Cem-Tec, a manufacturer of steel light poles in business since 1974, approached Eagle Alloy, Inc. with an emergency order. Due to an unforeseen supply-chain issue, they needed to find a new foundry to manufacture one of their popular products. With orders in and customers waiting, the clock was already ticking.
The following case study illustrates the steps Eagle Alloy followed to transfer casting of the product to our facility and to ensure that Cem-Tec had high-quality products ready for their customers as soon as possible.
Every manufacturer bringing a cast product to market must decide on the right casting process to use. Casting methods like shell molding, greensand casting, investment casting and airset casting all have their own sets of benefits and drawbacks. The right choice depends on the quantity being cast, the size of the part, and the requirements for dimensional accuracy, surface finish and material.
While it's not as widely used as shell molding or greensand casting, airset casting has plenty of advantages, and can be the perfect option for the right product.
Eagle Alloy, Inc. was founded in 1979 and quickly grew from a short-run facility to a medium-to-high-production steel foundry. Despite the company’s success, its founders were not satisfied with the status quo. Having heard of developments in lean manufacturing, they decided to implement these tools in hopes of achieving greater efficiency, stability and quality throughout the production process.
5S: The Beginning
As with many production facilities beginning to experiment with lean manufacturing, Eagle Alloy started with 5S. 5S is easy to adapt to just about any environment, and the key to lean is customization. Every lean tool must be adapted to the particular type of production, to the size of the company and to the facility's space.
As you can see below, Eagle Alloy's achievements in 2017 include:
- 96.4% delivery – 2nd best in company history
- 1.87% scrap – BEST in company history
- 2.64% returns – Best in last 10 years
- 97.4% audit score – Best in last 8 years
- .27 PPM resulting in complaints – BEST in company history
We've already covered the history of shell molding, as well as a list of need-to-know terminology, so now it's time to start exploring how shell molding works. Keep in mind that this post presents a brief overview. We'll describe each step in more detail as we move along in the Introduction to Shell Molding blog series.
If you're familiar with metal casting processes, you probably already know a lot of these words. Feel free to skip to the next post if you're feeling confident. But if you ask me, the same credo that applies to metal casting applies to learning about metal casting: "Better safe than sorry."
In this blog series, Introduction to Shell Molding, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about shell mold casting, from history to process and beyond. Whether you’re a student, a manufacturing professional, or just curious, this blog series will answer that burning question: What is shell molding?