Close Tolerance Magnesium Castings

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The castings above were produced for a major power tool company.

·        Castings were all produced "net shape", that is, they did not require any machining.

·        Typical "as cast" tolerances were:

o       True position of bearing pockets, 0.0015 inch (0.0375 mm)

o       Cored hole diameters, +/- 0.0005 inch (0.0127 mm)

o       Perpendicularity, +/- 0.0005 inch (0.0127 mm)

·        By casting net shape and eliminating the machining operations, it was possible to significantly reduce cost. For example one of the simpler castings was converted from a competing process and cost was reduced by $1.00. Its mating part was previously heavily machined. It was reduced by $2.00 resulting in a $300,000 annual savings for the pair.

·        Responsibility and involvement:

·        Full time employee, Senior Project Engineer

o       Identified cost reduction opportunities by converting existing components to magnesium

o       Managed tooling design and construction

o       Managed tool maintenance

o       Managed facility renovation to improve the work environment and increase employee morale

o       Evaluated and selected suppliers for die cast dies, trim dies, fixtures, machine repair components, furnaces and other processing equipment.

o       Instituted material flow and processes to reduce manual labor and associated errors. This contributed to reducing headcount by 40%.

o       Created work and inspection instructions that allowed operators to assume responsibility for quality. Eliminated floor inspectors from all shifts. Quality improved from 65 to 99% good parts in 6 months.

o       Created die casting machine rebuild specifications and managed rebuilds.

o       Created new furnace control system and seal system that significantly reduced melt and dross loss.

o       Developed proprietary hot chamber magnesium gooseneck and other shot end components.

o       Managed new tooling sampling and approval process.

o       Identified opportunities to reduce error by standardizing and clarifying specifications on part drawings. This had a worldwide benefit.

o       Trained existing skilled trades in hydraulics, electrical and electronics. This improved machine up time from 75 to 95%.

o       Cut employee absenteeism by 55%.

o       Actual productivity increased by 2.4 times in 24 months.

The type of improvements listed above may be possible in your operation. Contact us for an on-site evaluation.

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Updated: August 2017

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