"We are seeing a greater demand from manufacturers who supply cast solutions in aluminium, magnesium and iron for the automotive and other industries. For instance, motor casings and gearboxes are becoming increasingly complex, and it is necessary to take more and more technical dependencies into consideration – while at the same time maintaining maximum precision. This is just one example of why casting processes require MES-based controls and quality assurance," says Peter Bollinger, CEO of iTAC Software AG.
The iTAC.MES.Suite is designed to meet the specific requirements of the industry. It monitors and optimises the entire casting process, and in doing so ensures a reduction in error rates and reject products. iTAC's MES integrates the entire manufacturing process, from the casting and mechanical processing through to the laboratory controls and shipping. In addition to the standard MES functions, the suite incorporates various special features for this industry. For example, a so-called "birth block" can be carried out. This means that if a defect is detected, but the casting process cannot be stopped, the corresponding cast parts are directly blocked at the serialisation stage, i.e. at "birth".
Further processing can then only take place subject to a subsequent quality inspection. Conversely, shipping of the products without being released by the MES is impossible.
As well as recording machine and labour times, the process times are also monitored, and the process itself is controlled based on parameters. Alongside the parts history with measurement and process data for one-off products, an analysis of the process data for heat treatment, for instance, can also be conducted. These and other functions set iTAC's manufacturing execution system apart from other systems in the industry, and offer an end-to-end solution from the melting process through to the outgoing goods.