Die-caster prepared for next growth cycle in industry

10th March 2017

An increasing number of car parts such as engine blocks or structural parts are being manufactured from aluminium using high-pressure die-casting, says die-casting technology supplier Bühler Die-Casting.

At the thirteenth International Foundry Trade Fair (GIFA) in June 2015, held in Düsseldorf, Germany, Bühler Die-Casting highlighted its role as the ‘global’ solution provider for aluminium high-pressure die-casting.

Bühler enthuses that it has a unique geographical footprint, boasting production and service capabilities in Europe, the US and China – all major automotive markets.

Currently, the company enthuses that one in four aluminium engine blocks is produced with Bühler technology, and that every second car uses light-alloy parts made on Bühler machines.

“With innovations such as a new human-machine interface and monitoring system, the Ecoline Pro line with integrated peripherals as well as an integrated vacuum system, we are demonstrating our commitment to maximum production efficiency and parts quality as well as easy automation. “We are fully prepared to lead the industry through the next growth cycle,” explains Bühler head of business area die-casting Jonathan Abbis.

The Ecoline Pro with integrated peripherals, which includes peripherals such as a ladler, extractor and sprayer, which have been fully integrated in the cell, is a highlight for the automotive components sector. Ecoline Pro is the solution of choice for manufacturers of smaller automotive parts with a casting weight of up to 13 kg, the company avers.

A growing world population coupled with an increase in living standards, especially in the emerging markets, are boosting automobile sales, Bühler explains, adding that, in 2014, over 90-million cars were manufactured globally.

Bühler further adds that automobile manufacturers are looking for ways to make their products more efficient and reduce fuel consumption as well as carbon emissions, and that lightweight construction, using efficient and cost-optimised aluminium die-casting, play a key role in achieving this goal.

“In addition to manufacturing engine blocks and gearboxes, die-casting is increasingly being used to produce structural components such as door frames or shock towers. Lightweight aluminium construction is also expected to make its way down from full-size cars into midsize and compact cars,” says Abbis, summing up the current trend.

Bühler adds that this ‘sophisticated’ concept allows for easy, fast and intuitive operation of the machine, resulting in 25% faster programming. The touchscreen-based interface has been optimised for the rugged foundry environment and can easily be controlled even when wearing gloves.

A new vacuum system, SmartVac, is also integrated in the die-casting machine. This level of integration allows for much tighter process control, resulting in higher productivity and flexibility, as well as 3% less scrap.

Bühler Die-Casting adds that it has been a market and technology leader for almost a century, with the first die-casting machine being produced in Uzwil, Switzerland, as far back as 1927.

“Through the years, Bühler Die-Casting has constantly remained at the forefront of technology and innovation,” the company enthuses.

The company explains that it was the first supplier to offer real-time shot control for further improving control of the die-casting process, and that Bühler has supplied more than 7 000 die-casting systems to the global market to date.

“Almost 1 000 foundries rely on Bühler every day,” the company concludes.