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SCRA wins contract to provide mobile metalcasting to Army.

Applied research and commercialization group the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) announced it won a $2 million contract to execute a portable metalcasting program for the U.S. Army.

The Tactical Metal Fabrication (TacFab) program, operated under the direction of the U.S. Army Tank

Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, Warren, Mich., is intended to give the Army the ability to deploy shipping containers equipped with metal analysis and casting equipment into battle. The containers will enable the production of cast parts U.S. soldiers need to repair vehicles and weapon systems.

TacFab is being developed to complement the Army's deployable Mobile Parts Hospitals, field maintenance units housed in containers staffed by industrial specialists responsible for manufacturing machined parts. According to a press release issued by SCRA, the hospitals have been successful in reducing delivery times for machined parts but cannot satisfy the need for cast parts. TacFab currently is awaiting Army approval for co-deployment.

TacFab will include the ability to convert laser scans into 3-D CAD files to be used with rapid casting technologies, a new rapid-cast technology that produces metal more efficiently, and mobile deployment of optical emission spectroscopy, which uses light to analyze a legacy machine part and determine the content required for a replacement casting.

Once fully configured, SCRA believes a five to tenfold reduction in delivery times is possible for poured metal part base shapes versus conventional procurement methods. The research company says additional benefits will include a reduction in waste and scrap metal, reduced energy consumption and greater part integrity.

"TacFab illustrates the capabilities of SCRA and our partners to deliver assured outcomes to the U.S. Army and to our warfighters," said Bill Mahoney, SCRA's chief executive officer. "We are proud to see our ideas put into action. Casting capability provided from a portable platform delivered straight to the theater of operations is an innovative solution that enables significant cost savings and efficiencies for our Armed Forces."
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Title Annotation:North America
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Apr 1, 2009
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