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Morikawa targets 40% scrap reduction: Japanese foundry chooses DISA’s Monitizer® for AI-driven process enhancement

Leading Japanese foundry Morikawa is the latest to adopt the full Monitizer digital suite, supplied and supported by DISA. Morikawa will implement Monitizer | CIM and Monitizer | GLOBAL to collect and monitor live process data, then use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to optimise casting quality through Monitizer | PRESCRIBE, powered by award-winning AI partner DataProphet. 

A longstanding DISA customer, Morikawa has relied on high-speed, vertical DISAMATIC® moulding machines since 1979. The foundry now expects DISA’s state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 tools to provide significant competitive advantage and transform it into a digital leader.

“Operating the Monitizer solutions will improve our productivity and quality, and that will increase the profitability of our business,” says President & CEO Junichi Morikawa. “DISA presented a case study of a DISAMATIC user who is operating Monitizer | PRESCRIBE successfully, By using AI, they expect us to see a reduction of more than 40% in the cost of defective castings.”

Boosting performance – and the bottom line

Morikawa produces small iron and steel automotive components such as hub carriers and bearing housings. Green sand moulding with complex cores lies at the heart of its casting process. “Digital tools are useful for collecting and analysing manufacturing parameters and process data to improve production efficiency and produce high quality castings,” explains Mr Morikawa.“AI will help us find the optimal manufacturing conditions for each individual casting and we will use it as a quality improvement tool to reduce defective casting costs.”

“More consistent quality will ensure stable delivery times and greater trust from customers,” continues the CEO. “With greater profitability and customer trust, we can expect to increase our sales further by becoming more competitive in both price and quality.” 

“We’re very excited to welcome Morikawa as our first Japanese customer for the Monitizer Suite. Worldwide adoption of Monitizer is rising fast and that’s partly because we can demonstrate proven, real-world examples of scrap reduction with our AI system. Monitizer is quick and straightforward to deploy and we support the customer throughout their entire digital journey, right from the start."

Ulla Tønnesen, DISA President

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Collect process data and put it to work

Monitizer’s modular approach lets foundries start by collecting data, then move quickly to more sophisticated digital applications – gaining value at each step. By implementing the full Monitizer suite, Morikawa will be able to switch quickly from manual, paper-based processes to digital data collection, visualisation and analysis.

The first step in the project will be to upgrade the foundry’s existing installation of DISA’s Monitizer | CIM, which handles tasks like recipe management, process overview and performance reporting, to the latest version. CIM will collect, timestamp, and centrally store data from Morikawa’s DISA equipment, and enable machine-to-machine communication that allows sub-processes like moulding and pouring to be automated and synchronised.

“Monitizer | CIM ensures the proper operation of the DISAMATIC moulding line and its ancillary functions by synchronising each other precisely,” notes Mr Morikawa. “We regard it as an infrastructure tool to get the best performance from our DISA equipment such as the Automatic Pattern Changer, Shuttle Conveyor and DISACOOL cooling drum, in addition to our DISAMATIC moulding machines. All in all, we consider Monitizer | CIM to be essential to operate efficiently.”

Connect any foundry equipment with Monitizer | GLOBAL

Deploying Monitizer | GLOBAL will be the next step, digitally connecting the complete casting process, from melting and sand mixing to inoculation and quality control. GLOBAL’s cloud infrastructure centralises all data, making it easily available, offering a complete real-time digital picture of the whole process and supporting remote monitoring and alerting across both Morikawa’s lines. With universally compatible Norigate IIoT gateways, Monitizer | GLOBAL can acquire data from any foundry equipment or sensor. It then presents live data in easy-to-understand, user-specific browser-based dashboards with customised KPIs that speed up fault-finding and make performance reporting instantly accessible.

“With GLOBAL, what's happening on the manufacturing floor becomes digitally visible,” explains the CEO. “This insight will enable us to improve productivity by identifying operational issues and solving them. We look forward to enjoying the advantage of matching DISAMATIC and the rest of the equipment with Monitizer | GLOBAL for comprehensive visualisation of the entire manufacturing process.”

AI optimises your process – in real time

With a real-time digital view of all its key equipment and sub-processes, Morikawa can then start to optimise its whole process with Monitizer | PRESCRIBE’s AI-driven predictive modelling. During live production, PRESCRIBE’s Expert Execution System (EES) supports dynamic, real-time optimisation by predicting the correct machine settings for every pattern before defects occur – not after.

“Experience and intuition alone can no longer provide the quality improvements we need to eliminate casting defects,” says Mr Morikawa. “The casting industry has a wide range of machines and processes, and it is difficult to monitor and control each process in an integrated manner. By using AI technology to analyse the huge amounts of complex, intertwined data without human intervention and deriving "prescriptions" from that analysis, we believe that quality can be improved further, and that defect costs can be significantly reduced. We cannot wait to get the Monitizer solutions installed and benefit from them.”

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