In the investment casting industry, OEMs are constantly looking for ways to improve their profitability with new offerings and cost reductions to existing components. Investment cast foundries develop parts that are strong, cast into many configurations and have tighter tolerances than other manufacturing methods. Each part offers repeatability with reductions in machining, weight and wasted material due to scrap.
Stainless Foundry & Engineering, Inc. (SFE) is a premier investment casting manufacturer for OEM customers. With one of the industry’s largest selection of alloys poured they utilize their ability to produce parts in a timely fashion, keeping the customer’s supply chain reliable.
One SFE customer, a supplier of line stop insertion valves for both municipal water and wastewater systems, required a new larger body design. At 28-1/2” long, 18’ in diameter and with a net weight over 170 pounds these dimensions proved to be the largest investment casting that SFE has ever developed, poured and delivered.
The proposed casting pushed beyond the previous size limits of Stainless Foundry’s Investment Casting Division. That required some pre-cast testing, trial runs and capital investment in equipment to run the large casting.
For the shell building process, SFE’s engineering team built a wire mock-up of the valve body to help in simulating the dip routines and ensure adequate clearance of the new piece while inside SFE’s equipment. Numerous pre-trials of the dip process were also run in order to make certain that the mold drained sufficiently for proper coverage and shell build-up.
There were more modifications needed to ensure employee safety as well. SFE’s material handling team engineered improvements to the dip unloading line including the installation of a hoist for the safe transfer of the mold to the de-wax process.
The maintenance team was also called into action. Due to the part’s large in-process weight of almost 400 pounds they had to construct a custom handling device to load/unload the mold from the ovens and rotate the mold before setting it on the pouring beds.
Once poured the finished casting required minimal clean-up and straightening prior to shipment to the customer. The customer who has been partnered with along the process ends up with a conforming part to their requirements and expectations.
As an ISO 9001 certified and registered organization, Stainless Foundry’s innovative ideas and highly skilled engineering / design teams are up for any investment casting challenges in any industry.
Posted on: 2017-08-15 04:12:03