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Monitoring of die casting processes with thermal imaging cameras

Quick detection and elimination of temperature-related faults

, Maisach

Balanced temperatures in die casting tools are crucial for flawless results of the die casting process, and accordingly, release agents and their corresponding method of application can play an important role. For this reason Chem-Trend, in cooperation with Inprotec IRT, a leader in imaging thermography technology, has developed an innovative thermal imaging system for die casting processes. The Die Thermo Control system (DTC) allows casters to measure temperature distributions in the casting tool in real time, without interruption of the production process. Casting processes can be optimally monitored and temperature-related faults in the component such as porosity, die soldering and cold flow, can be prevented before they even occur.

"With the DTC system, Chem-Trend is breaking new ground in order to increase process efficiency," states Darko Tomazic, die cast sales manager at Chem-Trend. "Thermography can visualize what stays hidden to the human eye – the infrared radiation emitted by objects. Thermal imaging cameras monitor the temperature distribution in the casting tool in real time and allow for immediate conclusions on the process conditions. Measures such as modifications in the temperature settings of the casting tool or optimizations of the spraying process can be taken on the spot to accommodate for any adjustments needed.”

The DTC system is designed to be user friendly and can be installed at the die casting machine directly by operators. The thermal imaging camera, which is the heart of the DTC system, is built into a sturdy, air-cooled aluminum housing that is reliable even under difficult conditions. In addition to recording single thermographic images, video sequences of previously defined areas can also be recorded. This allows temperature variations to be documented and, for example, conditions can then be precisely reproduced in recurring procedures. The camera settings as well as the operation of the entire DTC system can be controlled conveniently via touch screen panel, which is integrated into a mobile unit.

Further features of the DTC system include the ability to define up to ten "points of interest" and "regions of interest" for each mold half, with minimum, maximum and average temperatures as reference values. An alarm function indicates deviations from the set temperature thresholds. All thermographic information is stored on a built-in hard disk for later internal or external data analysis. The DTC system software was tailor-made exclusively for Chem-Trend and offers an intuitive interface available in five languages.

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