- Stainless Steel, Tool Steel & Titanium Alloys
- Polishing, Plating, Painting, PVD In-House
- Post Precision CNC Machining In House
- TPS, PPAP & PCP Quality Assurance Tools
- Auto Industry, Aviation & Sporting Goods
Investment casting also called lost wax casting, is one of our core competencies. Investment casting/lost wax casting is a manufacturing process that is used to create complex shapes that may have thin walls in a quick and cost effective way. As the name “casting” implies it is a process of pouring molten liquid metal into a mold. The “lost wax” term comes from the use of a wax master to create a mold. The wax is melted out of the mold once the ceramic coating that forms the mold is dry. Take a look at the Investment Casting video to get a clearer picture of the process.
We always achieve high quality results by using TPS (Toyota Production System), PPAP (Pre Production Approval Procedure) and PCP (Process Control Plan) . These procedures are used to evaluate and eliminate any variation in the process, and guarantee the quality of the final product. Our commitment to strictly follow these quality management procedures is more than requirements on ISO9001 quality system. We can offer both low volume and high volume production quantities.
We are able to provide samples without having to invest in the tooling for making an injection mold tool for the wax master. We are able to 3d print a small number of wax masters, from which we can provide investment cast parts, which can be used to provide samples for testing and evaluation during the design phase. We can do this for both steel and titanium parts. We can also HIP treat the parts in small volume, the samples are truly representative of production parts.
We supply parts to many industries including: sporting industry, auto Industry, aviation industry, marine industry applications (small parts) petrochemical industry, control instruments, power tools, hand tools, and all other general engineering applications. Precision titanium casting alloy has many special applications because of its light weight, superior strength and anti corrosion characteristics.
Stainless steel in many alloys including but not limited to: 303, 17-4, 420, 430,440, Tool Steels and Titanium alloys, Like Ti6V4AL. Material from every pour is tested using OES technology this a standard part of the process. All test results are well documented and traceable. The correct material choice will depends upon the customer’s application, assistance available upon request. Post heat treatment/hardening is done on site in a controlled environment producing parts within the hardness range from 28 up to 60 HRC ( Hardness Rockwell scale C ).
After casting the parts may need to be machined to achieve some precise dimensions, threads may also need to be added. The surface finish may need to be improved for parts with visual surfaces. A variety of finishes including high gloss polishing, sand blasting, brushed finish, painting, nickel or chrome plating and PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) are all done on site to the highest possible standards under controlled processes. In addition, the physical properties may need to be improved. This can been achieved by using Hot Isostatic Processing, this process improves the density of the casting and is recommended for parts that are designed for use in demanding situations.
Lead-Time Of Investment Casting Mold: On average we can design and machine a mold in 15 days! Notwithstanding, the complexity of the product plays a part. Lead-Time Of Samples: Additional 2 weeks to provide the first final samples. Production lead-time: normally 500pcs to 2000pcs per day per production line. Again, determined by complexity of product.
Investment casting and the secondary operations can be a very long process and also a labor intensive job. Investment casting has the potential for process variations. To ensure consistency, we apply auto industry quality procedures including:
PCP: Process Control Plan: Defines the process flow and determines the detailed inspection points of each process. We use this procedure together with working instructions to make sure every operator and inspector clearly understands what should be done and when. Quality management of the process results in a defect free product.
PPAP: Pre Production Approval Procedure: Used on all projects in our company. This procedure is to make sure all needed samples and documents are available. It’s also used to evaluate all key process by doing analysis of the collected data.
TPS: Toyota Production System: Used to define the layout of each production line and also define how a part goes though the whole process to improve the production efficiency. Also it clearly defines what each process doing.
Material Testing: Each batch of material is tested by an optical emission spectrometer right before casting to guarantee the material content is within the correct range. This process is part of our standard process control plan and results are well documented.
Project Development Cycle
Once we receive an order we follow a strict procedure that has proved to be effective. The design engineers evaluate the product and design the mold.
Tool Making: The mold for making the wax master is made using the latest CAD/CAM technology and equipment including 5 axis DMG CNC milling machines.
Mold Trial: The mold is injected with wax to create the initial wax masters. These parts are fully inspected using optical measuring equipment by Metrology experts. Modifications may need to be made for very complex parts. The cycle continues until the wax molding is within acceptable parameters. A sample run of wax masters will be molded for next round of trials.
Making The “Shell” Or Mold: The master craftsman will oversee and document the first shell making process. Once the mold is ready, the project will move progressively through the facility, being processed by the technical leaders in each department, all process parameters being fully documented. When the first batch is complete, they are fully inspected and all data collected is analysed, any issues are addressed in team meetings and remedial action is designed and implemented as required. Then the process is repeated until defect free parts are produced.
Project Name: Type 608 Bearing Release Tool
Quantities: 11 Components With Each 5000 Parts
Material: Stainless Steel 17-4 And Stainless Steel 440
Lead-Time: 15 Days For Tooling, 25 Days For Cast Parts, 10 Days For Post Machining
Processes: Investment Casting, CNC Machining, Polishing, Passvation, Laser Etching And PVD