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AI operators provision to iron foundries 

Viking Analytics, a Swedish startup in advanced analytics solutions for predictive operations, and pour-tech AB, specialised in automatic pouring systems, have announced a partnership to offer AI operators to iron foundries. The solution, named EASYpour, uses data analytics and machine learning algorithms developed by Viking Analytics to automatically adjust the pouring process, improving product quality, enabling faster production, and reducing costs. 

EASYpour is one of the first smart-pouring solutions available and more advantageous than traditional methods that require constant intervention from an experienced operator. According to Niklas Stigendal, general manager at pour-tech AB, the target was to have a truly end-to-end automated solution. “The production environment in a foundry is increasingly changing, demanding several adjustments to maintain the quality of the product, sometimes in a matter of minutes. We wanted to remove this complexity for our clients, so the operators could focus on other tasks,” he explains.

Viking Analytics was selected to develop the data-driven predictive model that runs in the solution. Based on the expert industry knowledge from pour-tech AB, the startup employed its data analytics and artificial intelligence capabilities to develop machine learning algorithms that, once deployed, evaluate information from each pour and adjust the parameters for the next one. 

“In practice, it means that the system is always improving itself, by learning from past actions in a feedback loop that maintains long-term quality, and it happens in a fraction of time that it would take for an operator to make the same decisions” says Arash Toyser, co-founder and product manager at Viking Analytics.

By making these adjustments, EASYpour eliminates overpours and scrap, resulting in significant reductions in re-melt costs. It also provides stability in product quality and higher productivity. Currently, two foundries in Denmark and Germany are already using EASYpour.

To Stefan Lagerkvist, co-founder and CEO at Viking Analytics, the partnership highlights the potential for the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the metal industry. “Automation is already well established in foundries, but in order to survive the increasing competition, companies must take on the digital transformation road, from collecting and analysing data to taking action to improve productivity based on it. We are very pleased to enable pour-tech to bring digitalisation to their customers.”