Ingo Hahn and Jörg C. Sturm
Almost 30 years after its introduction into the metal casting industry, casting process simulation is a widely accepted tool in the engineering department of metal casters as well as in the design of tooling and castings. Simulations are typically performed by experienced technicians – the simulation results, therefore, reflect their metal casting experience, considerations and know-how. Each individual simulation is comparable to a virtual experiment. Based on the simulation results, these engineers evaluate e. g. whether a chosen rigging system or process parameter configuration leads to acceptable casting quality at acceptable costs and then propose changes to find improved solutions.
In the metal casting process, everything happens at the same time and is closely coupled. While this can be seen as a key advantage of metal casting over other manufacturing processes, it also makes decisions regarding the best, or at least an adequate, layout for a casting complex. Changing one process parameter, due to its interaction with other parameters, can have a multitude of impacts on the rest of the process and can influence the final casting quality in many different ways. This makes it challenging to manually optimize a casting process by evaluating the casting quality based on real-world trials and pursuing quality and economic objectives simultaneously.
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