New Production Optimization Module in Cast-Designer
Casting Production is a special module in Cast-Designer to optimize the casting process to achieve the best productivity and cost rate, as well as the product quality.
Cycle time of a casting part in mass production process is very important as the rate of production and the quality of the parts produced depend on it, whereas the cycle time of a part can be reduced by reducing the cooling time which can only be achieved by the uniform temperature distribution in the molded part which helps in quick dissipation of heat. At the same time, the mould temperature should be maintained a uniform distribution to minimum the part warping and extend the die life time.
With Cast-Designer cycling simulation, the temperature distributions resulted from the combined effects of die heating (during filling and solidification), spraying and air blow-off, and the cooling channels and inserts can be accurately and efficiently predicted.
In fact, there are so many optimization methods existed on the market and so many people are looking for such solution, but few of them can get satisfied result for casting production.
a) Numerical simulation (hard computing) and the major problem: Very longer time to generate the CAE modeling and very longer CPU time for the simulation result, very difficult for result analysis, no directly link between the design and simulation result.
b) Soft computing: Components of soft computing include: Neural networks (NN), Support Vector Machines (SVM), Fuzzy logic (FL), Evolutionary computation (EC) etc. For casting process optimization, the biggest problem today is, no enough sample data for optimizing, special for the complex model.
c) Mathematic optimization: There are many mathematic optimization method existed in the market, and with success in product design and other field. However, for casting process optimization, the biggest problem is also the sample data for optimizing.
d) Combine KBE and numerical simulation: To solve the casting process optimization problem, C3P Software has developed a new method for optimizing. Combining the KBE method and numerical simulation method together, it can achieve a full automatic optimization and much fast converge than tradition optimization method, since it do not need the sample data.
Cast-Designer CPI based on FEM technology with very powerful function in mesh generation and outstanding mesh assembly capability for full mould. Thanks of the FEM technology, Cast-Designer can use the mixture meshes for the casting and mould.
Casting process layout design: One full thermal cycle includes all the steps for producing one cast part. This cycle can be divided into homogeneous sub-steps that are performed sequentially; the more sub-steps identified, the more accurate the corresponding simulation results.
In Cast-Designer, the following four stages must be designed in the process layout:
Stage-I, Starting the cycle and filling the casting part;
Stage-II, Open moulds and ejects part;
Stage-III, Die spraying and cooling down;
Stage-IV: Die closing for next cycle.
The system can optimize the following parameters of the process: part solidification & cooling time (T15), wait time when the mould was opened (T33) and wait time when the mould was closed (T44). For T33 and T44, the user can select one only.
Sensors define and sensor to cooling channel: To run the optimization, the user must define some sensors on the model. During the calculation, the solver will check the data of the sensor, and then make the action plan for the next step. So, Sensor is the nose of the optimization.
More ever, the sensor can attach to the cooling channel then optimize the HTC automatically. This function is very useful for the complex cooling system since the user do not know how to set the exactly value for the channels.
Optimization result: The optimization solver will call the model generation and Cast-Designer CPI solver automatically. The user can define the boundary conditions and simulation cycles same as normal cycling simulation. For each iteration, the system will report the optimized result, such as the new mould opening time, mould closing time and total cycling time.
Cost calculator: More ever, there is a build in cost calculator in casting production when get the optimized production cycle. So, the user can make a quick calculation of the production cost based on the optimized cycling time and the user database. It could be used whatever the quotation stage for price estimation or the production phase for detail cost control.
The Casting Production module will be released on early of year 2015 in Cast-Designer V6.4.
|Thanks the innovation technology, the optimization was only three iterations to achieve converge. The cycling lead time from 86 second reduce to 66 second, and the part quality was almost same or better. It is really very fast and effective.|
Casting temperature before optimization
The maximum temperature was around 480 degree, the higher temperature was the major reason for the mould stick. The cooling system was not designed well.
Casting temperature after optimization
The maximum temperature was around 400 degree only, it can solve the mould stick problem and the cooling system has been optimized automatically.
Mould temperature before optimization
The mould temperature was too lower before the next cycle. This is a major reason to cause the cold shut and part performance since the mould temperature was not balance.
Mould temperature after optimization
The mould temperature was around 260 degree, this temperature can solve the cold shut problem and the temperature distribution was more balance. The maximum mould temperature was less than 300 degree, it will not affect the mould lifetime.