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Pattern shop keys: QC, service.

The patternmaker's role in metalcasting is expanding. According to S. Scheil, the Kohler Co., foundries expect three essentials from a pattern shop: be faithful to the design, provide fast turnaround and keep costs low.

Tolerance demands mean that patterns and tooling must be accurate. No more sanding, blending or fudging. The latest technologies (CAD, CAM, CNC, CMM) are essential to meet tooling criteria. Software compatibility between foundry engineering and the pattern shop is important as is the pattern shop's ability to use many pattern materials.

Scheil said dimensional tolerance and pattern materials needed for casting repeatability are critical. Successfully adapting to these demands will assure pattern shop survival in today's adversarial metalcasting marketplace.

S. Sherwood, Wagner Castings Co., said the concepts of partnership, technology application, innovation and entrepreneurship should guide pattern shops.

Foundries want honest, trustworthy partners who communicate well and are technically resilient. Patternmakers must stay informed and current on changes affecting foundry and pattern industries.

Innovative pattern shops should help their customers compete and meet the casting buyers' expectations.

The problem of pattern wear was addressed by S. Helzer and L. Vondra, University of Northern Iowa. They assessed the relative wear resistance of plastic and metal tooling materials. Gray iron rates as the optimum material for patterns and coreboxes and its advantages are well known. Unfortunately, cast iron is expensive.

Helzer and Vondra tested 34 metals and plastics that could serve the same purpose as iron yet cost less. Only 16 met a 1.6% or less weight loss criteria and of these, 12 were polyurethane elastomers, which rated in the top 75% of materials tested. The other four were metals. Ceramics, while not in the test sample, could, under new formulations, have potential in a production foundry, as could newer photopolymers.

ICAMP's R. Jennings described new analytical technologies and algorithms to check user selected surfaces to reduce the time to compute "best fits" for tooling by selecting final surfaces and identifying necessary modifications. By working from the CAD model of the final surface, the best surfaces are selected.
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Title Annotation:CastExpo '93: 97th AFS Casting Congress, Chicago; quality control
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jun 1, 1993
Previous Article:High yield, clean steel castings.
Next Article:Striving for a better melt.

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