Not only is the metallurgical quality of the iron important for the inoculation process, but also the quality of the flow during pouring. ITACA Vision uses a camera system to evaluate the conditions of the stream in real time.
The controls can be synced with the motor that controls the alignment of the outlet pipe of ITACA Steam and align the flow of inoculant with the stream of iron. This guarantees over or under inoculation is avoided due to misalignment of the outlet pipe, and saves inoculants as a bonus. The ITACA Vision system will determine if the flow is laminar or turbulent, and should it be too turbulent and risk aspiration of oxygen (risk of inclusions) into the iron the operators will be informed and can react. This will further increase the metallurgical benefits and increase the quality of the castings.
Optical quality assurance during pouring
ITACA Vision uses an industrial camera based vision system to monitor the status of the stream during pouring, for each individual mould. By image analysis the software will give invaluable online information to the operators. ITACA Vision gives an online analysis of the laminarity of the flow. If a stream is too turbulent during pouring serious defects may occur. During a turbulent pour increased levels oxygen may be aspirated and more inclusions may appear in the castings, but the pouring pattern is also more difficult to control and mismatch of the inoculation may occur. Pouring at this conditions also increases the cost as more iron may be sprayed outside of the pouring cup. On the right two situations are seen, the upper with turbulent filling and mismatched inoculation and the lower will a laminar flow with well centered inoculation. ITACA Vision will therefore help to increasing the inoculation efficiency, reducing casting defects, decreasing wasted metal.
New level of traceability
All foundries are looking at new ways of increasing the process tractability and our ambition has always been to support this. With ITACA Vision we have taken traceability to a new level as a short video of each single pouring is recorded for documentation purposes. With this solution you can always review a pouring to determine if the inoculation was the cause of a defect or, in fact caused by another process.
Trough the camera of ITACA Stream individual synchronization settings can be given during the pouring. As an example the inoculation can be set to stary slightly before, or at the time when the pouring begins. At the same time inoculation can be set to stop before the end of pouring to avoid unnecessary inoculation of the gating system. This solution helps to optimize the inoculation process and to avoid the risk of costly over- or under inoculation.
Integration with ITACA Stream
Although ITACA Vision can be supplied as a stand alone quality assurance system, is an ideal addition to ITACA Stream inoculation unit. With this combination the controls of the brush-less motor controlling the position of the outlet pipe is made by ITACA Vision. This reduces the operator dependence and make the system work autonomous, only requiring attention when a deviation is detected.