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Reduced costs, repeatability benefits of automated tooling.

Acronyms are certainly key in identifying the successful pattern making company. Papers presented in the Pattern Division sessions reflected this as presentations covered the problems encountered in going "From Conventional to CNC Pattern Build, CAD/CAM Startup" and "Use of a CMM Throughout the Making of Pattern Tooling."

Other presentations covering necessary pattern maintenance and the study of material wear, as well as adding value to castings by machining, completed the pattern program.

G.R. Whitcombe, John Deere Foundry Waterloo, explained the steps taken to complete the tooling for a complex, contoured, cored casting from design to build, fully utilizing CAD/CAM (90173). During this process, over 1300 models have been created and 250 pieces of tooling have been machined.

Several cost-saving benefits have resulted from the CAD/CAM methods, said Whitcombe, with two standing out: over 95% of the tooling has produced castings with first-time approval; and the ability exists to easily and accurately make changes.

J. L. Binzak, Wisconsin Pattern Co, in paper 90-46 reinforced Whitcombe's thoughts when he addressed "the tremendous dimensional precision made available through CAD/CAM generated data. Modern CNC machines and CMMs," Binzak said, "have the capacity to utilize far greater precision than ever before," ensuring that quality is built into the pattern rather than measured at the end.

Quantifying material wear resistance (90-48) was the object of a study performed by J.E. Hoge and R. Eadara, CIBA-Geigy PSG. A prototype wear test apparatus was developed and standard wear tests were reviewed.

With particular reference to the foundry industry, Hoge reported that polyurethane materials "not only provided excellent wear resistance, but also significant benefits related to the cost and delivery of tooling and ancillary components."

More wear testing is planned and a patent has been applied for, said Hoge. The goal is for eventual approval of the wear test as an ASTM standard used for wear testing of a wide range of polymeric materials.

Two panels were included in the Pattern Div program. In the first, which covered the essentials of tooling and pattern maintenance, R. Allen, a consultant, and G. Doughman, Manitowac Equipment, explained why castings are lost to fabrications or weldments, how to produce cost-effective foundry tooling and several advantages and disadvantages of the various types of tooling. To "design castings to be castable," said Doughman, communication is essential from the beginning."

The second panel, "Value Added-Foundries Machining Castings," offered four perspectives on the opportunities and potential pitfalls awaiting foundries considering machining their castings. T. Krouth, Griffin Industries, recommended a "team design" approach between casting designers and machinists to decide critical factors, such as pickup points.

R.J. Keller, Wagner Castings Co, outlined some of the broader considerations, such as increased staffing to obtain machining quotes and on-site inspection of the machining facility. "Who will oversee production control-tracking and scheduling?" he asked. Increased quality assurance personnel also will be required, he said.

Alternatively, foundries may opt to select an outside machining company. S. Thomas, modern casting, outlined some of the criteria foundries should use in making the selection. Supplier surveys, one determinant, should be thorough enough to ensure that only quality castings will be shipped to your customers, she said.

R. Wiertel, Donsco, traced the advances his company has made over 30 years moving from "drill and tap" machining to CNC. New markets were opened, but the transition required a considerable investment in training. He cautioned that foundries should examine the markets they supply as well as their customers' needs and wants.
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Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jun 1, 1990
Words:581
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