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Milwaukee, WI, United States

Md. Roshan H.,Maynard Steel Casting Company | Giannetti C.,University of Swansea | Ransing M.R.,Matrix | Ransing R.S.,University of Swansea
71st World Foundry Congress: Advanced Sustainable Foundry, WFC 2014

The famous quotes of a former Chairman, president and CEO of Texas Instruments and Chairman of HP "if only we knew what we know" are very much applicable to the foundry industry. Despite the fact that many advances have been made in the field of foundry technologies relating to simulation software, moulding machines, binder formulation and alloy development, poor quality still remains a major issue that affects many foundries not only in terms of lost revenues but also contributing to negative environmental impacts. On an annual casting production of 95 million tonnes, assuming that on average 5% defective castings are produced with a production cost of 1.2€ per kg for ferrous alloys, the foundry industry is losing 5.7 billion €, producing landfill waste well in excess of two million tonnes and releasing just under two million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Foundries have vast proportion of knowledge that is waiting to be tapped, documented, shared and reused in order to realise the saving potential of 5.7 billion € per year. This ambitious goal can only be achieved by developing effective knowledge management strategies to create, retain and reuse foundry and product specific process knowledge whilst supporting a smart and sustainable growth strategy. This is the focus of 7Epsilon (7ε), an innovative methodology led by Swansea University along with a consortium of European universities and research organisations. At the core of 7ε capabilities is casting process optimisation which is defined as a methodology of using existing casting process knowledge to discover new process knowledge by studying patterns in data 1. According to the 7ε terminology, casting process knowledge is actionable information in the form of a list of measurable factors and their optimal ranges to achieve a desired business goal 1,2. In this paper a penalty matrix approach is described for discovering main effects and interactions among process factors and responses by analysing data collected during a stable casting process. Through a practical cases study it is shown how this technique can be used as an effective tool in the root cause analysis of nonconforming products in the implementation of ISO9001:2008 requirements for continual improvement. In addition some practical aspects concerning the development of a knowledge management repository to store and retrieve foundry process knowledge are discussed. A template to document and structure foundry and product specific process knowledge is proposed so that knowledge can be stored and retrieved more efficiently by process engineers and managers with the final aim to improve process operations and reduce defects rates, taking a significant step towards achieving zero defect manufacturing. Copyright 2014 World Foundry Organization. Source

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