Operating as an essential business during the COVID-19 crisis is both an honor and a challenge. While Eagle Group companies have maintained continuous production, we have made a number of changes to our daily operations in order to maximize safety and clearly communicate new policies. Many of the lessons we've learned can be adopted by other manufacturing businesses as they prepare to reopen.
At the Eagle Group, we provide full-service metalcasting and CNC machining from start to finish. Part of our responsibility as a supplier is to estimate part price for each new product. One of the largest line items affecting final part price on any job is tooling. In metalcasting, tooling often comprises patterns used to create molds and cores. In CNC machining, tooling can refer to work holding fixtures, tool holders, cutting tools or tool inserts.
Eagle Alloy, Eagle Precision and Eagle CNC plan to maintain full production capability, even in light of the recent decision by Michigan’s Governor to close all “nonessential” businesses.
Metals are all around us, in the things we use to cook, drive, work, and live. When choosing a metal for a cast product or other specific application, it’s important to make sure that its properties will be suitable for the expected operating conditions.
There’s a big difference between the kind of metal used in a skyscraper and the kind of metal used in a gate valve. Some metals are pure elements, like iron (Fe) and aluminum (Al), but most products are made from alloys, or mixtures of metals. Manufacturers must consider many variables before deciding which alloy to use for a particular product.
The latest resource from the Eagle Group focuses on CNC machining and high-tech inspection. Our ebook CNC Machining Process Guide dives into the history, current practices and processes of CNC machining and advanced metrology. Perfect for anyone looking for a better understanding of precision machining in the 21st century, our new resource is available now as a free download.
When done right, weld repaired castings are just as structurally and functionally sound as their non-welded counterparts. However, weld repair in steel castings is often misunderstood by casting customers. Some companies simply do not allow weld repair, and others place strict requirements on where weld repair can take place on a part. By better understanding the effects of weld repair on part appearance and functionality, casting customers can benefit from weld repair strategies that optimize cost, production time and part quality.
Design for Manufacturability, or DFM, is an engineering practice that takes into account not just the way a product will look or function, but also how it will be produced. By applying DFM principles to new or existing products, manufacturers can improve product quality while optimizing cost and delivery time.
According to Eagle Alloy CTO, Nic Tarzwell, "DFM is the measure of all the steps involved to produce the component cost effectively while ensuring it meets (or exceeds) expectations of form, fit and function." In order to optimize Design for Manufacturability, the customer and the supplier must work together to determine the best design and process for producing quality-finished products at the least cost.
Tooling in metalcasting and CNC machining refers to reusable items that are specific to each job. In investment casting, tooling is considered to be wax-injection dies used to create wax patterns. If you're familiar with how investment casting works, you already know that these wax patterns form the basis of the investment casting process. Each part begins as a wax pattern, and the properties of wax – smooth surface, low melting temperature and excellent flow properties – that make highly complex investment castings possible.
This introduction to metalcasting provides a brief overview and history of the casting process, as well as an outline of common casting techniques in use today. The goal of this article is to give new manufacturers a better understanding of how metalcasting works and what steps are involved in producing cast products. By the end of the article, the reader should have a clear picture of the opportunities presented by metalcasting, and a sound appreciation for its potential as a modern manufacturing method.