Metallurgy Research Centre

  • 21 de junio de 2017

200 professionals share latest developments in foundry technology at the IX International Foundry Technical Forum

The ninth edition of this outstanding international technical event organized by IK4-AZTERLAN Metallurgy Research Center and the TABIRA Foundry Institute was a meeting point for technicians and professionals from over 100 organizations who were able to share the latest advances and experiences about competitive improvement.

Focused on the global challenges that the sector is facing, and more specifically related to the application of 4.0 technologies in industrial casting processes, the IX International Foundry Technical Forum has count with an outstanding working program. The participation of lecturers from first level companies like SEAT S.A., FUCHOSA S.L., INFUN GROUP, LINGOTES ESPECIALES DE VALLADOLID S.A., PIEZAS Y RODAJES S.A., SAKANA S. COOP., FOSECO, ELKEM AS, ASK-CHEMICALS GmbH, SISTEPLANT, HÜTTENES ALBERTUS ILARDUYA, TU BERGAKADEMIE FREIBERG, SAKTHI Portugal, EXONE GmbH, ILT PLASMA TECHNOLOGIES S.L. and SAINT-GOBAIN, along with specialists from IK4-AZTERLAN Metallurgy Research Centre and representatives from the WORLD FOUNDRY ORGANIZATION, have made possible an interesting event with two intense working days (7th and 8th of June) of technical up-to-the-date contents.

Watch the videos of the event in IK4-AZTERLAN's Youtube channel

First level speakers and contents

The Forum was officially opened by Mr. Imanol Pradales, Deputy Council for Economic and Territorial Development of Biscay, who reminded the successful experience of Factory of the Future Project, supported by the Provincial Council of Biscay and coordinated by IK4-AZTERLAN, with the participation of 3 important foundry companies from Durangaldea region.

Mrs. Marta Ratón, General Manager of Fuchosa S.L. and current President of the TABIRA Foundry Institute welcomed all delegates to the event. Mrs. Ratón also put the focus on the need to integrate new technologies and digitalize foundry processes. This challenge is nowadays without any discussion the main target for the industry to improve its competitive levels.

Aligned with this idea, Mr. Andrew Turner, General Secretary of the World Foundry Organization, ensured that new technologies can help to increase efficiency, quality and productivity in the casting industry. Mr. Turner also brought an interesting overview of the status of the worldwide casting industry, which keeps on growing in terms of global production capacity.

Among the technical lectures from the program, outstanding figures like Mr. José María Borda, General Manager of SISTEPLANT, shared with the attendants some of the clues of the technological, intelligent and human factory of the future. Mr. Borda emphasized the need to settle a strategy and to dedicate resources to approach challenges associated to process digitalization.

IK4-AZTERLAN researcher Mr. Argoitz Zabala and Mr. Fernando Vilela, Process Control Manager at SAKTHI PORTUGAL, presented the results of the OLYMPO project. They showed the level of maturity of both organizations associated to the development and the integration of intelligent management technologies in foundry processes.

Dr. Gotthard Wolf, from BERGAKADEMIE UNIVERSITY of FREIBERG, explained the audience the different alternatives and success experiences put in practice by German companies in the field of 4.0 industry implantations.

In the same line, Mr. Said Omar, General Manager of EXONE Italy, showed the opportunities that 3D printing offers to foundry companies. Mr. Omar presented his company’s developments for the fabrication of molds and cores at a serial scale.

Mr. Torbjorn Skaland, Technical Director of Foundry area in Elkem AS Norway, centered his presentation in highly interesting metallurgical areas related with the manufacturing of big size components is spheroidal cast iron for the wind energy sector.

The opening of the second working day (June the 8th) was made by Mr. Luis Manuel Cañizares, Chief of the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Information Society Guidance of the BASQUE GOVERNMENT, and Mrs. Ainara Basurko, Managing Director of BEAZ. They were accompanied by the presentation of the 73rd World Foundry Congress that will be held in Krakow (Poland) in September 2018.

Mr. Francisco Requena, Production Innovation and Digitalization Manager at SEAT, centered his speech in the importance of developing a corporate culture compromised with the implantation of 4.0 technologies. Mr. Requena enhanced that cooperation and participation are clue values to face this challenge.

Deepening in technical areas directly linked to foundry technology, this second working day gathered the presentations from outstanding international speakers. Mr. Pierre-Henri Vacelet, Director of Cold Box and No-Bake Binders at ASK CHEMICALS, presented some of the new materials for cold box process that improve the impact of environmental and healthand safety  aspects.

Mr. Ronny Simon, Director of Non-Ferreous Technologis at FOSECO, shared with the delegates present at the Forum the latest developments in aluminum degassing by rotating means with the use of an intelligent software for process control. This software predicts and optimizes parameters for the degassing operations in specific process conditions.

Mr. Peter Gröning, Product Manager of HÜTTENES-ALBERTUS, showed the advances in specific resins and additive systems that allow greater thermal stability, lower gaseous evolution, lower emissions and greater flexibility for the manufacturing of cores for complex foundry applications. 

Mr. Gorka Zarrabeitia, researcher from the Metallurgical Processes department of IK4-AZTERLAN exposed some of the latest developments in the modeling of the graphitic expansion, which is very important in the last phase of the solidification process (sf>0,75 onwards). New indicators have been calculated to show the tendency (or lack of it) to form secondary graphite.  This is a key element to offset secondary contraction’s effects and to minimize micro-porosity defects in cast iron components.

Mr. José Ramón Alonso, CEO of ILT Plasma Technologies, presented the main characteristics of the application of high-power thermal plasma in foundry. Both, laboratory testing and industrial applications were shown. 

The Forum ended with the presentation of Mrs. Martina Dierkes, European Foundry Manager from the company SAINT-GOBAIN. Mrs. Dierkes shared very interesting experiences and technical applications to minimize wear effects and to optimize efficiency and security of the refractory materials in melting and maintenance operations of induction furnaces.

Round table: Foundry technicians share experiences

The IX International Foundry Technical Forum has also hosted a round table where representatives from referent foundries shared their view about how foundry industry is facing the integration of 4.0 technologies. Mr. Lorenzo Martín (Production and Engineering Manager of FUCHOSA SL), Mrs. Ana Hernández (Metallurgic Quality and Engineering Chief of INFUN Group), Mr. Pablo Torres (Industry Manager of LINGOTES ESPECIALES SA), Mr. Fernando Hernández (CEO of PYRSA. Group ITM) and Mrs. Esperanza Ochoa de Olza (SAKANA S. Coop.’s High Technology Casting area) shared with the audience very interesting discussions about the application of 4.0 technologies in their companies.

More than 200 attendants listened to speakers and round table participation.

The high level technical contents and the opportunity to share some of the latest experiences from reference companies, along with the active participation of a high number of technicians and companies from the foundry sector have been the main drivers for the success of this international technical framework.

Special recognition to all the experts and companies that have made possible the configuration such an interesting working program, with an specific mention to the company FOSECO as the Official Sponsor of the event and HUTTENES-ALBERTUS, as Industry Partner of the IX International Foundry Technical Forum.