Major milestones in our casting journey Part 2
This is Part 2 of a two-part article on the major milestone in our casting journey, as we celebrate our 50-year anniversary.
In the previous article we talked about the basics of the casting industry: melting and molding. In this article we will shed a light on other activities which are equally as important.
Core Production: An “IMR” Italian-made automatic core shooter was commissioned in 1986. This machine produces smaller cores using the “Hot Box” core-making system. This was the first of many fully-automatic core machines that were added later to great success.
The next development in this area came in 1992 when CO2-Silicate system was introduced for making larger cores. This provided much needed flexibility, and has opened the horizons for newer, more diverse markets.
Quality Control: Visual inspection, and load testing were the only ways to ensure product quality in the early days. In 1986, an Electro-Nite, carbon and silicon analyzer, was introduced to accurately measure the carbon and silicon content in the molten metal. Later, a pyrometer to measure the molten bath temperature were introduced for controlling the metal quality.
A major break-through came in 1996 when we added a multi-channel ARL-3460 spark emission spectrometer for chemical analysis, and a metallographic laboratory for microstructure analysis.
Around the same time a complete sand testing Lab was established to control the molding sand quality.
Not only did the expansion of the quality control facility continued, but it has picked up pace in the years to come. We added new testing equipment, such as a universal tensile testing machine, hardness testing equipment, non-destructive ultra sound testing, magnetic particle and die penetration inspection.
Also added were a coordinate measuring machine (CMM), which was critical for reverse engineering, and samples measurements, and a portable X-ray spectrometer, which was used for detecting possible internal flaws in the castings.
Ductile Iron: Ductile iron, also known as spheroidal graphite iron, was fast emerging as a new material which has all the properties of Cast Iron, but stronger in tensile strength, with elongation properties. There was no manufacturer of ductile iron in the Middle East, so we decided to carry out manufacturing trials in 1992 and have succeeded after a few attempts.
The production of ductile iron has opened up vast marketing opportunities for us. Demand soared not only from our conventional markets, but we started receiving inquiries from Europe and the US.
Pattern/Tooling: Right from its birth Saudi Cast had chosen to have an in-house facility to become self-reliant in pattern making. We kept pace with emerging technologies and as early as in 1992 we adopted to resin bonded patterns. Soon after that we were able to make wooden, Aluminum, resin or composite patterns by taking the full advantage of CAD & CAM technology.
We are proud of what we have achieved throughout the past five decades. Having been involved with many of these developments for the past thirty years, I can say with confidence that a success of any business depends on two specific elements: a strong focus on the mission, and team work.
I look forward to seeing much more developments and technical breakthroughs with our new generation of professionals. And from what I see, they are ready!
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