The Hill and Griffith Company would like to congratulate all the winners in this year’s Casting of the Year Award presented by Modern Casting, an American Foundry Society Publication.
This year’s 2014 winner goes to Arrowcast, from Shawano, Wisconsin. Arrowcast casted an extremely complex oil pan for the John Deere tractor company. The casting facility said it was the biggest job the ductile iron casting facility has ever done and at a weight of 842 lbs., it is surprising that it provided a weight reduction of 77lbs from the previous oil pan. The design team used a combination of finite element analysis and solidification simulation to achieve the desired outputs; using the green sand casting process to metalcast this beast. Its application is for the John Deere 9 liter engine and the casting design allowed the team to combine a frame casting, two fabricated brackets and a stamped steel oil pan into one ductile iron casting. At a size of 26 x 56 inches, the compact design of the oil pant casting allowed for a lower engine position in the tractor chassis and eliminated a 2-degree angle of the engine. The volume of oil was also increased over the steel stamping.
Best-In-Class this year was quite an interesting group. Beginning with Aristo-Cast Inc. located in Almont, Michigan who casted a hand-held electronics mount used in aerospace and is one of a kind. Made from AZ91E-T6 magnesium, investment casting was their process of choice and provided the ability to combine many parts into one and additionally lowered part cost and weight. The device acts as a bracket to mount processing electronics and in the process is used as a heat sink to manage the thermal load from all of the electronics.
Pier Foundry & Pattern Shop Inc., located in St. Paul, Minnesota created a hub casting made of ductile iron for a mining application. The part, casted with green sand, weighs 90lbs and was built to replace a 34-piece weldment to improve the ease of manufacturing while holding up to the rigors of continuous mine operation. The hub rotates at 3,600 rpms and the cast design saved the customer $76,000.00 in the first year!
Signicast Investment Castings, located in Harford, Wisconsin, offered up a new knife holder casting. Made of 4140 steel and casted by the investment casting process, the new 1.9 lbs. weighted knife holder casting exhibits improved dimensional stability, eliminating the need for a secondary straightening process. It also saved the customer additional time and reduced cost by 25% due to the elimination of post-fabrication machining activities.
Tooling & Equipment International, located in Livonia, Michigan presented a water passage made of aluminum used to integrate cooling system parts for an automotive application. At a weight of 4 lbs., low pressure permanent mold was the process of choice and was produced through advanced prototyping technology for Honda. This part achieved design freedom through the use of intricate cores.
Meritor Design, from Troy Michigan and Willman Industries, from Cedar Grove, Wisconsin worked together to create a Protec Series 30 Cast Subframe. Casted using the green sand process, this subframe is made of ductile iron and was converted from the military, reducing weight by 28% and the number of components from 79 to 1; eliminating 136 fasteners in the process.
O’Fallon Casting from O’Fallon, Missouri submitted a fan-housing unit converted from a commercial helicopter. Using investment casting, the fan-housing unit provides aerodynamics to produce a laminar fluid flow and also acts as a heat sink. Made of F357-T6 aluminum, the investment casting process enabled the unit to be cast as a single piece.
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