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The future is innovative – NEWCAST Awards celebrate innovation in cast parts

Opening the NEWCAST Awards ceremony during the recent Bright World of Metals show in Dusseldorf, the managing director of Messe Dusseldorf GmbH, Wolfram Nikolaus Diener, told attendees: “What would our industry be without innovations? The GIFA, METEC, THERMPROCESS and NEWCAST shows provide a good indicator of the current status of the industry. The NEWCAST Awards honour innovative people and companies and this year is no exception.”

BDG (German Foundry Association) managing director, Max Schumacher, echoed the sentiment. “These awards point to the opportunities for castings and we can draw optimism from them. Foundrymen are characterised by being prepared to adapt. It is adaptation in these ‘stormy’ days that will help us rise up to the coming challenges and structural changes.

“Competition builds business and I am confident that the foundry industry will continue to re-invent itself as an innovation leader.”

 

Best Substitution of Another Manufacturing Method

Impro International Ltd, Hong Kong

  • 5.43kg stainless steel, investment cast manifold

Fully leveraging investment casting advantage, combining product functionality, the award winning product was significantly optimised and redesigned by geometry. Compared to the original product design, the new part achieves a 66 per cent weight reduction. This design significantly improves production efficiency, reduces cost, and achieves lighter weight requirements.

“This NEWCAST Award is a great recognition from the most important international event of our industry for our casting development and production competitiveness. Impro will continuously optimise the vertically integrated business model, continue to offer one-stop solutions from R&D, tooling design and manufacturing, casting, heat treatment, secondary machining to surface treatment in the future. Impro will also continue investing in R&D, be customer-oriented and provide professional customised one-stop solutions to industry leaders around the world.” said Kai Chen, managing director of Impro Europe SARL, at the awards ceremony. “We see plenty of opportunities for castings to replace welded and machined parts.”

 

Cast Part with Best Function Integration

DGH Sand Casting Corporation GmbH & Co Kg, Germany

  • Water-cooled e-motor housing
  • Aluminium sand casting

DGH Sand Casting picked up the award for an 8kg aluminium sand cast, water-cooled, e-motor housing. On selection of the part for the award, the judges said, its brilliance lies in sophisticated integration of various functions (such as water and oil cooling) in a housing that takes up as little space as possible.

The corrosion-resistant housing in G-AlSi7Mg0.3 AC 42100 alloy exhibits high function integration through the use of cores, which allow almost unlimited freedom of design. Best cooling is achieved through coarse surface of the water jacket and there is minimum constructed space through the walls.

The design of the part has satisfied the customer’s need for the integration of oil cooling with temperature control and the provision of high power density in minimum constructed space. Despite a low development budget and short lead time, DGH designed and produced the part to customer requirements, including flexibility for possible concept adjustments with low modification costs.

The casting was selected for the cast part with best function integration because of the following:

  • Water and oil cooling integrated in one housing.
  • Minimum constructed space through high freedom of design in sand casting.
  • Facilitation for machining of stator room through cylindrical cores.
  • Good mechanical characteristics parallel to good corrosion resistance.
  • Lower tooling costs in comparison to permanent mould casting.
  • Short development time due to short tooling lead times.

 

Best Lightweight Construction Solution

Feinguss Blank GmbH, Germany

  • 256gm Wheel carrier
  • ALCu4TiMgAg investment casting

The Feinguss Blank motor racing wheel carrier was developed with the help of a digital twin service package, whereby the original geometry could be significantly improved and the component weight reduced by over 35 per cent. The part itself weighs just 256gm.

The ‘digital twin’ service package includes:

·         Material simulation – What is the right material and the right heat treatment for the respective application?

·         FEM calculation – Can the component withstand the subsequent load?

·         Casting and solidification simulation – Is the component easily and economically castable?

·         Topology optimisation – Can the geometry be optimised according to the load and the casting process?

With the help of this simulation package, material recommendations, feasibility analyses and part optimisations are worked out for the customer. Using this process, investment castings can be designed and produced in complex geometries and difficult materials factoring in weight optimisation and reduction of material usage. Development and production start-up costs are also reduced.

In the case of the wheel carrier, it was originally fully machined. Now, the optimised cast geometry has been developed based on application loading and further enhanced for the casting process.

Accepting the NEWCAST Award, Lionel Genesi, head of industrial sales at the company, said: “By using simulations in connection with the casting process, investment castings are optimised in such a way that material and costs can be saved. The combination of experience and modern simulation software enables faster development and major leaps in development.”