Expert support from ItalPresseGauss: TOPS keeps die casting machines working perfectly at Shaanxi Fast Gear

IT Published

ItalPresseGauss, a Norican technology, is famous for producing High Pressure Die Casting (HPDC) machines with high precision and a production life measured in decades. Now owners of its machines can choose ItalPresseGauss’s Total Optimisation Production Services (TOPS) package to be totally confident their equipment is always working at its best.

Shaanxi Fast Gear Co., Ltd. is the biggest aluminium HPDC foundry in northwest China. A subsidiary of the giant Weichai Group, it produces large aluminium components for truck transmission assemblies such as gearbox and clutch housings.

Shaanxi operates two ItalPresseGauss HPDC die casting cells. Installed in 2008, the three platen machines at the heart of these cells have worked continuously for the last 13 years, maintaining excellent casting quality and high production volumes. But in early 2022, Shaanxi noticed aluminium flash appearing between the two halves of the die during die casting operations. Molten metal was leaking out, showing that die sealing was insufficient and affecting casting quality. Thankfully, Shaanxi had recently signed up for ItalPresseGauss’s TOPS programme.

“A TOPS package helps ensure the highest availability, quality and production output, especially when a machine has been operating for many years,” says Leon Gu, VP After Sales at ItalPresseGauss Asia Pacific. “Our service engineers visit regularly to check the machine’s operation, identify any concerns and discuss the best way to solve them. That way we can spot any problems and fix them before they cause any unplanned downtime.”

Staying parallel

First introduced by its fellow Norican brand DISA, ItalPresseGauss’s TOPS is an inspection, service and maintenance programme. Dedicated service engineers visit quarterly to ensure die casting equipment is kept in perfect operating condition and respond rapidly to any urgent problems. The package includes 24/7 phone support and reduced hourly costs for on-site working. 

At Shaanxi, engineers quickly arrived to examine the machine and find the cause of the flash. Everything appeared satisfactory – the platens, cleanliness, toggle spacer and tie-bar retaining nuts were all within tolerance. However a final check with a test die to confirm platen parallelism showed a wide difference between the closing forces in each of the four tie bars. After adjusting the tie bars, operation returned to normal.


Working like new

“The stress variation was causing the leakage and flash,” explains Amway Liu, Aftermarket Service Engineer at ItalPresseGauss Asia Pacific. “Years of operation with many different dies without adjusting the tie bars results in this imbalance. We explained to Shaanxi’s maintenance team how to check and correct tie bar stress as part of their regular maintenance programme.”

This kind of hands-on advice from experienced engineers is another valuable benefit of the TOPS package. Once the engineers locate a problem, they educate foundry staff on how to avoid it in future. They also know which spare parts to fit – and exactly when, where and how to fit them – to make sure the machine keeps running like new.

“We know ItalPresseGauss HPDC machines inside out and often spot problems that our customers miss,” says Amway Liu. “On a recent visit to another TOPS customer, I identified a damaged and failing connector between the hydraulic pump and motor. We supplied the spare parts and showed them how to change it, which avoided significant downtime and a potential accident too.”

Shaanxi Fast Gear was very satisfied with this TOPS engagement,” says Leon Gu. “Our service team checked the machine’s mechanical operation and completely solved the flash problem. The HPDC machine is now operating normally. TOPS visits are scheduled every three months so our team can make sure the machine keeps on working just like it did when new.”