Accelerated Onboarding Solves Pump Part Failures for WEIR Minerals
Stainless Foundry & Engineering addresses client onboarding in 4 ways:
- Dedicated resources
- Fast turnaround for quoting and design
- Specific project plan with weekly client updates
- Engineering and Quality team involved from the start
At Stainless Foundry & Engineering (SF&E), we pride ourselves on our willingness to partner with customers who require an accelerated onboarding process. Success for us is when we can remain flexible in our scheduling and operations so customers can get the quality parts they need when they need them.
A Fragile Core
In a recent project, one of our longstanding customers, Weir Minerals, was experiencing continued failures when working with a different foundry supplier. Weir needed a volute (curved funnel) casing for a molten sulfur hydraulic pump application. They were up against a delivery deadline, but the core previously supplied, kept collapsing during the handling and closing of the sand mold or metal pouring process.
Weir came to SF&E to see if we could help. We learned the foundry they had originally hired was using a third party to manufacture the core. The casing was relatively small and the core design was fragile. SF&E determined we could use a specialized sand mix to produce a stronger core that would yield a successful pour and part in order to adhere to Weir’s high quality standards.
From Quote to Ship in 4 Weeks
Since 2018, SF&E has utilized a new product introduction process with dedicated capacity, resources, and a specific project planning method that includes weekly communication. We used this process to provide an immediate quote based on a drawing and the existing core box. Our dedicated resources efficiently worked to transfer the customer pattern and tools from the initial foundry to ours.
SF&E foundry engineers were able to start their work while waiting for the pattern to arrive. Once the pattern arrived, we only needed a few days for mounting, rigging, and production setup. We successfully poured the casting without core failure and shipped the part inside of four weeks.
The success – and quick turnaround – of the volute casing prompted Weir to call SF&E a few weeks later with a different challenge. This time, Weir was looking to redesign a portion of one of their centrifugal pumps because it did not meet their customer’s specifications.
Weir was under immense pressure to deliver correctly and quickly. Due to the pump not being operational, the end customer was losing money and production daily. Weir’s confidence in our foundry engineering expertise and ability to produce difficult designs allowed us to drastically accelerate the project timeline.
From PO to Ship in 6 Weeks
Our foundry engineering team worked alongside Weir to develop a process that would yield both success and a quick turnaround. SF&E utilized 3D modeling and Magma Solidification software systems to develop feed mechanisms and fill of the casting. We built the pattern, gating, and rigging system, conducted a dimensional review, and prepped for production. Together, we designed a manufacturing process to produce a high quality impeller.
The need was so urgent that we decided against creating a sample (which would have nearly doubled the timeline) and went directly into production. Weir displayed their confidence in SF&E’s ability to succeed, the first time, without any trial and testing. Instead, we successfully poured the casting, confirmed it met dimensional specifications, and shipped all four castings inside of six weeks.
Systematic Process Control
At SF&E, we understand our customers are competing in a market that is driven by lead time, availability, quality, and price. Our customers trust our ability to produce high quality alloys. SF&E leverages that trust, along with our specialization in low to medium volume production, to offer flexibility and timely responses when our customers need it most. Please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know how we can support you.
Posted on: 2019-08-20 00:00:00