It can not be overstated how valuable casting conversions can be to a manufacturer. Reducing a multiple piece assembly or fabrication to a single-piece casting often results in lower part cost, reduced lead time, reduced weight, improved part design, and fewer finishing operations, such as machining or drilling. But you don’t have to take our word for it. There is no shortage of casting conversion case studies. A quick browse around this website will turn up several examples of different applications using different materials. Below is a small sampling:
--The 2010 Casting of the Year produced 48% cost savings after it was converted from a steel weldment to a ductile iron heavy equipment part.
--A 28-lb. cast aluminum marine engine manifold was converted from two gray iron parts for a weight savings of 38 lbs. per motor.
--This aluminum casting conversion from a multi-piece assembly eliminated external tubing, hydraulic lines and passageways by casting them into the design of this 200-lb. part for an amphibious military vehicle.
--An in-depth look at steel fabrications vs. steel castings tells you, “If the desired component is mostly steel and the costs involved are mostly material, a fabrication should be used. However, the more components, the more linear inches of welding required, the more machining required per individual component, the more attractive casting becomes.”
For a brief on getting started on converting to casting, read through “Identifying a Candidate for Conversion to Casting.”