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FOUNDRY 4.0: An innovative technology for sustainable and flexible process design in foundries

: Scharf, S.; Sander, B.; Kujath, M.; Richter, H.; Riedel, E.; Stein, H.; tom Felde, J.

Volltext ()

Procedia CIRP 98 (2021), S.73-78
ISSN: 2212-8271
Conference on Life Cycle Engineering (LCE) <28, 2021, Online>
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IFF ()

The issue of resource-efficient and sustainable manufacturing is now more of a priority than ever. Both technological innovations and continuous optimization of existing process flows are essential to ensure resource-savings and future competitiveness, especially in small and medium-sized businesses. The present contribution introduces a developed technology innovation for a fully mobile melt supply system. The three hitherto necessary process steps of “melting metal”, “transfer melt” and “hold melt” are replaced by a single process step “melting and holding metal in fully distributable crucible systems”. This novel approach allows to combine individual process steps in a single one and, thus, to completely reorganize material flows and manufacturing supply chains in foundries. As fully connected systems, value-creating units (casting stations) will ladle fusible alloys from mobile crucibles on demand. This will facilitate route optimization in supply chains through more flexible process flows and product families and satisfies the demands of a sustainable, energy-efficient, and highly flexible foundry production. The technical core of the plant development is a novel burner technology based on inexpensive natural gas. This burner system enables a gas-based heat generation in electrical control quality and for the first time a process-safe recirculation and recycling of high-temperature waste heat produced by processes to preheat combustion air, which boost efficiency further and cutting costs and emissions. The new overall technological development considerably reduces manufacturing costs and at the same time contributes significantly to environmental protection by a substantial decrease of CO2 emissions.