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Foundry 4.0 using FRP Driving the Digital Transformation (Part 6)

Driving the Digital Transformation in Metal Casting Operations

In part 6 of this series, we will summarize what the past 12 months with FRP-solutions have achieved by introducing integrated corporate solutions and writing about foundries being the last frontier when it comes to digital transformation and digitalization of company processes.

We have mentioned many times that ancient traditions carried forward by generations and huge amounts of experience may be replaced by modern state-of-the-art software solution technologies, making the industry attractive to young talent, providing room for legacy renewal and helping to rejuvenate. This article # 6 shall highlight the importance of what it means to bring the operations on ONE standard platform, how DATA can be visualized using dashboard and other instruments, e.g. FIS (foundry information system) and why classical systems including Excel/ERP are continuing to fail in foundry environments. After all, we want to transform the industry into something technically and IT wise advanced as we cannot change the way castings are done BUT we can change the way castings processes are controlled using easy to use and plug & play software-based solutions.

FRP – Foundry Resource Planning Solutions, were introduced, one year ago to the FOUNDRY magazine readership and India wide audience. Many people and industry experts contacted the editors and asked many questions. Among the questions asked ONE stood out and we want to answer this in an elaborated way:




The editors realized that the industry is ripe for something that is innovative, new in terms of capabilities and ultimately really works in metal casting environments. Foundries are known for the complexity of juggling man-machine-material combined with organizing core-melt-mold-fettling-machining and much more. Standard disposition tools and Excel files using manual means of reporting are the current reason of WHY foundry is not transparent and the majority of operations do not succeed in having “fewer headaches” – so to speak.

We mentioned many times that foundry Managers of the future become IT – gurus as many computer-based technologies must be mastered in parallel, it is not enough just to know about methods and casting.

One example of today’s foundry world is the collection and interactive usage of PRODUCTION DATA in an integrated system. Foundries using generic systems or only Excel always struggle to get their own production under control by precisely knowing what is where / when and how. Numerous examples, especially from the jobbing foundry world, can be mentioned upon demand.

Now coming back let us look at the answer to the most asked question. For example, if a foundry wants to know their KPI’s = Key Performance Indicators – and these can be manifold – then they have to ensure they have correct DATA from all available sources. Once KPI’s are defined, e.g. delivery reliability vs. production capacity and utilization then it’s simply about the correctness of the data. This data is through the previously described FRP® functionalities and WIP – work in progress feedback chains available. Internally build integration tests and functionalities are ensuring that this data is consistent. Build in loop-holes in the software will alert a user if the data is inconsistent or outright wrong.

From there it’s only a mouse click or two that are required to visualize this data inadequate format. Figure 1 is displaying 2 examples of data visualization of typical foundry KPI’s. Here RFQ’s are compared to time and location and in addition shipment of castings are compared on quarterly basis and destination. The “dashboard” that is displaying this data is highly customizable so that any person participating in the FPR® system can have his or her individual “KPI” displayed if required in REAL-TIME.

Can you imagine you have all these foundry details available at your fingertip, it’s reliable and accurate to the point and he looks at it on a daily basis 24 x 7? How much would it be worth to invest in order to have that? Is a single outright purchase enough? Is the organization – that has to carry the data collection details and discipline – actually in place? Ultimately what’s more important, making money on castings and knowing in detail about it OR being able to trace a casting without tediously looking at the shop-floor to ask all concerned where is my casting?

As it can be seen the REAL answer in today’s world of digitalization of workplaces is not to ask the question “how much does it cost and can I afford it?” the real question should be “how much will it cost me NOT to do it?” (i.e. introducing a standard FRP® system) and in addition “how long do I want to live with the fact that the foundry operations are NOT transparent enough to understand if we make or lose money on a casting after the post-calculation has been done.”


We are proud to say that the image of 3D = dirty, dangerous and difficult, will change towards something like D3 = digital, dynamic and different in a not too distant future.

FRP will be 100% taking part in this transformation.