University Adds Advanced Metalcasting, and a Partner

Feb. 28, 2024
Purdue University’s new “smart foundry,” developed in collaboration with Sinto America and FEF, lets students and researchers experience advanced technology that is used in metalcasting operations.

Students at Purdue Polytechnic are learning metalcasting processes and technologies at a new “smart foundry” installed recently at the university in West Lafayette, IN.  The operation is part of the $140-million, 255,000 square-foot Engineering & Polytechnic Gateway Complex shared by Purdue Polytechnic and the College of Engineering, completed last spring.

“Sinto is honored in partnering with Purdue University in developing this revolutionary educational process. The smart foundry will provide graduates with the opportunity to experience the advanced technology that is used in many foundries today,” commented Sinto America v.p.-Foundry Andy Schelke.

The smart foundry was designed collaboratively by the Purdue faculty and staff, the Foundry Educational Foundation, and Sinto America’s Foundry Design and Engineering department. “The Purdue Gateway Complex provides students and industry with a unique mix of hands-on instructional laboratories, design studios, and collaborative space,” according to Pat Patton, Sinto’s project manager, who oversaw the project management, and installation and commissioning for the foundry equipment. “It has been a pleasure to work with the Purdue faculty and staff as they bring their vision for a new curriculum to fruition.”

Purdue’s smart foundry includes an all-new sand system; melting and pouring area; manual molding station; and a Sinto FDNX flaskless molding machine with ePVS, a tool of the Sinto Smart Foundry® platform that presents complete visibility of the molding process and allows operators to visualize process issues as they emerge in real time. ePVS will generate clear, actionable resolutions to such issues, which allows the foundry to reduce downtime and maintenance costs.

At Purdue, undergraduates who are learning different manufacturing processes will work in the new foundry as part of the materials sciences curriculum, and graduate students and professors will conduct research there.

As part of a new engineering program at the university, the metalcasting operation will comprise one area of study (others are machining, injection molding, product assembly, etc.) through which students will imitate real-world practices, developing and manufacturing finished products. Sinto Smart Foundry product manager Jim Wenson will work with Purdue to help manage and monitor ePVS, including ongoing reports, meetings and alerts, aiming to create better foundry processes. Sinto will support Purdue students on data collection and analysis, and other projects relating to the new smart foundry.

“Being trusted by Purdue University to design, engineer, and build their foundry of the future is an immense honor,” offered Wenson. “However, the partnership doesn't stop there. We look forward to collaborating with Purdue in its mission to create the next generation of metalcasters and technology.”

Sinto America is similarly involved implementing smart foundry programs at Western Michigan University, Tennessee Tech and University of Northern Iowa.