2019 | Happy Cinco de Mayo!

2019 | Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “Fifth of May”) is an annual celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is more popularly celebrated than Mexico as the date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades or battle reenactments.

-A&B Die Casting

A Few Tips to Reduce Die Casting Parts Costs

A Few Tips to Reduce Die Casting Parts Costs

Die casters employ a number of techniques to maximize tool and component design while reducing per-part costs.

What are the 3 main costs associated with die casting?

1.) Die Casting Production – depending on the part complexity, the die casting setup can be very labor intensive. The process also requires melting of the die casting alloy specified.
2.) Secondary Operations – any needed deburring, machining, sanding, or hand finishing to achieve the specified part finish.
3.) Finishing – any desired painting, plating, silk screening, or engraving.

When designing and engineering a new component you need to think beyond simple metal forming and think of die casting as the total manufacturing process. Shifting thinking along those lines can drastically reduce production costs as parts are then designed to eliminate waste as well as some secondary operations.

The largest part of the total cost to die cast something is the cost of the labor involved. The actual die casting process is one of the most efficient methods to go from raw material to finished/near finished part shape, while giving the designer the opportunity to include many features into the part that may be impractical or too expensive with other manufacturing methods.

Die casting can be incredibly cost effective because one part can be designed to replace multiple components. It is also possible to incorporate other features into the casting that eliminate secondary milling, boring, reaming, and grinding operations. One die-cast part can also eliminate assemblies that incorporate swaging, riveting, screw machining, stamping, press fitting, and welding.

What other factors affect die cast costs?
•Component complexity
•Alloy
•Part tolerances specified
•Part finishing specified

How can costs be reduced further?
Die casting does not have to be expensive. A thorough design for manufacturability (DFM) review is critical. Getting the die caster involved early in the process can greatly reduce part costs down the road. Depending on part complexity, this review may include a digital fluid flow analysis to help ensure the desired part shape is optimized for the die casting process.

On top of that, additional savings come from material reduction, improved tolerances, and good part-to-part consistency.

Much like any other engineering process or build, proper planning before production will drastically reduce your costs while speeding up the actual production time.

Need assistance or want to get started on your next die cast project?
Contact A&B Die Casting today!

Die Casting Finish : Design Your Part For The Finish You Want

Die Casting Finish : Design Your Part For The Finish You Want

A die casting surface finish can provide durability, protection, and a decorative appearance. Due to the fact that there are so many different finish options that can potentially affect the performance of the final part it is best to discuss your specific application needs early in the design phase to ensure the proper finish for your product. The specific features of many designs also have an impact on the surface finish. For example: parting lines, ejector pins, and gates can affect the end result.

Generally, extra steps are required in die design, die construction, and casting production for the more exact¬ing finishes.

There are many different types of surface finishes that are available. Below is a list of the most commonly used surface finishes:
• Abrasive media blasting
• Burnishing
• Electropolishing
• Graining
• Industrial etching
• Vibratory finishing
• Plating
• Polishing
• Buffing
• Shot peening
• Painting
• Powder Coating

What finish you chose depends on what the part will be used for. Below is a general guide for selecting a finish:

With over 75 years of die casting surface finishing expertise, our engineers will evaluate your requirements to recommend the best design and finishing options. Contact A&B Die Casting today!

2019 | Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

2019 | Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

“May your blessings outnumber
The shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you
Wherever you go.”
–An Irish Toast

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17th and observes of the death of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. The holiday has evolved into a celebration of Irish culture with parades, special foods, music, dancing, drinking, and a whole lot of green.

Die Casting and Part Geometry

Die Casting and Part Geometry

What’s the most cost effective way to cast metal parts with minimal machining?
Die casting.

Die casting allows you to create sharply defined smooth – or textured – surface metal parts from a durable range of non-ferrous metals, such as zinc, magnesium, aluminum, and an array of composite materials at high-speed and with precision. The type of metal chosen to fabricate the part determines whether it will require the hot chamber or cold chamber method to inject the metal into the die. Die casting enables the production of components with fine details like lettering, textured surfaces, and other features without the need for additional processing.

The main benefits of the die casting process include:
•High quality: Die cast parts deliver a long service life.
•High reliability: Exceptional uniformity of mass-produced parts.
•Quick production: Die cast tooling requires minimal maintenance.
•Versatile: Die casting can create virtually any size, part geometry, surface texture, or luster.
•Minimal assembly: Assembly features such as studs, drill holes, and bosses can be integrated into the mold design.

What effects die casting the most?
Part geometry.

The initial part design is crucial and determines how parts fill and cool – part geometry affects the porosity, grain structure and internal stress states. Stress concentrators, such as those found at sharp corners, are also geometry dependent and can reduce a part’s working strength. Parts whose geometry has been optimized for die-casting–in terms of filling, cooling, and ejection–will have substantially different microstructures and internal stress states than comparable machined or spin-cast parts.

Geometry planning works as an important influential tool on casting designs. Proper geometry planning will ensure time is not lost re-casting and counterbalance problems like:
•Defects
•Poor fluid life
•Shrinkage
•Solidification
•Temperature maintenance and effects
•Hot cracking
•Strength issues (compressive strength, impact strength, and tensile strength)
•Slag formation tendency

Advantages of proper geometry designs:
•It avoids defects: Reduces the need for multiple post casting quality checks, and reduces the number of rejected castings.
•Increases energy efficiency and reduces environmental impacts: an effective geometry design influences how much energy consumption is needed for cooling and lighting temperatures used in the manufacturing.
•Improves overall quality and life of the casting: with reduced defects and reduced lead-time to produce a casting, the overall quality and operational life of the casting is increased.

Our job at A&B Die Casting is to guide our customers to the best, most efficient process for their needs. With design for manufacturability in mind, we work with our customers to create features and sub-assemblies that fit into a single part while keeping the number of parts to a minimum. Through our rapid prototyping services, complete visualization of your concept is available to implement revisions if necessary before full production runs. By incorporating innovative engineering and state-of-the-art technologies, we take pride in designing and manufacturing the highest quality tools and parts at the right price.

Contact A&B Die Casting to get started on your next project today!