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FONDERIE MORA GAVARDO : The key role of cast iron

30.11.21
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Three production units dedicated to casting: cast iron and aluminum, combined with that for mechanical machining

 


 

Production flexibility is an increasingly important requirement in the mechanical industry. In the foundry sector, however, it is difficult to find companies that are able to manage pieces from one kilogram to 120 tons. Difficult, but not impossible. Fonderie Mora Gavardo is the only company in Italy and among the few in Europe to offer this production flexibility in a single site, combined with a series of additional services particularly appreciated by customers.

Quality castings

Present on the market for over half a century, Fonderie Mora Gavardo of Brescia operates in the panorama of grey iron, spheroidal and special cast iron castings, as well as aluminum, making use of cutting-edge production technologies and a complete supply chain know-how, which goes from the feasibility study and co-design, to the simulation of the casting process, up to the heat treatments and machining on numerical control centres. The production unit dedicated to cast iron, equipped with 5 induction furnaces, boasts a processing capacity of 30,000 tons of material per year. The division dedicated to aluminum, on the other hand, produces pieces according to the drawings and with surface treatments requested by the customer, as part of the mass production of small/medium-sized components and even very complex shapes. Products mainly intended for the automotive, motorcycle, industrial, agricultural, medical and general mechanics sectors, with a quality guaranteed by processes according to the ISO 9001 certifications (Quality Management System, Aluminium Business Unit, Cast Iron Business Unit, Machining Business Unit) and the IATF 16949 (Automotive Quality Management System). "The company was founded towards the end of the 1950s to operate in the field of cast iron castings, with unit weights of the product ranging from 1 kg to 120 tons, with these premises is clear that the main feature that has always distinguished it in the national panorama of foundries, that being the high flexibility in terms of the type of product it produces. - said Massimiliano Passeri, Chief Operating Officer of Fonderie Mora Gavardo Cast Iron division – that joined in 2012 to be part of the multinational Camozzi, benefiting from significant investments in plant engineering and with particular attention to the issues of eco-sustainability, reduction of energy impact and emissions, the company has been able to grow substantially thanks to the other companies of the Group, on which it relies for various needs, from structural steelwork to mechanical machining, up to the development of innovative technologies such as rapid prototyping or predictive maintenance techniques, through a very intense exchange of activities and a continuous intertwining of skills within the Camozzi group. The issues of digitalization of processes are addressed through the implementation of Camozzi Digital HW and SW platforms, which supported Fonderie Mora Gavardo in the introduction of a corporate MES (Manufacturing Execution System) system. The MES is responsible for coordinating and verifying the KPI for all processes, with the harmonization of the plants to the Camozzi production standards and alignment with the latest technologies of the fourth industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 compliance is achieved through IIoT devices and the real-time monitoring/feedback of all machines, through the DRM - Digital Remote Maintenance - platform also developed by Camozzi Digital". Belonging to the Group has allowed Fonderie Mora Gavardo to mature in terms of acquired experience, operating within a vast market environment, where it has faced and overcome numerous challenges, starting from the high-quality standard (which has now become an essential requirement but which is often taken for granted), production flexibility and the speed of time-to-market. When the customer asks for a product, they very often involve Fonderie Mora at a partnership level in the co-engineering phases, in order to optimize the performance of the product while keeping costs under control.

Research, development, technology

"Speaking of the quality level, it is important to understand how fundamental the quality of raw materials is: through our dedicated internal area we carry out extensive research and development on materials, investing in resources and equipment, to always be at the forefront of this field and allow the customer to save where possible, given that a foundry largely uses recycled ferrous material: this, also in consideration of the fact that in this period there is a huge problem in the supply of raw materials and costs are definitely rising - added Passeri - It is the customer himself who asks us not to settle on common practices, but to carry out an R&D strategy in order to have top-of-the-range products, obviously spending the right amount. The Camozzi Group oversees cutting-edge technologies, thanks to a continuous investment in know-how and advanced research through structured relationships with universities, organizations and institutions for research and innovation. For this reason we are able to offer our customers a wide range of solutions, starting from the base material that we cast, fettle and paint, up to the supply of the finished product, mechanically machined, assembled if necessary and tested in the Group’s internal workshops, with maximum synergy along the entire supply chain, ready to be installed on the vehicle that the customer is building”.

It is interesting to highlight how, although over the years new technologies have allowed the development and exploitation of innovative materials such as aluminum, carbon fibre or other composites, which have revolutionized the world of mechanical construction, cast iron remains a central element in the industrial sector. This is thanks to its characteristics of high resistance, great malleability, and ease of being cast to assume the desired shape, even if very complex, which allow it to be used in various applications. As for the mechanics' sector related to the construction of earth-moving vehicles, precisely by virtue of the fact that a good metallurgical formula of this material is very similar, in terms of characteristics, to steel, without inheriting the management complexity of the production process.

"We have cast iron that have zero elasticity (mechanical cast iron), used for example in gearboxes or clutches, as well as spheroidal cast iron treated with magnesium, which instead have a high elasticity, even higher than 20%, used in parts of suspensions or axles - continued Passeri - This is to say that, within the same macro-category of material, we have a wide range of solutions suitable for different manufacturing sectors and, in the case of earth-moving, cast iron is practically irreplaceable, unlike automotive, where in recent years there has been a progressive and gradual reduction in favour of aluminium, thermoplastics and composites”.

Remaining in the excavator vehicle sector, the range of products that Fonderie Mora Gavardo is able to produce goes from the small planetary gear carriers of one kilogram for the rotation of tracks, up to the 750-kilogram tractor chassis. Even in this transitional phase towards the electrification of earth-moving vehicles, the Brescia-based company does not fear negative repercussions on its work since in fact these mechanical components are bound by the type of propulsion of the vehicle.

We are at present being certified according to the IATF 16949 standard, which is essential in the automotive sector. Even if this may seem excessive, we think that this certification is so stringent and selective that it can also bring advantages in all other sectors. - concluded Passeri - Moreover, today the earth-moving sector is facing a crossroads, since manufacturers are now beginning to demand such high-quality requirements that they are comparable to those of the automotive sector. Considering that many vehicles can now circulate on the road, we want to be ahead of the times and also at the forefront with this approach to the market".

 

Source: Tecnologie Meccaniche Issue nr. 11 (November 2021)