Die Casting is Just the Beginning
Die casting processes can often deliver products that can be used “as cast”, i.e. no additional manufacturing activities are required, and the parts are immediately ready for use. Nonetheless, there are situations where supplementary treatments are necessary to optimise the casting’s performance and capabilities. In these instances, opting for a ‘one-stop-shop’ supplier that performs both die casting and post-cast operations is the most efficient and reliable solution.
Pierluigi Buffagnotti, Production Manager at Aluminium Die Casting, looks at the benefits of relying on full-service, die cast-to-finish suppliers.
To remain competitive in a continuously evolving market, manufacturers need to continuously push themselves to maintain short lead times. Die casting, with its ability to create near net shaped parts of any form and size with high accuracy, can support industries with a manufacturing process that is extremely fast and economical, particularly for high-volume production.
Despite the good quality of as-cast parts, certain applications may require extended service lives, electrically conductive properties, aesthetically pleasing appearances or other characteristics. When die castings need to exhibit any of these particular features, manufacturers can continue their efforts to keep short lead times by choosing one-stop-shop die casters that can also perform these additional operations.
As the need for subcontractors is drastically reduced, logistics and management costs are also slashed. This further streamlines industrial operations whilst reducing any risks associated with managing a process through multiple vendors.
Know your finishing needs
When selecting a single point of contact for die casting and post-cast operations, it is important to know what the end product surface should look like. There is a broad range of tools, techniques and machines offering very different aesthetic or functional properties to die casts.
For example, there are several smoothing and polishing methods, such as sanding, vibratory finishing or ball burnishing. While these all perform the same tasks, they greatly differ in the processes used and the end results.
In addition to surface finishing treatments, machining and mechanical processing are also extremely useful post-cast methods, as they can offer threading, turning, boring as well as special mechanical polishing and sanding treatments. Amidst the different metalworking lathes available to perform these operations, computer numerical control (CNC) machines are among the most advantageous. As they offer high repeatability and accuracy, they can maintain the high-quality levels built into die castings, ensuring superior end products.
Finally, the ability of die caster to apply seals or gaskets to metal parts may be particularly important for outdoor uses or in other wet and/or dusty environments. In these cases, ensuring reliable ingress protection (IP) ratings are crucial to establish reliable operations.
While some businesses specialise in only a few specific methods, others are able to provide a more comprehensive service portfolio. The versatility of the latter group is highly advantageous to manufacturers, as they can discuss with post-cast experts specialised in different methods which ones are the most suitable to obtain the desired optical, physico-chemical and tribological features. The manufacturers can then choose between different available options or combine two or more treatments, when required, without the need to handle different post-cast subcontractors.
The capabilities of Aluminium Die Casting, a brand of Altra Industrial Motion Corp., go well beyond die casting. The company is a full-service, die cast-to-finish supplier able to offer high-precision post-castings by means of its highly accurate and advanced machines. More precisely, Aluminium Die Casting can perform finishing operations, such as sanding and tumbling, thermal and surface treatments, liquid or powder painting as well as apply IP rated seals and gaskets that meet the needs of various industries, including food and beverage, healthcare, and automotive sectors.
Aluminium Die Casting can support its customers with 19 different CNC machines, including both horizontal and vertical milling equipment, in conjunction with 10 high-pressure die casting units. Further, it supports its customers with the extensive expertise of its engineers, who are happy to discuss the production requirements and suggest the most suitable manufacturing and finishing methods. Thanks to their advanced knowledge, Aluminium Die Casting teams can address even the most challenging applications.
Cutting-edge post-cast technologies for higher quality
Customers that want to bring the quality of their aluminium parts to the next level should opt for automated post-cast solutions. This is one of the main reasons why Aluminium Die Casting implemented a number of robots on its factory floor. In particular, some of the 19 CNC machining systems feature robotic arms, responsible for loading components. Robots are also a key component of the company’s die casting units, which runs in fully automated and independent modes.
Besides delivering a high-quality result, automated processes further streamline the production processes by ensuring reduced lead times and prompt supply. As a result, customers’ manufacturing lines are not held back by die casting and post-cast processes.
By offering a single point of contact for complete die casting projects, backed by extensive expertise and advanced capabilities in die casting and finishing, Aluminium Die Casting offers the ideal solution for manufacturers. These can avoid dealing with multiple suppliers and benefit from quick lead times without compromising on service and quality.
About Aluminium Die Casting SRL
In 1980 the aluminium die casting plant was founded under the name Italscale. The opening of machining of aluminium die-cast parts in 1997 and the resulting combination of production and machining of aluminium die-cast parts made it possible to win more and more Italian and European customers.
Aluminium Die Casting SRL is characterised by a high level of technology, innovation and many years of experience in project planning and realisation of tooling for aluminium die-casting production and machining. Our aim is to supply our customers with high-precision aluminium die-cast parts "just in time" in line with their needs, whereby good cooperation with each individual customer is very important to us in order to optimally support our customers' quality goals and "lean activities" and to secure their competitiveness.
We supply complete solutions from a single source in strict compliance with environmental, work and safety regulations as well as compliance with energy-efficient production processes. In order to continuously improve both these and quality, our employees are continuously trained in order to increase customer satisfaction. The application of lean principles delivers excellent results, as this is implemented systematically and with the willingness of all employees.
Our machinery - including 10 fully equipped Bühler and Italpresse presses, ranging from 300 t to 1,350 t - allows us to produce aluminium alloy castings in various sizes, which can differ by a few grams up to 20 kg in weight. Typical alloys are EN AC 46500, EN AC 46100, EN AC 46000, EN AC 43400 and EN AC 44400.
Bauer Gear Motor GmbH, based in Esslingen, Germany, a subsidiary of Altra Industrial Motion Corp. acquired Italscale in June 2018 and is a leading global manufacturer of standard and custom geared motor solutions. Its production facilities are located in Germany, China, the USA, Slovakia and now Italy.Visit: www.aluminium-casting.com