Casting is one of the oldest, most challenging and energy intensive manufacturing processes. A typical modern casting process contains six different stages, which are classified as melting, alloying, moulding, pouring, solidification and finishing respectively. At each stage, high level and precision of process control is required. The energy efficiency of casting process can be improved by using novel alterations, such as the Constrained Rapid Induction Melting Single Shot Up-casting process. Within the present study the energy consumption of casting processes is analyzed and areas were great savings can be achieved are discussed. Lean thinking is used to identify waste and to analyse the energy saving potential for casting industry.
Energy saving and reducing emissions are primary goals of all countries around the world. Increase in world population and scarcity of energy resources and dramatic increase in pollution have lead towards energy saving by more efficient use of fuels such as coal, oil, gas and where possible use of renewable energies. Energy consumption by different sectors has been investigated thoroughly and reported in numerous reports. Indicatively, manufacturing accounts for 32% of the total energy consumption. According to the Climate Change Agreement published by UK Government, the foundries sector in the UK needs to attain an energy burden target of 25.7 GJ/tonne. However, the average energy burden for the UK foundry sector is 55 GJ/tonne. Therefore saving energy in foundries by increasing efficiency in production line can help to save millions of pounds for manufacturing sector and reduce emission.
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