General description – PDF

Gap Engineering SA has a long experience in every aspects of aluminum casting machines. The GAPCast is a flexible solution trying to reach specific needs of clients. We offer the following services and products:

  • Mechanical drawing and construction of:
    • Layout with launder and casting pit
    • Wagon or tilt table frame
    • Utility beam and metal level systems
    • Molds frame and Tooling DC & EMC
    • Energy supply
  • Electrical drawings (Eplan P8) and cabinets production
  • PLC & HMI integration with GAPCast standard
  • Commissioning in-house with SIMIT and on site
  • Support for enhancement and process optimization

Hands Free Automation System

The GAPCast automation software suite is composed of several modules, all of which have been tested in our laboratory before installation on site.

This system is a fully automated process for managing all phases of a vertical aluminum casting. The main role of the process control unit is to calculate, check and adjust all-important parameters before and during the cast based on the stored casting recipe. With proven recipes, the GAPCast system manages the machine automatically from the start phase till the end of production process.

Configuration Tools

Recipe Editor

The Recipe editor allows for management, comparison, modification, and creation of recipes for one or more casting machines. This software can be installed on several PCs connected to the company’s LAN. This allows anyone in charge of managing production to use and examine recipe data, meaning they can optimise and analyse said data without leaving their offices. The recipes are organised by machine, process type and alloy. The recipe name is a concatenation of width, thickness, user parameters and a revision number.

A recipe consists of:

  • 80 parameters (0 to 79)
  • 20 curves (0 to 19) of 10 points (0 to 19).

The curves generate the set points for the main regulation loops (table speed, distribution of water in the ingot moulds, metal level, etc.). These values depend on the ingot length as well as the alloy being cast. Points 8 and 9 are reserved for the end of the curve. For these two points, the x value is not the ingot length but the value before the total length of the ingot. For example, 50 mm means 50 mm before the set point of ingot length. After a recipe is modified, the programme automatically saves the modifications and creates a “Logbook” file in order to track modifications. The person editing a recipe can add comments to the logbook.

Write access is password-protected. Different permission levels are determined in collaboration with the customer.

 GAP Editor

The GAPEditor is installed directly on the PC for the casting machine. This software is used to configure and edit the following parameters:

  • AIs- Analogue inputs
  • AOs – Analogue outputs
  • Monitoring bar graphs
  • BigDisplay screens and values
  • DIDO (digital inputs and digital outputs)
  • Messages (Alarms, messages, messages with values, messages during the evaluation phase, etc.)
  • All machine parameters

Write access is password-protected. Different permission levels are determined in collaboration with the customer.

Acquisition Tools

GAPCast uses software from iba AG (Iba-System & Products). The “ibaPDA” programme is used for data acquisition, and “ibaAnalyser” is used for analysis. Data acquisition is divided into three types:

The following data can be recorded: