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From Digital Robot Simulation to Reality for the Foundry Solution Supplier DISA

Lars Ingvar Knudsen

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From Digital Robot Simulation to Reality for the Foundry Solution Supplier DISA

280 extra cast items per hour. This is the type of benefit that foundry technology manufacturer DISA can deliver to their customers thanks to a new robot solution developed in collaboration with the Danish Technological Institute (DTI).

Before the 1,500⁰C molten iron flows into moulds and becomes anything from sewage covers to tiles, it passes through a filter to remove impurities. The filter – which previously had to be replaced manually every seven seconds – is now inserted by a robot.

- And it does it so fast that we can cast 70 extra moulds per hour. Some moulds contain four separate cavities. So you get four times 70 extra items every hour. So our end customers get more performance out of the machine, says project manager Carsten Hansen from DISA.

Digital twin gives great return
DTI started by designing the robot solution in a digital simulation universe, where you can optimize parameters and test that the robot does not hit anything. This has been very valuable for the automation process.

- It's very expensive to change the design late in the process. Some parts are themselves castings and some parts have a long lead time. So we would prefer to catch any problems 'up front'. DTI has been able to simulate the system for us so that we have not in fact had to redesign any parts during the process, Carsten Hansen emphasizes.

The virtual version of a plant – also called a digital twin – makes it much easier and cheaper to simulate a new production system than when we use a physical setup.

- Regarding existing production lines, virtual production can find faults and suboptimalities, and you can immediately see the consequences of any changes. Therefore one can be sure that the robot and plant design fits the task before physical implementation. In this manner, the risk of expensive error design are minimized, says Lars Ingvar Knudsen from DTI.

See the robot in action in the video at the top of the article.