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Kurtz Ersa Magazine

 
 
 
Lost Foam

Lost-foam series casting for high quality engine components

The greatest challenge facing EPS moulded part machines lies in the niche lost-foam industry, where requirements are encountered such as maximum moulded part precision, individual control of process parameters over several tools simultaneously, and high reproducibility and system availability.

Foam part cylinder head
Foam part cylinder head

At its engine plant in Landshut, the BMW Group produces components using the lost-foam series casting process. Casting models are made from EPS particle foam, with several layers hot-glued together until the foam model is identical to the part to be produced from aluminium. The foam parts are smoothed, then embedded in sand in casting ladles, ready for pouring in the molten aluminium. The EPS is burned out as the aluminium takes its place. As is to be expected, the manufacture of engine components requires the maximum possible precision.

 

And this requirement is reflected in the parts and components that comprise the foaming plant. The precision of the systems that control the process pressure are also subject to very tight tolerances. One particular  mechanical requirement on the moulded part systems was to ensure that the parallelism of the enclosing sides deviates by only +/- 0.15 mm. In addition, the machines were to provide double the output of previous models – even though no additional space was available.

Digitally controlled process pressures,
variable-speed hydraulic drive

Using these challenges as the basis, the Moulding Machines Team at Kurtz GmbH developed bespoke K1210 LF type moulding machines, to which two tools from the previous machine generation could be fitted. Both tools can be operated with individual sets of parameters; only the closing movement is common to both. A fully digital PID control system for process pressures and our i-DRIVE variable-speed hydraulic drive are further elements that were used to comply with the demanding specifications.

 

Overall, the job was a real challenge for our team, especially since the short implementation time, together with comprehensive operating media regulations, gave this the status of a real key project. In order to transport the machines to their final location, they had to be completely dismantled after production, an essential factor in ensuring as little disruption as possible to the on-site production procedures. We would like to thank the BMW Group for this great opportunity and look forward to more projects in the future!

Kurtz shape moulding machine K1210 LF for lost-foam series castings
Kurtz shape moulding machine K1210 LF for lost-foam series castings
 
 

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