Building a holistic digital view of Morikawa’s process
Since the project started in 2021, Morikawa has been working with DISA in Japan and Norican Digital to build out its digital infrastructure. All work had to be managed remotely due to Covid but there were close, frequent discussions between all implementation partners which worked very well.
Work started by adding a new Internet connection for fast data upload while DISA installed the latest Monitizer | CIM modules to digitally-enable Morikawa’s DISAMATIC® 231-X moulding line. Data can now be collected from all parts of the moulding line.
Norican’s NoriGate edge gateways are a vital link in the data collection chain. They collect, timestamp, encrypt and securely forward data to Monitizer | DISCOVER’s cloud database and support a wide range of different data sources, including non-Norican equipment such as the Mitsubishi PLCs used by Morikawa.
Data now flows from all parts of the process, which includes the many PLCs controlling machines like sand mixers and sand testers, inoculant weighing, the pouring unit and other data sources. There’s a feed from the PC-based system that controls the four induction melting furnaces’ PLCs, melt temperature measurement and the multiple electricity supplies for the furnaces.
Morikawa also built a new local quality database to store information on casting defects. Staff input data on wireless tablets which flows to this local database and, via a NoriGate, onwards to Monitizer | DISCOVER.
DISA combines green sand experience with digital expertise
Norican Digital decided to connect extra data sources in order to supply the broadest range of process-related data, giving Morikawa a detailed holistic view of its entire process and helping it trace the source of any quality issues. It also ensures that the AI-driven optimisation will be able to consider every possible influence on final casting quality.
“Norican Digital helped us by connecting extra devices such as the material weighing PLC, spectroscopic analysis PC and mould hardness analysis PLC,” says Mr Morikawa. “They also prepared user-friendly forms that allowed us to directly input sand inspection results coming from the manual process.”
“With their deep knowledge of green-sand foundry data, DISA spent a considerable amount of time and effort organising our raw data into a format that could be analysed,” continues Mr Morikawa. “Their work in creating a wide range of complex parameters, interpreting the results of analysis and in overcoming other data-related challenges was vital in helping us complete the visualisation stage in cooperation with Norican Digital.”
With the hardware in place and the data flowing into the cloud database, Norican Digital began to create the most important widgets and dashboards. It was at this point in late 2021 that Monitizer | DISCOVER became available, replacing the previous Monitizer | GLOBAL product.
The new platform offers many advantages, in particular the ease with which non-technical users can adapt, configure and master the solution. No specialist IT skills like SQL querying are needed to set up dashboards, widgets (the components that make up a dashboard) or visualisation tools like graphing and charting.