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Production Optimization Engineering Service Provider Enables Casting Traceability

Editor: Nicole Kareta

In order to optimize production, the Swiss automotive supplier DGS Druckguss Systeme is cooperating with the engineering service provider Schmid Engineering.

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After a two-stage project, the automotive supplier, and casting producer is now able to identify each produced casting without any doubt.
After a two-stage project, the automotive supplier, and casting producer is now able to identify each produced casting without any doubt.
(Source: DGS Druckguss Systeme)

The focus of DGS's requirements was the tracking of individual parts, which has become mandatory for the automotive industry. After a two-stage project, the automotive supplier, and casting producer is now able to identify each produced casting without any doubt in interaction with the DataSErver of the specialist for production data management, MES data readout, and test automation and based on the data of the MES cronetwork. DGS thus meets the strict requirements of the automotive industry concerning quality and product traceability at a very high level.

Clear Identification of Each Casting

The main customers for castings of the internationally active company, which is based in St. Gallen, Switzerland, are the major automobile manufacturers. DGS specializes in the body, interior, steering, front- and rear-end, engine and transmission parts as well as electric mobility segments and is today a recognized supplier of complex lightweight die cast components. The modern, real-time controlled casting cells are operated fully automatically and enable high volumes in the production of complex, thin-walled castings for lightweight construction.

In a first step, Schmid Engineering has connected these casting cells to the DataSErver, which securely combines data and information from different sources at DGS and transfers them to the MES cronetwork of the Austrian software provider Industrie Informatik. Within the scope of the individual part tracing, each produced casting can thus be clearly identified. All process and machine data are stored for this purpose.

DataSErver Controls Driverless Transport System

In a second step, Schmid Engineering connected a driverless transport system to the DataSErver. The DataSErver communicates with the transport system, the production plant, and the MES cronetwork. The system deposits the produced and finished castings in a rack. When the rack is filled, the system sends a signal to the DataSErver. This starts a request to the MES to get a rack number. All racks are managed in MES cronetwork. These racks are prepared at a setup station and get an inlet that has to fit to the produced material. Different inlets can be mounted in one rack. The rack is therefore used again and again with different equipment. Only the cronetwork 'knows' how the rack is currently set up, i.e., the MES reports a free rack with a suitable inlet for the currently produced material to the system.

Box Interfaces

The DataSErver sends the orders to the driverless transport system and reports to the MES cronetwork the corresponding confirmations of the individual transports. Different interfaces are used here:

  • Communication with the system via Profinet
  • Communication with the transport system via TCP/IP
  • Communication with the MES via OPC-UA, web services and ASCII files

Based on the data from the MES, the DataSErver from Schmid Engineering then sends a transport order to the driverless transport system, which immediately approaches the parking space of the rack and picks it up. The target is the corresponding production plant. When the rack arrives, it is exchanged: full out and empty in. The transport system receives the next order from the DataSErver to transport the full rack for further processing.

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