Aluminum die casting is a messy process, far from the traditional idea of design. The machines don’t usually have a lot of cladding, protection, and design elements, because immediate access to the various components of the machines is required for safety and usability. But Idra Group, one of the leading manufacturers of die-casting machines, sought to reimagine the process with the help of our industrial design team. Our challenge: to design a family of modular machines that would set a new standard for the industry, and make Idra a point of reference for aluminum die-casting technology.
We translated the numerous safety and usability requirements into a design that features a simple, modular system to clad the machines across the whole family of products. The new design is based on a frame of steel profiles, on which modular panels made of metal carpentry are attached.
The mechanically and structurally solid solution is highly adaptable and caters to different sized machines, set-up, and installations. Great care was taken to select tube sizes and sheet thicknesses to guarantee the necessary strength, and at the same time lighten the structure to facilitate transport and assembly.
Throughout the process, we collaborated closely with Idra’s engineering team on concept engineering to ensure that the plans for the modular system were feasible, and that the new machines would be mechanically superior to others in the marketplace. To further cater for the practical use of the machinery, we used standardized parts that are readily available in order to make sure that they can also be easily obtained in the future.
Aluminum die casting machines can be dangerous to operate, with temperatures reaching several hundred degrees Celsius. We researched new material solutions and selected steel and other materials that are heat resistant, fireproof, and strong enough to handle immense pressure. The doors are now lighter and easier to operate, which improves ergonomics and work safety.
The design is linear, clean, rational, and geometric – a novelty for aluminum die casting machines. The elegant lines signal quality and balance the enormous size of the machines with their human operators. The new, more refined aesthetics show that these machines can be designed to increase a brand’s appeal, all the while improving functionality. The new design identity reinforces the brand’s presence and makes Idra’s machines highly recognizable, bringing the company a competitive advantage.