Automation refers to the process of machine equipment, system or process (production, management process) without the direct participation of people or less, according to the requirements of people, through automatic detection, information processing, analysis, judgment, manipulation and control, to achieve the expected goal.
“Digital chemical plant” is a new production organization mode based on the relevant data of the whole product life cycle, which simulates, evaluates and optimizes the whole production process in the computer virtual environment, and further extends to the whole product life cycle. “Digital chemical plant” mainly solves the “gap” between product design and manufacturing, realizes the functions of design, manufacturing, assembly, logistics and other aspects in the product life cycle, reduces the uncertainty between design and production and manufacturing, compresses and advances the production and manufacturing process under the virtual environment, evaluates and tests it, so as to shorten the transformation time from product design to production, And improve the reliability and success rate of the product. For “digital chemical plant”, different people have different understanding. Some people understand “digital chemical plant” defined by Japanese manufacturing industry as “automation + appropriate labor + full staff management + virtual manufacturing”.
According to these definitions, a considerable part of China’s foundry enterprises have automatic casting equipment, but there is no real digital foundry.
Digital foundry is a virtual foundry through simulation by using “digital factory” software. In this process, the virtual foundry and the real foundry need to be highly consistent. If they are not consistent, the results will be biased, and the digital factory will lose significance. Automatic casting equipment is conducive to data collection and transmission between virtual foundry and real foundry, and to improve the accuracy of these data. Without automatic casting equipment, it is difficult or impossible to collect these data at all. Therefore, digital foundry cannot do without automatic casting equipment, which is an essential factor for digital foundry, Imagine a foundry which is operated by hand. If we use the “digital factory” software to simulate it, what will be the result? It will be different according to the parameters of each process, and the simulation results are very different from the actual results. Therefore, it is impossible to call it a digital foundry. However, the digital foundry does not need to be fully automated casting equipment.