Euroguss 2020, which was held in Nuremberg on January 14th-16th, 2020, was the last major event for the aluminium industry before the stop imposed on all trade shows following the Covid-19 emergency. The comments recorded at the time among the exhibitors highlighted the importance of process and technology innovation to stimulate market recovery. An aspect that will play a key role in the next post-emergency phase.
Ecotre Valente, a Brescia-based excellence and exclusive distributor for Italy of ProCAST, QuickCAST and QuikCAST Lt software for the simulation of foundry and steel production processes and since 2010 of DEFORM software for the simulation of cold and hot stamping, forging, rolling, extrusion and heat treatments, concluded its participation at Euroguss 2020 with excellent results and over 200 visitors at its stand. An event full of innovative proposals, sustainability, digitization and efficiency. ECOTRE was an undisputed protagonist allowing all visitors to experience first-hand Virtual Foundry 4.0; since 2018 ECOTRE is its first European centre thanks to the network created between Brescia and the five offices in Germany: Munich, Stuttgart, Neu-Isenburg, Darmstadt, Dresden, Essen and Wolfsburg.
“Simulation software translates mother nature into mathematical equations and allows a scientific prediction of the emergence and formation of shrinkage porosity, gas porosity, crack formation and all other defects typical of metallurgy,” Lorenzo Valente, CEO of ECOTRE, explained. “During Euroguss visitors and customers were able to appreciate the expertise and competence of the ECOTRE team and the efficiency of the simulation software in creating a true predictive digital twin. Simulation today is essential to operate in a market which requires the production of difficult parts quickly and leaves no room for errors, trials and subsequent sampling. Today it is no longer acceptable to make mistakes. While in the past it was normal to take a year to develop the production of a component, today it can take up to 2-3 months at most. Products and components are more and more sophisticated, times are getting tighter and tighter. Virtual production today enables knowledge of what will happen in months, gaining time and saving what would need to be invested in testing, subsequent corrections and quality controls.”
Internet of Things (IoT), Machine learning and Big Data are becoming more and more common words in the industrial world. It is estimated that by 2022 a quarter of global manufacturing will use artificial intelligence for processes such as service and maintenance.
With the advent of Industry 4.0, maintenance of production facilities is no longer limited to the routine replacement of worn components but becomes part of the production strategy.
But obtaining information is not enough: it is necessary to know how to interpret it in order to make correct decisions. From the awareness of the need for a change of vision comes Perpetuo, the first artificial intelligence software for predictive maintenance in the foundry.
Presented as a world premiere at the Euroguss 2020 trade fair in Nuremberg, Perpetuo is the first artificial intelligence software created in the foundry for the foundry, the only one capable of communicating with any machine and peripheral equipment in the die casting cell, capable of supporting companies not only in the management of daily maintenance activities, but also in the vision of strategic development.
“A cultural change is needed. This is the mission of the ‘Gefond for a long life industry’ approach based on three principles: looking to the future and focusing on technological innovation, expanding the range of services, investing in training to increase productivity”. This was explained by Tiziana Tronci, External Relations Manager & New Products Development at Gefond, a company that has been representing and distributing consumables and technological systems for the non-ferrous alloy foundry sector in Italy since 1994. Tronci continued: “Artificial Intelligence is able to interconnect thousands of data faster and with greater precision. Perpetuo was born from the encounter between technical expertise on die-casting machinery and know-how in the development of artificial intelligence software applied to predictive maintenance. It allows a reduction of costs and a reduction of plant downtime. It is the essential tool finally present also in the foundry world”.
On the occasion of Euroguss 2020 IECI, already a forerunner in the field of IOT in thermoregulation, presented the new management system for temperature control and remote maintenance.
In the last edition, the pioneering IOT 4.0 was presented, with which IECI control units are monitored online by the Italian office that, by scheduling preventive maintenance, avoids costly production stops for customers. Today IECI goes one step further and integrates the online monitoring system with the possibility of managing the entire array of temperature controllers, remotely. Numerous technical innovations were also presented with regards to temperature control technology: together with the new specific units for fluid control in plungers and shot sleeves, the new TCU-thermal-camera communication system was also introduced. Waiting for the introduction of other absolute novelties at Metef 2021, IECI confirms itself as one of the main players in global thermoregulation.
Third successful participation at Euroguss, the most important fair in the die casting sector.
Established in 1979 as a family company, Laco Stampi initially addressed customers linked to the territory. Since 2015 it has opened to the foreign market and by participating to international trade fairs it acquired customers in France, Switzerland, Romania, Slovakia and Tunisia. It designs and manufactures die casting molds of aluminium, Zamak, magnesium and zinc alloys, injection of thermoplastics and epoxy resins, thermosetting and trimming tools which are used in the lighting, filtration, furniture, automotive and motorcycle industry, office equipments and in the electrical and electronic sector. Laco Stampi is an ideal partner for customers, supporting them from the product design phase to the production of the molds.
The LPM Group, specialized in the design and construction of machines and plants for the low pressure casting of aluminium and magnesium alloys, has been present for over twenty years on the main international markets also thanks to its constant participation in the major world trade shows. After the first participations in 2016 and 2018, it was decided to continue the positive experience by participating in a new edition in January of this year.
With a stand of about 32 m2 and 5 staff members constantly present, LPM has once again boldly tackled this new event with the determination and quality which always set it apart. LPM took advantage of the event to distribute a new revised and expanded edition of the general catalogue and a new graphic design of its image. A considerable amount of information had already been collected about potential visits of major customers and therefore LPM staff had already understood, from the very first moment, that the meetings would be numerous but, as happened on the occasion of the 2018 event, many new meetings were added to the scheduled appointments, both with historical customers and with new, potential buyers, interested in learning about the innovations which the group developed recently. The event lasted just a few days, but these were extremely interesting: the requests were very many and involved a considerable amount of work in the weeks following the event. To summarize, Euroguss 2020 has revealed without a shadow of a doubt how the market, especially the automotive market, is about to start up again and how many companies are again oriented to invest. An event which we believe to be extremely valid, in that it combines the potential of GIFA with greater flexibility and peculiarity in touching more specific aspects of the foundry, without dispersing into other less interesting and profitable fields, and which will certainly see us, in two years’ time, at the forefront again for a new and even more effective participation.
The automotive industry is going to be electric. Nevertheless, traditional production processes will not be obsolete: electromobility will have a viable future with foundries and steel mills; major components of the electric vehicles are made from light alloys. Looking to the future, Marposs has always investedin R&D: the new Total Thermal Vision (TTV) has been presented at Euroguss 2020 to satisfy the die casting production control and the process digitalization in the foundry.
Marposs Total Thermal Vision is specifically designed to provide an effective solution for the distribution of the temperature on the mould surface. This new technology allows real-time storage of thermographic images and related temperature data: this optimises the die casting process keeping quality under control. TTV monitors the thermal maps to detect any changes and prevent any faults from arising. A system that can be integrated into the MES of the plant, thus becoming the key to access the Industry 4.0 in the foundry.
The important investments in R&D and the great efforts made have generated considerable interest in our products and, as a consequence, the closing of important orders and the birth of numerous opportunities for collaboration with established companies worldwide. Strong sales operations have also been confirmed, particularly in North America, where the MECCANICA PI.ERRE brand represents a solid partner in a highly competitive market. The company, which is already a leader in the production of dies and punching presses for powertrain components and especially structural parts for the automotive sector, confirmed its absolute leadership on the trimming technology market by presenting a product with innovative features. One of the biggest innovations presented this year at Euroguss is Electra, the world’s first patented full electric trimming press with no hydraulic components. Electra aroused enormous interest among the many visitors for its high performance in terms of precision and speed combined with high energy and maintenance cost savings. These qualities represent an important benefit for customers deciding to invest in a green, reliable machine in line with the Industry 4.0 concept.
Orange1 Holding is an international group and European leader in the design and production of electric motors, aluminium die casting and precision turning. Present in over 70 countries worldwide, with sales of approximately 235 million, 15 production plants, 1,200 employees, it annually produces over 1 million single-phase and three-phase asynchronous electric motors, 5 million windings for asynchronous electric motors, 60 thousand drives for electric motors, 25,000 tons of die-cast aluminium and 12 million high precision turned items for the automotive sector. Already a leader in the production of electric motors, since 2017 it has also focused on leadership in aluminium die casting with the Foundry division becoming a leader in the co-design and production of die-cast aluminium components. Using cutting-edge technologies, it offers the highest levels of quality and, thanks to the collaboration with the best suppliers on the market, it designs the optimal technological solutions for each production process. Orange1 Foundry follows the entire production process, from co-design, to die casting and mechanical works.
SACAL AND SIMAR (Cordifin Group)
By means of careful sorting/processing and refining of aluminium scrap, SACAL remelts the scrap itself to produce high quality aluminium alloys in ingots and continuous casting bars. This process has an important ecological and energy saving function, as the production of secondary aluminium, compared to the production of primary aluminium, involves an important saving of resources and of 95% of the necessary electrical energy.
SIMAR produces primary zinc alloys (zamak) of the highest quality. For its production it uses only SHG zinc ingots, SHG aluminium and SHG copper.
The two companies have a solid history, based on a long business continuity and a business philosophy which aims at total customer satisfaction.
Brio-Moulds designs and produces moulds of any size for aluminium and magnesium die casting. The company has a long experience in different sectors, complete technical competence, attention to technical innovations, and offers certified quality products.
Even the 2020 edition of Euroguss was an opportunity for Maicopresse S.p.A. to reap good results. Visitors responded positively and expectations were fully met. Thre was an excellent participation of trade operators who appreciated the technical and technological innovations related to the range of light alloy die casting machines which Maicopresse has been successfully producing for years.