Die casting, also known as high pressure casting, is a near-net-shaped forming technology that has been widely used in the automobile, aerospace, and electronics industries in recent years. In the process of die casting, molten metal (usually light alloy) will firstly fill the cavity with high pressure and high speed under the action of the punch, and then cool down really quickly to form the final casting.
Die casting is generally divided into cold chamber casting process and hot chamber casting process. While the cold chamber die casting process is mainly used in the production of large parts, such as automobile parts, and communication base station cooling parts; the hot chamber die casting process is typically used in the production process of small electronic or 3C products, such as USB connectors and notebook casings.
Compared with the ordinary casting process, die casting is characterized by high speed and high pressure. And the products produced by die casting are generally light alloy thin-walled parts. Whereas,the die casting technology has also been applied to the production of pure copper rotors. Unlike aluminum and magnesium alloys, pure copper has a relatively high melting point. As a consequence, the die casting tools for pure copper will usually have a very short life span, which constitutes a big problem for the factories.
Among all the casting technologies, die casting has the highest degree of automation. Modern die casting companies usually adopt automated die casting island technology. That is to say, the modern companies will usually integrate lots of die casting machines (generally dozens or even hundreds) to form a fully automated production process. Meanwhile, the modern die casting companies will also employ the intelligent factory technology to monitor the production process of the die casting machine. Through monitoring the performance and status of each die casting machine in real time and adjusting the production process of the die casting machine through big data measurement and real-time feedback, the factories can effectively ensure the final quality of products.
Taking the cold chamber casting process as an example. Normally, during the die casting, the temperature of the mold will continue to rise because the high-temperature liquid metal will keep filling the cavity during the production process. At this time, in order to ensure that the mold temperature is not overheated, cooling water is generally used to pass into the mold for cooling the mold down. If the cooling water pipeline is designed reasonably, generally speaking, we can ensure that the mold temperature reaches the so-called thermal balance by controlling the temperature and flow rate of the cooling water. From this point of view, we can design a feedback system of cooling water circuit accordingly. More specifically, after knowing the actual data of the mold temperature, we can use the relevant calculation conducted by a instant feedback system to further control the temperature and flow rate of the cooling water so that the temperature of the mold can also be controlled along with the controlled flow of cooling water. And that is a typical application of die casting smart factory at present.