Initially, the foundries make “first run” castings, followed by the production castings. It is relatively easy to produce acceptable first run castings. However, it is challenging to make production castings of consistent quality with minimal scrap and rework.
The reason for high losses in foundries is the lack of the necessary process knowledge. Process knowledge can be defined as the list of process variables and their ranges in order to meet the product specifications with the least amount of scrap and rework. Process knowledge is derived from process data and process information. Process information is obtained from process data by appropriate analysis. Process knowledge is the actionable process information.
In the foundry industry, we have different foundries making different types of castings, using different processes. Even in the same foundry the relevant process knowledge is different for different castings they produce. The foundries need process engineers to create the appropriate process knowledge for every part they produce, and use it to produce parts profitably.
The foundries that produce individual parts can develop process knowledge by collecting appropriate data on the process and the product characteristics. We find some foundries collecting enormous amounts of process data, as well as data on product characteristics, but they cannot establish the traceability of the process data with the product characteristics.
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