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Case Studies

Bamford Five Blade Fixed Pitch PropellerNew Technology for Naval Propellers

When F Bamford & Co Ltd received an order from VT Group for a number of fixed pitch propellers, they turned to Cti and the Patternless® Process to meet the quality and delivery requirements placed on them by their customer, and delivered an exceptional product.

Heathrow T5 Artist ImpressionLift-Off for BSA Precision Castings

Cti Member company BSA Precision Castings are playing a key role in one of Europe’s biggest architectural projects to date.  The expansion of London Heathrow Airport through the Terminal 5 project is being managed by the site’s owners, British Airports Authority (BAA), and involves a vast number of contractors.  Swiss based company Schmidlin is supplying the curtain walling (the glass walls) for the terminal building.  Integral to this curtain walling are the castings that hold the plates of glass in place.  These clearly need to meet exacting dimensions and quality levels, but also provide a cost effective solution to the problem.

3D Model of Bestobell valve bodyBestobell Valves Convert to Castings to Secure Export Opportunities

Sheffield based Bestobell Valves Ltd has been manufacturing valves using traditional design and manufacturing techniques for over 140 years. However, following a survey of their markets, they discovered that their designs were facing greater competition from newer valve technologies. Therefore, they needed to investigate bringing their valve designs up to date, and so called on Cti to assist.

Cti Pumps Up the Pressure

Impellers are geometrically complex components and are produced in corrosion, erosion and cavitation-resistant alloys which are difficult to cast, especially in the thin sections of the vane profile. Moreover, high specification pumps are typically made in very low volume - a 'one-off' is quite common - so the cost of utilising these techniques becomes prohibitive because of the high tooling cost. Cti has been well-aware of this gap in market provision and has long-sought a solution. The breakthrough came with the support provided through the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Initiative, which facilitated the acquisition of key items of equipment and allowed focussed, product-specific development effort to take place. Having arrived at a prospective solution, Cti approached Sulzer Pumps (UK) Ltd to establish their interest in evaluating the new approach.

SME Implants New Technology

Companies in sectors such as medical, aerospace and defence are critically dependent on the supply of short-lead time components for development activities. Often required in small batches, the volume cannot justify the cost of conventional tooling even if the lead time allowed. Yet component integrity, dimensional accuracy, surface finish and other attributes need to correspond very closely. The McKenna Group is one of only a hand-full of UK companies capable of meeting such demanding market needs. Now their performance has been enhanced by teaming with Cti, which is the only agency in the UK capable of producing the models or patterns from which castings can be made to the necessary standard.

Tooling for the Future

Arthur Jackson & Co. Ltd. was introduced to Cti three years or so ago by Holset Engineering Co. Ltd. As a supplier to a company of the stature of Holset, the quality of their work and their responsiveness to customer requirements was never in question, but the mutual benefits that have arisen out of the relationship which followed have been considerable. For Cti's part, a competent supplier of key components for a range of product development exercises was close to hand. For Arthur Jackson, a range of business opportunities has been opened up of which the company would otherwise have been unaware.

High Temperature Superalloy Prototype Castings Substitute for Forgings

A high temperature air control valve was developed for use during the testing phase of an aero engine for the Airbus A380. The valve is part of the gas control circulation system on the aero engine. When Honeywell Hymatic approached Cti, the valve was still in the early stages of development. This gave the opportunity for the two companies to work closely together utilising Cti's expertise to optimise Honeywell Hymatic's design for casting. To aid the casting process, features on the valve were modified using the latest Catia V5 software.

New Business Flows Quickly for South Yorkshire Tap Manufacturer

Cti has worked closely with Pegler Ltd for some time and were familiar with the issues the company was facing.  The technological solutions rested with 3D computer-aided design and Rapid Prototyping.  While providing some assistance with selection of appropriate software, Cti’s principal contribution has been in the provision of RP models.  Indeed, Cti had recognised the potential of the technology in Pegler’s business and their requirements were factored into the criteria for selection of the specific Rapid Prototyping technology in which Cti has invested so heavily. 

E-Technology Used to Optimise Product Design and Reduce Inventory Levels

Walter Frank & Sons Ltd are regular suppliers of valve body castings to Emco Wheaton UK Ltd, and the two companies collaborated to produce a solution to an engineering challenge to mutual benefit. The part was an LM25TF aluminium gravity die casting. An existing problem with the tooling used for the API adaptor valve was seen as an ideal opportunity to develop an optimised product design and make use of e-technology to improve communication along the supply chain.

Cti Targets JOANNA

BAE Systems and Thales were awarded the contract to develop and assess the technology required for a fourth generation electro-optic targeting system. Cti and Lomond Castings (formerly Johnstone Castings) produced one-offs for the main structural casting components of the flying technology demonstrator. Cti's involvement included design support to aid castability, working closely with BAE Systems' design engineers, and the production of three aluminium castings. The two parts of the outer structure, with an envelope of 0.5m x 0.5m x 1.2m each, were produced using Cti's Patternless® Process, and the third casting involved the use of a new rapid prototyping technology for sand moulds.

New Casting Technology Aids Submarine Propulsion

Meighs' role in a project to develop the propulsor for the Astute-class submarine underlines their progressive culture. Based on aero-engine technology, the development by Rolls-Royce of the Astute propulsor for prime contractor BAE Systems required concurrent engineering to be deployed throughout the supply chain to meet a programme of design, project management and delivery. Meighs recognised that Cti had a capability in its Patternless® Process to assist them, as a consequence of their involvement in the European 'Craft' project that developed the technology.

Local Supply Chain Achieves Success for Rolls-Royce

Doncasters FVC welcomed the challenge to develop the Delivery Air Manifold for the Rolls-Royce WR-21 Inter-cooled and Recuperated Marine Gas Turbine. Production as a casting represented the preferred option, not least because a cast form of supply would allow Rolls-Royce engineers the freedom to design precisely what they required to maximise performance and life, without being constrained by the manufacturing process. Cti were able to produce the 1.8m diameter, 1.0m high pattern, 18 loose pieces and core boxes in just 10 weeks.

Bronte Precision Develops Specialist Machining Capacity

A particularly noteworthy project to which Bronte was introduced relates to the development of Crusher, the world’s first, large-scale unmanned ground combat vehicle.Critical machining operations were required on high strength steel suspension arms and hubs designed by Timoney Technology Ltd, of County Meath, Ireland and prototyped by Cti.  This could lead to substantial business over the long term, following the outstanding performance of these highly stressed components during testing by the National Robotics Engineering Centre of Carnegie Mellon University, the prime contractor to the US Department of Defence.

Micra Moves into CNC Patternmaking

As part of their ongoing development, Micra saw a market opportunity to supply large, accurate patterns to the castings sector.  However, the cost of entry into large-scale, precision patternmaking can be prohibitive, and Micra’s owner, Mike Smith, needed expert advice to select the most cost effective system. Having had a close working relationship with Cti, also in Sheffield, for many years, Mike quite naturally turned to them for assistance at an early stage.

Shipham Valves Gain DuPont Global Approval

Shipham Valves sought the assistance of Cti to manufacture castings in the special, high nickel alloys of Incoloy 625 and Hasteloy C from which Shipham Valves manufactured the valves required by DuPont for testing and performance evaluation trials. The design optimisation and precision, fast manufacturing technologies at Cti were exploited to maximum advantage in order to ensure the highest product and material integrity.  After machining, the valves were assembled and tested by Shipham Valves, and despatched to DuPont.

Rotary Engineering's Electro-Magnets Attract New Business

Rotary Engineering has been able to respond to recent enquiries for 1950mm and 2000mm magnets that can now be produced more competitively.  These will require Cti to produce exceptionally large Patternless® moulds that will be transported to Norton Cast Products early in 2007.

Supply Chain Co-operation Achieves Fast Results

Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery Ltd, based in Lincoln, design and manufacture small gas turbines.  One of the targets of their ongoing drive to improve the company’s product range was the compressor section Centre Case of a low emission SGT 200 power unit.

Rapid Manufacture Rings the Bell for Brass Founders

For Brass Founders Sheffield to produce a 'one-off' item in a highly accurate form, the process of direct mould manufacture using Cti's machined layered Patternless® process was determined to be the optimum technique.

Simpsons Invest in Rapid Manufacturing Technology

Taking advantage of Cti's experience in the rapid manufacturing technology of CAD/CAM and CNC patternmaking, provided Simpson Patterns with unequalled support in the specification and development of the rapid patternmaking process aimed at meeting specialised customer requirements.

Bestobell Develops New Valve Range for Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) Transportation

A recent development of Bestobell LNG has been the introduction of a new Float Level Isolation Valve (FLIV), a specially designed stainless steel valve with manual open/shut operation and a built-in inspection chamber. Cti evaluated the design, material and produced prototype castings for test purposes.

Thomas Broadbent Gets Spinning with Rapid Manufacturing Technology

In receipt of a new order for decanter centrifuges to process bio fuels, Broadbents contacted Cti to explore the possibility of using rapid manufacturing for the supply of feed chamber and accelerator cone castings for a 750mm unit. Following a number of development discussions the manufacture of the castings was agreed using Cti's Patternless® rapid manufacturing process and Replicast® ceramic shell process to provide five off each stainless steel castings.

Peglers Tap into Rapid Manufacturing Technology

From a past history of safety issues from increased hot water temperatures, Government directives were put forward to introduce the capability of regulating the outlet water temperatures for domestic taps. This relatively simple request has required a major step forward in the technology on tap manufacture to introduce new designs with built in thermostats to control outlet temperatures. From discussions between Peglers and Cti’s Rapid Manufacturing team, coupled with the availability of new ‘Patternless®’ mould and core manufacturing techniques at Cti, a new product design was developed. The required cores and mould components were produced using a layer building process which provided a complete assembly ready for use in the foundry to produce a cast unit for machining and testing.

21st Century Technology for the Iron Age

Cti played an important role in Aga-Rayburn's product development process, producing prototype iron castings for two new cookers. Aga's product designers worked in partnership with Cti's casting specialists to produce components for the Six-Four Series oven.

Progress Through Technology Partnerships in Global Valve Casting Supply Chains

Assembled Valtek ValveBecause the procurement and processing of castings represents such a significant proportion of finished valve costs, the performance of the castings supply chain can profoundly influence the competitiveness of valve manufacturers. Valve manufacturing costs are also heavily dependent on casting quality, which in turn impacts on safety, reliability and performance.   

Patternless® Valve Cast for Severn Glocon

Severn Glocon Valve BodyThe Patternless® process provided the quickest and most cost-effective option for Severn Glocon when they needed a valve casting on short delivery to meet the demands of the Danish offshore sector.

CMS Expand with Replicast®

CMS Replica storageCMS has recently expanded its Replicast® production facilities. The high quality, near net shape castings with a smooth surface finish provide the company with a competitive edge, helping them to win new customers wanting valves and other finished castings ready for assembly.

Brafe and the Repliwax® Solution

Brafe Ceramic ShellThe objective of the Repliwax® project was to develop a process which would reduce manufacturing costs and extend the weight range of investment castings. This has been achieved by enabling thinner ceramic shells to be used and these shells to be handled and poured at (or near) room temperature. The shorter processing time in shelling and improved logistics in melting and pouring is of special benefit to SME producers, such as Brafe Engineering Ltd.

Design of the Allen 5000 Series Engine

Allen Engine Cylinder BlockOver the last 3 years Allen Diesels, part of Rolls-Royce Power Engineering Ltd, has been engaged in the 'clean sheet' design of a new range of 320mm bore medium speed diesel engines. One of the major aims during the engine's creation was the utilisation of modern, state-of-the-art, computer-based predictive technology.

CAD/CAM  Improves Lead Times for Valve Body Patterns

CAD/CAM Screen ShotModern CAD/CAM patternmaking technology has been applied to the manufacture of Flowserve Valtek valve bodies, used in the construction of oil platforms. The casting producer, Norton Cast Products, made use of the facilities available at Castings Technology International, and with all parties working together manufacturing costs were reduced by 20% and the production time was shortened by over 2 weeks.

CAD/CAM Delivers Significant Cost and Weight Savings for David Brown Pumps

Brown Pump Rapid PrototypeDavid Brown Pumps Ltd., of Penistone, South Yorkshire, is a supplier of specialist, high technology pumps for the oil, gas and petrochemical industries.  The company implemented a design project to reduce the casting costs and the outstanding results have had a significant impact on the competitiveness of this range of pumps in world markets.

Perfecting Pump Manufacture

GIW CastingGIW Industries, of Georgia, USA, has been making the most of the facilities available to Members of Cti. This has included 3D modelling expertise, CNC patternmaking and an evaluation of the latest Patternless® technology. The results are helping GIW to produce extremely accurate, high quality castings for the slurry pump sector.

Rotork Valve ActuatorPartnership Optimises Gravity Diecast Valve Actuator

Rotork Controls Ltd teamed up with Castings Technology International to explore the prospects for improving component and die design and manufacturing process controls.

Holset TurbochargerHolset Get It 'Right First Time'

Holset Engineering Co Ltd, a division of Cummins Engine Co., has been working with Castings Technology International over the past two years to refine new designs of turbocharger turbine housings for diesel engine applications.

Donkin Volute Pump Casing PatternCAD/CAM Patternmaking of Large Volute Casings

A  development exercise was completed at Castings Technology International, in conjunction with Bryan Donkin company Ltd, Chesterfield, to manufacture a pattern for a large volute pump casing, which is used in the sewage treatment industry