Cloud-based software promises to reduce green sand casting rejects and optimize additive consumption by applying predictive and prescriptive data analytics, machine learning and IoT functions to green-sand molding
Excerpt from the March 2019 issue of Foundry Management & Technology
The Smart factory "vision" is gaining global acceptance. It involves integrating data analytics, machine learning and IoT by incorporating sensors, SCADA and line-speed or near-real-time data-based analytics for process optimization. Predictive and prescriptive data decision-support, predicting highly accurate outcome has shifted the paradigm in manufacturing and many other industrial and consumer sectors. For manufacturers, rapid proliferation and advancement of information technologies, such as cloud computing, allows them to generate and store huge volumes of data.
In addition, the digitalization of the green sand casting process automation has empowered industries to collect and transmit near-real-time data. Cloud computing ensures data availability without geographic or physical limitations. By leveraging the power of data-based analytics and machine learning, industries are generating significant tangible and intangible profits.
Chowdhary is the inventor and developer of Sandman, a patented Cloud-based software service offering algorithmically derived mathematical modeling that foundries use to optimize molding sand control.
“A unique and complex model framework for prescriptive analytics predicts dose-by-need additive quantity for each batch of sand,” he noted, “helps to reduce over/under dosing of the system sand. This allows foundries to operate their sand systems in an optimal and dynamically balanced manner that is both sustainable and scalable.”
Optimizing additive and sand usage thus also helps reduce toxic waste. Chowdhary argues that the need for data-based analytics is critical in green-sand molding.
Sand is also the highest contributor to casting defects due to inherent process variables. Almost 80% of all castings worldwide are produced by green-sand casting processes, owing to the low operating cost and wide availability of low-cost raw materials. Therefore, Chowdhary continues, “relying on human-interface based decisions to control high-volume, high-density, high-speed green-sand molding systems significantly lowers the complex understanding of the sources of errors, and the potential to resolve them. If a foundry is checking 10 sand properties daily and there are even three significant types of defects occurring repetitively, it’s like taking decisions with a multivariable factor of 103!” he emphasized.
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