• News
  • Talent
  • Webmail
  • Generic selectors
    Exact matches only
    Search in title
    Search in content
    Post Type Selectors

Shaping the foundry of the future by means of the “perfect casting”


In the month of June took place in Dusseldorf a new edition of the GIFA international foundry exhibition, which along with NEWCAST, THERMPROCESS and METEC shapes “The Bright World of Metals” quartet. Being a reference event for the global foundry industry, approximately 50,000 visitors from more than 100 countries and about 900 exhibitors from 50 different countries have taken part in this outstanding show. As a Technology Centre focused on metallurgy and metallic transformation processes with a wide knowledge and experience on casting technologies, IK4-AZTERLAN has participated once again in GIFA.


The topics with the highest interest for the foundry industry such as additive manufacturing, sustainability and specially, 4.0 technologies set the main leitmotiv for the encounter. The proposal of the exhibitors and visitors’ requests clearly showed that advanced sensorics, data capture systems, cloud systems, artificial intelligence and big data are becoming more and more important for castings industry. 


It could be observed that big corporations, such as the Norican Group (that congregates DISA, Italpresse, StrikoWestofen and Wheelabrator companies) or SINTO, presented many examples of equipment that implemented IoT solutions with diverse aims. For instance, while the first one used augmented reality to show how data flow across a production plant and how information is visualized in their Digitalizer interface or introduced the new DISA MAC system to control mold mismatch, the second one presented its new generation of equipment emphasizing connectivity and digitalization. Of course, Universities, Technology Centers and SMEs did also present their innovations for the casting sector. 


Without any doubt, 4.0 industry technologies are called to revolutionize the foundry industry. Progressively, these technologies are being introduced through the companies which already count with tools to improve the control over their process. The target is clear: to improve the efficiency level, to reduce costs and more than anything, to optimize processes assuring the quality of the final products manufactured. 


Nevertheless, the great variety of atomized solutions along with the urgency to incorporate 4.0 technologies into the manufacturing processes can also be dangerous for foundries: losing the overall vision of the process, getting non-comparable dat, or forgetting the real reason why these technologies are incorporated (4.0 becoming an objective itself, instead of a tool) are real threads for the casting industry in this approach. A strategy that leads and rationalizes the incorporation of data capture and mining systems is mandatory. 


The Perfect Casting: the philosophy that structures the 4.0 foundry vision of IK4-AZTERLAN 


With the aim of preventing these complex scenarios (which are more usual than many could think), IK4-AZTERLAN shapes its technological innovations for the casting industry focusing the role of IT to support the productive infrastructure. By structuring its technological developments around the Perfect Component philosophy, 4.0 technologies developed by the Metallurgy Research Centre go hand in hand with a solid metallurgical base and process knowledge. In this way, digitalization is the basis to obtain data that, transformed into information, will allow to generate innovative knowledge to feed the eco-system of process control.


Figure 1: Eco-system of developments under the “Perfect casting” philosophy

Custom metallurgy, Product optimization, New tooling concepts and Advanced Control Systems. IK4-AZTERLAN has been presented at GIFA the main developments from the last 4 years, merging metallurgy and materials, Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technological Solutions. Linked to the Perfect Casting philosophy, the Metallurgy Research Center aims at creating a change of mindset towards the Foundry of the Future, evolving from advanced manufacturing to the knowledge economy, creating a range of products that interact inside the same metallurgical process to: 


Detect the components that do not fulfill the production requirements and to segregate them easily during the process. 

Precisely identify the dark zones that may create problems for different fields, such as quality. 


Reduce the rejection rate (parts that do not meet the requirements or standards). 

Ensure the development of a perfect component 

Finally, strengthen the production process and consolidate the continuous improvement by means of an advanced knowledge management. 



Figure 2: Technological developments presented at GIFA by IK4-AZTERLAN for a zero defect foundry. 


Some of the technological solutions developed by AZTERLAN that can already be applied by foundries are: 


Thermolan – Metallurgical quality predictive system: his system (software and hardware) allows to ensure the metallurgical quality of the molten metal, predicting the evolution of shrinkage defects. Thermolan combines the results of thermal analysis with the own geometry of the part (thermal module) for an accurate prediction of the final characteristics and properties of the component. Also, more than 30 parameters that determine the effect of the raw materials on the base metal can be controlled. 


Eidocalc – Live simulation during the solidification process: Eidocalc is an advanced simulation system that combines traditional numerical simulation with real-time metallurgical quality evaluation and Artificial Intelligence based models, in order to achieve a more accurate prediction of shrinkage. Eidocalc has been jointly developed by AMV Soluciones, Veigalan and IK4-Azterlan. 


PDManager – Smart management of process data: This system captures, digitalizes, organizes, traces and stores the most relevant information of the production process. Based on custom-built developments, PDManager facilitates to work with the critical information from the production process.


DyMetriCS -Dynamic mould mismatch control: It is a portable cyber-physical device for controlling the mismatch in vertical molding systems. 


Sentinel – Monitoring, management and real-time evaluation: Predictive control system run by artificial intelligence that monitors and controls the whole process. The Key Performance Indicators are displayed and evaluated in real-time so, when undesired deviations are detected, an alarm system identifies the problem to apply immediately the corresponding corrective actions. 


Salomon – Intelligent management to optimize the metallurgical process: This application identifies which input variables are critical within the process or which ones better adjust to the prediction target. It helps define the best working conditions to obtain optimized results for each indicator. Salomon makes Artificial Intelligence available to metallurgical experts.


For more that 10 years, IK4-AZTERLAN develops advanced technological solutions that gather the expert metallurgical knowledge with the wide experience in the different casting technologies by developing process control tools. The technological innovations of IK4-AZTERLAN are oriented towards providing an added value to industrial companies to give the technological leap needed to become the “Foundry of the Future”. The foundry of efficient production processes oriented to a zero defect manufacturing

Dr. Javier Nieves
Javier Nieves, PhD.

Head of Intelligent Manufacturing Technologies


Contacta con Javier.

Contact Javier.

How can we help you?

Mantente informad@ de la actividad de AZTERLAN

¿En qué idioma quieres recibir la información?

Keep up with AZTERLAN’s activity.

Language of preference

Contact Xabier

Contact with Maider Muro

Contact with Dr. Urko de la Torre

Contact with Dra. Anna Regordosa

Contact with Dr. Rodolfo González-Martínez

Contact with Ander Areitioaurtena.

Contact with David Aristondo.

Contact with Juan J. Bravo.

Contact with David Garcia.

Contact with Jose Ramon.

Contact with Oihana.

Keep up with AZTERLAN’s activity.

Language of preference