Inventas has, together with Hycast, developed an automatic preparation and inspection system for the aluminum ingot casting process. The system consists of a lightweight xyz-manipulator setup, integrated within the casting machine. All initial tests were done with Igus rails, and driven by tooted belts and stepper motors. A tool-change mechanism and inspection cameras were tested for flexible and agile inspection and preparation of the casting process. Images from the cameras are processed and analyzed for detecting remains of water in the molds before casting (HSE), and for detecting defects in surface structure and other signs of possible spontaneous outpouring of liquid aluminum during casting.
The casting process is water-cooled, and even small remains of water in the molds could lead to massive explosions when exposed to liquid aluminum.