Casting of the Year

AFS is now accepting submissions for the 2013 Casting of the Year. Click here for an entry form.

The 2012 Casting of the Year award was presented to Monarch Industries, Winnipeg, Canada, for its torque converter housing.Torque Converter Housing

The component is used in a 2,300-hp transmission for fracture oil drilling equipment produced by Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Ill. Converted from a 36-piece weldment, the casting cut Caterpillar’s total lead time in half and reduced labor and scrap rates. Part numbers, revision numbers, customer logos and date codes were cast-in. The casting incorporated locations onto which removable lifting lugs could be threaded for better handling and installation.

 2012 Best-In-Class

Ultra-Lightweight/High Efficiency LED Light Housing, Aristo-Cast Inc., Almont, Mich. The casting supplier overcame the metal-mold reaction between magnesium and the silica sand shell used in investment casting to produce a part with wall thickness of 0.02 in. and zero draft. The LED light housing for automotive applications weighs half that of competing products.

Exhaust Housing, BRP-US Inc., Spruce Pine, N.C. The lost foam casting replaced a 28-component assembly while maintaining the same overall weight and provided a $75.04 per unit cost savings. The casting design eliminated the risk of failures due to gasket relaxation and torque retention defects.

Front Steering Knuckle, Compass Automotive Group, Fruitport, Mich. The world’s first series production application for a fully hollow cast aluminum steering knuckle, the design utilized a sand core that extends from the upper ball joint attachment to the lower ball joint, with an extension into the steering arm. The part represents a 25% weight savings over a solid aluminum arm and a 65% weight savings compared to a ductile iron knuckle.

Shank Pivot Mount, The Dotson Co., Mankato, Minn. This austempered ductile iron mount was converted from a 15-piece weldment, resulting in a 9-lb. weight reduction and 26% cost savings. Twice as strong as the original steel design, the casting alleviated the burden on the customer’s weld shop and reduced the backlog at its laser cutting machines.

Air Bag Mount, Pier Foundry & Pattern Shop Inc., St. Paul, Minn. The ductile iron design offered a 68.8% cost savings and two-week lead time reduction over the eight-piece steel weldment. In this case, a 25% increase in weight improved the fertilizer applicator equipment’s ability to penetrate hard soil. The customer saved two hours of manufacturing and assembly time per unit.

2012 Honorable Mentions

  • Dual Yoke, Brillion Iron Works, Brillion, Wis. This green sand casting was converted from a bolted assembly.
  • Large Aerospace Flight Casting, Denison Industries, Denison, Texas. The 354-lb. aluminum aerospace casting was converted from assembled machined components. 
  • Transmission—Main Housing, Mercury Marine, Fond du Lac, Wis. The diecast aluminum transmission housing was made for a hybrid electric sports car. 
  • Brake Pivot Bracket, Signicast Investing Casting, Hartford, Wis. The steel bracket is used on a parking brake for agriculture equipment. 
  • Muffler Support, Waupaca Foundry, Plant 5, Tell City, Ind. The ductile iron sand casting was converted from a weldment for use on a combine and tractor.