Simulation boosts castings quality

Equipment manufacturer John Deere, Moline, Ill., cut the scrap rate of a gray-iron part from 10.3 to 1.4% and saved $66,936/yr by modifying the part and gating system. The company also boosted its casting yield from 58 to 64% for an additional savings of $66,600/yr. The foundry claimed that if it had used simulation at an earlier stage, it could have potentially saved $140,000 more in the first year of production and would have avoided casting design and pattern changes that cost $120,000.

In another case, mechanical-engineering company Heidelberger Druck AG in Germany relocated a mold gate based on simulation results and thereby significantly reduced the amount of repair welding it had to perform on a cover. Temperature losses in the original part had led to incomplete filling of a rib. Simulation let engineers see how material flow was affected by moving the gate to different locations.