With the transition to Industry 4.0, Agrati’s investments have focused on research and development for the productive improvement of die-casting technologies and machines. The digital transformation of processes has been made possible thanks to the adoption of new tools, and today AGRATI AEE offers all companies interested in seizing the opportunities offered by the new industrial revolution a tangible competitive advantage.
In the design, construction and optimisation of die casting machines, Agrati Aee takes into account the interaction that takes place with the major software in use for process simulation, and with the accessories/peripherals that constantly dialogue with the press to optimise the process. The press is the central heart of the production cell, both in terms of process and safety information exchange. Agrati AEE die-casting machines can be remotely controlled in case of process faults or process improvements, allowing complete supervision of their functions and procedures via computerised systems. This system makes our production process increasingly automated and reliable, responding quickly to customer needs and reducing downtime and intervention times.
Today, Agrati Aee’s product range includes state-of-the-art presses that incorporate interconnected systems thanks to the know-how acquired over more than 80 years in the industry. These elements guarantee our customers die casting machines with a number of significant advantages in terms of handling, production capacity and product quality.
One of the main advantages is the greater simplicity and speed achieved through networking. In addition, we offer the possibility to monitor the status of machines and production in real time, and as mentioned before, allowing the rapid identification of faults or interruptions. We also guarantee constant updates and optimisation through remote control of the machines, ensuring that they are always aligned with occupational health and safety standards according to current directives.
Total interconnection between the different components is made possible through the use of advanced digital tools, interactive technologies and centralised databases. In addition, we support the integration and connection of Ethernet and fieldbuses to ensure smooth and continuous communication between all parties involved in the die-casting process.
The priority for Agrati Aee is quality at the heart of every aspect of our production process. By adopting state-of-the-art technology and implementing Industry 4.0 principles, we are able to guarantee high quality standards in all our machinery.
Our die-casting machines are equipped with advanced automation features, allowing for continuous production and easy programming. Thanks to the Internet connection and the company network, it is possible to monitor and control these machines in real time, ensuring maximum operational efficiency.
The customer has the possibility of uploading the specific order from the company management system, monitoring the progress of production, and saving all the production data of the order once it has been completed. The press controls the production itself in real time, monitoring certain process parameters.
Constant monitoring of our presses and their processes allows us to quickly identify any potential problems and take prompt action to resolve them. This level of control allows us to avoid unplanned production stoppages, high intervention costs, and maintain high levels of productivity.
The digital nature of our machines allows us to carry out updates and optimisations quickly and without significant interruptions in production. This ensures that our machines are always aligned with the latest technology and safety standards.
Safety at work is a top priority for Agrati Aee. Our machines are designed and built with the strictest safety regulations in mind. Constant supervision and remote access allow us to verify that the machines are operated safely and in compliance with all applicable regulations.
Energy efficiency is another key aspect of our die casting machines (we were the first to install energy-efficient systems on die casting machines in 2009). Thanks to advanced automation and process optimisation, we are able to reduce energy consumption and minimise environmental impact by up to 77%.
Agrati Aee is committed to offering state-of-the-art die casting solutions for Industry 4.0. Our interconnected machines, continuous monitoring and focus on quality and safety enable us to meet the highest demands of our customers in any field. With our commitment to innovation and excellence, we are ready to meet the challenges of the new industrial era and lead the industry towards a digital and sustainable future.
Die casting is a widely used production process for the manufacture of complex metal components. One of the main objectives of companies using this process is to reduce production time and increase efficiency to improve overall productivity. To achieve this goal, Agrati Aee has optimised the die-casting cycles in its hot chamber and cold chamber machines.
One of the first strategies for optimising production time in die casting is a detailed process analysis. At Agrati AEE, this analysis involves the study of each stage of the die-casting cycle, from the injection of molten metal to the solidification and extraction of the finished part. Identifying any inefficiencies or delays during the process helps identify areas requiring improvement and develop targeted solutions.
One of the key aspects of optimising production time is the reduction of the die-casting cycle. This can be achieved through a number of measures. One of these is the optimisation of process parameters, such as melt temperature, injection speed and pressure, extraction optimisation, and mould lubrication. Agrati Aee fine-tunes these parameters in its machines, making it possible to reduce cycle times without compromising the quality of the finished part, while also introducing mould control with camera systems.
Another strategy to reduce production time is the automation of the die-casting process. The use of robots for the extraction of finished parts enables cycle times to be significantly reduced, as does the use of ingot feeding and electric lubricators. These automated systems are able to perform operations with greater precision, consistency and speed than human intervention, leading to an increase in overall efficiency.
The implementation of advanced technologies can help optimise production times in die casting. For example, the use of moulds thermoregulated by external temperature controllers improves the solidification process and reduces cycle times. These moulds are designed to dissipate heat more efficiently, allowing better solidification of the molten metal and consistent temperatures for the extraction of the finished part.
Another important aspect of optimising production time is the efficient management of equipment and materials. A well-organised factory layout, with strategic positioning of the equipment and materials required for the die-casting process, can reduce travel time and improve the smoothness of operations. Furthermore, the adoption of an advanced production management system allows for optimal planning of resource utilisation, minimising waste and downtime.
Optimising production time, in fact, requires constant monitoring of process performance. By using real-time monitoring systems (quality control), any anomalies or inefficiencies can be detected at an early stage and the necessary corrections can be made. In addition, the analysis of historical data can provide valuable information on trends and areas for potential improvement.
A monitoring system applied to the Agrati AEE die-casting machines allows the monitoring of certain essential parameters throughout the day, so that interventions that could compromise production progress and lead to costly downtime can be planned in good time.
In conclusion, the optimisation of production time in die-casting is essential to improve efficiency and increase overall productivity. Through detailed process analysis, optimisation of process parameters, automation, implementation of advanced technologies, efficient management of equipment and materials, and constant monitoring of performance, it is possible to reduce cycle times and achieve better results in terms of productivity and quality.
Thanks to the experience of its consultants and the technology applied to its die-casting machines, Agrati Aee is able to reduce maintenance costs by 70%.
Agrati AEE srl is one of the most prestigious Italian manufacturers of die casting machines in Europe.
AGRATI AEE’s production site is located in Bergamo, a few kilometres from Milan. It draws on almost 90 years of know-how, partnerships with the world’s best technical partners in the fields of electronics and hydraulics, and its own technologies.
In recent years, in collaboration with the world leader in hydraulic technology Parker Hannifin, it has developed the innovative Eco Drive injection technology, a solution for optimising the die-casting process that improves both productivity and product quality.
In order to better understand the EcoDrive System, we drew on the experience of Alessandro Betti, Sales Director of AGRATI AEE, who knows the dynamics and the needs of customers.
“The EcoDrive System works with the 2-way high response valves series TDP in combination with a Compax3F controller, enabling dynamics and accuracies that had not previously been achieved.
This contributes to greater productivity since rejects are reduced to an absolute minimum.
The solution keeps system pressure constant and provides protection from pressure peaks and cavitation thanks to an accumulator on rod side and a check valve. This system also extends the lifetime of all hydraulic components of the die casting machine.
Up to 20 % of energy is saved as a result of energy recovery during injection cycle”
We can summarise all the advantages of the ECO DRIVE System, continues Alessandro Betti, by outlining them as follows:
a) Response times of the cylinder movements are greatly reduced;
b) Injection SPEED need is achieved with smaller valve openings;
c) ABSENCE of pressure peaks is guaranteed: the maximum pressure in the circuit is now that of the accumulator (130 bar); previously, with the intervention of the outlet brake, values of 230 bar were also reached;
d) The INCREASE of the mould front surface is guaranteed due to the absence of pressure peaks;
e) TDP lifetime is longer due to the benefits of the smaller opening;
f) Guaranteed better braking and control of the injection cylinder;
g) Reduced accumulator charging time due to oil recovery after first injection phase;
h) In the machine tank, there is now a reduction in emulsions because the injection unit discharges very few and at low pressure;
i) Reduction in the size of the injection unit drainage pipe;
j) Increased pump life due to reduced emulsions in the tank;
k) ENERGY SAVING due to reduced loading times.
Here too, we can make use of explicative images, explains Alessandro Betti.
Injection cycle – first phase
All phases of the injection cylinder are performed under accumulator and controlled by the TDP valve. In the first phase, at the exit of the injection cylinder, after the controlled safety cartridge, the oil is no longer discharged into the tank, but returns to the accumulator pressure line.
Injection cycle – second phase
In the second phase, when the TDA valve (TDP in case of closed loop options) is opened, the oil accumulates in a pressure transformer which keeps the pressure on the discharge line constant, thus avoiding pressure peaks and water hammer. A small amount of oil is discharged at low pressure into the tank.
With the additional closed-loop option, 8 speed ranges with corresponding ramps and 5 pressure setting ranges can be defined.