Eagle Group Blog | Jim Smith, Jr.

    Jim Smith, Jr.

    Jim Smith, Jr.
    Jim Smith, Jr. is the Technical Manager at Eagle Aluminum Cast Products in Muskegon, MI. Given his father’s career as a mechanical engineer, Jim grew up in foundries and often used castings his father brought home as toys. During his college years and into his first jobs, Jim developed skills in quality, engineering and customer service. Jim joined Eagle Aluminum in 2012 as a Technical Analyst and now manages all of the company’s Technical and Sales functions.

    Recent Posts

    Anatomy of Industrial Valves

    Posted by Jim Smith, Jr. on 2018 Aug 8

    Controlling the flow of liquid, gas and sometimes solids, valves have a deceptively simple job. Like an on/off (or dimmer) switch for tangibles, every valve is designed and built to guide the movement of a specific material.

    Industrial valves are used in thousands of products and systems, from water infrastructure to offshore oil rigs. Since they have such a wide variety of applications, it naturally follows that valves come in thousands, if not millions, of shapes and sizes. They also run the gamut from simple to highly complex.

    Despite high levels of variation, most industrial valves can be broken down into the same basic components: body (or enclosure), bonnet, actuator, valve member and seat.

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    Tags: Valves, Valve Casting

    Getting Started with Permanent Mold Casting

    Posted by Jim Smith, Jr. on 2018 Jun 27

    Permanent mold casting is a type of metal casting involving reusable molds. Whereas other casting methods, like sand casting and investment casting, use disposable molds, permanent molds last much longer and can be used to produce hundreds, or even thousands, of identical parts.

    Every project can be matched with the ideal casting method. For non-ferrous castings with medium-to-high volumes, permanent mold casting offers a long list of advantages.

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    Tags: Metalcasting, Permanent Mold Casting, Aluminum Casting, Eagle Aluminum

    Aluminum Casting vs. Steel Casting: Choosing the Right Alloy for Your Cast products

    Posted by Jim Smith, Jr. on 2018 May 1

    In modern metal casting, steel and aluminum are two contenders for the top choice. Thousands of manufacturers around the world rely on both metals to produce strong, light and corrosion-resistant metal parts and products.

    You'll find hundreds of different grades and alloys for both steel and aluminum, and each has its specific advantages and disadvantages. For this comparison, we'll focus on differences between aluminum and steel alloys in general, rather than zooming in on differences between specific alloys.

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    Tags: Aluminum, Aluminum Casting, Metalcasting, Machining, Materials

    Casting Aluminum: Comparison of Methods

    Posted by Jim Smith, Jr. on 2018 Mar 22

    Aluminum can be shaped through a wide variety of process, including:

    • Casting
    • Extrusion
    • Forging
    • Rolling

    For any type of metal, casting is arguably the most versatile of all of the forming processes, and results in the greatest variety of parts. In fact, the US Department of Energy estimates that over 90% of all manufactured goods contain metal cast products.

    The same casting techniques used for other metals can be applied to aluminum, but some of the most popular methods used with aluminum are permanent mold casting, greensand casting and die casting.

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    Tags: Eagle Aluminum, Aluminum, Aluminum Casting, Processes, Metalcasting

    New Eagle Group Resource Introduces Aluminum to Manufacturers

    Posted by Jim Smith, Jr. on 2018 Mar 1

    Eagle Aluminum Cast Products, Inc. recently published an ebook offering insight into manufacturing with aluminum.

    Manufacturing with Aluminum: History, Forming Techniques and Best Practices draws on decades of experience, taking a holistic approach to aluminum manufacturing. Weighing in at just under 25 illustrated pages, the ebook aims to fill a gap between online resources and textbooks. According to Jim Smith, Technical Manager at Eagle Aluminum, “We want to make sure anyone curious about aluminum can get all the basic information they need, without searching all over the Internet or going back to school.”

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    Tags: Eagle Aluminum, Aluminum, Aluminum Casting, Manufacturing, Press Release, News

    Join the Eagle Group at the Design2Part Show

    Posted by Jim Smith, Jr. on 2018 Feb 27

    The Eagle Group will be at Design2Part 2018 in Grapevine, TX, March 14-15. If you're in the area or interested in going, we can get you in the door for free!

    The event will be the largest contract manufacturing trade show in the region, with over 300 categories of manufacturing services on display. Design2Part is the place to be if you want to:

    • Find quality suppliers
    • Discover new technologies
    • Solve manufacturing problems
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    Tags: Insider, Design2Part, Trade Show

    Aluminum Casting in Practice: A Case Study of Cast Aluminum Fan Blades

    Posted by Jim Smith, Jr. on 2018 Feb 21

     

     

    A major manufacturer of ventilation systems contacted Eagle Aluminum Cast Products, Inc. when demand was growing and they were ready to make a change.

    The customer had already been producing 48” fan blades for agricultural use through green sand casting, but they’d outgrown that method. Demand projections suggested that permanent mold casting would yield lower per-part costs, with the added benefit of greater consistency.

    Years later, EACP still produces fan blades for the customer through the process of permanent mold casting. Demand has increased even more, and product offerings have become more diverse. Read on to learn how EACP handles the design, production and delivery of this cast aluminum fan blade.

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    Tags: All About Al, Aluminum, Aluminum Casting, Case Study, Eagle Aluminum

    All About Al: Choosing the Right Aluminum Alloy

    Posted by Jim Smith, Jr. on 2018 Jan 10

     

    In manufacturing, aluminum is rarely pure. Instead, manufacturers form alloys that dramatically increase aluminum’s strength and stiffness, while maintaining its other desirable properties. Both professionals and non-professionals often make comparisons between aluminum and steel, because the two metals are both used for such a wide variety of products.

    But comparing aluminum to steel is a bit like comparing apples to oranges: steel is already an alloy, while aluminum is an element. Carbon steel, a basic steel alloy, is composed of iron (Fe) and carbon (C). Pure aluminum, despite its many winning properties, is too soft and not strong enough for most industrial applications. But aluminum alloys can be thirty times stronger than pure aluminum, and regularly exceed steel in strength-to-weight ratios.

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    Tags: All About Al, Aluminum, Aluminum Casting, Processes, Metals

    All About Al: Aluminum's Winning Properties

    Posted by Jim Smith, Jr. on 2017 Dec 7

    Recently in our All About Al blog series we discussed aluminum's history and origins. Now we're getting deeper into why aluminum is the perfect material for manufacturing such a wide range of products.

    Aluminum owes its versatility in manufacturing to a unique set of properties. These include:

    • Low melting temperature
    • Excellent malleability
    • Light weight
    • Corrosion resistance
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    Tags: Aluminum, Aluminum Casting, Materials, All About Al

    All About Al: Crash Course in Aluminum History

    Posted by Jim Smith, Jr. on 2017 Nov 14

    Aluminum is the third most common element on our planet. It’s by far the most abundant metal, and it’s also one of the most versatile.

    Aluminum is light, strong, flexible and corrosion resistant. It can also be shaped relatively easily, in both a solid and molten state, and can be stamped to widths thinner than the human hair.

    You’ll find aluminum in everything from buildings to cars, from Pepsi cans to laptops, and from power lines to bullet trains. But where does this one-of-a-kind metal come from, and how did it get to be so widely used?

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    Tags: Metalcasting, Aluminum Casting, Aluminum, Materials, All About Al

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