Feature Article Continued from pg 29

industrial control systems are well developed to be able to use the viscosity data from the processes effectively for operations. The key value drivers of embracing real-time inline viscosity monitoring equipment by manufacturers and system integrators operating in ceramic slurry coating for shell building: Automated corrective actions for ensuring product consistency. Closed control loops through sensor-based, in-line quality inspection reduce waste and increase yield through early process deviation detection, root cause analysis, and automatic correction.

More agility in dealing with new product variants in production, compliance and product provenance. Casting manufacturers get a more accurate picture of how the new slurry formulations will behave and how they might need to adjust current systems and control parameters. Big data provides robust evidence

to base decisions for greater efficiency. The data provided by the process monitoring equipment enables them to tweak various process parameters and optimise the manufacturing process. Interconnection

and information

transparency allow for operators to make decisions both inside and outside of production facilities, thus enabling decentralization of decisions. Higher customer satisfaction and adapting to customer requests. Industry 4.0 solutions can impact casting companies by driving closer interactions with their customers. The technology, data, and information that can help transform manufacturing operations can also make processes and systems more responsive to customer needs.

An Inline Sensor for Easy Integration in the Slurry Preparation Drum Rheonics sensors are plug and play automation. The inline viscometer can be installed in any slurry drum with a simple tank mount. The whole operation of installing the sensor and starting to see real-time measurement of viscosity takes

30 ❘ January 2021 ®

Figure 3: Turnkey integrated solution - Rheonics slurry monitoring and control system

less than 30 minutes. Rheonics sensors have built-in temperature measurement, ensuring both viscosity and temperature of the slurry mix is monitored at all stages – from mixing to coating. Viscosity readings can be compensated for temperature, which is essential for ensuring consistent production through typical daily and seasonal temperature variations. The viscometer is hermetically encapsulated and insensitive to external machine noise

- hence performance

is unaffected by turbulence and fluid non-homogeneity. Automated online viscosity measurement through SRV or an SRD eliminates the variations in sample taking and lab techniques. The sensor is installed in the mixing/coating tank, continuously measuring the formulated system viscosity (and density in case of SRD). Coating consistency during shell building is achieved through automation of the dosing system through a process controller based on real-time viscosity, and temperature measurements. During slurry preparation process prior to coating (and even during coating by dipping), the mixing process can be monitored with Rheonics sensors, which can verify

if solids content &

homogeneity (stability) are optimal, without worrying about a myriad of factors which might affect them. Inline viscosity management with the Rheonics sensors can help alleviate most common issues like ceramic inclusion, crack, distortion, flash, misrun, shrinkage,

slag inclusion and cold shut that can negatively impact the quality of final products.

Rheonics offers an integrated standalone viscosity, density and pH monitoring

and control system.

The Rheonics Slurry Monitoring and Control system uses inline viscometers and inline pH probes to monitor slurry viscosity, temperature and pH in real- time. Correction valves are operated to add the correct dose to ensure absolute control of the slurry characteristics through-out the mixing and coating process.

As manufacturers seek to become more agile in adapting to industry’s requirements, they understand the need to invest in R&D activities and advanced process control technologies to develop new formulations with tailored characteristics.


inline viscometers empower investment casting manufacturers with capabilities for shell-building of top quality and great variety, with least involvement of operators on factory floor – a significant advantage over other measurement alternatives or process control solutions. Data provided by the Rheonics viscometers and integrated solutions helps to accelerate learning curves and accommodate more frequent slurry composition changeovers, contributing to a more resource-efficient, economical and greener manufacturing process. Inline blending with continuous viscosity monitoring solutions solves

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