Innovation and growth during market slow down in the foundry industry

The Indian market is stuck in a labyrinth of reduced manufacturing schedules and production with the auto-industry facing the wrath of reduced sales for the last 1 year. This in-turn has struck the foundry industry questioning its existence and relevance in the future.

With the current market conditions and global competition, the near future sure looks scary! It is times like these that compel us to adapt or perish. Apart from the market slow-down, the regular challenges in the industry - environmental concerns, casting rejections, surface finish, still prevail.Thanks to industrial innovation we now have the technology that is commercially available to help beat the current market slow-down and improve profitability and performance.

Nanokarb - our nanotechnology based carbon additive for green sand (lustrous carbon former), is one of the products that can help you do just that and more!

This is a case study of one of our customers who have not just been the recipients of monetary benefits, but have also drastically reduced their carbon footprint.

Having 1800 MT/month capacity, the foundry is housed in Central India. They currently use a combination of High Pressure moulding line and Conventional Jolt-Squeeze moulding line fed by the same sand plant, where metal: sand ratio varies from 1:4 to 1:10. We started dosing NANOKARB into their sand system.

Below are the observations:

Bentonite Consumption:

Bentonite Consumption

Coaldust Consumption:

Coaldust Consumption

This reduction in consumption yielded a direct financial benefit of close to ₹1.35 Crores per annum (approximately $193,000 USD per annum).

With Nanokarb, intangible benefits like ultimate surface finish and drastically reduced environmental impact is a given.

During the market slow down crisis, ultimate value is created when a product not only does its job but also adds value to all the departments in the foundry, from being cost effective to being environmentally friendly. With our nanotechnology based Nanokarb, we have successfully engineered a green sand conditioner that not only does the job of forming a barrier between the metal and sand with precision, but does this while reducing the impact on the environment and at the same time saving precious resources for the foundry.

While advanced material science can add a lot of value, it would be less effective if it does not get implemented effectively. One of the biggest challenges in a foundry is to figure out where to allocate the limited resources and ensure these resources deliver the highest impact. This is where OGSS comes in.

OGSS is our intelligent AI powered, cloud-based software application that empower foundrymen make informed decisions. Advanced AI based algorithms and analysis help reduce reaction time and scrap rate and ultimately improve productivity. With OGSS, foundry personnel are equipped to shift from reactive control to proactive control, thereby reducing the amount of time taken for Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and executing corrective action from a few weeks to a few days resulting in huge financial savings.

OGSS was deployed and was functional in one of the largest auto parts and equipment manufacturers in Madhya Pradesh, India. With 2 years of foundry data fed into the application, OGSS was continuously monitoring parameter behavior across all departments.

During the months of summer, foundry personnel began adding more and more water into the system which was not in sync with other related parameter patterns. OGSS immediately identified the build-up of free moisture in the sand system which could affect the produced casting quality and sent alerts to the concerned foundry personnel to reduce moisture to a specific value. Prescribed corrective action to control moisture levels in the system were ignored by the foundry personnel.

This resulted in continuous build-up of free moisture in the system which eventually manifested as moisture-related rejections in the produced castings. For a foundry melting 70-80 MT of liquid metal per day, this means a loss of ~$10,000 USD which could have been avoided by implementing the corrective action as suggested by OGSS.

In a foundry manufacturing multiple components a day with varied sand-to-metal ratio, impact to the sand system might be high. AI methods such as Recurrent Neural Networks and Time-convolution Networks learn the foundry processes; enabling our algorithms to aid in Production Planning thereby ensuring impact to the sand system is least.

Below are the direct financial benefits from using OGSS:

Reduced rejections:

Reduced rejections

Reduced sand preparation cost:

Reduced sand preparation cost

Times like these are what separate the best from the herd. The best will adapt, perceive this slowdown as an opportunity to implement and adapt to new technologies.

Refcoat and its pioneering products are for the best to become better!