Based at the heart of the Black Country in Wednesbury, West Midlands, AluCast Limited is an award-winning aluminium foundry that is an acknowledged leader in the supply of high integrity structural parts. The company offers an all-embracing concept to production service, including full technical support throughout the manufacturing cycle.
The ISO 9001:2015 and ISO/TS 16949:2016 accredited company has the ability to manufacture castings of up to 50 kilograms in weight and has a weekly capacity of approximately 25 tonnes using both manual and automated production methods.
AluCast’s high-pressure die casting facility is able to manufacture castings of up to 3 plus Kilogrammes and can deliver high production rates of up to 200 castings per hour. Gravity Die production methods are widely used for the manufacture of medium to high volume production. This process uses a permanent mould resulting in a near net shape product. AluCast’s Sand casting production method can be employed for the manufacture of prototypes as well as for regular production items.
In addition to providing first-class foundry facilities, AluCast is able to manufacture fully machined parts to customers’ specifications in its well-equipped machining facility. The use of advanced machine tools, including 5 axis CNC capabilities, allied to the company’s skilled operators’ expertise in the machining of cast aluminium components, enables the supplying high-quality finished parts with tolerances measured in microns.
The drive for improved fuel efficiency has prompted the global automotive industry to develop ever lighter components. As a consequence, over the past decade AluCast’s advanced aluminium casting and machining provision has enjoyed impressive levels of growth. The company is now a major supplier to the demanding automotive sector, products currently produced by AluCast includes structural, under-body auto parts, hydraulic valves and vacuum parts, as well as traditional gearbox housings that require special strength characteristics.
To ensure that the company’s 100+ skilled workforce are able to keep pace with increasing demands, significant investments have recently been made in innovative casting plant and high-quality machine tools.
To help the company’s important inspection provision keep-pace with its increased production volumes, AluCast Quality and Technical Director, Martin Haynes recently began a search for an accurate, yet speedy metrology solution. Rather than Martin find the ideal metrology answer to AluCast’s inspection needs, the ideal metrology solution found Martin!
After been tasked with casting a range of urgently required prototype parts for an important customer, AluCast completed all of the relevant casting processes in record time. Having been told that their parts were now ready except for the required dimensional inspection process, and that this process would take another day, the customer suggested that, to speed-up the parts’ delivery, they would visit AluCast’s facility and perform on-site inspection with their own FARO ScanArm.
Impressed by the speed of set-up the FARO equipment so soon after the customer’s arrival, and the FARO ScanArm’s ability to quickly scan each of the components and gather all of the required accurate data, Martin Haynes was convinced that a FARO ScanArm was the ideal answer to AluCast’s challenging dimensional inspection needs.
Martin explained. “Although, prior to witnessing our customer’s FARO ScanArm in action, we were considering several inspection options from major metrology companies, the outstanding performance of the FARO equipment persuaded us that this was the way to go. As well as being impressed by the dimensional accuracy achieved and the clear presentation of the captured data, we were astonished at the equipment’s phenomenal speed of operation. In fact, we estimated that the inspection results our customer achieved in just one hour, would have taken us over eight hours with the use of our existing equipment. In addition to the performance of the ScanArm, we received excellent reports from our customer related to the levels of customer service they had received from FARO UK.
“Soon after our customer’s visit, to help confirm our opinion we organised a practical demonstration of a FARO Edge ScanArm® HD on a wide cross section of both our cast and machined components. As previously witnessed, FARO UK’s Sales Engineer was able to quickly set the instrument up and to complete rapid, precise scanning routines on each of the parts we presented. Confident of the Edge ScanArm HD’s capability, an order was soon placed with FARO UK.
“Having recently taken delivery of a FARO Edge ScanArm HD, I attended a FARO UK training course along with two of our operators, the simplicity of the device enabled us to quickly master its controls. In the first weeks of using our Edge ScanArm HD, it helped that we had access to FARO UK’s telephone helpline. Although we have only needed to use this facility on a couple of occasions, both times we received prompt replies and were quickly guided through each process.
“Our FARO Edge ScanArm HD has delivered on all of the promises made by the staff of FARO UK in terms of simplicity, accuracy and speed of use. As well as the inspection processes we purchased the FARO ScanArm for, each day we are finding new uses for it. So important to our inspection provision has it become, we now wonder how we managed without our new FARO Edge ScanArm HD.”
The compact, easy-to-use FARO Edge ScanArm HD combines the convenience of a FaroArm with the power of a Laser Line Probe (LLP) HD, creating a flexible, high performance contact/non-contact portable measurement system. Part of FARO’s popular ScanArm product range, the advanced Edge Scan Arm HD provides point cloud capture with rapid speed, superior resolution and high accuracy.
Advanced functionalities allow Edge ScanArm HD users to seamlessly scan across diverse surface materials regardless of their contrast, reflectivity or part complexity, without the need for the application of special coatings or target placements.
Although relevant to endless other applications, common Edge ScanArm HD uses include reverse engineering, part certification, prototype part scanning, first article inspection, on-machine inspection, in-process and final inspection.
The Edge ScanArm HD’s extra wide scan stripe and fast frame rate helps to boost users’ productivity by increasing coverage and reducing scanning time. Also, the compact and easy to use instrument dramatically reduces required training times due to advanced features such as a crosshair feature and a rangefinder which provides real-time scanning feedback.
Reliable, repeatable and highly accurate measurement data is delivered with confidence as a result of the FARO Edge ScanArm HD superior optical performance. Intricate components can be captured in fine detail as a result of the Edge ScanArm HD’s 2,000 actual points per scanline and the use of a new blue laser that features noise reduction technology.