No Dust, Less Noise and Perfect Castings

IT Published

DISA Complete Foundry project doubles production, improves sustainability, efficiency and casting quality at RUDONG FENG LI.

Company Profile

Foundry RUDONG FENG LI, a key supplier to leading global sporting goods retailer Decathlon, chose DISA as its partner to deliver an automated complete foundry solution at its 40,000m2 plant near Shanghai. The investment was part of an ambitious expansion plan that has seen the foundry double its annual production, while at the same time benefitting from huge reductions in manpower and energy consumption.

RUDONG FENG LI was founded in 1985 in the city of Nantong close to Shanghai. During the early years, foundry production focussed mainly on mechanical accessories and valves, until - in 1992 - the foundry formalised a co-operation agreement with Decathlon, the largest sporting goods retailer in the world. 

This co-operation led RUDONG FENG LI to specialise in the production of all kinds of sporting equipment. Today the Chinese foundry supplies 70% of Decathlon’s dumbbells worldwide. 

As part of the complete foundry solution, two new, high-performance DISAMATIC moulding lines were installed, resulting in an annual production capacity of 40,000 tonnes, double the capacity of the previous domestic solutions installed. 

Mr Zhuru Liu, General Manager at RUDONG FENG LI MACHINERY FACTORY CO., LTD., summarises the project: “The advantages of implementing a DISA complete foundry solution have been clear from day one. The entire process has been very smooth, and after only six months in operation, we’ve seen massive reductions in manpower and energy consumption as well as an equally significant increase in productivity and efficiency. With DISA, our foundry now fully meets our high expectations and requirements both in terms of productivity and environmental protection."

Challenges

An investment that exceeded expectations

Looking back at previous operational set-ups, Mr Zhuru Liu explains the foundry’s journey to a complete foundry solution from DISA: “When first embarking on our cooperation with Decathlon, we hand-moulded all our castings and failed to meet the rigorous customer requirements. Due to limited financial resources, we then purchased a domestic, automated moulding line; however, only six years later the line was out-dated and generated a lot of powder and dust. 

“After seriously considering our options, we decided that a complete foundry solution from DISA would be the right choice for our plant, and today, it’s safe to say that we’ve not only managed to meet both the production efficiency and casting quality concerns we had; we’ve surpassed both Decathlon’s quality demands and our own requirements for more environmentally sustainable production.”

Sustainable production and a changed working environment

Noise and dust were important concerns for the foundry, not just due to its location in a residential neighbourhood. Mr Zhuru Liu continues: “With the DISA complete foundry solution, there’s virtually no dust in the plant. The noise level is low, and the outdoor detected value is always less than 50dB, which is very important, as our foundry is located in a residential area. As a consequence, we’ve not only achieved a considerable cost reduction because of DISA; our noise and dust emission levels now also comply perfectly with national standards, and we’ve received no complaints from the near-by community."

Solution

The solution in detail

The new complete foundry solution replaces low-speed, semi-automatic domestic moulding solutions at RUDONG FENG LI with state-of-the-art, high-speed DISA technology. 

The solution includes:

  • 2 DISAMATIC 240C vertical moulding machines 
  • 2 DISA sand plants, including TM 240 sand mixers, CDR3200 and filters 
  • 1 Wheelabrator DT throughfeed blast cleaning machine.

Result

The numbers speak for themselves 

Just under a year into production, Mr. Zhuru Liu recaps the impact the complete foundry solution from DISA has had on foundry operations: “The initial investment in DISA moulding solutions may be relatively high, but the equipment is durable, has a low fault rate and provides high casting quality with almost no imperfect products.

“RUDONG FENG LI’s original production lines had a maximum product pass rate of 93%, whereas the average pass rate of the current DISA moulding lines reach an impressive 99%. Additionally, the capacity of the original domestic production lines amounted to 150-160 moulds per hour. In comparison, the DISA moulding lines achieve 330 moulds per hour”. 

“The original domestic sand mixer was semi-automatic. The measurement and calculation of moulding sand and its moisture was not accurate, hence the casting quality was not ideal. Selecting the DISA 40-tonnage sand mixer has resulted in significant power savings, as the two original production lines required two sand mixers with a power consumption of 380 kWh. Now, only one DISA sand mixer meets the demands of our two former domestic production lines and, on top of that, with a power consumption of only 200 kWh – the cost savings of the power consumption alone in 2-3 years are equivalent to the price of one sand mixer.

“And last, but certainly not least, product quality has improved to such an extent that no subsequent treatment or repair workshops are needed. The resulting reduction in labour costs has led to reduced costs per casting.”