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Talk to Your Supply Chain

Shannon Wetzel, Managing Editor

Peak Mechanical LLC (Osburn, Idaho) is a manufacturer of dewatering pumps for the mining and construction industries. It was running into costly scrap issues with its diffuser ring component. The business manager talked over the problem with Peak Mechanical’s local machine shop, who suggested casting the part via the permanent mold casting process at LA Aluminum Casting (Hayden, Idaho). After a visit to the foundry and a review of LA Aluminum’s quote, Peak Mechanical agreed to give it a shot.

The end result was a reduction in scrap, consistent quality, less machining, and lower cost. And the solution was found through direct communication with three different tiers of the casting supply chain.

I bring this up because a unique opportunity to solve your own casting supply headaches is coming up next year at CastExpo, April 27-30, 2019, in Atlanta. This show is dedicated to supporting and strengthening the metalcasting supply chain and provides you the chance to meet directly with casting suppliers who can help you turn your money pits into cost-cutters.

At CastExpo, a separate area of the exhibition (Cast in North America) will include booths of foundry businesses to help buyers shore up their casting sources. Attendees are encouraged to “bring their own blueprints” or casting drawings to the show—printed out or as a 3D model in digital files—to talk over options and possibilities. In these discussions, designers and buyers will be able to verify foundry capabilities, feasibility, costs, and material options to meet their metal casting needs.

This year, Metal Casting Design & Purchasing is sponsoring an educational track to complement the Cast in North America pavilion. The sessions will be held over two days, April 28-29, and cover topics geared specifically toward casting buyers and designers, including:
•   Using simulation for designing castings.
•   Identifying new casting sources.
•   When and how to switch to casting.
•   Cost effective casting design.
•   Introduction to ductile iron.
•   Aluminum alloy design strategies.
•   Real-world casting case studies.
•   Purchasing advice from casting buyers.

The networking, casting conversations, and expert-led sessions should be well-worth the trip. I hope to see you next April in Atlanta.  

Click here to see this story as it appears in the September/October 2018 issue of MCDP.