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AZTERLAN successfully presents its developments and its vision of foundry technologies’ innovation trends at GIFA

The Immersive foundry, based on the intelligent management of the process, artificial intelligence for efficient decision-making and the importance of incorporating the different operational roles in the process, has been the idea that shaped AZTERLAN Metallurgy Research Centre’s offer for this outstanding international framework.

The GIFA International Foundry Technologies Trade Fair is one of the main meeting points for the sector globally. For several editions, this event that takes place every 4 years has been a staple milestone for AZTERLAN, which, as a Technology Center focused on metallurgy and metallic materials’ transformation technologies, has a long history linked to this industry.

As explained by Susana Méndez, director of Foundry Technologies at AZTERLAN, “GIFA is a strategic milestone for our team that allows us to demonstrate and contrast our developments, as well as our philosophy of where we believe the sector should advance towards technologically. The global foundry community is lookig forward to the novelties that are presented at GIFA, for this reason it is a key moment to show our capabilities and to listen to the sector”.

In this edition, AZTERLAN has gathered the developments presented at GIFA around the integration and the intelligence of the casting process. “For several years we have defended that predictive technologies, the tools that will allow foundries to avoid defective manufacturing and optimize and adjust their processes, are one of the main clues to the future of the industry”. As a research center targeted at the industrial competitiveness of metalworking companies, AZTERLAN aims to develop new useful knowledge for industrial processes. To this end, IoT and industry 4.0 technologies enable the development of specific technologies and means that can be directly applied by companies, being able to adapt them to their unique characteristics. “Simulation software, platforms for process data management and exploitation, the development of ad-hoc predictive models… make it possible the convergence of expert knowledge and new knowledge generated with the aim of improving competitiveness in each sub-process. They are also a key technology to settle the know-how of the organization and to automate the continuous learning of the process”.

The AZTERLAN foundry expert assures that the foundry industry is already aware of what these technologies can contribute. For this reason, she believes that the industry is ready to internalize the next technological leap. “Now that, after many years of hard work, we have accomplished to introduce these technologies in the foundry industry and have demonstrated their value, the next technological leap will come from artificial intelligence and the integration of people and operational roles in this control system and the overall management of the foundry. In other words, we must ensure that the relevant data/message reaches the right hands at the right time. Only that way will we achieve true efficiency and the ability to act preventively”.

The vision of Immersive Foundry presented by AZTERLAN at GIFA that integrates Thermolan®, Kasandra®, PDManager®, Salomon, DyMetriCS®, process Digital Twins and diverse capture agents into the Sentinel® Platform and around foundry-workers.

Thus, in addition to showing how the different tools developed by AZTERLAN to monitor the process are integrated to carry out a real time monitoring with a predictive orientation, the team also brought new development lines to GIFA; one of the is the integration of a facial recognition system. In the demonstrator showcased at GIFA, this system, linked to the Sentinel® artificial intelligence platform, allowed or denied accessing the manufacturing plant based on the PPE worn by each individual. “Although this system was used just as a playful demonstration, we believe that those who have approached our space have understood the value and the projection capacity behind these technologies and the capacity of AZTERLAN to carry out developments based on the integration of people in productive spaces. Through this type of technologies data management will be specific to each individual, at the level that corresponds to them, and the knowledge economy will be an idea closer to industrial reality”.

Sustainability solutions, high performance and relevant projects underwaya

However, AZTERLAN has also shared innovations and capacities in other areas of great interest for foundries, such as process efficiency or environmental solutions. “Of course, productivity and issues related to environmental liability (waste and emissions being areas of special interest) have continued to show as hot issues in the different interviews that we have had with foundry stakeholders, regardless of their country or geographical area of procedence. Thus, although these concepts have also been integrated into the process control means developed by AZTERLAN, they are “by themselves areas of great relevance and set some of the strongest objectives towards which all our developments are oriented: productivity, zero rejection and achievement of specific goals, whether in the environmental sphere, product quality, energy efficiency… In fact, it is the foundries that, with their concerns, their challenges and their goals, set our innovation agenda”.

The AZTERLAN stand has also been a meeting point where some of the greatest advances achieved within ongoing projects have been presented. Among others, a gathering on LIFE GreenCasting project has been hosted. This project works on the incorporation of inorganic binders to the iron casting process. Progress and achievements of projects such as Nemarco, Hipermat, Circom, MPC or Kasandra, among others, have also been covered.

Finally, it must be noted that AZTERLAN also participated in the official program of the NEWCAST-Forum technical framework organized within the fair and in which Susana Méndez and Aitor Loizaga (head of Iron Foundry Technologies) presented the work “NUCLEATION AND SOLIDIFICATION MODELING OF IRON ALLOYS FOR PROCESS CONTROL IN REAL TIME (KASANDRA®)“. This new AZTERLAN development will allow working under predictive manufacturing models in terms of soundness, incorporating the metallurgical characteristics of the metal in real time into the feeding and filling simulation process.


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Azterlan Team
Azterlan Team
RE·Thinking Metallurgy. 40+ años acompañando a la industria metal-mecánica.

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