Patriot Foundry & Castings Reduces their Scrap Rate by 98% with ESI ProCAST

Casting
Heavy Industry & Machinery

ESI understands our industry and its unique issues. Consequently they quickly came to terms with the limitations in the changes we could make to the matchplate configuration. Together, we were able to work within those constraints to solve the problem successfully.

W. Christian Leuteritz
Professional Engineer, Owner / Patriot Foundry & Castings

 

Story

Patriot Foundry & Castings is an industry-leading company specializing in top-quality sand castings of bronze, aluminum and zinc-based alloys. What sets them apart from other foundries is they partner with their customers to provide solutions to their production challenges. Additionally, they co-cast alloys around heating elements, copper tubing, cast iron parts and steel inserts or components.

One specific part they produce for a Department of Defense customer is a sand casted nickel-aluminum-bronze gearbox. After nomination, the customer required that no grind marks should be seen on the exterior of the casting. To achieve the desired result, Patriot essentially had to cast the part upside down. This created unforeseen issues. At first sight, the parts looked acceptable, but once machining began, it was obvious over 50% of the castings initially produced contained shrinkage porosity defects.

In a bid to correct the error, Patriot ran several iterations, changing every feature of the mold from the gating to runners to the risers. Their efforts improved the situation, but many castings were still being rejected as problems just shifted around the part (Fig.1). This trial and error approach inevitably led to severe time and budget setbacks. At this point, Patriot needed a guaranteed fix and sought out ESI and its casting simulation software, ESI ProCAST.

Fig. 1: The defects as seen in the initial castings before the change was made

Together, Patriot and ESI ran simulations and successfully isolated three areas where shrinkage was likely to occur. Based on this new data, Patriot was able to rework the casting design completely to their customer’s satisfaction (Fig. 2).The breakthroughs were the addition of chills to the thick-ringed portion around the opening to the gearbox, plus additional material on the bosses’ risers that enabled superior feeding of the part. Finally, two risers were repositioned closer to the part.

Fig. 2: View of the added flow channel to feed the lower triangular section during cooling

“The return on investment was almost instantaneous”, says W. Christian Leuteritz. Thanks to the insight Patriot received from simulating the casting, it managed to reduce its scrap waste by an astounding 98%. However, this wasn’t the sole benefit, as the initial hit and miss casting methodology was also wasting time; both Patriot’s and its customer’s. Since the new, enhanced casting methods were deployed, after the ESI simulation data was analyzed, Patriot’s customer was satisfied with nearly flawless parts that met their aesthetic requirement.

About Patriot Foundry & Castings

 

Patriot Foundry & Castings is an industry-leading nonferrous company that specializes in top-quality sand castings of bronze, aluminum and zinc-based alloys. Our rigid documented procedures and lean production methods guarantees our customers truly world-class, consistent, repeatable and cost-effective products. We’re a job shop capable of producing anywhere from one to thousands of products for our clients.

For more information visit Patriot Foundry & Castings