Casting of the Year Reveals the Potential of Good Design

The annual Engineered Casting Solutions Casting Competition provides an example of what the metalcasting process can achieve. While the winners may not relate specifically to the type of engineered cast components you purchase, these design success do provide you with fodder for what your firm could achieve if you unleash the design potential afforded to you by metal castings.

I urge you to consider starting with a blank sheet of paper the next time you begin to design a metal casting.  Be bounded only by the space envelope in which the part must function. Then, place metal where you need it, and use geometry to achieve the functionality you need. If you are attaching and/or welding other components to the casting, could the entire assembly be redesigned to a single cast component? Freedom of design is inherent in the benefits of the metalcasting process. If you take advantage of it, engineered casting solutions are in your future.


Ready for a Closeup

Is this a trend? We’ve spotted two well-known retail manufacturers featuring the metalcasting process in their marketing material.

Golf club maker Ping cast its golf club manufacturing operations, including its investment casting facility, in a costarring role in a new television ad alongside professional golfer Lorena Ochoa, who is the number one ranked golfer on the LPGA Tour. You can see the TV ad here. In another ad on the website, Ochoa is reading a letter from a customer in front of wax investment trees.

Ping’s Dolphin Precision Investment Castings, Phoenix, Ariz., which is shown in the advertisement, is in the process of installing two titanium vacuum casting lines in addition to its current investment casting capabilities. It estimates the lines will be in production by Fall 2008.

Rolex also is in the production-in-advertisement game. A marketing video on their website shows shots of molten metal poured into molds as part of the precise process of creating the luxury watches. The video is featured here.  

Found Casting: Bathtub Feet

Ajax Foundry, Cape Town, South Africa, casts aluminum bathtub feet for England-based Victoria + Albert (V+A) bath manufacturing company. According to a press release, the feet are produced via gravity casting which allows for fairly high volumes, with tolerances suited to some of the intricate designs, such as the ball and claw. Once the feet are cast, they are drilled and tapped.

From the press release:

“There are some challenges in the casting process, which we have managed to overcome, such as obviating porosity on the web inside the foot. Certain finishing is done by V+A once we have delivered the bath feet. We are proud to be associated with V + A and their products because they are world leaders in freestanding bath design and manufacture, using state-of-the-art technology to remain on top,” said Charles Rowe, MD of Ajax Manufacturing.


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