Foto © AIT LKR
The production of castings takes place in foundries in several individual, sequential steps: Melting, casting, heat treatment and mechanical processing. At present, however, the individual production steps in today’s foundries are largely separated from each other in terms of energy and information technology, without any overall energy optimisation. This makes complete decarbonisation much more difficult. In the project envIoTcast (Environmentally friendly casting) the modern, sustainable concept of the Green Foundry 4.0 is developed and demonstrated, which networks the different production steps both in terms of energy and information technology and thus offers the following possibilities:
Increasing energy efficiency by up to 30% through reduction of heat losses, increased waste heat utilisation.
The use of a central process control system that collects information from all plants and acts as a central controller. This is the only way to enable the use of waste heat in different processes.
A complete decarbonisation of the remaining energy consumption by switching to CO₂-neutral primary energy sources (esp. green electricity, biogas, hydrogen, etc.).
The use of appropriate technologies for the provision and distribution of heat up to about 700 °C: electric heating technologies, burners for biogas/hydrogen, heat exchangers, high-temperature heat pumps, heat storage systems.
This will enable an increase in the competitiveness and value creation of the European and Austrian automotive supply industry, with involvement of stakeholders from politics, business and the public.
The essential technological and conceptual aspects are set up and intensively tested and developed in the Green Demo Foundry 4.0 at AIT-LKR Ranshofen. This provides the industry with a test bed for testing the different technologies and methods, which significantly simplifies the complex transition towards full decarbonisation.
„A complete decarbonisation of foundries is imperative from both a social and economic perspective in terms of sustainability and competitiveness. The Green Foundry concept developed and demonstrated in the project 4.0 (Green Foundry 4.0) enables this difficult transition.“