Castello Increases Flexibility to Deliver through Smart Monitoring
Castello Italia SpA is a leader in high-tech tube production, extruding a wide range of materials from PE, PA to PPS, for mono and multi-layer tubes of up to five layers. The tubes are used in the automotive and pneumatic industries, both with very strict requirements.Castello relies on an advanced and controlled process to produce tubes with high quality, tight tolerances and excellent performances. The recently installed Smart Monitoring from Maillefer provides the Italian company with necessary oversight for quality.
Accountable for product quality
The Maillefer lines are fully automated and fitted with the necessary devices for monitoring and tracking of product quality. Castello is a Tier 1 supplier and regularly needs to guarantee delivered quality. Manufacturing equipment is therefore required to meet the requirements of their quality management system.
The real challenge began a few years ago, when, after buying the extrusion line which featured Industry 4.0 capabilities, Castello Italia requested to have all extrusions lines, not only the Maillefer ones, linked to a centralized system to monitor the product quality.
Pierluigi Testa, CEO of Castello, sees this added capacity brings “more flexibility to create a wider product range, with increased performances and quality on our products.” Regarding quality, the project required that all extrusion lines feed information back to the Quality department. Maillefer had the solution for its lines, but the challenge came for the other ones. . Fortunately, Smart Monitoring provided the answer.
Maillefer’s Smart Monitoring is non-invasive. The measurement devices were physically positioned on each lines without impacting on the extruder layouts. The line control systems remained intact, without any modifications. Once integrated through the Bluebox, the lines were configured into Smart Monitoring and linked into the factory’s LAN network.
Data available for all
In less than a week, the quality data was immediately made available to the Quality team. Information was presented in the same way. Immediately, Castello had a common tool for visualizing quality information from all its lines.
The completed project leaves Castello considering the future. Mr. Testa continues, “We expect that Maillefer continues to develop new solutions and technical improvements following the demands of the market, which is increasingly oriented towards the use of raw materials with excellent mechanical performance and resistance to high temperatures. The use of new techno polymers brings new challenges in extrusion. High temperature resistant polymers require higher processing temperatures as well as efficient and innovative cooling systems during extrusion.”
Increasing the possibilities
From the quality point of view, Smart Monitoring has the ability to tie process data together with readings from the factory environment that effect product quality, like cooling water or ambient temperature readings.
The ability to include all extrusion lines into the quality picture allows Castello to meet customer requirements, while also being able to count on all lines to produce. With increased capacity that is qualified to produce for its clients, Castello effectively opens up the possibilities for higher flexibility and improved customer satisfaction.