Thanks to a tracing system that was developed for Fundiciones del Estanda
A group of Ceit-IK4 researchers, in collaboration with the companies Sisteplant and Fundiciones del Estanda SA, are working to improve casting processes by bringing their expertise in process and resource optimization and integrating information and communication technologies (ICT).
The TRADEF project (Hazitek Framework, Basque Government), has undertaken the initial development of a screening tool for use during the process of casting steel in sand molds. The objective is to identify the variables in the process that can lead to errors and that may give rise to imperfections (quality defects) in the final part. To that end, Ceit-IK4 has created a monitoring system that uses sensors and cameras and has been implemented by Fundiciones del Estanda.
The project targets a specific group of parts (disk brakes for the railway sector) where inclusions and defects (sand deposits, pores, cracks, etc.) tend to appear, both on the surface and in the interior of a part, rendering the finished parts unusable. The inability to detect quality defects in parts during the casting process can increase production costs and energy consumption as well as generate excess CO2.
Given the above, the three aims of Ceit-IK4's project are to produce parts that are free of quality defects, reduce costs that are associated with discarding parts during the casting process or customers’ returning defective parts, and achieve greater environmental efficiency.
In our increasingly competitive world, being able to get a product right the first time is essential in allowing manufacturing companies to offer their best solutions to their customers. In the casting industry, a niche industrial sector that is characterized by a lack of automation and control parameters in some processes, there are many uncontrolled variables that have an effect on the quality of the final product and can lead to defects.