Undeniably, reliable and accurate data is necessary in industry 4.0 revolution. This data is generated from sensors placed in the casting process. Therefore, sensor implementation strategy must be thoughtfully designed. In other words, how to put a sensor closer to the relevant phenomena that needs to be controlled and how to assure sensor’s life and tool performance in doing so.
Mold cavity is at the core of the casting process. Additive Manufactured (AM) inserts are usually placed in the most relevant zones of the casting. Therefore, adding sensors in additive manufactured inserts is the next logical step.
Nevertheless, placing a sensor within an insert is just the first move. In order to give value to the casting industry, the following issues must be address:
• Data generated from the insert cannot be left standing alone in an isolated recorder, data must be integrated into the central casting cell monitoring system. Otherwise, data availability will be limited resulting in poor data exploitation.
• Sensor implementation in the insert must have a cost driven approach. This is achieved when the additive insert manufacturer have design capability, sensor knowledge and the full pack is taken into account during the fabrication process. In other words, a multi-technological approach is demanded.
Finally, the value of this approach can be stated as:
• Increased process stability: Up to 20% lower scrap rate.
• Avoid fatal failures in real time: Possible to notice cooling blockage within one shot.
• Operate insert under optimum conditions: Reduce time to find the process window by 30% and increase insert lifetime by 40%.
• Review cycle time produced parts and process stability from everywhere, every time: Increase transparency and call to action.
• Calibration of simulation for better design and process setup: continuous learning and knowhow increase.