Die casting industry's next growth cycle

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Engine block – casted on a Carat 350 © Bühler AG

Engine block – casted on a Carat 350. Today, one in four aluminum engine blocks are produced with Bühler technology. © Bühler AG

An increasing number of car parts such as engine blocks or structural parts are being manufactured from aluminum using high-pressure die casting. At the 13th International Foundry Trade Fair (GIFA) in Düsseldorf, Germany, Bühler Die Casting was highlighting its role as the global solution provider for aluminum high-pressure die casting.

As the only supplier, it boasts production and service capabilities in Europe, the United States, and China, covering all three major automotive markets in the world. Today, one in four aluminum engine blocks are produced with Bühler technology, and every second car uses light-alloy parts made on Bühler machines.

“With innovations such as a new human machine interface and monitoring system, the Ecoline Pro line with integrated peripherals as well as an integrated vacuum system, we are demonstrating our commitment to maximum production efficiency and parts quality as well as easy automation. We are fully prepared to lead the industry through the next growth cycle,” explains Jonathan Abbis, Head of Business Area Die Casting.

Das GIFA Konzeptauto © Bühler AG

GIFA concept car. Automobile manufacturers are looking for ways to make their products more efficient © Bühler AG

A growing world population, coupled with an increase in living standards especially in the emerging markets, are boosting automobile sales. In 2014, over 90 million cars were manufactured globally.

Automobile manufacturers are looking for ways to make their products more efficient and reduce fuel consumption as well as carbon emissions. Lightweight construction using efficient and cost-optimized aluminum die casting plays a key role in achieving this goal.

And the demand for aluminum parts will without doubt continue to grow over the next years: “In addition to manufacturing engine blocks and gearboxes, die casting is increasingly being used to produce structural components such as door frames or shock towers. And lightweight aluminum construction is also expected to make its way down from full-size cars into mid-size and compact cars,” says Jonathan Abbis, Head of Business Area Die Casting, summing up the current trend.

© Bühler AG

DataView – new elaborated operating concept © Bühler AG

Bühler Die Casting is in an excellent position to lead the industry through this next growth phase:

DataView, for instance, is a new human-machine interface and monitoring system for Bühler’s two-platen die casting machine Carat. This sophisticated concept allows for easy, fast and intuitive operation of the machine, resulting in 25% faster programming. The touchscreen-based interface has been optimized for the rugged foundry environment and can easily be controlled even when wearing gloves.

© Bühler AG

Ecoline Pro – integrated cell solution © Bühler AG

Another highlight is the Ecoline Pro with integrated peripherals: For the first time, peripherals such as ladler, extractor and sprayer have been fully integrated in the cell. Ecoline Pro is the solution of choice for manufacturers of smaller automotive parts with a casting weight of up to 13 kilograms.
© Bühler AG

Carat 280 with integrated vacuum system SmartVac © Bühler AG

And one more novelty: SmartVac. This new vacuum system is integrated in the die casting machine. This unprecedented level of integration allows for much tighter process control, resulting in higher productivity and flexibility as well as 3% less scrap.
© Bühler AG

Shock tower – casted on a Carat 280 © Bühler AG

Several innovations highlight leadership role in the die casting industry

Bühler Die Casting has been a market and technology leader for almost one century. The first die casting machine was produced in Uzwil as far back as 1927. Through the years, Bühler Die Casting has constantly remained at the forefront of technology and innovation.

For example, it was the first supplier to offer real-time shot control for further improving control of the die casting process. Until today, Bühler has supplied more than 7,000 die casting systems to the global market. Almost 1,000 foundries rely on Bühler every day.

This success can be attributed to several factors: The Bühler Die Casting product lines offer customized solutions for every application. While the compact Ecoline machines address the specific needs of medium-sized automotive and small-components suppliers, the Carat line is a fully integrated and highly automated cell solution designed for efficient production of larger and more complex components such as engine blocks or various structural parts for automobile bodies.

In addition, Bühler Die Casting has a unique geographical footprint: It is the only supplier of die casting equipment with production facilities and service capabilities in Europe, the United States, and China – thus covering the world’s three main automotive markets. Bühler Die Casting supports its customers from system engineering to start-up and throughout the life cycle of their equipment – thus ensuring maximum productivity and consistently high parts quality.

“With our complete solutions and services portfolio we offer die casting manufacturers maximum productivity and quality. At the same time, we continue to lead the market with new technologies and process solutions – putting a special emphasis on automation. Therefore we are fully prepared to support the industry through the next growth cycle,” concludes Jonathan Abbis.