First steps towards the vision of the Digital Cell

Taking die casting digital

Technological advances are key to increasing die-casting productivity. Digital technologies offer huge potential – enabling foundries to collect and analyze data – and create a clear path to future efficiencies. 

Retrofitting the latest digital control system can open up a raft of new possibilities for older die-casting machines, improving production control and quality, and extending the lifetime value of the foundry’s initial investment.

Michael Cinelli, Product Manager for DataView, says it can be like upgrading from a basic phone to a smartphone: “With DataView, the die-casting machine can be operated via a touch screen. It all becomes fast, intuitive and easy to manage.”

Just as important, Cinelli argues, is that DataView gives customers the opportunity to join Bühler on a journey towards the vision of the Digital Cell of the future. “Our vision is to achieve 0% scrap, 40% less cycle time and 24/7 uptime. Digital control is a vital first step.”

Multi-touch screen provides intuitive set-up and handling

Bühler’s latest DataView control unit can cut programming times by up to 25% and make the operator interaction simpler, faster and more intuitive. It gives operators a clear graphical reading of the machine at all times. The multi-touch screen has drag and drop functionality to set parameters, such as curve points and break points during shot curve programming. 

Continuous monitoring options are another advantage. Data can be used to display productivity in real-time and provide trends for analysis. Quality data, including tolerance limits, can be shown in easy to review graphs and charts to help operators improve outcomes. 

Towards a digital future and the Internet of Things

Bühler is working towards the vision of the Digital Cell, where the smart cell management system (SmartCMS) covers the entire die-casting cell. Cinelli explains: “Whilst DataView brings the foundry immediate advantages in operation and maintenance, it will also provide the opportunity to expand digital control to the entire die-casting cell with SmartCMS.” 

Bühler is currently retrofitting its DataView control system as an upgrade to older control units. The upgrade takes place at the foundry and can be completed in less than two weeks, giving the foundry a path to digital benefits for years to come.

Srdjan Paunovic, Foundry Head at Wagner AG in Switzerland, one of the first customers who installed DataView, says: 

The operation is simply more intuitive, and is visible immediately. All the information relevant for operation is always available. It’s impressive.

Srdjan Paunovic, Foundry Head at Wagner AG

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