for innovation

and success.

As the first foundry supplier, ASK

Chemicals opened an efficient pilot

plant in Hilden more than 10 years ago,

which today is an essential part of the

company‘s product development activities.

From the outset, ASK Chemicals‘

management placed great emphasis on

technical services and continuously pursued

the development and expansion of

its pilot plant at the company‘s headquarters.

The establishment of the

foundry pilot plant enables ASK Chemicals

to close the gap between product

development and customer application

quickly and efficiently. By simulating

the customer process in the pilot plant,

the Hilden-based company is able to

implement the right solution for the

customer with only a few iteration

loops. Over the past 10 years, ASK

Chemicals has continuously invested to

provide its customers with value-added

products and solutions. The most recent

investment is the 3-D printing laboratory

set up two years ago for the application-oriented

development of inorganic

and organic binders for 3-D sand


In addition to its core functions, the

pilot plant also plays a central role in

the development of prototypes for

innovation projects – such as the further

development of Inotec technology

– on which ASK Chemicals works

together with selected customers. In

this way, the performance spectrum of

current developments can flow directly

into the customer process without customers

having to take on a high investment

risk with regard to machine technology.

The celebrations at ASK Chemicals

were held under the motto „Networking,

Innovation, Passion“ – key ingredients

for being successful according to

Jörg Brotzki, Executive Vice President.

„The network concept, the qualification

of our teams and their passion for the

field of casting are key success factors

when it comes to developing innovative

and value-adding solutions for our customers.

We recognized this early on

and have been relying on this recipe for

success for more than ten years, in

which the pilot plant plays a central

role.“ www.ask-chemicals.com

Photo: Vogt/BDG


High quality sand core curing

Sand cores are building the backbone

of the foundry business to deliver constantly

improving foundry products. The

sand core requirements stretch from

high dimensional accuracy to easy core

removal while at the same time demanding

the lowest possible cost. Sand core

quality plays an important role as quality

defects of sand cores usually results

in defects of final foundry products.

All these requirements are driven to

ensure the highest possible quality for

the final foundry product at the lowest

price. All inorganic sand core manufacturing

processes offer various parameters

to adjust the sand core quality.

The parameters can be grouped into 5

main critical steps during the manufacturing


1. Sand core & core box design

2. shooting process

3. Curing process

4. Handling & Storage

5. Application

All processes have a direct impact on

the quality of the sand cores. The key

difference is that the curing process

(Step 3.) has the biggest operational

impact on the individual sand core quality

while all other process parameters

are designed upfront and to ensure reliable


The main reason why the curing process

is so critical is that it requires heat

application to the individual sand core

to ensure sufficient sand core strength.

Heat application processes are difficult

to control, especially if heat is generated

externally and conveyed into the

core box.


The common heat applications in

the core box are the use of thermo oil

and heating rod while additional heat

energy is applied to the core via heated

air while removing humidity.

The key problem remains: sand

(cores) heat conductivity is terrible. As

a consequence the core box is operated

with excessive heat to increase the

heat transfer into the sand core with

the aim to reduce the cycle time. This

approach has limitations as the sand

binders have a maximum temperature

to avoid damaging the chemical binder.

The „Advanced Core Solutions­

“(ACS) project has patented a new process

that generates the heat directly

inside the sand core. This process uses

the electrical conductivity of the inorganic

binders. Heat is generated by

applying electrical current to the sand


The core box design is very simple

as it mainly contains the core box, electrodes

and isolation layer as visible on

the picture below. The obvious benefits

of reduced energy consumption

Individual measurement of energy consumption

with ACS technology.

and better sand core quality due to

homogeneous curing of the full sand

core are enriched by the underlying

possibilities to control the quality per

individual sand core.

The flow of electrical current

through the sand core is at ever millisecond

controlled and documented. This

allows to measure the energy

consumption, temperature and time

per individual sand core even in larger

core boxes with multiple cavities.

Furthermore can the quality data

be linked to each sand core and used

Photo: ACS

for life cycle tracking. This enables

future insights by applying big data

analysis by connecting the results to

final foundry product quality.

The true potential comes in play if

the individual sand core results are

compared to all previously manufactured

sand cores.

Using the Six Sigma concepts allows

now to detect any major variation versus

previous results and sand cores can

be marked for additional inspections

or removal. This decreases quality

defects early in the manufacturing process

to reduce additional losses later in

the manufacturing steps and at the

same time increasing the output capacity.

The technology especially becomes

interesting for large sand cores or sand

cores with high annual volume. The

estimated benefits reach up to 30%

faster curing processes without shell

formation and at the same time reduce

33% energy consumption due to elimination

of external heat generation.









More foundries around the world

choose Simpson Analytics for their

sand lab than any other

technology. Consisting of over 85


Simpson Analytics is:

• More flexible to different


• More accurate

• More repeatable

• Easier to use

• More durable

• Easier to calibrate

Simpson Analytics, including all

of the former +GF+ products, is

supported by our global service

network, based in the USA,

Germany and India, for spare

parts, repair and calibration.





Simpson Technologies (Deutschland) GmbH

Roitzheimer Strasse 180, 53879, Euskirchen, Germany



Heiko Lickfett elected Secretary General

Heiko Lickfett succeeds Max Schumacher

as Secretary General of CAEF, The

European Foundry Association, as of

01.01.2019. The CAEF is the umbrella

organization of the national European

foundry associations. The organization,

founded in 1953, has 22 European

member states and works to promote

the economic, technical, legal and social

interests of the European foundry


Heiko Lickfett and Max Schumacher

are from the German Foundry Association

(BDG) based in Düsseldorf. Lickfett

is also head of the Economics Department

of BDG, while Schumacher is the

association’s Managing Director. Heiko

Lickfett studied economics and political

science, starting his career as an economic

advisor at the German Steel Federation

followed by his position as economist

at the Association of German

Foundries (DGV) in 1991 – which was

later to become BDG. He has also been

active in CAEF in various functions for

more than a decade.

The start of the year was also marked

by the relaunch of the CAEF’s internet

presence. The umbrella organization’s

completely redesigned website at

www.caef.eu offers comprehensive

information in English on the Association

and its organizational structure as

well as on foundry technology and its

applications, statistical data, a dedicated

members’ access page, and a download

area (e. g. for general contractual conditions).

A picture database for media

representatives is also in preparation.


Heiko Lickfett (left) succeeds Max Schumacher as Secretary General of CAEF.

Photo: BDG


New casting process developed

The joint venture between Rheinmetall

Automotive, Düsseldorf, and China‘s

HUAYU Automotive Systems has developed

a production process that is particularly

suitable for highly complex

engine block geometries and electric

motor housings.

The joint venture between Rheinmetall

Automotive and Huayu from

China has developed a process for production

at the new Chinese plant in

Guangde that is particularly suitable

for complex engine block designs and

electric motor housings. At KS Hyayu‘s

test foundry in Neckarsulm, the process

was brought to series production.

According to their own statements, the

specialists are combining the advantages

of different casting processes.

With the new low-pressure sand

casting, weight savings of around 3-5

% could be achieved with less material

input. In addition, casting can be carried

out in comparatively short cycle

times. The new process is initially to be

used for a four-cylinder in-line engine

with an overmolded cast iron liner. The

liners used are cast a few millimeters

over the cylinder head to avoid the

milling cutter having to move through

different materials during subsequent

machining. This design would not be

possible in classic low-pressure gravity

die casting.

For Head of Development, Dr. Christian

Klimesch, the process is no longer


completely new territory, „since the

same process is already being used at

the Chinese plant in Guangde to manufacture

the electric motor housings of a

battery-powered car for the Chinese

market.“ This development also originated

at Neckarsulm and was subsequently

transferred to the site located

some 300 km west of Shanghai.

The exacting tolerances placed on

the positioning of the liners in the sand

proved to be one of the challenges in

the progressing of the process for

engine block manufacture. They need

to be heated in the fully assembled

core package after they have been centered

exactly between the some 22

sand cores of the package when cold.

Chill castings are likewise required

in the area of the bearing bulkhead

most stressed during subsequent

engine operation. Since cooling is not

active as in permanent-mold casting,

the required heat extraction must be

controlled by the mass of the chill castings.

In this way, very high material

properties (tensile strength and yield

Rheinmetall and Huayu have developed a

new low-pressure sand casting process.

strength) are achieved with simultaneously

increased elongation. This is

exactly what engine builders want for

today‘s highly stressed engine generations.

The great advantage of this process

is to allow the design engineer maximum

design flexibility with undercut

geometries and all shapes of channels.

Photo: Rheinmetall Automotive

In addition, less material has to be used

and weight savings of between 3 and

5 % can be achieved. Due to the

extremely low heat conduction of sand,

lower wall thicknesses can also be

obtained with the same filling speed

and melt temperature compared to

permanent-mold casting.

Another advantage is that low-pressure

sand casting is a very robust process

with comparatively few variables

providing matters such as the connection

of the core package to the filling

are under control. Klimesch quotes:

„This is where our many years of experience

and our leading position in

low-pressure casting come into play.

Once you‘ve set the appropriate parameters,

it‘s like pretzel baking.“ And as

the clock shows, it is also similarly productive,

because instead of a cycle time

of up to eight minutes as with

low-pressure permanent-mold casting,

for example, the new process requires a

maximum of a quarter of this time.



Strengthening of market position in India

Hüttenes-Albertus Chemische Werke

GmbH (HA), Düsseldorf, announced it

has increased its stake in its longstanding

Indian joint venture Gargi Hüttenes-Albertus

Private Limited (Gargi HA)

from 40 % to 74 %. HA´s co-shareholder

in Gargi HA, the Kapur family, will

remain a strong minority shareholder

with 26%. The Kapur family will continue

to be active in the management of

Gargi HA.

Gargi HA has been a joint venture

between the Kapur family and HA since

1988. The partnership of Gargi HA and

HA has set itself the goal of being the

most reliable and inventive partner to

all foundries in the Indian Subcontinent

with all products and services that are

required for advanced and efficient casting


Gargi HA serves the Indian foundry

industry with tailor made resins and

coatings. The state-of-the art manufacturing

plants are located at Nerul and

Khopoli in Western India. The highly

skilled technical team of the company

continues to improve products and services

in order to meet increasing quality

requirements of their customers.

With the increase in share the

General Management of HA Group

implements an important strategic step

since India is the world´s second biggest

foundry market with more than

50 % growth in the past ten years.

“Our strategy is to strengthen our presence

in India in order to further

expand our group‘s market share in

the region”, says Dr. Carsten Kuhlgatz.

Christoph Koch comments: “We

strongly expect further growth for our

company, especially by fully integrating

Gargi HA into the HA Group, which is

known globally for its state-of-the-art


The combination of Gargi HA’s excellent

network and knowledge of the

local market on the one side and the

backing by leading technologies of the

global player HA on the other side,

makes the company the most competent

partner of foundries in India. Supported

by the HA Group’s modern R&D

centers and the recently built HA Center

of Competence the company is ready

for the future - with advanced foundry

chemical products and services for every

stage of the casting process.

“We have always highly respected

our partners of HA in Germany for their

values, their technological competency

and their vision to help foundries all

over the world to be successful and

competitive”, says Vinod Kapur, Executive

Chairman of Gargi HA. Vinod Kapur

as well as Managing Director Vicky

Kapur are now to handing over the leadership

of Gargi HA to the new generation:

Both Gaurav Kapur as well as

Varun Kapur are assuming broader

management responsibilities, whereas

Vinod und Vicky Kapur will further provide

their experience and advice in the

Gargi HA Board.

Gaurav Kapur is looking forward to

the strengthened partnership with HA

and to assuming new responsibilities:

“The friendship and togetherness with

our partners of HA has been determining

my whole life”, he says. “Although

we have different cultures, we share

same values and objectives and a sincere

mutual trust. I am proud to be part

of the HA family and I am eager to do

my best to successfully shape our common





Fairs and Congresses

Aluminium Two Thousand

April, 9-13, 2019, Treviso, Italy


Castexpo 2019

April, 27-30, 2019, Atlanta, USA


Hannover Messe

May, 1-5, 2019, Hanover, Germany


Innovations in Die Casting

May, 13-15, 2019, Nowy Adamów, Lodz, Poland


Litmash 2019

May, 14-17, 2019, Moscow, Russia


18th International Foundrymen Conference

May, 15-17, 2019, Sisak, Croatia


20th International Die Casting, Foundry &

Industrial Furnace Exhibition

June, 13-15, 2019, Pazhou, Guangzhou, China


Advertisers‘ Index

Admar Group Ocala, FL/USA 23

AGTOS Gesellschaft für technische Oberflächensysteme

mbH, Emsdetten/Germany 35

ASK Chemicals GmbH, Hilden/Germany 11

DVS Media GmbH, Düsseldorf/Germany 43

ExOne GmbH, Gersthofen/Germany 45

Hüttenes-Albertus Chemische Werke GmbH


Kjellberg Vertrieb GmbH,


Maschinenfabrik Gustav Eirich GmbH & Co KG


Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, Düsseldorf/Germany


O.M.LER S.r.l., Bra (CN)/Italy 41

Optris GmbH, Berlin/Germany 25

Regloplas AG, St. Gallen/Switzerland 47

Simpson Technologies GmbH,


GIFA 2019

June, 25-29, 2019, Düsseldorf, Germany



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