During Inoculation process, it is important to consider not only the metallurgical quality of the iron, but also the quality of the inoculant flow.
ITACA Vision is the process control system developed to analyze and control the in-stream inoculation process, measuring the amount and distribution of the inoculant particles on the iron stream for each mould.
“ANALYSIS” DOESN’T MEAN “CONTROL”
There is a big difference between Process Analysis and Process Control. In comparison to other vision systems on the market, ITACA Vision is a process control system. ITACA Vision does not limit itself to analysing and monitoring the in-stream inoculation process but, by exploiting the connection with ITACA Stream and ITACA X, it plays a fundamental role in optimizing, mould by mould, this critical phase, intervening to stop the line and give visual alarms if necessary.
OVERLAY RATIO AND SYNCHRONIZATION
ITACA Vision quantifies, frame by frame, the quantity of inoculant introduced in the iron flow, together with start and stop delay in terms of 1/10 sec. Was the inoculant present and in the correct amount? Was the inoculant flow correctly synchronized with iron flow? With ITACA Vision you can easily have an answer to these questions.
In addition to some standard features, ITACA Vision calculates the misalignment, between iron and inoculant flows, that can be caused by slag on the nozzle or stopper/nozzle wear. Almost no one considers the importance of this stage, leaving to the operator the responsibility to check the alignment. When ITACA Vision is connected to ITACA Stream, the correction takes place completely automatically, in order to always keep the inoculant flow perfectly aligned with the iron flow.
DISPERSION PATTERN CONTROL
One revolution of the latest ITACA Vision version is the possibility to read and measure the inoculant that is going out of the iron stream, drastically improving the calculation of in-stream efficiency. The “dispersion pattern” created allows calculating the real percentage of inoculant going inside the mould, with respect to the total material blown out from the in-stream device. When connected to ITACA Stream, based on the results, ITACA Vision can automatically change the inoculant blowing pressure, with an Air Pressure Dynamic Control module (Option), focusing the grains flow to iron flow, drastically improving the efficiency of the process.
EVERYTHING ON VIDEO
The process is constantly analysed through an HD camera, able to acquire images up to 30 fps. Zoom, focus and lights can be managed directly from the main interface of ITACA Vision, preventing operators from approaching the liquid metal to make any adjustments and making, the system reliable in all conditions. The pouring of every single mould, with calculated parameters, is saved with its video inside the internal database. This means that you can check whenever you want, even after many months or years, the distribution of the inoculant in that specific batch or mould.
FULLY INTEGRATED INTO FOUNDRY PROCESS
ITACA Vision has its own internal database that contains all the control ranges for each casting. When it is connected to the pouring devices, ITACA Vision automatically changes the working ranges according to the casting in production. ITACA Vision can be synchronized with other equipment based on PLC, database, csv file.
But not only!
Through the “Remote ITACA Vision Control”, it is possible to use the alarms detected by the system to warn the operator through additional lights or acoustic signals, or directly to stop the pouring line avoiding any other pouring with errors!
FORCE INOCULATION WITH IRON LEAKAGE ALARM
Many foundries prefer to “correct” a problem in production with a temporary solution that allows them to conclude production and move the maintenance intervention to a better moment. For this reason, have been developed a feature that activates the “Start Inoculator” when ITACA Vision detects iron flow during a phase of mould forwarding. In this way, the first iron that fills the new mould will not miss the inoculation.
IRON NOT DETECTED ALARM
To increase the reliability of the system, necessary in a Foundry environment, it has been introduced the alarm that switches on if the camera doesn’t see the cast iron flow during the pourings.
In this way, any condition of interruption of the Camera’s line of vision is immediately solved.