Automated 3D Measurement Technology Optimizes Inspection of Complex Castings

Founded in 1960 with its headquarters in Alfeld (Leine), Metallgießerei Wilhelm Funke (metal foundry) specializes in the production of individual parts, small series and prototypes for automotive and aerospace industries. Traditional gravity sand casting for component production from aluminum, magnesium and heavy metal forms the core business of the medium-sized company. Increasing customer demands and the growing complexity of cast parts require flexible adaptation of production workflows – from model making to foundry and mechanical processing. Constant quality control is required to ensure high quality in workpiece production allowing for shortest possible delivery times. Metallgießerei Wilhelm Funke therefore opted for automated inspection and digitization with ScanBox. The high-precision and traceable measuring results ensure that even the smallest deviations can be identified quickly, enabling countermeasures to be taken within a very short time, if necessary.

High throughput and fast identification of error sources

Metallgießerei Wilhelm Funke benefits from fast measurements, reduced scrap and less post-processing time during series-accompanying quality control with the automated ScanBox system.

High throughput and fast identification of error sources

From a very early stage in the manufacturing process, the optical measuring machine from ZEISS is used for model and mold making. Here, tools and models are corrected in a targeted manner using a colored surface comparison with the CAD data. In addition, the fitting of the mold halves, cores and sliders is inspected. During tool try-out, metrologists check the castings for shape and dimensional accuracy. High inspection repeatability is crucial when comparing parts. Especially the speed and precision of the ScanBox system convinced Florian Topp, Head of Quality Assurance at Metallgießerei Wilhelm Funke: “Compared to our previous manual system, we receive precise and fast statements about the accuracy of the parts, especially for series production.” Every day, full-field measurements of several castings of small and medium series are carried out in the ScanBox system with just one scan. This continuous process control in turn led to a significant increase in throughput.

Production process control with trend analyses

The foundry's metrologist imports the CAD data set together with the corresponding measurement plan into the virtual measuring room of the software ZEISS INSPECT. During each measurement, the system checks whether the results meet the quality criteria.  

Production process control with trend analysis

The automated measuring procedure is planned and programmed using the virtual measuring room (VMR) in ZEISS INSPECT. Standardized quality control with traceable measurement in a transparent process offers great advantages: "Consistently digital workflows have allowed us to eliminate human interference in repeat measurements completely. Especially when analyzing the process of entire model sets, we ensure a high throughput and the reproducibility of the measurement," explains Florian Topp. The real-time trend analysis help the metal foundry to identify the occurrence of part deviations and to take corrective action quickly. At the same time, the cast parts are monitored more efficiently, expensive rework is avoided and, this way, less scrap is produced.

About Metallgießerei Wilhelm Funke GmbH & Co. KG

Founded in 1960 as pure aluminium foundry, Metallgießerei Wilhelm Funke produces today components, small series and prototypes made of aluminium, magnesium, heavy metal, grey cast iron and nodular cast iron and chill castings.

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