Blog https://dynacast.com:443/en/Knowledge Center/Blog Friday, 28 February 2020 23:32:32 Friday, 28 February 2020 23:32:32 Top 3 Prototyping Methods for Die Casting /en/knowledge-center/blog/top-3-prototyping-methods-for-die-casting {5B724B2E-1A25-4E28-8067-6060FD1C96C1} <h2><img alt="" src="-/media/221eeee1dd24417b877623038f46ed2f.ashx?h=628&amp;w=1200" style="height: 628px; width: 1200px;" /></h2> <h2 style="text-align: left;">&nbsp;</h2> <h2 style="text-align: left;">What do you need out of your prototype?</h2> <p style="text-align: left;"><img alt="" src="-/media/580d2271a3194652896c3d2c549bd146.ashx?h=266&amp;w=386" style="height: 260.73px; width: 383.609px; float: right; left: 760.469px; top: 740.957px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid;" usemap="#rade_img_map_1582639616723" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">These days, consumers demand perfection from their products. And to achieve this level of performance, manufacturers have to put their products through rigorous testing to ensure optimal functionality. In many cases, tests happen in several iterations and call for different levels of functionality throughout. And each of these tests require an effective prototype.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Do you need to verify the strength of your component? Does your product require exact tolerances and you need to check the fit of the part? Do you need to revise the wall thickness in sections of the part need to be revised for weight or fit?</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The die casting process is not typically well-suited for low-volume prototyping. But that doesn&rsquo;t mean that we can&rsquo;t deliver during the prototyping process. We&rsquo;ve compiled a breakdown of the top three prototyping processes that our customers use to test their die casting components.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Spin casting</h2> <p>Spin casting is a process that forces metal into a rubber mold using centrifugal force. While in the past spin casters were limited to only materials specially formulated for low melting points, over time, the process has evolved to produce components with materials similar to die casting. Even if a spin caster cannot use the exact same material as a die caster, through secondary heating operations, the spin cast part can meet the strength of a die cast component with its exact geometries. The more complex the part, the more beneficial the spin casting process.</p> <p>Prototyping with spin casting is ideal for low-volume projects with complex geometries that require a fast turnaround. Spin cast parts are able to hold virtually the same geometries as die casting at similar strengths, so its ideally suited for testing the fit of a component during the prototyping process. Spin cast parts have a lead time of roughly 1-3 weeks.</p> <h2>Machine from bar stock</h2> <p>Machining from bar stock is a process that guarantees speed and cost efficiency at low volume. The process itself is fairly simple, a purified metal billet is cut down to part size and shape with a lathe or CNC machine. At a low volume, the process is faster and cheaper than other manufacturing processes because the material is readily available and a tool doesn&rsquo;t have to be designed or built. The drawback to machining from bar stock is that the part has low ductility and tolerances are limited to the radius of the mill&mdash;in other words, the tolerance and geometries cannot be tighter than the curvature of the actual cutting mechanism.</p> <p>If your prototype needs to pass stringent elongation and tolerance tests, machining from bar stock is not an effective option. However, the process is a good prototyping option for projects operating on a strict budget and time table. Lead times for machining from bar stock are as short as 1 week.</p> <p>Machining from bar stock is also an effective measure of ultimate strength of die cast components. Generally speaking, parts that are machined from bar stock are about 15% weaker than die cast components in terms of ultimate and yield strength, since machined parts don&rsquo;t have the &ldquo;skin&rdquo; of a die cast component. However, our customers have often used machined prototypes to test the ultimate strength of their component. If the machined prototype passes a stress test, then the die cast component will withstand even greater stress. And if your component will be cast in aluminum in mass production, machining from a zinc and aluminum blend alloy can match the strength of an aluminum die cast component.</p> <p>Want to know how to match a machined alloy to the strength of a die cast component? Contact one of our engineers to learn about machining prototyping possibilities <a href="https://www.dynacast.com/en/general-contact">here</a>.</p> <h2>Investment casting</h2> <p>For projects that require exact replica prototypes, we suggest investment casting. Since so much can be learned from a prototype&rsquo;s function, the need for a quality prototype is critical. And when designing metal components, an exact replica of your final part is the best prototype you can get. Investment casting enables design engineers to walk away with a prototype that holds the exact geometry, tolerance, strength, and function of the final die cast component. This is especially important for aluminum die castings in applications that go through rigorous safety tests.</p> <p>The <a href="https://www.signicast.com/en/about-investment-casting/investment-casting-process">investment casting process</a> as a whole is well-suited for low-volume metal components. But the process can be slightly modified to accommodate prototyping needs at a fraction of the time. Instead of building a hard tool, investment casting engineers can 3D print wax patterns to form part geometries to reduce lead time and cost. Then, the part can be cast normally using any investment casting metals. The resulting prototype is an exact replica of what will be the final die cast part, so any secondary operation that the customer requires can be applied to the part, including assembly, heat treating, welding, plating, and painting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="-/media/ba1ddf74e8194cf99a7f39bc6625ebdb.ashx?h=225&amp;w=300" style="height: 225px; width: 300px;" /></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em><span style="color: gray;">3D printed wax pattern and prototype produced in-house with our sister company, Signicast.</span></em></p> <p>As with any manufacturing process, the price of a prototype will increase as the dimensional tolerance and inspection criteria become more stringent. Early involvement and input by technical engineers during the design stage empowers customers to overcome traditional casting tolerance issues associated with prototyping. This is accomplished by innovation and industry-leading technology to provide 100% conformance to specifications as-cast, delivered on time, at the lowest total cost. Prototype lead times with investment casting vary depending on part complexity, but generally take between 5 days and 4 weeks.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><em><span style="background: white; color: #555656;">Not ready for an exact replica just yet? Work with Signicast to create an SLA, or stereolithography resin pattern of your part.</span></em></p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><em><span style="background: white; color: #555656;">&nbsp;</span></em></p> <h2>Which prototyping process is right for me?</h2> <p>The best prototyping process for your die cast component depends on many factors. You have to take into consideration your budgetary restrictions, material restrictions, the time table for testing, and the rigor of tests your prototype will be put through. If you&rsquo;re still unsure which process is right for you, get in touch with one of our Dynacast engineers. We can manage your prototyping needs and ensure that your project has a strong foundation to transition into mass production in die casting.</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;"><strong>Fill out the form below to get in touch with one of our engineers.</strong>&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom: 0.0001pt;">&nbsp;</p> <iframe src="https://go.formtechnologies.com/l/682843/2019-06-05/2m8dx" width="100%" height="500" type="text/html" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" style="border: 0;"></iframe><map id="rade_img_map_1582639616723" name="rade_img_map_1582639616723"> <area shape="CIRCLE" coords="20,20,10" href="http://" /> <area shape="CIRCLE" coords="20,20,10" href="http://" /></map> Monday, 24 February 2020 00:00:00 Die Casting vs. Screw Machining /en/knowledge-center/blog/die-casting-vs-screw-machining {F49331A7-AE5B-4930-8694-0B860DB8CD71} <h1>Die Casting vs. Screw Machining</h1> <center></center> <p><img alt="" height="508" width="974" src="-/media/48ef80090ec64b0bb01699cfba64d425.ashx" /></p> <h2>Choosing the right process for your metal component</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re considering screw machining or die casting for your next part, your project probably requires exact tolerances, quick turnaround times, and is high in production volume. These characteristics make a part a viable candidate for each process.</p> <p>Although precision metal components are achievable through both production processes, the choice often comes down to efficiency and cost&mdash;which production process will add more value to your project? In this blog, we&rsquo;ll cover the different benefits of screw machining and die casting and what you stand to gain by converting your precision component from screw machining to die casting.</p> <h2>Benefits of screw machining</h2> <p>When it comes to screw machining, there are two main benefits.</p> <p>The first is the screw machining allows you to manufacture steel alloys that cannot be die cast. <a href="https://www.dynacast.com/en/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-tooling-production">Die cast tools</a> are made of hardened steel to withstand the high pressure and heat of the die casting process. Since aluminum and zinc have significantly lower melt temperatures than steel, the metals don&rsquo;t fuse with the steel tool. Attempting to die cast a steel component, on the other hand, would yield one large block of compounded steel.</p> <p>The second benefit is that screw machining holds exact tolerances at a lower initial tooling expense. CNC machining of any kind is sometimes thought to hold the tightest tolerances of any manufacturing process.</p> <p>While it is true that machining produces tight tolerances and precise parts, Dynacast engineers argue that die casting can produce parts of nearly equal precision and increased complexity at a lower part price, faster. And when efficiency and cost are factors in your decision, the benefits of die casting will outweigh the benefits of screw machining every time.</p> <h2>Benefits of die casting</h2> <p>The benefits of die casting are largely associated with production speed and part price savings.</p> <p>Dynacast&rsquo;s <a href="https://www.dynacast.com/en/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-process/multi-slide-die-casting">multi-slide machines</a> can be designed with multiple cavities and enable our engineers to cast extremely complex parts, quickly. Our multi-slide die casting machines cycle at speeds of up to 75 cycles per minute, delivering 4,500 shots per hour. In a two-cavity tool, this means 9,000 parts per hour.</p> <p>A faster cycle time contributes to lowered overall cost per piece. Additionally, die cast tools ensure unmatched complexity of internal and external geometries, so there are fewer secondary operations associated with die casting. With multi-slide die casting, you can cast complex geometries that would otherwise need to be manufactured from two or more pieces and assembled using any other processes.</p> <p>While screw machining offers a lower up-front tooling cost, die casting more than makes up for that in the overall part price savings. On an ideal part (one that is small, high volume, and can be cast in zinc), the tool is paid back in full somewhere between 10-14 months of production. Every part made after that is an earning towards your bottom line.</p> <h4>Do you want to know if your current chosen alloy can be converted into a zinc alloy with similar properties? Consult our interactive <a href="https://www.dynacast.com/en/knowledge-center/dynamic-process-metal-selector">metal selector tool</a>, or <a href="https://www.dynacast.com/en/ask-an-engineer">ask one of our engineers</a>.</h4> <center></center> <p><a href="https://www.dynacast.com/en/knowledge-center/dynamic-process-metal-selector"></a></p> <center><a href="https://www.dynacast.com/en/knowledge-center/dynamic-process-metal-selector"><img alt="" src="-/media/b6a41a2e8be0423381677e2225896168.ashx?h=183.066&amp;w=439.438" style="top: 1194.64px; width: 303.707px; height: 110.469px;" /></a></center> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>What do you gain from converting from screw machining to die casting?</h2> <p>So maybe you&rsquo;re currently screw machining your precision metal component. While this effectively produces a complex part, our engineers recognize the drawbacks of screw machining as compared to die casting. In addition to offering higher efficiency at a lower overall piece part price, die casting also offers greater design freedom, exacting tolerances, and material waste reduction.</p> <h3>Open capacity for parts that can&rsquo;t be screw machined</h3> <p>One of the biggest advantages of converting to die casting from screw machining is that die casting allows you to produce shapes that are impossible to achieve with screw machining. When utilizing screw machining as a manufacturing process, you are limited to parts that can be machined from bar or tubular stock on a rotating axis. Parts that require complex inner geometries or dissimilar features are virtually impossible to screw machine.</p> <h3>Exact tolerances, faster</h3> <p>When converting to die casting, design engineers are often concerned that die casting won&rsquo;t be able to hold as tight a tolerance as screw machined parts. Generally speaking, if you screw machine slow enough, the tolerances are unmatched. With that said, taking the time to do so slows down the entire production process, and often, the tolerance that a project requires can be accommodated by multi-slide die casting.</p> <p>The concessions for tight tolerances, while there may be some, are not great. Multi-slide die casting produces precision components with tolerances of +/-0.02mm. And with Dynacast, design engineers are able to work together with customers to tweak the design of the part for optimal manufacturability, delivering faster cycle times and increased part performance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <center><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NjduJayWpL0" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture"></iframe></center> <h3>&nbsp;</h3> <h3>Reduce scrap/raw material waste</h3> <p>Finally, converting from screw machining to die casting drastically cuts down on wasted material.</p> <p>Screw machining works by cutting away from a solid piece of metal, or tubular stock. That means, as the customer, you&rsquo;re paying for <em>all</em> the raw material that goes into the tubular stock, not just the material in the final part. You&rsquo;re paying for the wasted metal that hits the floor.</p> <p><span>In contrast, in a four-cavity die casting tool, the gating system only produces waste roughly the size of the tab of a pen cap. By utilizing die casting, you&rsquo;re cutting down on waste and additional cost while improving your overall yield.</span></p> <h4><strong>Die casting is an ideal match for high volume projects that require tight tolerances and speedy delivery. Want to learn how to design for optimal manufacturability in die casting? Download our free design guide to learn more.</strong></h4> <p>&nbsp;</p> <center><iframe src="https://go.formtechnologies.com/l/682843/2019-06-13/2q9tz" width="100%" height="500" type="text/html" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true" style="border: 0;"></iframe></center> Wednesday, 19 February 2020 00:00:00 6 Key Approaches to Engineering Hidden Value /en/knowledge-center/blog/six-key-approaches-to-engineering-hidden-value {E10EA9FF-39A9-4472-A5F7-3001702ADF80} <p>When considering a viable production process for a project, companies across all industries ask the same question:</p> <h2 class="blue">How can we cut cost without sacrificing part quality or performance?</h2> <p>Some manufacturers will choose the lesser of the two evils and produce their parts with a discount supplier at the expense of part quality and production longevity. Others will choose a supplier who simply produces the part design as-is without regard to efficiency or repeatability, which can lead to costly secondary manufacturing and longer lead times.</p> <p>Fortunately, these aren’t your only options. You can adopt a practice dedicated to identifying hidden costs that can be eliminated to make manufacturing more efficient—without compromising performance.</p> <h2 class="blue">Balancing design with cost-effective production</h2> <p>In order to avoid the cost and quality paradox, companies have to relentlessly pursue innovation all the way through their production supply chain—from the drawing board to the delivery of the complete part.</p> <p>Companies that have not successfully balanced design with cost-effective production get caught in an innovative “two-step,” where they concentrate their innovation solely in product design and sourcing stages.</p> <p>In the first stage, companies will pour innovation into their new product designs. They try new technologies, new materials, and new ideas, in an effort to make groundbreaking advancements and a big ripple in the perceived market.</p> <p>Then, once the product’s been in production for one or more generations, with its design continually proving itself in the marketplace and supplier processes and relationships firmly in place, the second stage of the cycle begins. This is when sourcing teams take over with a desire to procure less expensive parts, and global supply managers scrutinize the bill of materials with an eye toward line-item reductions. It’s the design procurement two-step.</p> <p>While innovation in any form is advantageous, these are not the only stages of the production process that can benefit from a little extra ingenuity. In order to break out of the two-step rut, companies must learn to engineer value into their part through the <a href="/knowledge-center/multiple-design-solutions/die-cast-design/die-casting-manufacturability">entire production cycle</a>. Here are six key approaches to finding and incorporating hidden value into your production processes:</p> <h3>Material selection</h3> <p>Exploring <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals">material options</a> for parts can return great value, as various alloys with equivalent strength attributes can be employed in manufacturing given the appropriate testing. By exploring <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-alloy-equivalents">alternative alloys</a> that you may not have considered, you can significantly lower the overall cost of your production.</p> <h3>Choosing the optimal process</h3> <p>Sometimes, taking a different manufacturing path is the answer to realizing major results. Even if your current manufacturing process is functional, there could be a more effective process that reduces or eliminates secondary operations, increases your speed-to-market, or can produce more shots per minute.</p> <h3>Extending die life</h3> <p>An area of impact during mass production is the durability of the die. If the part is designed such that the die wears easily, it would need to be replaced more often, adding both cost and delays to your project.</p> <h3>Eliminating secondary operations</h3> <p>If components have been designed with geometric features that are toleranced in ways that are impossible to mass-produce traditionally, they require multiple operations. In certain manufacturing processes, these secondary operations can account for huge waste, representing as much as 80% of the component cost. Casting a net-shape or near-net shape part would reduce the need for these costly secondary operations.</p> <h3>Part consolidation</h3> <p>Taking multiple components that are adjacent to one another in an assembly and combining them into one piece is a cost saving that can be easily accomplished. Advancements in manufacturing methods like <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-casting">die casting</a> eliminate the need for assembly—providing savings by consolidating those two fixed parts.</p> <h3>Preventative maintenance reduction</h3> <p>There are some cases in which specific features in the component can be easily cast, but because of the part’s design, the tool wears down quickly and needs to be replaced often. Downtime on machines in the manufacturing plant is costly, and so it’s important to engineer solutions to maintain problem areas before they fail.</p> <h2 class="blue">The benefits of engineering hidden value</h2> <p>Certainly, the most tangible result you can realize from <a href="/dynacast-difference/worldwide-engineering-expertise">value engineering</a> is that there’s no longer a compromise of quality for cost. Value engineering is purely cost reduction, not a discount: <b>value is engineered in, expense is engineered out.</b></p> <p>The difference that value engineering can make ranges from changing material on the smallest of parts to optimizing entire tooling setups and part consolidation—resulting in ROI that you can realize in a year, and that can last the life of a product. In truth, the only way you won’t see benefits in your business is by not implementing the practice of engineering value at all.</p> <p><iframe width="100%" height="480" src="https://cdn.flipsnack.com/widget/v2/widget.html?hash=f7n3bifjd" seamless="seamless" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <h2 class="blue">Interested in learning more?</h2> <h3><strong>6 Key Approaches to Engineering Hidden Value is just a snippet of our Value Engineering whitepaper. Fill out the form below to download it in full!</strong></h3> <p /> <p><iframe width="100%" height="500" style="border: 0;" type="text/html" src="https://go.formtechnologies.com/l/682843/2019-06-13/2q9w6" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe></p> Friday, 01 November 2019 00:00:00 What is Injected Metal Assembly? /en/knowledge-center/blog/what-is-injected-metal-assembly {3BAC65F7-45AC-4AD5-84F3-F4AD2CDDCA45} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="50"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-25 block-float-left" rel-id="7129"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-7129"></a> <img src="-/media/D4943F1967424CB1B62644FF70504D62.ashx" class="image-block" alt="" /></div></div><div class="content-block block-100 block-wrap-right" rel-id="7130"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-7130"></a> <p /> <h3>The uneven heating and cooling of the welding process produces brittle joints that are vulnerable to stress. As a result, their fatigue strength is far less than that of components joined by IMA.</h3></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="7131"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-7131"></a> <h3 class="blue"><strong></strong>How does IMA work?</h3> <p>First, the components that need to be assembled are placed into the machine in a custom designed casting tool. These custom tools are able to accommodate components of various shapes, sizes, and materials.</p> <p>Next, the tool closes and precisely aligns to holds the components in their precise position while the molten alloy is injected into the cavity at the intersection of the components. The alloy—usually zinc for its high strength, dimensional stability, and load-bearing characteristics—solidifies in a fraction of a second and produces a strong, permanent lock between the components. Finally, the tool opens and the assembled part is ejected from the die. The ejected component is flash-free, requires no secondary operations, and is stronger than conventionally joined metal components.</p></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="7132"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-7132"></a> <img src="-/media/1E3EB8FECC3E4C5FA555D19FE5BC5DB6.ashx" class="image-block" alt="" /><div class="caption"><p align="center">When the zinc alloy is injected, it fills the cavities in the custom tool and hardens to create a permanent bond between the components.</p></div></div></div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="7133"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-7133"></a> <p>In addition to being high in strength and stability, zinc alloys are predictable in their flow and shrinkage characteristics, enabling our designers to calculate with high accuracy the final dimension of the injected metal joint. This allows for exacting tight tolerances to improve the overall functionality of the part.</p> <h3 class="blue"><b>What is the required volume for the IMA process to be viable?</b></h3> <p>Dynacast is capable of running varied volumes, down to 5,000 pieces a year if need be and up to 3 to 4 million parts per year with the help of automation and robotics. The volume of production is largely dependent upon the needs of the customer.</p> <h3 class="blue"><b>When joining metal and a material like plastic, how do you keep the plastic from melting when it comes in contact with the injected molten metal?</b></h3> <p>With IMA, we are able to hold the die closed for up to a whole second, depending on the fragility of the plastic, and allow the heat to dissipate in the water-cooled tool. In addition to this cooling process, the low melting point of injected metal prevents thermal degradation of the parent materials.</p> <h3 class="blue"><b>Can you prototype an IMA part?</b></h3> <p>Yes. While we cannot create a complete part before production begins, Dynacast can build simple “soft tooling” and create part-specific cavity blocks to insert into the tooling for a low production concept. Dynacast also offers a pull-ahead system where we build the tool to a certain point, and if parts produced are accepted by the customer, we complete the tool.</p> <h3 class="blue"><b>How does IMA reduce cost?</b></h3> <p>IMA reduces cost by cutting production time and eliminating the need for secondary operations. While processes like welding, soldering, and crimping are often very labor intensive, IMA has the potential to be fully automated. When part is ejected, flash-free and permanently bonded, it is ready for use.</p> <h3 class="blue"><b>What are major markets served by the IMA process?</b></h3> <p>The IMA process serves virtually any industry and any application. Automotive, telecommunications, electronic components, hardware and appliances, industrial controls, and military industries often utilize parts crafted by the IMA process.</p></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="20"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-50" rel-id="7140"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-7140"></a> <img src="-/media/70D36CAFD8A3430FA356D11810704EEA.ashx" class="image-block" alt="" /><div class="caption"><p>Drill bit joined together using IMA</p></div></div></div><div class="content-block block-50" rel-id="7141"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-7141"></a> <img src="-/media/C0C3F2E8704A4FBFACDA2F34ACFBFDB0.ashx" class="image-block" alt="" /><div class="caption"><p>Piston Carrier joined together using IMA</p></div></div></div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="7136"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-7136"></a> <h3 class="blue"><strong>Would you like to learn more about the IMA process and practical applications? Fill out the form below to download our free webinar!</strong><a href="/knowledge-center/webinars/injected-metal-assembly"><br /></a></h3> <p /> <p /> <p><br /> <iframe width="100%" height="500" style="border: 0;" type="text/html" src="https://go.formtechnologies.com/l/682843/2019-07-23/35j74" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe></p></div> </div></div> Tuesday, 22 October 2019 12:00:00 Surface Finish FAQ /en/knowledge-center/blog/surface-finish-faq {B61F4B7B-093B-448C-B30C-CAC43BA9957F} <p>From utility and functional grade to commercial and consumer grade coatings—including decorative finishes—there are numerous <a href="/specialty-die-casting/surface-finishes-plating">surface finish and plating options</a> to choose from for your next project. Before selecting a surface finish for your part’s optimal performance, make sure you’re informed about the benefits, process, and cost of each option.</p> <p>We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions about surface finishes from our webinar, <a href="/knowledge-center/webinars/surface-finish-101">Surface Finish 101</a>. If you’d like to learn more about surface finish options and the best practices of choosing an effective surface finish, register for the full webinar below.</p> <p><br /> <iframe width="100%" height="500" style="border: 0;" type="text/html" src="https://go.formtechnologies.com/l/682843/2019-07-23/35mhz" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe></p> <p /> <p><b>What material does E-coat apply to?</b></p> <p>E-coat can be applied to almost anything. It can be applied to aluminum, zinc, magnesium, steel, and more. It is a very robust finish.</p> <p><b>What does PVD stand for?</b></p> <p>Physical Vapor Deposition. PVD is a batch process where there is a controlled explosion and the target metal is vaporized and transferred to the surface of the component. To use this process, the part must first be chrome-plated and any and all liquid within the part must be removed. It is a very expensive process but has a lot of different colors available. Its physical properties are tremendous, it is extremely durable, but everything has to be just right to get the desired effect and avoid damaged parts.</p> <p><b>What is the best pre-treatment for prepping aluminum castings?</b></p> <p>Shot blasting aluminum castings prior to finish is most common. E-coating would be a great economical operation. Chemical film is another treatment. It acts as an excellent primer for wet coat finishes on aluminum.</p> <p><b>What do salt spray hours mean in real-world applications?</b></p> <p>There is little evidence indicating a positive correlation of salt spray hours to what's going to happen to any given part over a period of time in the real world. Typically, with automotive interior parts, you're looking at around 48 hours. However, for exterior applications in service condition, it can be up to a thousand hours. There is also something called copper-accelerated acetic acid salt spray (CASS), which simulates a lifetime of use in a short period of time. CASS is different from natural salt spray.</p> <p><b>How much material is removed during the shot blast process?</b></p> <p>During the shot blast process, the surface of a part is peened off, no part material is removed or lost at all. This process is typically used to soften parting lines or eliminate any sharp edges that could impact your line workers in the assembly process. It can also be used to give a uniform finish.</p> <p><b>Is black plating different than chrome plating?&nbsp;</b></p> <p>No. Chemical companies have come up with a variety of ways and chemicals to make what otherwise would be the typical shiny chrome finish into what is called black chrome or black nickel. You can get that black chrome look with chrome plating. You can also get other colors, such as an indigo chrome. However, not every chrome plater offers black or colored chrome, so as a result, it's generally more expensive than bright chrome.</p> <p><b>How does E-coat differ from powder coating?</b></p> <p>E-coating is a dip process; powder coating is a spray process. E-coating is much more fluid and is able to reach all corners and pockets of a part, whereas powder coating can sometimes lack in this regard. E-coating and powder coating are both rack processes. With e-coating, the entire rack is dipped, whereas a rack design and placement is more important on a powder coat to ensure equal coverage on all sides of a part. Oftentimes, especially if it is an exterior application, a part will be e-coated then followed by a powder coat</p> <p><b><i>Do you have any questions about the surface coatings we’ve reviewed? Are there additional surface coatings that you’d like to see? If so,&nbsp;</i></b><a href="/discover-dynacast/contact"><b><i>please reach out to our engineering team.</i></b></a><b><i>&nbsp;We would be happy to answer any additional questions you have or provide assistance for your project.&nbsp;</i></b></p> Friday, 30 August 2019 12:00:00 Zero Draft Angle in Die Casting /en/knowledge-center/blog/zero-draft-angle-in-die-casting {C4CBA5E1-DC7D-43E3-B3E0-77C8668964F2} <p>Recently, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the feasibility and functionality of zero draft angles in die casting, or casting a metal component without conceding draft on faces that traditionally ensure easier ejection from the mold. This practice presumably allows for incredibly tight tolerances, which are critical for parts that need to be fitted and assembled in precise alignment with other features of the finished product.</p> <p>With our proprietary multi-slide die casting capabilities,&nbsp;<b>casting with</b>&nbsp;<b>zero draft angle is achievable</b>. The question, then, is whether casting with zero draft angle is&nbsp;<i>necessary</i>&nbsp;to achieve the requisite tolerance for the part to be able to perform.</p> <p><b>Functionality of draft angles</b></p> <p>Unlike 3-D printed parts or machined parts, die cast engineers must consider how the part will be ejected from the die so as not to damage the part or the tool.&nbsp;<a href="/knowledge-center/multiple-design-solutions/die-cast-design/die-casting-manufacturability/draft-requirements">Draft angles</a>&nbsp;are the degree of taper that is incorporated into the side wall and cores of the die cast tool to aid in the removal of a part. Primarily, they function to reduce the friction between the part and the tool as it is ejected. Without draft angles, parts can be stripped, dented, or get stuck in the tool.</p> <p>In some instances, the net-shape part lends itself to ejection from the tool without additional tapering. Take a Coca Cola can, for example. If one were to cast a Coca Cola can using conventional methods, the two cavities would join at the midpoint (and widest part) of a net-shape, upright can. Since the can is cylindrical and the widest part of the crescent of each cavity is where the die separates, when the die opens, the can is easily ejected.</p> <p><img border="0" src="-/media/E575808D4B6644FE827FEB171557539A.ashx" width="1200" height="628" /></p> <p>Most parts, however, are far more complex and intricate than a soda can. In these cases, draft angles are often incorporated into the design so that the part is not damaged during ejection.</p> <p><b>So why zero draft angles?</b></p> <p>Theoretically, zero draft angles allow for tighter tolerances. Since incorporating draft angle into the design of the part can change the shape of the component, it can affect the end assembly of the component. If you don’t incorporate a draft angle into the die, you arguably have more control over the precision of the part as it relates to other features in the component.</p> <p><b>Achieving zero draft angles in die casting</b></p> <p>With Dynacast multi-slide die casting, zero draft angles are achievable under certain conditions. The part must be cast using zinc, both for its shrinkage characteristics and physical properties.&nbsp;<a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/zinc-casting-metals">Zinc</a>&nbsp;has a predictable 0.7% shrinkage rate, which is easily compensated for in the tool design. And unlike&nbsp;<a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/aluminum-die-casting-metals">aluminum</a>, zinc is relatively smooth. For standard aluminum castings, engineers will incorporate ± 1-2° of draft angle to accommodate for the abrasive nature of the metal. For zinc castings, the standard for draft angles is 0.5°. Because of the more fluid nature of zinc, it is more easily ejected from the tool and, therefore, a better material when aiming to cast with zero draft angle.</p> <p>When casting without draft angle, using a multi-slide process is essential. Multi-slide die casting is less volatile than conventional casting, partially because the multi-slide die casting machine’s pneumatic slide actuation system allows for a cycle time up to four times as fast conventional die casting. The less time the part spends in the tool, the better. Additionally, multi-slide die casting gates and runners are smaller than other processes, enabling lower shot weights, and therefore a less violent process.</p> <p><b></b><b>Achieving tighter tolerances with Dynacast</b></p> <p><b></b><b>While casting with zero draft angle is certainly possible, it is almost always unnecessary with Dynacast</b>. With zinc multi-slide die casting and an incorporated draft angle, we can achieve the tolerances of just ±0.02mm. This means that you can achieve consistent, uniform results with multi-slide die casting, with or without zero draft angle.</p> <p>We look at tolerances differently. Our level of quality both meets and exceeds industry standards and is used as a guideline for designers worldwide. When casting for tight tolerances, we assess the form of the part, the proximity of the feature within the tool, and its relation to other features on the part. More often than not, it is not necessary to cast with zero draft angle to achieve functional, tight tolerances.</p> <p>For more guidance on designing for die casting, schedule an&nbsp;<a href="/request-a-seminar">on-site seminar</a>&nbsp;or&nbsp;<a href="/ask-an-engineer">speak to one of our engineers</a>&nbsp;directly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Friday, 16 August 2019 00:00:00 Die Casting Design FAQ /en/knowledge-center/blog/die-casting-design-faq {DE436407-F108-4EA5-9F95-5B1EC3BF6239} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6931"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-6931"></a> <p>High pressure die casting is a fast, repeatable process that delivers quality metal components, every time—but only if your component is designed properly. There are many factors that go into a successful design for high-volume manufacturing and our team of engineers helps thousands of customers each year successfully launch new projects.</p> <p><b>Keep reading to learn the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about die cast design.</b></p> <p>When designing a part for die casting, many of our customers are looking to reduce not only the cost of their component but overall weight as well. To do this, our team looks at the component as a whole and utilizes our DFM (design for manufacturing) methods to design out inefficiencies. What does this mean for you? Your final part will be designed not only to your specific requirements but it will be a high-quality component that won’t fail you down the road.</p></div> </div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6933"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-6933"></a> <h2>Die Casting Design Related Questions</h2> <p>At the end of each of our MetalSolutions’ webinars, we leave time for attendees to ask questions to our presenter. Here are just a few of the questions that were asked during the design webinar that we feel would be helpful to others.</p> <h3 class="blue">What is the ideal wall thickness for die castings?</h3> <p>Wall thickness, typically is 2mm for aluminum die casting. Customers are looking for lighter weight castings and a lot of times it depends on the thickness to length ratio. If you have a very long part, it is more difficult to have a very thin wall.</p></div> </div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6935"><div class="inner imageblock"> <a name="block-6935"></a> <iframe width="722" height="406" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/O1lZN-UUkS8?rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;wmode=transparent" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> </div></div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6936"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-6936"></a> <div class="WordSection1"> <h3 class="blue">Should parting line flats have draft?</h3> <p>They can, but they can also be straight. With smaller die castings, we can use vibratory tumbling. With a larger part, we typically design it to be to be trimmed via a trim die and then it is ideal to draft the gate or overflow edge. The draft minimizes the potential for the trim die blade to skive the side of the part.</p> <h3 class="blue">Is a venting required in die casting?</h3> <p>Venting is always required in die castings. Dynacast uses mold flow analysis to determine the best areas for overflows and vents to create better quality parts.</p> <h3 class="blue">Beyond looking at wall thickness, what can be done to mitigate or eliminate porosity?</h3> <p>There are two forms of porosity; gas and shrink porosity. Gas porosity is due to air entrapment within the casting. With mold flow, our designers can see where the air is likely to be trapped and can design the tool with strategically placed vents that can eliminate much of the air. Also during design, slight modifications to the part may allow the material to flow in an optimal flow pattern avoiding pockets and features that can cause turbulence entrapping air.</p> <p>With shrink porosity, again using our mold flow software we can run a thermal analysis to isolate hot spots within a part during solidification. These hot spots can then be addressed with cooling channels in the die to help extract heat. Also, uniform wall thickness is always preferred. Having thin and thick cross-sections adds to longer solidification times that can create shrink porosity.</p> <p><strong><a href="/knowledge-center/multiple-design-solutions/die-cast-design/part-improvement/porosity">Read more on porosity here.</a></strong></p> <h3 class="blue">How do surface finishes such as knurling and embossed letters impact tool life?</h3> <p>The features don’t really impact the life of the tool. With zinc die castings you can get a million plus shots off the die blocks. A lot of times it’s the core pins that may wear, but Dynacast designs interchangeable inserts for features that wear faster than the tool.</p> <p>Aluminum die castings can produce 150,000 shots depending on the requirements, but adding certain features won’t have a major impact.</p> <p>Relative to plastic parts, are castings more tolerant of irregular wall thickness? <br /> Yes, to the point that you will not see the sink marks. In plastic parts you are more likely to see a sink mark in cross-sectional areas. Metal alloys have surface tension that hold the integrity. Our engineers strive to always achieve uniform wall thickness, but in comparison to plastic, yes die castings are more tolerant of irregularities.</p> <h2>Die Cast Design Expertise</h2> <p>During our Die Cast Design webinar, we cover a variety of design techniques including:</p> </div> <div style="float: left; width: 50%;"> <ul> <li>Parting lines 1</li> <li>Core pins 2</li> <li>Section lines 3</li> <li>Flats</li> <li>Parting lines on threads</li> <li>Gating</li> <li>Assist flow</li> </ul> </div> <div style="float: right; width: 50%;"> <ul> <li>Ribs</li> <li>Wall thickness 2</li> <li>Fillets and radii</li> <li>Draft</li> <li>Holes and slots</li> <li>Knurling, lettering, and logos</li> <li>And more!</li> </ul> </div> <p /> <p>If you’re interested in learning more about designing a component for the die casting process, we invite you to download our design webinar and if you have any questions at all or would like to speak with a member of our team, we’d be happy to assist you.</p></div> </div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="7144"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-7144"></a> <p><strong>Fill out the form below to view our on-demand webinar. Discover our top design tips for improving product efficiency, extended tool life, and lowering part cost.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><br /> <iframe width="100%" height="500" style="border: 0;" type="text/html" src="https://go.formtechnologies.com/l/682843/2019-07-23/35mwd" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe></p></div> </div></div> Wednesday, 03 October 2018 12:00:00 Finding The Balance Between Lightweighting and Part Performance /en/knowledge-center/blog/finding-the-balance-between-lightweighting-and-part-performance {5B39BAAC-B443-408D-9D05-086EE036CF4C} <p>The rapid growth of a new generation of automobiles is driving new engineering innovations and advancements in technology but it is also creating challenges for automotive designers, engineers, and their suppliers. Strategy no longer comes from just removing and replacing a few steel side panels with aluminum, lightweighting is now a whole-vehicle concept to improve not only fuel economy and emissions but performance and handling. At Dynacast, we understand that finding the balance between design, cost and part performance can be very challenging and we’re here to offer design solutions to fit your needs.</p> <h2>Sensitivity to Weight Through Design</h2> <p>Our <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/cast-aluminum-with-thin-walls">thin-wall aluminum casting capabilities</a> are often the solution to many design engineer’s challenges. We can cast aluminum parts that are almost as lightweight as their magnesium counterparts but offer better physical properties like higher tensile strength and additional finishing options. We find the perfect balance between proper overflow placement and runner system and gate design to offer our customers aluminum castings with walls as thin as 0.5mm.</p> <p>Additionally, our engineers offer precise design for manufacturing techniques such as removing the core of a component to make the part lighter. With their die casting expertise, they can predict exactly where to remove unnecessary material without compromising the strength of the component. This technique is used time and time again with any of our die casting alloys.</p> <h2>Alloy Dependent</h2> <p>While we may excel at thin-wall aluminum, it is not the alloy for every project. Fortunately, we offer a variety of alloys that can best suit your project, rather than having your project meet the restrictions of the alloy—or the die casting manufacturer that offers it. If you’re looking for something that has excellent strength-to-weight ratios with outstanding EMI and RFI shielding, consider <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/magnesium-casting-metals">casting with magnesium</a>. Perfect for electrical housings and connectors, magnesium has been a choice alloy for automotive designers looking to really cut down on weight. Additionally, the accuracy we can obtain <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/zinc-casting-metals">casting zinc</a> makes it a great option for wear resistance. Its structural integrity makes it a perfect fit for automotive safety and electrical components.&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Did you know that many of today’s automotive design engineers are turning to aluminum when thermal management is required</b>?</p> <h2>Engineering Horsepower</h2> <p>Our best-in-class engineering team not only offers expertise in die casting but has decades of experience designing for the automotive industry and we continue to help our customers realize their design potential through rigorous design for manufacturing strategies. Whether it’s our top of the line software to ensure accuracy for your component’s design, tool, and manufacture, or our predictive engineering methodology to identify possible manufacturing problems, by the time your part goes to full production you can rest assured it is fully optimized for the die casting manufacturing process.</p> <p><b>To learn more from our engineering team, </b><a href="/request-a-seminar"><b>request an on-site design seminar</b></a><b>!</b></p> <h2>Stability in a Global Footprint</h2> <p>No project is too large or too geographically dispersed for Dynacast. With 23 plants across 16 countries, our global footprint matches yours. So, while many automotive manufacturers are often plagued with shops that close, our customers can rest easy knowing our process stability goes far beyond our casting accuracy. Our 80-years of manufacturing experience is backed by the customer-focused local service you receive in each region. We understand that trust and relationships are very important in terms of support, delivery, and reliability and we believe that we can deliver on that—our top automotive customers have been with us for over 25 years! &nbsp;With Dynacast, you can seamlessly launch programs anywhere in the world with minimal risk and lower total costs.</p> <p><b>If dealing with distant suppliers is causing your business to have longer delivery times and extra freight costs, contact Dynacast today</b><b>. </b><b></b></p> <h2>Your Automotive Die Cast Manufacturer</h2> <p>Through years of building relationships with our automotive customers, we've found that by working together on designs from the very beginning we are able to not only offer the best solutions to new-age challenges but also price more effectively. By recommending the best casting solutions up-front with a variety of alloy options and design techniques, we are able to create a better performing part that will be lighter and more reliable. <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">Contact our team today</a> to get your business moving forward.</p> Friday, 10 August 2018 12:00:00 Facility Spotlight: Dynacast Elgin /en/knowledge-center/blog/facility-spotlight--dynacast-elgin {C94AC1A2-3E37-4BA8-A14A-2B52DE41EE04} <section class="intro">Multi-Award Winning Die Casting Facility</section> <p /> <p>Dynacast Elgin creates over a million precision zinc and aluminum <a href="/specialty-die-casting">die cast components </a>each day from their <a href="/discover-dynacast/locations/dynacast-elgin">112,000 square foot facility</a>. While that number alone is impressive, the real story lies in the people who and the number of award-winning components this facility has produced. We believe that the foundation of any successful project lies within the component design. For Dynacast Elgin that starts with their engineering team, winners of two International Die Casting Design Awards this past year.</p> <p>While the award-winning components were created for automotive applications, each had very different functions and both were previously produced using a different manufacturing process. The over 6oz category winner was previously a machined aluminum extrusion assembly. The engineering team designed the part into a single component, utilizing Zamak 3 that incorporated necessary mounting features. The under 6oz category winner was previously a stamped component. Utilizing the facilities’ state-of-the-art software, the Elgin engineering team modified this part and designed it for the die casting process resulting in a higher strength component than the previously stamped version. Both redesigns reduced the overall part cost for the customer.</p> <p>The team takes pride in helping customers determine the best materials and processes to deliver the best results for their business. They are driven to produce any component that customers bring to the table. With over 12 NADCA die casting awards, the Elgin engineering team has proven successfully their design for manufacturability techniques can create components other die casters simply cannot.</p> <p><b><i>Read more about </i></b><a href="/discover-dynacast/news/dynacast-elgin-wins-two-nadca-awards"><b><i>Elgin's 2017 International Die Casting Awards</i></b></a><b><i></i></b></p> <h2>In-House Capabilities</h2> <p>Utilizing design, prototyping and modeling services, Dynacast Elgin provides manufacturing solutions to customers all over North America. Not only does Elgin build their tools in-house, they also run 9 aluminum die casting machines and 76 multi-slide zinc die casting machines—ranging from 4-600 ton locking force and part size varying from 1g to 7lbs. In addition to the wide array of die casting machines, Elgin has over 25 CNC machines—plus dedicated tapping, reaming, and drilling machines—far exceeding the capabilities of other die casters.</p> <p>Additionally, Elgin’s specialty secondary manufacturing department and their robust network of certified suppliers supports many best-in-class manufacturers from a variety of industries including medical equipment &amp; devices, telecommunications, consumer electronics, and automotive—both electronics and safety-critical components.</p> <h2>Outstanding People</h2> <p>While the production facility alone is impressive, Dynacast Elgin’s capabilities truly lie in the people that work there—from the 300+ hard working and dedicated people that run the machines to the management team that has over 130 years of combined die casting experience. The facility is driven by knowledgeable people with a customer-first mindset. The in-house tool room is driven highly-experienced toolmakers—each having decades of experience—as well as tooling apprentices learning from the best in the industry. Apprenticeship and education don’t stop in the tool room; they also host an in-house graduate program dedicated to students passionate about the industry. Dynacast Elgin realizes the importance of instilling their current knowledge base into the future leaders of the industry.</p> <h2>Operational Excellence</h2> <p class="Answer">Elgin was one of the first Dynacast facilities to implement FOS (Form Technologies Operating System.) The FOS platform incorporates a coordinated set of procedures for identifying problems, implementing changes, and developing easily repeatable systems that can be adopted into everyday practices. By utilizing 5S and other lean manufacturing techniques, Elgin has drastically improved the overall performance of the plant resulting in a positive impact on their customers. This new philosophy is not just a strategy implemented by management but a culture that has improved their way of thinking allowing them to maximize productivity and reduce waste.</p> <blockquote class="Answer"><b><i>Dynacast Elgin is the recipient of the NADCA safety award for achieving an outstanding record that exceeds national manufacturing averages.&nbsp;</i></b></blockquote> <h2>Midwest NAFTA Die Casting Company</h2> <p>Dynacast Elgin is a NAFTA certified die caster that works with organizations all over the world, helping bring their ideas to life with the highest quality die cast components around the globe. Utilizing only certified alloys, Elgin delivers the results their customers need with the cost-effectiveness their business demands. Learn how to simplify your die casting process and reduce costs, <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact Dynacast Elgin</a> today to speak with someone from their local team or request a plant tour.</p> Wednesday, 20 June 2018 12:00:00 All About Surface Finishes /en/knowledge-center/blog/all-about-surface-finishes {44301EF1-DAEA-4C98-A33E-907241A02B55} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="50"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-25 block-float-left" rel-id="7147"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-7147"></a> <img src="-/media/D4943F1967424CB1B62644FF70504D62.ashx " class="image-block" alt="" /></div></div><div class="content-block block-100 block-wrap-right" rel-id="7148"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-7148"></a> <h2 class="blue"><i>When it comes to die casting, most parts utilize some sort of finish</i></h2></div> </div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="7149"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-7149"></a> <p>Now that you have your casting design, you’re starting to think about surface finishes options. If you don’t know what questions to ask, choosing a surface finish or plating could get tricky. We have compiled a run-through of factors to take into consideration when selecting a surface finish as well as different surface finish characteristics.</p> <h2>Do I need a surface finish?</h2> <p>While most castings do require a surface finish, it is not always necessary.</p> <p>There have been advancements in alloys that have allowed us to provide raw castings where a finish would normally have been required. For instance, when casting an aluminum 380 alloy, traditionally you would normally have wanted a chem film or anodizing for corrosion resistance. With the advent of K-Alloy, we’ve been able to provide parts without an additional finish that meet or exceed the requirements of the customer’s original intent, therefore saving them a lot of money. There have been advancements in zinc alloys as well.</p> <p>While these advancements have greatly improved our casting processes, they’re &nbsp;not necessarily applicable to each particular application. We suggest talking with your die cast manufacturer or <a href="/ask-an-engineer">asking an engineer</a> for more information on raw castings.</p> <h2>Discovery phase</h2> <p>After you have decided that your part does need a surface finish, it is important to walk through what we call the “discovery phase.” Here we highlight important aspects that you need to consider in terms of your part design, the functionality of the part, and some price considerations. These are some useful questions to ask yourself when narrowing down your finish options:</p> <ul> <li>Do I need a decorative finish?</li> <li>Do I need enhanced corrosion protection?</li> <li>Do I need enhanced wear properties on the substrate?</li> <li>Do I need a 100% leak-proof casting?</li> </ul> <h2>Die casting process control</h2> <p>After you’ve spoken with your design and engineering team to determine what surface finish is best for your project, your next consideration is process control. In many cases, the performance of your chosen finish is dependent on the quality of the substrate or the casting. Over the years, we have found that there are key process parameters that need to be monitored during the die cast process. When choosing a die casting company, you need to have a conversation about how they plan on monitoring process parameters. If you have control of your process and you’re monitoring it appropriately, you’re manufacturing quality into the component.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> It is important to note that the process is more than just die casting. The process begins with a tool design based on the part manufacturability and tool construction. Because of this, you want to get your die caster involved as early as possible so that the part is designed with things like mold flow analysis and construction in mind.</p> <p><b>For more details on surface finish prep, including surface cleanliness, deburring, vibratory shot blasting, download our full on-demand seminar.</b></p> <h2>Popular die casting surface finishes</h2> <p>While there are&nbsp;<i>many&nbsp;</i>different surface finishes available and more that are invented daily, we cover the most popular surface finishes and some notable takeaways below:</p> <p><b>Anodizing</b>: Non-conductive protective coating that seals the part. Comes in a variety of colors including red, blue and black. This is a very affordable option to create durability and corrosion resistance.</p> <p><b>Chromate:</b>&nbsp;Cost-effective bulk process conversion coasting. Typical salt spray hours are 150 hours per trivalent chrome but you can increase that considerably with sealers. This coating also comes in a variety of different colors.</p> <p><b>E-Coat:</b>&nbsp;Racked process, adding more cost in the racking and un-racking process. You get really great coverage with e-coat. It is often used on its own but can also be used as an undercoat for subsequent coatings like a powder coat. Traditionally more functional than decorative, though Dynacast has been successful in providing decorative components using e-coat.</p> <p><b>Black Oxide:&nbsp;</b>Primarily used on ferrous metals—also copper. You see this a lot on firearms because of its uniform black finish. There is no dimensional change with this coating and it is resistant to peeling and chipping. It provides some corrosion resistance and acts as an excellent vehicle to absorb oils and waxes.</p> <p><b>Powder Coat:&nbsp;</b>One of the most popular finishes. It’s cured at higher temperatures so it is a tougher finish. Generally, scratch and ding resistant. Available in different colors, gloss levels, and textures. Given that is it cured at higher temperatures, it is important to have a very controlled die casting process.</p> <p><b>Chrome Plated:&nbsp;</b>One of the more expensive finishes due to the amount of labor involved in chrome plating. Provides a mirror-like finish. There is bright chrome that is used quite a bit in the automotive industry. As well as satin chrome that creates a pearlescent look. 1,000+ salt spray hours so it is great for exterior parts.</p> <p><b>Bright Nickel:</b>&nbsp;Applied over copper and under chrome for a decorative finish. It is a fairly brittle plating so if you have a part that may be bent or crimped after plating this would not be something you’d want to consider.</p> <p><b>Chem Film:</b>&nbsp;Used on aluminum die castings. It differs from anodizing in that is electrically conducted. It is a conversion finish, so there’s really no plating buildup. You can apply it either by a dipped process, spray, or even brush—dip being the most common.</p> <p><b>Copper-nickel-tin:</b>&nbsp;Utilized to provide solderability to the base metal substrate. There is a matte tin that generally has better solderability, but bright tin is specified more because of its appearance.</p> <p><b>Cobalt tin:</b>&nbsp;Not quite as expensive as chrome finishes, but it is a racked process. Instead of getting the copper-nickel-chrome, it is a bright nickel with a flash of cobalt-tin. It actually looks similar to bright chrome, but it’s less expensive and it has very good corrosion resistance and wear properties.</p> <p><b>Electroless nickel:</b>&nbsp;Unique in that the nickel is not applied via electrolysis, it’s submerged in a bath. Provides very uniform plating thickness. There’s low-phos, mid-phos, high-phos. Phos pertaining to the amount of phosphorus content in the bath. So the lower phosphate content leads to higher density nickel. The low-phos, you’re going to have excellent wear properties, but the finish is going to be brittle. Then high-phos is going to be more ductile.</p> <p><b>Gold plating</b>: Doesn’t oxidize and it retains its connectivity and solderability at normal temperatures. Used primarily in the electronics industry for connectors, printed circuits, transistors, and integrated circuits—anywhere where contact resistance, solderability, or wire bonding is crucial. The excellent physical and chemical properties of it can offset the whole price of the gold. More expensive, but depending on the application it’s money well spent.</p> <p><b>Silver:</b>&nbsp;Low cost but it’s susceptible to tarnish when exposed to the atmosphere. It is somewhat of a decorative finish but it has the highest electrical and thermal connectivity of any metal, so it’s highly ductile, malleable, and solderable.</p> <p><b>Nickel-Free Coating:&nbsp;</b>Hypoallergenic finish. Great for consumer electronics and wearables. We have a whole&nbsp;<a href="/blog-nickel-free-coasting-for-die-castings">blog post on nickel-free coatings</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><b></b><b>Polyurethane paint:&nbsp;</b>Long lasting and intended for exterior use. It is a little thicker so you’ll want to keep in mind what it mates to. Wet process and water-borne paints, in general, are very durable once they’ve cured.</p> <p><b>Impregnation:&nbsp;</b>Seals porosity, creating watertight components. Very viable option to improve your yields and reduce your scrap. Also, a great option to use after machining when you remove the “skin” of the casting to create a leak-free component.</p> <p><b>Teflon:&nbsp;</b>Thermally cured solid film lubricant. Excellent corrosion resistance. Utilizes a rack process.<b> </b></p></div> </div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="7150"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-7150"></a> <img src="-/media/F743815DE73E4EEE9A65FE6D1578E4AC.ashx " class="image-block" alt="" /><div class="caption"><p><b>If you’d like a more in-depth overview of our surface finishes, visit our full library of surface finish and plating options—filter by benefit to see what options are available for your project needs.</b></p> <p><b>Register below for access to the full on-demand webinar, Surface Finish 101.</b></p> <p><br /> <iframe width="100%" height="500" style="border: 0;" type="text/html" src="https://go.formtechnologies.com/l/682843/2019-07-23/35mhz" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe></p></div></div></div></div> Friday, 15 June 2018 00:00:00 Nickel-Free Coating for Die Castings /en/knowledge-center/blog/nickel-free-coating-for-die-castings {F5EF9627-EF94-4F68-BF72-EF45718317A9} <p style="text-align: left;">Nearly every die cast material needs a coating for corrosion purposes. Typically for components that have cosmetic finishes, the best under layer for finishing is nickel. It has great adhesion properties and acts a barrier for the skin. To give you an idea, we would cast the component and then put a layer of nickel plating on the part to create a foundation for the cosmetic coating whatever that may be, satin chrome, PVD, etc. <a href="/specialty-die-casting/surface-finishes-plating"><em>See more surface finishes, here!</em></a></p> <p>With the continued rise of wearables and fitness trackers, the concern is when the coating would scratch off leaving a nickel to skin contact that creates challenges for die casters and suppliers in the consumer electronics industry. Buyers with sensitive skin can develop a rash from metal wearables containing nickel. Resulting in bad press for your business. With a 15% of Dynacast’s customers coming from consumer electronics, our Dynacast Singapore facility set out to find a solution.</p> <h2>Highly-Cosmetic Nickel-Free Plating Options</h2> <p>For years, to combat the allergic reaction caused by the nickel to skin contact, companies would make the components using MIM with stainless steel or machine it from aluminum or steel billet. Depending on the complexity of the component, die casting could be the more economical choice over MIM and it is almost always more cost-effective than machining from billet. We are talking about saving several dollars on part cost, which adds up very quickly with high volume runs. But businesses have to do what is necessary to prevent any sort of legal liability from an unhappy customer.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img border="0" src="-/media/F1703D808C1849FAB369E584E5409661.ashx" width="400" height="439" alt="Nickel-Fre Coating For Die Castings" /></p> <p><b>Enter Dynacast Singapore with a great alternative. </b>Nickel-free plating options for die castings that won’t leave consumers with awful skin rashes. This coating is used as the base layer before the cosmetic finish and it can be used on almost any material—though it works best on aluminum and zinc alloys. This gives design engineers the ability to design more freely.</p> <p>The ability to design and make zinc and aluminum components for wearable market and offer them allergy free products has opened up a plethora of opportunities in the consumer electronics industry. These die casting options are lower in cost than their current components.</p> <p><b>This new coating can be utilized in the virtual reality and medical device market as well. With over 18 different color options the possibilities for this coating are endless. C<a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">ontact our team today</a> to discover more about our nickel-free plating option and how it can better serve your business needs. </b></p> Friday, 27 April 2018 12:00:00 High Quality Die Cast Tooling /en/knowledge-center/blog/high-quality-die-cast-tooling- {EE35B611-26DB-435F-BAD8-C24C5E516204} <p>There are many die casting companies that make tools in order to manufacture a customer’s product. So why are Dynacast’s tools higher quality? As the Operations Manager for Dynacast’s Germantown tooling division, I’ve seen first hand why our tools are preferred over others in the business. Keep reading to learn the three main reasons that our die cast tooling is higher in quality and capable of producing more precise metal components.</p> <h2>Design for Manufacturing&nbsp;</h2> <p>The process for how we make our tools is one of the reasons they are higher quality.&nbsp;<a href="/knowledge-center/multiple-design-solutions" target="_blank">Design for Manufacturing</a>&nbsp;(DFM) is an initial step that we take with our customers to make sure that any potential short falls of the tool are vetted and fixed before the tool is built. This could be as simple as moving a parting line, changing the draft, or modifying other features that not only improve the part for the customer but also increases the quality of the tool. In the design phase we can predict if there will be a place on the tool that will have significant wear. Once this is predicted we can create inserts for the tool that saves time and effort in maintenance.&nbsp; Because of these design modifications we can run our tools with minimal downtime.</p> <p><a href="/knowledge-center/webinars/die-cast-design" target="_blank"><img border="0" src="-/media/B1E7B13EF76F49389A2FA9CF7896D667.ashx" width="730" height="50" alt="download dynacast's free on-demand die cast design webinar" /></a></p> <h2>Die Cast Tool Design&nbsp;</h2> <p>The materials that we use for our tooling is a critical piece of the tooling process. We use a specific steel type with an additional heat treatment that can withstand a high number of shots and maintain the integrity of the component being manufactured. The tool design also depends on the type of machine that is running the component. There are different steel types and hardness depending on the machine used. The cavities that we machine also makes our tools last longer than other manufacturers. Our designs create tools that last longer yet have gone through more shots than conventional tools. Our multi-slide technology typically comes with a lifetime warranty for the tool. This is not commonly done with other manufacturers, especially for conventional tooling applications; normally the customer will pay a small price per part for tooling replacements. We try to keep the replacement price low, if there is any, because the tool lasts longer.</p> <h2>Tool Maker Experience</h2> <p>I feel that the main differentiator between our tools and other manufacturers is our experience. In the tooling division of Dynacast there are about 25 toolmakers and 95% of them have been with the company for over 25 years. Their knowledge and years of experience makes an enormous difference in how long a tool will run. They are able to anticipate issues with the initial tooling design that others simply could not anticipate. Also, they’ve worked with thousands of clients so they have the knowledge of many different parts and design modification solutions for any issues that arise.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h2>Quality NAFTA Die Casting Company</h2> <p>Dynacast works with customers all over the world including the NAFTA region to bring customers ideas to life with the highest quality precision engineered metal components on the planet. If you are looking for a partnership to help you apply new tools and technologies, or help you fully realize your design vision, let us help you move your business forward,&nbsp;<strong><a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact our team today</a>&nbsp;to get the conversation started.</strong></p> Wednesday, 21 March 2018 12:00:00 Automated Cast to Wash Die Casting Cell /en/knowledge-center/blog/automated-cast-to-wash-die-casting-cell {B1724F53-DDA9-438D-8D9A-CB5B87FFE7D7} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6656"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-6656"></a> <p>From casting to packaging Dynacast Lake Forest’s automated conventional aluminum die cast cell offered our customer a 60% cost-savings compared to the traditional cycle time and handling associated with the additional secondary processing. Watch as this cell creates die cast parts and seamlessly runs them through the entire production process, without the touch of a single hand.</p></div> </div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6657"><div class="inner imageblock"> <a name="block-6657"></a> <iframe width="730" height="411" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KbpiIYNsWcQ?rel=0&amp;showinfo=0&amp;wmode=transparent" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen=""></iframe> </div></div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6658"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-6658"></a> <p>The video starts with an overhead shot of the entire automated process. Utilizing the conventional <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-process/cold-chamber-die-casting">cold chamber die casting process</a>, the aluminum is first ladled into the machine.</p> <p>A robot extracts the parts where they are quenched and then transitions them through a dryer to blow off the excess fluid. From there, the parts are moved on to the trim press. Usable materials, such as the biscuit are returned directly back into the furnace and re-melted and cast again. This helps to eliminate scrap and therefore helps to reduce cost The other material is removed and processed externally for recycling.</p> <p><i>Dynacast Lake Forest is committed to <a href="/discover-dynacast/news/dynacast-lake-forest--renewable-energy-initiative">reducing their carbon footprint. </a></i></p> <p>Next, a double-headed robot picks up and in the same motion, places two new parts on the CNC fixture. An automatic clamp secures the part for machining. Once it has machined the one side it automatically flips over and machines the other side. The parts are then placed on a conveyor where they are immediately fed into the tumble wash utilizing ceramic media to break off any burrs.</p> <p>The parts are then dried and packaged.</p> <h2>Continuous Flow Manufacturing</h2> <p>Utilizing this continuous flow manufacturing process, we are able to reduce this customer's overall cost by 60% and significantly reduce cycle time by completely eliminating the need for batching. The entire project is monitored including the robots and the conveyors to minimize any downtime—the cell even measures and keeps track of yield rates. Our operations people can monitor this board electronically from anywhere—even on their phones. This ensures we are continuously tracking the cell to make sure we hit our targets.</p> <p>While the die casting, quench and trim process may look like your typical automated die casting cell, the real value of this operation comes from the machining. In a normal production run, parts would be cast and then sit waiting for someone to take them to the CNC area where parts are put in by hand. Here we eliminate the CNC operator. Additionally, you’re eliminating the person that would then take the parts to the tumble wash and loading them and then someone unloading them. Automating the entire process, you only need one person who takes the parts only after they are put into the box for packaging.</p> <h2><br /> Right Project, Right Volume</h2> <p>This automated cell was created for a specific project so while this is not a typical run for our plant, it is possible. For the right project and the right volume, Dynacast can create automated cells to help customers save money and ensure product flow. &nbsp;Having the capital to fund this investment is an advantage to working with Dynacast—unlike a typical job shop.</p> <p><strong>If you have a high-volume project that requires machining, <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">talk to our team today</a> to learn more about our automated die casting cells.</strong></p></div> </div></div> Friday, 16 March 2018 12:00:00 Superior Quality & Higher Density Metal Components /en/knowledge-center/blog/superior-quality-and-higher-density-metal-components {4769C2A9-3A45-4200-92DD-2FA9F5426399} <p>One of the factors that continues to distinguish Dynacast from other die casting companies is our unique four slide (multi-slide) casting machines. We have many different types of proprietary machines that allow for faster cycle times and tighter tolerances giving our customers a variety of options for their die casting needs.</p> <h2>Higher Quality Demands: A2 Thruster</h2> <p>Created in 2008, our A2 machine can handle <b>components from 3.5 to 35 grams and 75x65 mm</b>. It has four pneumatic movements and four hydraulic thrusters for a locking force of up to six tons. The machine is a low-cost machine that’s used for higher quality demands. Compared to other die casting machines, our A2 is capable of more cavities and a higher shot weight. A2 Thrusters have a flexible crosshead adaptor system and a fast pneumatic injection system. The locking force is independent of the air supply because it uses hydraulic thrusters.</p> <h2>Create Parts with Less Flash: A206 SIS</h2> <p>The A206 SIS machine was first created for Dynacast in 2011. Based on the A2 thruster machine, it is a low cost SIS machine used for higher quality demands. Like the A2 Thruster, the A206 SIS has four pneumatic movements and four hydraulic thrusters for up to six tons of locking force. The machine also takes up minimal floor space.</p> <p>One of the main difference between the A2 and the A206 SIS is that the A206 has a SIS hydraulic injection system. <b>This system is a two-phase injection that avoids heavy flashes and improves the surface and porosity of a part, therefore improving the part quality</b>. There are constant process parameters that equate to high repeatability. A great feature of this machine is the ability to run data comparisons on current runs versus previous runs. This allows us to easily see if the parts are being manufactured the same throughout the entire process.</p> <p><img border="0" align="middle" src="-/media/5BB73DD3E1724146B36E2ECF17A833F8.ashx" width="600" height="464" alt="A2 Multi-Slide SIS Die Casting Machine" style="vertical-align: middle;" /></p> <h2>Flawless Surface Quality &amp; Decreased Porosity: A210 SIS</h2> <p>The A210 SIS machine was created in 2009. This machine is typically positioned between our A2 and A3 machines and has ten tons of locking force. The A210 SIS is usable for all of the A2 die sizes that are available – <b>which means it can create components up to 100 x 100 mm</b>. The shot weight is up to 90 grams and it, like the A206 SIS, contains an SIS injection system. The <b>A210 SIS machine fills parts faster without heavy flash and improves surface quality and decreases the porosity of parts.</b> It has high CPM rates for A3 parts while being able to have more cavities for A2 parts than previous machines. There is also faster set-up time because it has a quick connector system for sliders.</p> <h2>High-Quality Decorative Metal Components</h2> <p>The A2 machines that we have available make it possible for us to produce parts in mass quantities while still ensuring the best quality. Our high-density capabilities with our multi-slide SIS machines make it possible to create metal components without internal voids so that you can create highly decorative components at a higher yield rate.</p> <p>We are constantly upgrading and updating these machines to keep them running smoothly and to make sure they have the most up-to-date technology. If you are looking for a partnership to help you apply new tools and technologies, or help you fully realize your design vision, let us help you move your business forward, <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact our team today</a> to get the conversation started.</p> Thursday, 05 October 2017 12:00:00 Corrosion Resistance: Die Casting Alloys /en/knowledge-center/blog/corrosion-resistance--die-casting-alloys {811C51B2-A18D-4DF5-8053-89BAF82DD84D} <p>Corrosion resistance refers to how well a metal withstands damage caused by oxidization or similar chemical reactions—usually over time. For many of our customers, this translates to how well and how long their metal component can withstand certain environments while still maintaining functional integrity. Whereas some of our customers are more concerned with the aesthetics of a part others rely solely on the functionality of the component for long term wear and tear. The good news is, we have alloy options for whatever your component function.</p> <h2>Aluminum Die Casting &amp; Corrosion Resistance &nbsp;</h2> <p>If you are looking for a corrosion resistant alloy that is capable of withstanding high temperatures (200 degrees Fahrenheit or more) aluminum may be the best fit for your project. While exposing aluminum to extremely harsh conditions has always held an apparent risk of corrosion, aluminum components will typically last longer—compared to other die cast alloys. Aluminum has the ability to “heal” itself over time even after the exterior of the component has corrosion. When functionality is imperative to your component, you can count on aluminum to withstand some of the toughest working environments.</p> <p>Our customers often utilize aluminum to make electronic component housings, lighting fixtures, marine hardware, and antennas—among many other applications. While the raw aluminum material may not be as appealing to the eye, the durability of corrosion protection is top notch and it has several different options when it comes to surface finishes, including:</p> <ul> <li>Anodizing</li> <li>Painting</li> <li>Powder coating</li> <li>Teflon Coating</li> <li>Plating</li> <li>E-Coating</li> </ul> <h2>Zinc Die Casting &amp; Corrosion Resistance</h2> <p>All zinc-based alloys have excellent corrosion resistant properties; they just act a little differently than aluminum based alloys. While aluminum has the ability to “self-heal,” zinc will eventually break down and degrade over time. However, depending on the working environment, zinc has the ability to last just as long as aluminum and it has more options when it comes to surface finishes. If a cosmetic finish is more important than long-term durability, zinc may be the right fit for your project.</p> <p>Our customers often utilize zinc for decorative and functional applications that do not require high temperatures (below 250 degrees Fahrenheit) such as consumer electronics, key fobs, and kitchen appliances—to name a few. Zinc alloys have all of the same surface finishing options as aluminum plus more, including:</p> <ul> <li>Different plating options</li> <li>Electrocoating (e-coat)</li> <li>Chromate</li> </ul> <p><b>At Dynacast, we offer K-alloy, a high corrosion resistant aluminum based alloy with superior properties that eliminate secondary anodizing and coating. </b><a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/aluminum-die-casting-metals/k-alloy"><b>Learn more here!</b></a><b></b></p> <h2>Choosing the Right Alloy</h2> <p>When it comes to choosing the best alloy for your project, it is best to speak with one of our engineers to determine the needs of the particular application. If your part requires more of a cosmetic finish, we will most likely recommend zinc. The most important thing to know is that we will work with you to define the right alloy for the right application. &nbsp;<a href="/discover-dynacast">Dynacast has over 80 years of experience</a>&nbsp;in the die casting industry. <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact"><b>Contact our team today</b></a><b>&nbsp;to learn more about our die casting capabilities and let us help you determine the best corrosion resistant alloy for your next project. &nbsp;</b></p> Monday, 14 August 2017 12:00:00 Reducing Manufacturing Lead Time /en/knowledge-center/blog/reducing-manufacturing-lead-time {16E115BA-CDF5-41D9-9BF9-B79263D49617} <p>We understand that there are many important factors design engineers consider every day as they work on a new project. Two of those factors that are becoming even more critical are quick turn around times and getting to the marketplace before your competition.</p> <p>Involving Dynacast engineers early in the design process is an important step to reduce lead time and give you a competitive advantage. If our engineers are involved before a print has been finalized, they can use their die casting <a href="/knowledge-center/multiple-design-solutions" target="_blank">Design for Manufacturing</a>&nbsp;expertise to suggest modifications that improve the manufacturability of the part, which may significantly reduce lead time and possibly the cost of the component. Although our customers are very knowledgeable at understanding both their component and the assembly, we have the benefit of years of manufacturing experience that directly relates to creating precision components.&nbsp;</p> <p><b><a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">Contact our team today</a> to learn how you can gain a competitive advantage with our design for manufacturing expertise!</b></p> <h2><b>Improve Manufacturability</b></h2> <p>Involving our engineering team early can significantly reduce lead time by allowing us to suggest design changes to improve manufacturability. Take advantage of our manufacturing expertise to ensure the design accounts for high-volume production with design changes such as a simple radius or draft angle modification, which can result in better tool life, higher repeatability, and lower cost.</p> <p>When you work with our team we can suggest an alternative material or process that can increase performance and decrease cost. Because our tool design produces complex net-shape parts, it gives us the ability to streamline processes and eliminate unnecessary steps (such as machining or secondary operations). This can result in a reduction of the total cost of the project.&nbsp;</p> <h2><b>Tool Design</b></h2> <p>Our team of toolmakers will design a tool that accounts for critical features. We can optimize our tooling design to accommodate for features that require tighter tolerances, for example we can avoid placing a post using two die halves near the parting line. When designing for cosmetic surfaces, we are able to optimize tool design and avoid gating in this area of the mold.</p> <h2><b>Approval Process Plans </b></h2> <p>At Dynacast, we use dual track approval process plans including predictive analysis software to analyze mold flow, optimize gating, and more. We utilize prototyping (such as 3D printing) to prepare our process for measurement, ensure repeatability and identify potential issues before the first shot from the tool. &nbsp;With early involvement, we are able to optimize the manufacturing process to ensure the first shot from the tool is nearly perfect, approval is seamless and the shipment meets your deadline.</p> <p><strong>If you are looking for a partnership to help you apply new tools and technologies, or help you fully realize your design vision, let us help you move your business forward,&nbsp;<a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact our team today</a>&nbsp;to get the conversation started.</strong></p> Monday, 01 May 2017 12:00:00 Utilizing Mold Release During the Die Casting Process /en/knowledge-center/blog/utilizing-mold-release-during-the-die-casting-process {BA5A1F32-1E99-44A3-ADE4-67DF12C18E46} <p>When <a href="/specialty-die-casting">die casting precision metal components</a>, it is important to incorporate a release agent to ensure the part ejects from the die effortlessly and free of defects. At Dynacast, there are many steps we take during the design and production of your metal component to ensure a successful project—mold release being one of them.</p> <h2>The Function of Mold Release in Die Casting</h2> <p>Mold release, die spray, die lubricant—however you wish to call it—is a requirement of the die casting process. A precise amount of mold release is sprayed onto the steel mold before each shot. The liquid evaporates when it comes in contact with the hot steel leaving just the right amount of lubricated coating. If there is too much lubricant, it cannot evaporate fast enough when the molten metal is injected causing porosity. This can also happen if the tool cools too quickly and lubricant builds up on the surface. Vice versa, if there is not enough, the component can stick in the die and cause defects in the part. The more design friendly you are with the allowance of draft; the less mold release you have to use and the more freely molten metal will flow into the die.</p> <p><b>To ensure a successful project, include our design engineers early on during the design phase of your component. Our team can help you create a precise component that is successful in mass production. <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">Contact one of our engineers today</a>!</b></p> <h2>Types of Mold Release Lubricants</h2> <p>There are many different types of mold sprays to choose from depending on the type of material used in casting and its application. Most lubricants are geared towards base materials such as zinc, aluminum, and magnesium. Each lubricant is then broken down by overall function and the complexity of the part.</p> <p>Water-based lubricants are the most popular sprays used for standard casting because they provide a release agent and work as a cooling medium. If you are going to paint or plate the component, an oil-based mold spray may be used as an alternative. An oil based lubricant provides a necessary release agent but doesn’t provide the same level of cooling which water based does. This difference allows for an increased die surface temperature, which lends itself to high-quality cosmetic finishes and increased production yields where water based lubricants fail.</p> <h2>Mold Release Concerns</h2> <p>When designing a part for die casting, customers typically have two concerns, “Will mold release cause porosity?” And “Is mold release safe for medical and surgical applications?”</p> <p><a href="/knowledge-center/multiple-design-solutions/die-cast-design/part-improvement/porosity">Porosity is inherent to the die casting process</a>, so no matter what die casting manufacturer you use, you will have porosity, it is just a matter of how much. Dynacast works to minimize porosity on many levels, starting with the component design. Our engineers and tool makers design proper overflows and venting to minimize porosity. Then they will test, sample, and optimize for the best possible production process to ensure porosity is minimized—this includes the type of mold release we use and how much.</p> <p>If your part is used within a bio-compatible application and has to get approved by the FDA, there are several steps to take to ensure complete compatibility. For example, an electroless nickel plating can be used to safeguard your component from mold release leaking. Dynacast works with today’s leading medical device and wearables companies to ensure that our mold release sprays can pass the most stringent tests and requirements. &nbsp;</p> <h2>ISO 13485 Certified Die Casting Manufacturer</h2> <p>While an additional step to the die casting process, mold release is required to ensure parts maintain their shape and complexity when discharged from the die cavity. The amount and type of mold release needed is customer and application driven. Contact our team today and speak with one of our highly-trained and experienced engineers to get the conversation started about your next metal component. Involving our engineers early on during the design phase will ensure your part is designed to succeed in mass production.&nbsp;</p> <p><span>If you are looking for a partnership to help you apply new tools and technologies, or help you fully realize your design vision, let us help you move your business forward,&nbsp;</span><a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact our team today</a><span>&nbsp;to get the conversation started.</span></p> <p class="button-container" style="text-align: center;"><a href="/discover-dynacast/locations/certifications">See all certifications</a></p> Wednesday, 12 April 2017 12:00:00 Die Casting Company Review /en/knowledge-center/blog/die-casting-company-review {D46B4621-EC15-43E6-87E1-51B94CBCC5FE} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6125"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-6125"></a> <h3 class="blue">How does Dynacast compare to other die casting companies?<br /><br /></h3> <p>When searching for the <a href="/">best die casting company</a>, customers aren’t just searching for the lowest costs, they want quality parts, on time and they want to be able to communicate more easily with manufacturers. We spoke with design engineers from a number of industries to find out what they look for when evaluating the best die casters and find out some of the reasons why they chose to partner with Dynacast.</p> <h2>Die Casting Engineering Expertise</h2> <p>Design engineering is changing and it’s changing fast, having knowledgeable and experienced die cast engineers who can design for manufacturing is important for our customers and for a successful project. From <a href="/knowledge-center/dynamic-process-metal-selector">material selection</a> to choosing the optimal process and eliminating secondary operations, Dynacast’s engineers work with each customer during the design process to make sure the part design will succeed in mass production. If you want to get the most of your die cast design, it is best to involve our engineers early on during your design phase.<br /> <b><br /> Download our </b><a href="/knowledge-center/white-papers/engineering-value"><b>Value Engineering white paper</b></a><b> to learn more about design for manufacturing.</b></p> <p><b><img border="0" src="-/media/2C9FA84259E043BCB6D74415D958A73B.ashx" width="700" height="280" alt="Die Casting Engineering Expertise | Design for Manufacturing" /></b></p></div> </div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6128"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-6128"></a> <h2>High-Quality Die Cast Tooling</h2> <p>One of the major differentiators that distinguish Dynacast from other die casting companies is the <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/high-quality-die-cast-tooling-">quality of our tooling</a>. We offer two types of tooling processes, multi-slide and conventional. All of our dies are made using a specific steel type with an additional heat treatment that can withstand a high number of shots and maintain the integrity of the component being manufactured. With little downtime, <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-tooling-production">our tools</a> create consistent, complex parts shot after shot and last longer than most of our competitors. Our multi-slide tools often come with a lifetime warranty.</p> <p>Dynacast has over 110 tool-room craftsmen with in-house toolmakers at every plant—many have been with Dynacast for over 25 years. Our customers appreciate that we are taking the right steps to invest in the future with our <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/dynacast-germany-trains-the-toolmakers-of-the-future">apprenticeship program</a>—we have trained over 41 toolmakers! Every year, three apprentices are accepted into the intensive training program that covers a variety of specialist skills from EDM and CNC milling to full production process workflow. Our tooling expertise is not limited to one industry. Dynacast toolmakers have worked with thousands of customers from nearly every industry and can modify solutions if any issues arise during the production process.</p> <h2>Communication &amp; Time to Market</h2> <p>Our customers need to have the ability to collaborate with other designers, suppliers, and contract manufacturers. With <a href="/discover-dynacast/locations">23 locations across the world</a>, we know the difficulty of communicating with different time zones and different languages. Each of our plants across the globe dedicate themselves to delivering the same uncompromising levels of quality, precision, and performance. So while we are one of the largest die casters in the world, with resources and partnerships to benefit every project, our local presence means we understand your language, your culture, and your business practices.&nbsp;</p> <p><img vspace="5" hspace="5" border="0" align="right" src="-/media/1E31C2590B314489B1676EF8BADD68E6.ashx" width="300" height="200" style="margin: 5px; float: right;" /></p> <p>When you work with Dynacast you will receive a unique one-on-one relationship with one single point of contact that has access to a global network of suppliers to not only manage your program but also launch it anywhere in the world, on time. Our sophisticated production planning and ERP systems in place at each plant help to coordinate each project to make sure it is delivered on time. We have experience with Just-in-Time (JIT) delivery and Vendor Management Inventory Programs (VMI). We are constantly working on production management so that our customers can gain advantages in speed and reliability over their competitors.</p> <p /> <p><b>Have you checked out Dynacast’s <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-process/multi-slide-die-casting">multi-slide die casting technology</a>? Our multi-slide machines are capable of creating up to 45 shots per minute!&nbsp;</b></p> <h2>Stability &amp; Global Reach</h2> <p>It is not uncommon to hear about a die casting company that has gone out of business in the middle of a project leaving customers frantic to find a new supplier. In fact, we have had countless customers that called on Dynacast to take on projects last minute. One company, in particular, transferred their tooling to our Elgin facility; we quickly made improvements to the die to increase productivity!</p> <p>While working with a smaller die casting company has its benefits, if they were to go out of business or take a massive hit from the economy where would you turn to complete your project? Our customers experience our stable management and take advantage of our continued growth.</p> <p>Don’t waste time and money searching for a new die caster every time your product launches in a different location. Hire one company with the ability to manage programs in other regions of the world. All of our plants have standard manufacturing equipment, technology, quality systems, and engineering capabilities. Start one project with us in China and complete another in Mexico. Visit our <a href="/discover-dynacast/locations">locations page</a> to learn more about our different locations.</p> <p><img border="0" src="-/media/109BCFB2E85542E7B77B4F5B3DD3B67B.ashx" width="700" height="281" /></p></div> </div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6130"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-6130"></a> <h2>NAFTA Die Casting Company</h2> <p>Dynacast works with customers all over the world including the NAFTA region to bring customers ideas to life with the highest quality precision engineered metal components on the planet. If you are looking for a partnership to help you apply new tools and technologies, or help you fully realize your design vision, let us help you move your business forward, <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact our team today</a> to get the conversation started.</p></div> </div></div> Thursday, 12 January 2017 12:00:00 What Is the Difference Between Die Casting and Investment Casting? /en/knowledge-center/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-die-casting-and-investment-casting {51D058E6-9F4D-4A2D-B80B-6C8FA12817BC} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"> <div class="handle">&nbsp;</div> <div class="row-delete">&nbsp;</div> <div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6112"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-6112"></a> <h3 class="blue">What to consider when choosing the right casting process.</h3> <p>Casting is one of the oldest manufacturing techniques dating back to 1838. While the basic casting process hasn&rsquo;t changed much, today&rsquo;s machines are more advanced and with improvements in technology, there are a several different ways to reach your end product&mdash;or part so to speak. Two common and very similar processes are die casting and investment casting. Keep reading and we&rsquo;ll discuss the difference between each process and help you to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each so that you can choose the right process for your next project.</p> <h3><strong><span style="font-size: 1.5em;">The Die Casting Process</span></strong></h3> <p>Simply put, when die casting a part, molten metal is injected into a hardened steel die cavity. When the metal solidifies it is ejected from the tool and the process is repeated. The process varies slightly depending on the material you choose&mdash;see <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-process">hot chamber and cold chamber die casting</a>. The hardened steel mold is capable of creating anywhere from 150,000 shots to over a million shots before it would need to be repaired or replaced.</p> <h2>The Investment Casting Process</h2> <p>Creating a part using the <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.signicast.com/en/about-investment-casting/investment-casting-process" target="_blank">investment casting or &ldquo;lost wax&rdquo; process </a>is typically a more time-consuming process&nbsp;where a wax prototype of your part is made and then repeatedly dipped into liquid ceramic. The ceramic hardens and then the wax is melted out leaving you with a ceramic mold. Molten metal is then poured into the ceramic cavity where the wax once was. Once the metal solidifies, the ceramic mold is broken and removed leaving the metal casting. The mold used to create the wax pattern can be used many times however the ceramic mold is broken and discarded with each part. However, Signicast has automated every aspect of the investment casting process making <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.signicast.com/en/knowledge-center/signicast-blog/top-5-things-to-consider-when-choosing-an-investment-casting-company" target="_blank">one week lead times</a> possible where the industry average is 8-16 weeks.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Which Process Is Right for My Project?</h2> <p>No two casting projects are the same and with different projects, there are different solutions. Here are a few things to consider before you start your next project to help you choose which process is right for your component.</p> <h2>Material Selection</h2> <p>Most die cast parts are made from non-ferrous metals like zinc, aluminum, and magnesium. Investment casting is capable of casting cast those metals along with ferrous metals, including stainless steel. If you are looking to use a non-ferrous material, both processes offer comparable features. However, if you are looking to use stainless steels or copper alloys, investment casting is the better option.</p> <h3>Annual Volume</h3> <p>When deciding which casting process to use, decide what your desired payback period is for the tool cost. How many parts created versus the cost of the tooling to &ldquo;break even.&rdquo; While investment casting tooling may be cheaper and suitable for lower volume projects, die casting is ideal for larger production runs and high-volume projects.</p> <h3>Tolerance</h3> <p>With any casting process, tolerance capabilities are largely influenced by the shape of the part and the type of material used. The table below compares general linear tolerances for conventional die casting and investment casting. The multi-slide die casting process is capable of holding even tighter tolerances.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"> <div class="handle">&nbsp;</div> <div class="row-delete">&nbsp;</div> <div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6113"> <div class="inner table-block" style="overflow:hidden;max-width:100%;"> <a name="block-6113"></a> <div class="table-wrapper"> <table class="data-table"> <thead> <tr> <th>Dimensional Tolerance Comparison</th> <th></th> <th></th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> </td> <td> Die Casting </td> <td> Investment Casting </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Up to 25mm </td> <td> +/- 0.050mm </td> <td> +/- 0.250mm </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Up to 50mm </td> <td> +/- 0.075mm </td> <td> +/- 0.350mm </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Up to 75mm </td> <td> +/- .0.100mm </td> <td> +/- 0.400mm </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Up to 100mm </td> <td> +/- 0.125mm </td> <td> +/- 0.500mm </td> </tr> <tr> <td> **Please allow up to 0.025mm for each additional 25mm </td> <td> </td> <td> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"> <div class="handle">&nbsp;</div> <div class="row-delete">&nbsp;</div> <div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="6114"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-6114"></a> <h3>Cycle Time</h3> <p>While investment casting and die casting both produce complex parts, the cycle times differ greatly. Traditional investment casting is a timely process that requires quite a bit of labor and hours of work, while die casting can produce 3-4 shots per minute for conventional die casting and upwards of 45 shots per minute with multi-slide die casting. A die cast part can often times be created without the touch of a human hand&mdash;complete automation!&nbsp;</p> <h3>Cost</h3> <p>Cycle time determines up to 60% of your final part cost so it is no surprise here, that per part, investment casting generally costs more than die casting. Its highly manual processes yield parts very similar to that of a die casting, but the cycle time is much longer.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>When casting in high volume, die casting is more cost effective than investment casting. If you are casting only a few parts or require larger size or stainless steel, investment casting may be the lower cost option.</strong></p> <p>While both investment casting and die casting create parts with comparable features, when extremely high-volume manufacturing is desired, the associated costs and longer cycle times can make investment casting a less-suitable option depending on your needs and deadlines. It is best to speak with an experienced casting engineer to determine which casting process is best suited for your next project&mdash;<a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact our team today</a>!</p> </div> </div> </div> Wednesday, 28 December 2016 12:00:00 Benefits of Zinc Die Casting /en/knowledge-center/blog/benefits-of-zinc-die-casting {1ECBCECA-505E-4973-BA9E-FD7265A0546B} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5980"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5980"></a> <p>When designing components and selecting the right material, most engineers focus heavily on the weight of the material, which is why zinc is often overlooked when it comes to lightweight die casting applications. Many applications require parts to be lighter—especially in automotive and handheld device applications—so engineers choose aluminum or magnesium when really, zinc could be a more economical choice. At a quick glance one would assume that there is no place for zinc in lightweight applications, but if we look at the entire die casting process as a whole, can the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to lightweight zinc components?</p> <h2>Castability</h2> <p>Zinc is the most fluid of all alloys; it is no wonder die cast manufacturers like working with it. What most engineers don’t realize is that because of zinc’s greater fluidity, die castings can be made thinner, more intricate, and more complex, eliminating the need for secondary operations that are almost always necessary for aluminum and magnesium alloys. With less material being used in thin-wall applications, parts automatically become lighter, creating savings in material cost and energy—when melting and recycling.</p> <p><strong><a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-casting-parts-and-product-examples">Click here to check out our part product library</a>!</strong></p> <h2>Extended Die Life</h2> <p>One of the biggest upfront costs in die casting is the investment in quality tooling. The tools used in the die casting process are usually heat-treated steel. The cost of tooling varies depending on the size and complexity of the component as well as the tooling type—conventional or multi-slide. Due to the low melting temperature of zinc die casting alloy, dies for zinc parts can last up to 10 times longer than dies used for aluminum and about five times longer than dies used for magnesium. When designing high-volume, complex components, zinc becomes extremely cost effective when taking into account the tooling investment.</p> <h2>Cycle Time</h2> <p>During the die casting process, molten metal is injected into the die to create the part. When the metal is solidified, the component is then ejected from the tool. Cooling time in the tool varies depending on the alloy and the size of the part and is often dictated by the size of the runner system. Zinc utilizes the hot chamber die casting process, which yields four to five shots per minute. Aluminum is a cold chamber die casting alloy only yielding two to three shots per minute. Since cycle time can determine up to 60 percent of the final part cost, using a zinc die casting alloy could offer added savings.</p> <p><b>Did you know that our proprietary </b><a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-process/multi-slide-die-casting"><b>multi-slide zinc die casting process</b></a><b> can achieve upwards of 45 shots per minute? </b></p> <h2>Mechanical Properties</h2> <p>Standard zinc alloys are stronger than aluminum and magnesium alloys at room temperature. Strength is inherent in the alloy itself and does not require secondary processing like most aluminum alloys—this saves on the overall cost per part.</p> <p>EZAC is an alloy offered by Dynacast that is stronger and harder than any other die casting alloy. It is approximately 2.5 times stronger (yield strength) and 1.5 times harder (Brinell) than the most common aluminum die casting alloy, A380. With its zinc characteristics, <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/die-cast-material-spotlight--ezac">EZAC is a great option</a> for those seeking a high-strength, creep resistant alloy.</p> <p /></div> </div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5986"><div class="inner table-block" style="overflow:hidden;max-width:100%;"> <a name="block-5986"></a> <div class="table-wrapper"> <table class="data-table"> <thead> <tr> <th>Material</th> <th>Alloy</th> <th>Yield Strength (0.2%)</th> <th>Hardness</th> </tr> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td> </td> <td> </td> <td> PSI X 10^3 </td> <td> Brinell (HB) </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Zinc </td> <td> Zamak 3 </td> <td> 32 </td> <td> 82 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Zinc </td> <td> EZAC </td> <td> 57 </td> <td> 120 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Aluminum </td> <td> A380 </td> <td> 23 </td> <td> 80 </td> </tr> <tr> <td> Magnesium </td> <td> AZ91D </td> <td> 23 </td> <td> 63 </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </div> </div> </div></div><div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5982"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5982"></a> <p><b>Try our </b><a href="/knowledge-center/dynamic-process-metal-selector"><b>interactive metal selector tool</b></a><b> to compare physical and mechanical properties of other die cast alloys</b>.</p> <p><a href="/discover-dynacast">Dynacast has over 80 years of experience</a> in the die casting industry. Year after year our team of engineers improve and optimize our zinc die casting machines and our processes to provide the best, quality service to our customers all over the world. <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact"><b>Contact our team today</b></a><b> to learn more about our die casting capabilities and let us help you determine if zinc is the right fit for your next project. &nbsp;</b></p></div> </div></div> Friday, 28 October 2016 12:00:00 Cast Aluminum with Thin Walls /en/knowledge-center/blog/cast-aluminum-with-thin-walls {9B9F3F60-6819-4043-86E5-13C90D9EF148} <p>When you think of <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/aluminum-die-casting-metals">aluminum die casting</a>, do you think of big, bulky components with thick wall sections? Don’t worry, we did too! What if I told you that we can now cast aluminum parts that are almost as lightweight as their <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/magnesium-casting-metals">magnesium</a> counterparts and offer more benefits like higher tensile strength and additional finishing options? In the past, design engineers have shied away from aluminum die casting because of the need for thicker wall sections (typically 1.5mm – 2.0mm) creating heavier parts.</p> <p>You might be asking yourself, “Why is it difficult to cast aluminum with thin walls?” Well, aluminum has a very high melting and freezing point so when molten metal is injected into a die, the aluminum starts cooling quickly and becomes solid. The window between the liquid state to the solid state is very narrow, which means the fill time needs to be less than 30 milliseconds for a thin-wall (0.5mm – 1.0mm) feature to be created. Our engineers do this with extremely precise process control—even small adjustments to more than a dozen variables can be the difference between success and failure. Good tooling design is equally important. Our tooling engineers need to find the perfect balance of the runner system and gating design, proper overflow placement and design, and targeted thermal management.</p> <p><img border="0" src="-/media/7696510EECE24589AE059FDAC77FF45B.ashx" width="300" height="135" alt="Cast Aluminum With Thin Wall Sections | Dynacast | Die Casting Company" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <p><b>Not interested in aluminum? Try our </b><a href="/knowledge-center/dynamic-process-metal-selector"><b>dynamic metal selector tool</b></a><b> to compare mechanical and physical properties of other alloys.</b></p> <h2>Evolution of The Thin-Walled Aluminum Technology</h2> <p>Historically, in order to cast aluminum with thin-wall sections, we would have used custom formulated high-fluidity alloys. However, our engineers recently developed a method to apply this technology to standard alloys. By using improved process control, state-of-the-art tool design, and machine enhancements, we fundamentally changed the die casting industry forever. &nbsp;</p> <h2>Benefits of Thin-Walled Aluminum Die Casting</h2> <p><img border="0" align="right" src="-/media/2D2D9752A0364C5E8B9FFFF02D250C0D.ashx" width="280" height="150" style="float: right;" alt="Cast Aluminum With Thin Wall Sections | Dynacast | Die Casting Company" />One of the most important benefits of thin-walled aluminum die casting is that it creates lighter parts—with more surface finishing options than other die cast alloys. Creating a part with 0.5mm walls instead of 2mm offers a 75% reduction in weight, which is a big deal—especially when you’re trying to take weight out of an automobile component or a hand-held mobile device. Aluminum can also withstand the highest operating temperatures of all the die cast alloys. &nbsp;Moreover, cast aluminum is versatile, corrosion resistant; it retains high dimensional stability with thin walls, and can be used in almost any industry.</p> <p><strong>If you would like to learn more about our thin-walled aluminum die casting process, <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact our team</a> today! We’d be happy to go over your next project with you and offer you a free quote.&nbsp;</strong></p> Friday, 16 September 2016 12:00:00 How Much Does a Die Cast Tool Cost? /en/knowledge-center/blog/how-much-does-a-die-cast-tool-cost {4A860848-F6ED-482C-8C9D-8C1B7F9EBBF9} <p>When searching for the answer to “How much does a die cast tool cost?” It is important to understand <i>why</i> a good die cast tool costs what it does. Be cautious of die cast manufacturers that offer tools at costs much lower than other die casting companies. Tools or molds, are not cheap and going the cheaper route can and will often lead to more troublesome problems down the road. When it comes to <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-tooling-production">die cast tooling</a>, it is worth investing in the design and maintenance of the tool to ensure its longevity. &nbsp;</p> <h2>Superior Tool Design</h2> <p>Great tool design is critical to the overall success of your project. When you have a robust part, you want to make sure that your parts are consistent from the first shot all the way to the last. No matter how advanced your die cast machines are, if you cut costs for a cheaper tool, you run the risk of creating mediocre parts—which can add costs later on with unnecessary secondary operations—or worse complete project failure.</p> <p><img border="0" src="-/media/858704B36F55438FB62182EA825A426D.ashx" width="400" height="264" alt="Die Casting Tooling Design | How Much Does a Die Cast Tool Cost?" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" /></p> <h3>Runner Systems</h3> <p>At Dynacast, we pay more attention to the details of the design and aim to create a tool that won’t get us, or our clients into a bind during production. Not only is it important to work with experienced designers, but using predictive software, like MAGMA, can help to determine what the runner system should look like, how the part is gated, and where the overflows will be. We could just design one runner and vent system to save cost in engineering, but instead we design several runner systems and run multiple MAGMA integrations to select the best runner option along with the optimal overflow placement. If we can predict where porosity and failure will occur in the part, we can design a tool that will anticipate and correct it on the front end—rather than after the fact, which can be expensive.</p> <p><img border="0" src="-/media/F24EFBF2D43849948158EF0A1A13578B.ashx" width="447" height="250" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" title="Optimizing with MAGMA analysis software." /></p> <h3>Cooling Circuits</h3> <p>When you are creating a part using molten metal, you need to properly cool the part before removing it from the cavity. Removing the part too soon can change the shape of the part and compromise its structure. Some die casting companies just place a simple cooling circuit in the cavity block to save cost in design and tool manufacturing. At Dynacast, we regulate the temperature with very strategic cooling line placement and coverage. On larger more critical projects, additional time is invested in thermal analysis for cooling line optimization.</p> <h3>Tooling Inserts</h3> <p>Some manufacturers will just EDM the entire cavity to cut down on costs but our engineers incorporate smaller inserts into the tool design. When we design the tool with smaller shut offs it allows us to make adjustments during production. If a tool is eroding quickly, with every shot a critical feature could be changing. Instead of replacing the entire tool—which adds cost and slow production time—only part of the tool needs to be changed. We can predict which area of the tool will wear faster and make that a removable insert. Our customers receive better dimensional stability at a lower cost because we design our tools to last longer and provide better part-to-part consistency over time.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Proper Tool Maintenance</h2> <p>No matter how predictive your tool design is, over time metal on metal wears and it is important to make timely repairs. Our engineers can predict how long a tool can and should be used before performing maintenance so that downtime is limited. It is much easier and faster to perform maintenance on a tool than to create a new one due to failure. When your tool is not running, it is carefully cleaned and stored so it is ready to go at the start of your next project. Most of our facilities have an ultrasonic cleaning system in-house.</p> <h2>Prolonging the Tool Life</h2> <p>It is important to consider the life of the die when designing a tool. If you are making thousands of parts every year and you have to replace your die annually, how much money are you losing in downtime or tool costs? When you work with an experienced die casting manufacturer who can predict the longevity of the tool and design it to last longer, you will save tenfold over time. Proper tool design and maintenance will help to avoid weld repairs that often lead to weld sink and flash.</p> <h2>Leader in Die Cast Manufacturing</h2> <p>In over 80 years of business, we have built over 300,000 unique dies. Our engineers are constantly pushing the envelope with complex part designs and take pride in the quality of work that we provide. We aim to build dies that efficiently cope with high-volume production. With any die casting project, it is always a good idea to include a die casting engineer during the part design phase—it can translate into major cost savings in both design and production down the road. If you are interested in learning more about our in-house tooling or would like to receive a quote for your next project, <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact our engineering team today</a>.</p> Thursday, 21 July 2016 12:00:00 Material Spotlight: ZA-27 /en/knowledge-center/blog/material-spotlight--za-27 {188E2A5B-4D11-4B8C-BFEC-B5CF2605213D} <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5609"></a> <p>Zinc-aluminum alloys were first introduced for gravity casting but are now sought after materials for high-pressure, cold chamber die casting. With zinc as the base metal, ZA-27 consists of 27 percent aluminum and 2.2 percent copper. ZA alloys have higher concentrations of aluminum than traditional zinc alloys and have unparalleled bearing properties—ZA-27 having the highest aluminum content of all <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/zinc-casting-metals">three ZA alloys</a>. Silver in color, this zinc aluminum combination is lightweight, dense, and is best suited for applications that require optimum strength.</p> <h2>Benefits of ZA-27</h2> <p>ZA-27 provides a variety of benefits and solutions for different die casting projects. Not only is it known for its wear resistance and high strength properties but other specific benefits of ZA-27, include:</p> <ul> <li>High tensile &amp; yield strength</li> <li>Corrosion resistance</li> <li>Non-sparking</li> <li>Hardness</li> <li>Good bearing and creep properties</li> <li>Lightweight</li> <li>Easy machinability</li> <li>Thermal conductivity</li> <li>Longer tool life</li> <li>Environmentally friendly, efficiently recyclable</li> </ul> <h2>ZA-27 Applications</h2> <p>ZA-27 is an underappreciated metal for foundry use. It is three times stronger than typical cast aluminum and can have the tensile strength of grey cast iron. At Dynacast, we have had great success casting ZA-27. One of our customers—in the safety restraint industry—needed more strength than what the standard aluminum alloys could offer. Our team of engineers designed the part using ZA-27 and achieved the max strength needed without failure.</p> <p>ZA-27 can be used for a variety of different projects but is best applied in bearing applications. It is easily machined and castings can be readily polished, plated, painted, or anodized.&nbsp;Due to its high melting point, ZA-27 is suitable for projects with service temperatures of ~150 degrees Celsius. ZA-27’s anti-sparking characteristics give it the ability to act as a natural bearing, which inevitably offers cost savings as well as maintenance and reliability advantages over other cast metals—which is great for the automotive industry. Other industries utilizing ZA-27 include:</p> <ul> <li>Aeronautics</li> <li>Agricultural machinery</li> <li>Construction and building</li> <li>General engineering</li> <li>Textile machinery</li> </ul> <p><b>Try our </b><a href="/knowledge-center/dynamic-process-metal-selector"><b>dynamic metal selector</b></a><b> tool to compare mechanical and physical properties of different alloys. </b></p> <h2>Die Casting with ZA-27</h2> <p>The high strength properties of ZA-27, combined with its castability, enable our team of engineers to design for strength but at the same time reduce the overall material content of competing materials. We can cast stronger parts with thinner walls using ZA-27. Customers that had failing parts using <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/aluminum-die-casting-metals/aluminum-alloy-a380-">A380</a> made the switch to <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/zinc-casting-metals/za-27---zinc-aluminum">ZA-27</a> and more than doubled their yield strength. Our team of engineers has the experience and expertise to walk you through transitioning your project to ZA-27 or can assist you in starting a new project from scratch. <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">Contact our team today</a> to learn more.&nbsp;</p></div> Friday, 01 July 2016 12:00:00 Multi-Slide vs. Conventional Die Casting /en/knowledge-center/blog/multi-slide-vs-conventional-die-casting {5FD71337-183C-4CEB-82DA-DBDCDC481ED2} <div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5667"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5667"></a> <p>Our <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-process/multi-slide-die-casting">multi-slide die casting process</a> was originally invented in 1936. Since then, we have continued to improve our tools and machines. If you are using a conventional die casting process, it may be worth taking the time to understand how multi-slide works and how it could be a better fit for your project. If your part is less than 400g, multi-slide is usually the better option. Conventional die casting is great for larger parts that do not fit in <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/superior-quality-,-a-,-higher-density-metal-components">our A2</a> or <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/the-benefits-of-our-a3-machines">A3 machines</a>. The construction and operation of the tooling and the types of machines used to operate them are the major differences between conventional and multi-slide die casting.</p> <h2>Dynacast Tooling</h2> <p><a href="/specialty-die-casting">Conventional die casting</a> uses a two-part tool where multi-slide uses at least four perpendicular slides. Using more slides reduces variations and is more cost efficient when producing smaller parts with more complex geometries. Each die block has a cavity or a core on its face. When formed together, the molten metal is injected into the cavity and the part is cast.</p> <p><img border="0" src="-/media/229888C43E214E25A4EB09FCF88E4C0C.ashx" width="720" height="360" /></p> <p>Engineers and designers are always pushing the envelope with part designs wanting smaller, more complex parts that perform multiple functions; our multi-slide die casting process is the best option if your part is 400g or less. We can still create precise parts with our conventional die cast machines; however, the multi-slide tools are second to none when it comes to consistency and accuracy.</p> <p>Regardless of the process, we always focus on the design of our dies, putting in as many of the part’s features as needed to avoid secondary operations. Our goal is to achieve net shape the first time, every time. This careful planning eliminates the need for machining and reduces the overall part cost.</p> <p>To ensure longevity of our dies, our tool designers predict what part of the die may wear out and insert this as a separate piece of the tool so that we can easily replace one single part, rather than the whole tool when it wears out. This not only saves our customers a great deal of money, but it also ensure that we can get your project back up and running faster than if we needed to create a new die entirely.</p> <h2>Proprietary Die Cast Machines</h2> <p>Our unique multi-slide machines are only available within Dynacast. <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/how-we-upgrade-our-machines">Upgraded machines</a> are now equipped with thrusters that have a flexible crosshead adaptor system and a fast pneumatic injection system. We are capable of filling machines faster without heavy flash, which improves surface quality and decreases the porosity of parts. Our multi-slide machines make it possible for us to produce parts in mass quantities while still ensuring the best quality.</p> <p>Over time, machines age, parts wear, and technologies can become outdated. We build all of our machines in house, so our team of experts is constantly upgrading and making improvements to both our multi-slide and conventional die casting machines as well as the controllers that run them.</p> <h2>Multi-Slide Die Casting</h2> <p>Our multi-slide process is the best die casting option for small, complex parts. We can create net shape parts, typically without secondary operations—including internal and external threads. We are always updating and optimizing our tools and machines to provide our customers with the best parts possible. For more information on our proprietary multi-slide die casting process or to request a quote, <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact one of our engineers</a> today.&nbsp;</p></div> </div> Monday, 20 June 2016 12:00:00 Facility Spotlight: Lake Forest /en/knowledge-center/blog/facility-spotlight--lake-forest {B1874BD1-2B60-4693-B1F7-3954E0A99F21} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5603"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5603"></a> <div class="WordSection1"> <p>Designed for speed, agility, and flexibility, the 115,000 square foot die casting plant manufactures more than 144 million parts a year for a number of industries including automotive, consumer electronics, hardware, telecommunications, and healthcare—and it does so with low-cost energy. In the spring of 2016, Dynacast Lake Forest initiated an energy project that utilizes Tesla’s PowerPack batteries. The modular battery blocks store energy for the plant to use on-demand during peak hours and is integral to their overall green initiative. During this same time, <a href="/discover-dynacast/locations/dynacast-lake-forest">Dynacast Lake Forest</a> opened a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Tijuana, Mexico that serves as an extension of the Southern California plant.</p> <h2>Speed and Agility</h2> <p>Dynacast Lake Forest is not only conscious of their energy consumption, but they are constantly improving their <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/lean-manufacturing-in-action">lean manufacturing</a> process. Their facility optimization layout is a carefully thought-out plan for storage and production that standardizes the <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-process">precision die casting process</a>. Their melt-at-the-machine process limits waste and allows them to work with a larger selection of materials, including K-Alloy, ZA-27, 413, and 360. Dynacast Lake Forest is focused primarily on multi-slide zinc, 80T – 200T conventional zinc, and 135T – 500T aluminum die casting.</p> <p>The seasoned management and operations team has looked at every aspect of the manufacturing process with the mindset of improvement and modernization. Lake Forest is committed to creating the highest quality parts with the least amount of waste possible, which starts with the flow of material.</p> </div> <h3>Design &amp; Tooling in Lake Forest</h3> <p>Dynacast Lake Forest has an experienced engineering and tooling team—several with tenure over 25 years—with global resources readily available to tackle any project. Utilizing the PRO-E design automation software and MAGMA mold flow simulation the team is committed to designing the best component possible while also providing full DFM to ensure parts will succeed in mass quantities. Their in-house tool room is an added bonus, with CNC milling, EDM, wire EDM, and grinding equipment on-site, tools can be repaired faster and projects can be delivered on time.</p> <h3></h3></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5607"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5607"></a> <h3>Secondary Operations &amp; Quality Control</h3> <p>As labor costs in Asia rise, the new Tijuana facility provides<img vspace="5" hspace="5" border="0" align="right" src="-/media/F21176E2C581475F9FDB01AE5D4B4192.ashx" width="220" height="170" style="margin: 5px; float: right;" />&nbsp;further access to skilled labor in Mexico for metal finishing and secondary operations, including CNC machining, tapping, reaming, and drilling. With a dynamic and highly skilled workforce in Mexico and Southern California, Dynacast Lake Forest is able to provide better service and state-of-the-art technology to new and existing customers. The Southern California facility hosts a local, high-tech supply base that was once a legacy of the aerospace industry leaving behind experienced platers and secondary operations in the area, providing a more cost-effective part price for Lake Forest customers.</p></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5608"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5608"></a> <p>Post casting, the Lake Forest team has the knowledge and tools to complete all final product testing including electrical, RF and leak testing. They are capable of visually inspecting parts with high-speed cameras and X-Rays. They also have a state-of-the-art ultrasonic DÜRR advanced cleaning system that leaves parts with an organic residue of &lt;100µg and metallic particle sizes &lt;400µm. The alcohol-based solvent has a cycle time of 1.57 seconds per part. This step is imperative for customers with stringent cleanliness requirements.</p></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5604"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5604"></a> <h2>Putting Lake Forest to the Test</h2> <p>Dynacast Lake Forest delivers precision die casting services to a variety of different industries all with unique requirements and design needs. They are known for adapting their processes and creating new designs to manufacture even the most complex parts. For example, a high-end golf club manufacturer wanted to create an innovative putter. The Dynacast Lake Forest engineering team assisted with the part design and they created the putter head components using multi-slide ZA-8 and cold chamber ZA-27 which provided the ideal densities required for the final product. Lake Forest was the only die caster in North America that had the ability to cast both multi-slide ZA-8 and cold chamber ZA-27. Apart from material selection, the customer also loved Lake Forest’s proximity to their headquarters in Carlsbad, California, which allowed for seamless collaboration between the engineering teams to refine the part geometry for mass production in real-time. The customer’s contract manufacturer and plater were both based within a 100-mile radius of the plant, which helped to reduce cost.</p> <p>Another Dynacast Lake Forest customer had the need for a highly cosmetic polished part. The well-known electric car company wanted to give their drivers an experience like none other—a polished metal handle. The mirror-like cosmetic finish is not an easy task but with their network of certified polishing and plating vendors, Dynacast Lake Forest was able to provide the quality service and high volume needs within a short distance of the Lake Forest plant. &nbsp;</p> <h2>All-In Die Casting Manufacturer</h2> <p>With a dynamic local and international customer base, Dynacast Lake Forest continues to improve their facility and manufacturing processes to provide the best service and the best part design for any industry. Their success over the years can be attributed to their experienced management team that continues to provide valuable resources and program management, as well as their dedicated engineering team that provides innovative and cost-effective tool and part designs. With the addition of the Tijuana plant and the Tesla power system, Dynacast Lake Forest has proven they are dedicated to creating an unmatched die casting business that will be more competitive than ever in the coming years.</p> <p class="button-container" style="text-align: center;"><a href="/request-a-plant-tour">Request a Plant Tour</a></p></div> </div></div> Tuesday, 24 May 2016 12:00:00 Fiber Optics: The Importance of Reliability /en/knowledge-center/blog/fiber-optics--the-importance-of-reliability {6BCD408F-49A5-4CF3-8F87-70A562AB2AB4} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5405"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5405"></a> <p>It is no doubt that we are a hyper-connected society. With internet browsing and live streaming at our fingertips, consumers are constantly connected. We want everything in an instant and we want it fast. When it comes to high-speed internet, fiber optic broadband is becoming the gold standard in homes and businesses across the world. While Asia, Europe, and Latin American already have extensive fiber optic internet networks, the U.S. is expanding one city at a time. The best thing about fiber optics is that it can offer much faster speeds over much longer distances—if the components are working properly. When it comes to fiber optics and their metal components, reliability matters most.&nbsp;</p> <h2>The Right Metal For Your Fiber Optic Component</h2> <p>When dealing with die casting and fiber optics, it is important to find a die casting manufacturer that works with a variety of different alloys. From <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals" target="_blank">aluminum to zinc,</a> different metals are fit for different jobs. Working with a die caster that has the ability to work with a variety of different metals ensures that you are creating a quality part from the right materials—not because it was the only option.</p> <p>Metal Injection Molding (MIM) is another option for fiber optics. The MIM process allows for more robust metals like stainless steel, as well as customizable alloys. Parts can be molded into more intricate shapes, with a wider range of sizes, tighter tolerances, and at high volume.</p> <p><b>If you are still looking for the right material for your fiber optic component, or you are interested in learning about other possible solutions, check out this </b><a href="/knowledge-center/dynamic-process-metal-selector" target="_blank"><b>metal selector tool</b></a><b>.</b></p></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="60"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-25 block-float-right" rel-id="5408"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-5408"></a> <img src="-/media/95059A9D4B2C49FAB05F2EC857F4CC80.ashx" class="image-block" alt="Dynacast part product photos. Die casting fiber optic transceivers." /><div class="caption"><p>Zinc and aluminum fiber optic die cast components created by Dynacast.</p></div></div></div><div class="content-block block-100 block-wrap-left" rel-id="5406"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5406"></a> <h2>Tooling and Design for Complex Parts</h2> <p>After choosing the right metal for your project, it is equally important to create exceptional designs and tools. When Dynacast is involved early in your design process our engineers can help you take advantage of our multi-slide technology. When you utilize our multi-slide technology, you can be more flexible with the directions of pull, which allows for more complex parts to be manufactured consistently without as many secondary operations—which reduces the cost per part.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <h2>Importance of Post-Cast Testing</h2> <p>Die casting—especially small precision fiber optic components—requires superb quality and consistency. Therefore, it is important to have controls in place to avoid dimensional, internal, and surface defects. For a thin walled and intricate component such as a fiber optic transceiver, you need to know that over time the part will not break or wear easily—specifically in harsh environmental conditions like high temperatures and high humidity. Partnering with a die casting manufacturer that will complete accelerated life testing to qualify your parts is crucial to the success of your project.</p> <p>Dynacast’s experience and resources provide our fiber optic customers a wide range of design, manufacturing, and value-added services like surface protection treatments. Our success with creating fiber optic components has helped us to develop working relationships with some of the industries leading suppliers. If you are looking to supply the growing fiber optics industry with quality components, it is important to work with a quality vendor.&nbsp;<a href="/discover-dynacast/contact" target="_blank">Contact one of our engineers today</a>&nbsp;to talk about your next project.</p></div> </div></div> Monday, 14 March 2016 12:00:00 Fiber Optics, The Future of Light Speed Internet /en/knowledge-center/blog/fiber-optics-the-future-of-light-speed-internet {AA723DC0-68A8-4CA7-A675-4943573E9AA7} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5152"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5152"></a> <p>Most of us could not imagine a world without the Internet. I vaguely remember when my parents first got the Internet sometime in the mid 90s. My dad wrote articles for the local newspaper and had to submit them online. Aside from maybe an occasional email, our computer was used for little else.&nbsp; Over the next few years the technology started to change rapidly and develop from dial-up internet to what we are familiar with today. Soon I was instant messaging my friends, doing research for school projects, and downloading music. By the time I graduated from high school, the internet and computers had come a long way and they were not the same as they had been when my dad was submitting articles. YouTube had come into existence, Facebook was changing how people connected around the globe, and I wasn’t downloading just music, I could download entire movies – and fairly quickly too. The demands that I was putting on the network were exponentially higher than they had been only a few years previous and with each year, those demands increased. By the time I graduated from high school in 2007, 74% of Americans were online and they were doing many of the same heavy data usage activities as I was doing.</p></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="50"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-25 block-float-left" rel-id="5159"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-5159"></a> <img src="-/media/BCF004ACF830456D93C8BF659CB1DC7E.ashx" class="image-block" alt="" /><div class="caption"><p><span>"Light ARMOR Cables."&nbsp;</span><i>Light ARMOR Cables</i><span>. Timbercon, 1 Jan. 1997. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.</span></p></div></div></div><div class="content-block block-100 block-wrap-right" rel-id="5160"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5160"></a> <p>The ability to stay connected with people around the world has both increased for consumers as well as international companies. The benefits of a connected world are endless and the information that we share across the globe has become enormous. As an international company with 23 locations scattered across the globe, Dynacast constantly relies on the Internet to transmit information and for communication. The intertwined global economy could not operate as successfully as it does today without the Internet. With many businesses relying on cloud based storage solutions, the need to send and retrieve this information is even greater and the quality, consistency, and speed of the networks we use has become more important than ever.</p> <p><span>At the forefront of this high-speed connectivity are many prosperous Asian countries like South Korea, Japan, and Singapore. It may be no surprise that these countries top the list of fastest internet speeds in the world, but what may be more surprising is that the US doesn’t even place in the top five. Countries like Latvia and the Czech Republic both have faster average internet speeds. A driving force behind the creation of super high-speed infrastructure is the expansion of fiber optic networks.</span></p></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5157"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5157"></a> <p>Fiber optic communication happens when information is transmitted through pulses of light that travel through an optical fiber. The light uses an electromagnetic carrier wave to move the information. Though the technology was developed in the 1970s, it isn’t until recent history that we began using it widely. Copper wire, which was already buried under our streets for telephone lines, is what most of us are using for many of our internet connections. The installation costs of fiber optic networks are incredibly high, though they are decreasing and companies are realizing that the demands of businesses and consumers are going to force them to modernize their infrastructure.&nbsp;</p> <p>Google Fiber is one of the first large scale projects being undertaken to totally revamp cities’ internet networks. Google chooses cities across the United States that have been picked for Google’s “Google Fiber” internet. These cities will receive state-of-the-art networks that are capable of 1 gigabit per second speed. This is roughly 100 times faster than what most Americans have. Verizon is the only national internet provider to have created a large-scale fiber optic network in the United States, but the speeds are less than half of what Google has achieved with Google Fiber. Currently, only 7% of Americans have access to a fiber optic internet connection and only 16% of people in the developed world.</p></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5154"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-5154"></a> <img src="-/media/849B185190A24F0E82D963280FC6A260.ashx" class="image-block" alt="" /><div class="caption"><p><span>Szuchmacher, Jill. "Google Fiber Blog."&nbsp;</span><i>Google Fiber Blog</i><span>. Google, 16 Sept. 2015. Web. 20 Oct. 2015.</span></p></div></div></div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5155"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5155"></a> <p>Fiber optic networks are going to grow significantly in the next few years. Developing countries are opting to fund fiber optic networks over transportation infrastructure because they realize how important having fast, reliable internet is to their economic growth. The European Commission is striving to have a 100% coverage goal of speeds of 30mbps or better by 2020. In order to achieve this goal, they will rely heavily on fiber optic networks. Faster internet access through fiber optics is one of the main catalysts that will propel societies into the future. Having a reliable and fast internet infrastructure is a major prerequisite for economic prosperity and the countries who invest in it will have a better chance at succeeding in the global economy.&nbsp;</p></div> </div></div> Thursday, 14 January 2016 12:00:00 Dynacast Germany trains the toolmakers of the future /en/knowledge-center/blog/dynacast-germany-trains-the-toolmakers-of-the-future {AE9273D8-C0F0-4C17-B9A3-96E18138E104} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="5256"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5256"></a> <p>Dynacast Germany is investing in the future with an enterprising apprenticeship program, which has already trained 41 apprentices in the fine art of tool making.</p> <p>The program runs for three and a half years and takes interested candidates with a secondary certificate qualification. Each applicant must do a two and a half hour practical and theoretical test before being accepted into the program. The aim of the program is to offer appropriate candidates the very best training, which Dynacast will ultimately benefit from.</p></div> </div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="20"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-50" rel-id="5257"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-5257"></a> <img src="-/media/D4B28DD877A24151BD8D54BC2A061619.ashx" class="image-block" alt="" /><div class="caption"><p><i>Dynacast Germany’s apprenticeship department with six of their current nine toolmaker apprentices</i></p></div></div></div><div class="content-block block-50" rel-id="5258"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-5258"></a> <p>“We look for candidates who not only have the required intellect, but who are driven and passionate about the entire metal tooling and production process. When we invest in apprentices, we do it for the long term, with the view to making them a valued part of the Dynacast team”, said Mr Helmut Goehr, Dynacast Germany’s General Manager.</p> <p>Every year, three apprentices are accepted into the intensive training programme which covers a variety of specialist skills including EDM, CNC milling, CNC turning, workbench processes, full production process workflow, the reading of technical drawings and how to work with metal in theory and practice.</p> <p>At the end of the apprenticeship, the apprentices become full employees of Dynacast Germany, working in the tool room and in other parts of the company.</p> <p /> <p>Interested in joining the programme? <a href="/de-de/discover-dynacast/careers/ausbildung" target="_blank">Click here to apply</a>.</p></div> </div></div> Monday, 14 December 2015 12:00:00 Facility Spotlight: Italy Adds ABB Robot to Automate Die Extraction /en/knowledge-center/blog/facility-spotlight--italy-adds-abb-robot-to-automate-die-extraction {BDC57775-EC8C-4463-B4D6-ED30FFE862D5} <p>In an article from <a href="http://new.abb.com/products/robotics">ABB Robotics</a>, Dynacast Italy was highlighted because of our successful implementation of their robots. This addition allows us to expand our capabilities as well as helps us produce components more than 500 grams in weight faster and more efficiently.</p> <p>ABB supplied robot model IRB 1410, which handles the die extraction. They also trained our employees on how to operate the robot as well as how to reprogram it for different components. By adding the IRB 1410, we are able to complete all operations within the working-cycle of the machine itself. Since implementation, we have seen a reduction in man-hours and production times. This solution has strengthened our competitiveness and enabled us to propose innovative solutions for our customers.</p> <p>Read the <a href="https://library.e.abb.com/public/6766f3fb7af24d25ae1ba3e7ad3ad2e9/dynacast_Strengthened%20competitiveness_case%20study_11648.pdf" title="Extracting success from ABB’s expertise" target="_blank">full article</a> for additional benefits we have experienced since adding the IRB 1410.</p> Wednesday, 04 November 2015 12:00:00 Benefits of Vehicle Safety Cameras /en/knowledge-center/blog/benefits-of-vehicle-safety-cameras {8B0C3BD0-22F5-4799-A334-9ED950E6B5FC} <p>As a follow-up to my active safety blog, I thought that it made sense to take a closer look at the cameras that make up such a vital part of these active safety systems. A number of different companies engineer and manufacture cameras within the extremely advanced industry of active safety. Our engineers partner with major global automotive suppliers to assist them in designing a product that completely meets their strict standards.</p> <p>The safety functions of active safety cameras are endless – they include lane departure warnings, collision warnings, active cruise control, emergency braking, headlight control, traffic sign recognition, etc. Not only are the cameras themselves becoming more technologically advanced, but the camera suppliers are partnering with companies that are able to process the incoming images with incredibly innovative algorithms. As the algorithms become more complex, they are able to interpret images that previously would have been difficult to understand.&nbsp;</p> <p>As active safety cameras become more advanced, they are able to offer a one box solution for auto manufacturers. When an active safety camera is mounted behind the windshield, it is able to provide a safety solution that can replace multiple other boxes that are currently placed around the vehicle. There is another major advantage to windshield placement, it provides the ideal viewing perspective for a camera and it’s also easier to service the camera because of the accessibility.&nbsp;</p> <p>Currently many vehicles have lasers, radar, and cameras. Cameras have the ability to identify objects surrounding the car better than radar. Initially it was challenging for cameras to see objects when there were changes in light conditions, fog, and precipitation, but as technology has improved these problems have been resolved.</p> <p>Forward facing active safety cameras provide extremely important functions. It’s incredibly important for the camera to stay operational throughout a vehicle’s lifetime. Engineers have created cameras that connect to the car’s HVAC system so that moisture does not collect in the camera’s housings. The camera housing not only contains the camera, but also the microprocessors that process the incoming images. These microprocessors create a significant amount of heat – special heat-sinks have been engineered for these parts so that the heat from the microprocessor does not impede the camera’s functionality.</p> <p>These improvements in technology may seem like they are only available on luxury cars or as expensive upgrades, but that is not the case anymore. Laws and regulations around the globe are quickly changing the automotive industry. In addition to this, the cost of the technology is decreasing rapidly enough where many of these features are now available on mainstream vehicles. Active safety systems, and more importantly active safety cameras, are able to significantly reduce traffic fatalities. More than 53% of traffic fatalities result from roadway departures – the technology that is offered by active safety cameras can eliminate these types of car accidents.</p> <p>Dynacast will continue to partner with auto suppliers around the globe in order to help engineer the most advanced active safety systems available – technology that is truly changing the industry and helping save lives around the world.</p> Tuesday, 15 September 2015 12:00:00 Facility Spotlight: Dynacast Peterborough /en/knowledge-center/blog/facility-spotlight--dynacast-peterborough {9416F7F3-542A-4058-9F6D-384FFB1CE66E} <p>Dynacast Peterborough is located outside of Toronto in Canada and we produce parts at this facility for customers located throughout North America. &nbsp;At Dynacast Peterborough, we have a variety of machines that enable us to produce a broad range of parts for our customers.</p> <p></p> <p><b>Typical Component Sizes</b></p> <p>We serve many different industries including automotive, electronics, telecommunications, hardware industrial controls, and hand tools.</p> <p>For multi-slide die casting needs, components can range up to 1800 grams (four pounds) with linear dimensions up to 200 mm (eight inches). These components can have a height up to 75 mm (three inches).&nbsp;</p> <p></p> <p><b>Production Options</b></p> <p>There are three different types of machines used for production – multi-slide, standard, and injected metal assembly.</p> <p>Smaller die cast production utilizes our multi-slide machines. These machines are high-speed automatic machines that use the hot-chamber die cast method. The machines have typical cycle rates that range between 5-30 CPM. There is no secondary trimming or burring required when components are cast on these machines.</p> <p>Standard die cast production utilizes Frech 80T and Frech 200T machines. These machines have typical cycle rates of 3-5 CPM. Secondary flash removal is not normally required.</p> <p>IMA utilizes zinc die cast machines that are made specifically for the process. If you’d like more details on IMA, please read my blog&lt;link to IMA blog&gt; - you’ll learn how we use the process to lower costs and create completed parts that are stronger and more effective than other assembly methods.</p> <p><i>Do you have any questions on Dynacast Peterborough? I’m here to help answer any questions you have.&nbsp;</i></p> Tuesday, 25 August 2015 12:00:00 Heads Up Display Technology /en/knowledge-center/blog/heads-up-display-technology {84B0EF00-3909-4C83-8EDB-36B78296579A} <p>A major new technology that automotive suppliers are scrambling to perfect is Heads Up Displays (HUD). This technology is quickly being refined because suppliers are seeing it as the next major advancement in interior automotive technology.</p> <p>If you aren’t familiar with HUD, it’s probably because it is fairly new to the market and have only been prevalent in luxury vehicles up until this point. &nbsp;Heads Up Displays are systems that are mounted within the car’s dash and are designed to project information through the windshield onto the road ahead.&nbsp;</p> <p>The information that they project could be anything from which radio station is playing to your speed limit. Traditionally these systems were used in aircraft to project information that would be seen on the instrument panel. By projecting information onto the road, where the driver is already looking, HUD systems limit the amount of distractions for a driver. Their eyes are drawn away from the center console and onto the road where the information is projected.</p> <p>Though these systems have only recently begun to show up in our cars, there is about to be a major industry shift as the technology cost decreases. Distracted driving is also becoming more of an issue as law enforcement cracks down on drivers who aren’t paying attention to the road.</p> <p>Vehicle navigation and infotainment systems have been commonplace for years in most vehicles, but despite the technology being relatively antiquated, the cost to consumers has not decreased. As smartphones have evolved and continued to include more features – such as navigation – consumers have been less likely to choose the expensive navigation and infotainment options when buying a vehicle. Though the system integration with smartphones through Bluetooth and USB connections has improved, they still haven’t been able to access a smartphone’s apps. This is about to change as car manufacturers are looking to Google and Apple to help solve the integration issue. Dozens of new vehicles are being released in 2015 with infotainment systems that can fully integrate with either Google Android or Apple’s iOS operating systems. This is a major advancement that consumers have been waiting for but it still doesn’t solve the problem of distracted driving. In fact, it may make it worse as people are even more drawn towards the center console than before.</p> <p>Luckily, with the advent of HUD systems, both the problem of distracted driving and smartphone integration can be solved. These systems are able to display navigation information, incoming calls, music information, and more. Navdy is a startup that has created aftermarket HUD systems that can be fitted to any vehicle and can integrate with both Android and Apple smartphones. It may take a few years, but consumers are going to realize that the traditional center console with screen is outdated and inefficient.</p> <p>The technology that is offered with a HUD system is incredibly unique. It may take some time to be adopted by car companies and consumers, but I think that within the next five years the systems may be ubiquitous.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>What are your thoughts on HUD? Is it the next innovative step in the manufacturing industry?</i></p> Tuesday, 11 August 2015 12:00:00 Our Unique Machine Development Process /en/knowledge-center/blog/our-unique-machine-development-process {2A7F00A1-8760-4EE9-A3DA-9082DF9F73D8} <h3>What is the Dynacast Machine Building Center?</h3> <p>Dynacast’s Machine Building Center, located in Germany, has the engineering staff and facility capabilities to develop some of the most precise die casting machines in the world. Our 22 facilities rely on the Machine Building Center to provide them with the machines they require to meet our diverse customers needs.&nbsp;</p> <p>This location takes idea submissions from Dynacast facilities around the globe. For example, two years ago Dynacast Singapore needed more magnesium machines and asked the center for assistance. The department then began upgrading an existing A3 machine that could operate with magnesium materials. This machine was built and successfully tested and is now available in Dynacast Singapore.&nbsp;</p> <p>To keep up with the demands of 23 facilities, we have created two teams: one that works on the development of mechanical designs and the other that works on the hardware development of electronic control systems. By dual tracking development, it speeds up the process of development as well as allows multiple points of validation to ensure a machine’s design will work as planned.</p> <p>After our developers have approved designs and the machine has been built, the next step is to test the machine to make sure it works properly. We test all of our new developments under live conditions in a dedicated casting production site in Germany. This ensures that we provide the best possible machine quality before we ship it to our global facilities.</p> <h3>Machine Developments</h3> <p>The <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/the-benefits-of-multi-slide-technology" target="_blank">A2 thruster machine</a> was developed based on the original A2 but has an increased locking force from 3.5 tons to six tons. Our <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/the-benefits-of-our-a3-machines" target="_blank">A3 SIS</a>&nbsp;is also equipped with a higher locking force but has a new development – the servo hydraulic injection system (SIS). The SIS system has been applied in all of our hydraulic machines since this innovation and it has been very successful.</p> <p>The A210 SIS is a new development by the Dynacast Machine Building Center. This machine reaches ten-ton locking force and has the servo hydraulic injection system. It also has the velocity of a smaller A2 machine.</p> <p>Finally, just this past year we started on a new Dynacast PC9 control system for the next generation of SIS machines. The PC9 controller is an industrial PC with a 19” touchscreen and includes the latest Siemens hard- and software. This enables the machines to have faster SIS program processing and it is easier to upgrade when new advancements in technology are made. The first A210 SIS machine with PC9 controller is now running in production.&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the current projects we are working on is an A206 E. This has the base of an A2 Thruster machine but has an electromechanical injection system.</p> <p><i>Do you have any questions regarding the Dynacast Machine Building Center? I’d love to hear your comments and questions.</i></p> Tuesday, 21 July 2015 12:00:00 The Benefits of Multi-Slide Technology /en/knowledge-center/blog/the-benefits-of-multi-slide-technology {12BD3F5B-8CD8-491D-A797-22BC9AE6D5EA} <p>In 25 years at Dynacast, a differentiating factor in our business has always been our multi-slide technology. We have the ability to create machines, tools, and processes based on customers’ needs, and that’s something that many cannot offer.</p> <p><strong><a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">Contact our team of engineers</a> today to learn more about our multi-slide technology.</strong></p> <h2>Design for Manufacturing</h2> <p>One of the reasons we like to get involved early in the design process is to help our customers use multi-slide tooling to their advantage. There is more flexibility with directions of pull, which allows for more complex parts to be manufactured without as many secondary operations. A good example of this is a part that has a hole. With multi-slide tools, we can cast the hole directly into the part. In many cases, standard tooling would require drilling after the part is cast resulting in a higher part cost.</p> <h2>Multi-Slide Tooling</h2> <p><span>Our multi-slide die casting machines are equipped with thrusters that have a flexible crosshead adaptor system and a fast pneumatic injection system that help to reduce variation within parts. We are capable of filling machines faster without heavy flash, which improves surface quality and decreases the porosity of parts. Our multi-slide machines make it possible for us to produce parts in mass quantities while still ensuring the best quality.</span></p> <h2>Part Improvement</h2> <p>With multi-slide tools, there is better part-to-part uniformity with tighter tolerances. Generally +/-0.002 tolerances – which is less than half the variation of a component made with a standard tool. Thinner walls can be cast and we are able to cast external threads more precisely.</p> <h2>Reducing Costs</h2> <p>Standard tooling can be very complicated and expensive. Multi-slide tooling can cost <i>less than half</i> of standard tooling because it allows you to cast a complex part without secondary operations. Depending on the complexity of the part, the tool can have anywhere from 5-7 directions of pull.</p> <p>Another benefit is that less waste is produced since runners and overflows are smaller than those created with standard tools. &nbsp;</p> <h2>Multi-Slide Die Casting</h2> <p>Our multi-slide process is the best die casting option for small, complex parts. We can create net shape parts, typically without secondary operations—including internal and external threads. We are always updating and optimizing our tools and machines to provide our customers with the best parts possible.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Do you have questions about our multi-slide technology? <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">Contact us today</a><a href="/discover-dynacast/contact"></a> for assistance on your next project. We'd be happy to explain multi-slide a little further.&nbsp;</strong><i><br /></i></p> <p><strong><br />Check out "<a href="/knowledge-center/blog/multi-slide-vs,-d-,-conventional-die-casting">Multi-slide vs. Conventional Die Casting</a>"&nbsp;</strong></p> <p /> <p /> Tuesday, 30 June 2015 12:00:00 The Importance of Social Media in Manufacturing /en/knowledge-center/blog/the-importance-of-social-media-in-manufacturing- {24A07F6B-F642-4C4E-8B4A-02C321B1DC25} <p>Because many manufacturing companies operate on a B2B basis, they haven’t realized the same need as other industries to be involved in the world of social media. Why is social media important for the manufacturing industry? Will it really benefit the customers and the companies?&nbsp;</p> <p>The top three most active social networks for B2B are LinkedIn (91%), Twitter (85%), and Facebook (81%). At Dynacast, LinkedIn and Twitter are the top two social media platforms. So how can you make sure you are gathering the best information from social media as possible?&nbsp;</p> <p>Social media is an easy, quick way to look at a large amount of information in one place. It gives you the ability to research potential solutions before buying a service or product. By following certain companies, magazines, and engineers, you can receive the content that you want while also learning more about the solutions that best fit your needs. &nbsp;There is also great power in social media for building personal brand awareness, driving engagement, gaining critical feedback, networking, and sharing information.</p> <p>Dynacast has been in the manufacturing industry for over 80 years, and because of this, we have a wealth of insight into design engineering, manufacturing precision components, and trends in the industry. By utilizing social media, we have an avenue to quickly and effectively share that information with others. This has helped us become more innovative, keep in touch with our customers, and learn about what others are doing in the industry.</p> <p>When you utilize social media correctly, there is an infinite amount of information available to you. To utilize it correctly, you can start by researching the various manufacturing blogs that relate to your business. By following different blogs you can begin to gather information that directly relates to your interests and business needs. You can also begin following companies on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. We’ve found that LinkedIn and Twitter can be extremely useful when searching for particular articles or topics.</p> <p>It’s easy to “get in the weeds” and only focus on your work, company, or industry. Utilizing social media comes with many advantages, including receiving timely information on industry news, seeing new technologies before they are released on other channels of communication, and finding articles that are relevant to your business needs. &nbsp;</p> <p><i>Do you think it’s crucial for the manufacturing industry to be on social media? Is there a reason why you chose the social media platforms that you use? I’d love to hear your feedback. Follow us on Twitter (<a href="https://twitter.com/Dynacast_Global" target="_blank">@Dynacast_Global</a>) or our <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/company/dynacast" target="_blank">LinkedIn</a>&nbsp;to find more information on the manufacturing industry.</i></p> Tuesday, 23 June 2015 12:00:00 Surface Coating Options Part Four – Additional Options /en/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-four-–-additional-options- {F1B6B640-7677-4556-866F-4885E600377C} <p>In this last post about surface coating, I will focus on coating options that are available but do not fit into one of the three categories that I previously discussed.</p> <h3>Chem Film</h3> <p>This coating is used for aluminum die casting. It is also commonly known as conversion coating. The color of chem film can vary from a dark golden brown to a light yellow tint, depending on several variables. It produces a film that has no dimensional change to the aluminum part. There are two types of chem film: class 1A and class III. These classes are described in more detail on the <a href="/specialty-die-casting/surface-finishes-plating" target="_blank">surface finishing</a> page of our website.</p> <h3>Black E-Coat</h3> <p>Black E-coat is a paint coating that is electrically applied. This coating is used to enhance the appearance of a part as well as protect the surface of a part.</p> <h3>Anodize</h3> <p>There are two types of commonly used anodizing coats – clear and black. Anodizing creates a non-conductive, protective coating that seals the part. The final color of an anodized part will depend on the alloy used for die casting. Aluminum will show almost no color change, which is why this is the most widely used alloy to be anodized. During the anodizing process, the part can be dyed a variety of colors. Black, blue, and red are the three most popular colors used. There are two classes of anodized parts, class 1 and class 2. Class 1 is not dyed and is the natural color. Class 2 is dyed and a color must be specified.</p> <h3>Polyurethane Paint</h3> <p>This type of paint offers excellent durability and for this reason, it is often recommended for parts that will be used outside or exposed to the elements. Polyurethane paint can be applied as either a smooth or textured coating, and is typically air-dried but can also be baked to speed up the drying process.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Powder Coating</h3> <p>Powder coating results in more uniform thickness and more consistent color than standard wet paints. During the coating process, the part is cured at higher temperatures, which ensure tougher finishes. Not only does the coating have high hardness but it is also used because it’s visually appealing, conceals minor surface flaws and is a durable high gloss. This coating is also environmentally friendly – it has no air quality hazards or hazardous waste.</p> <h3>Black Oxide</h3> <p>The final process is black oxide, which provides a protective, corrosion resistant finish. The most commonly used application for this coating is for firearms, but other applications include spark plugs, furniture brackets, and mower blades. The black finish does not chip and acts as an absorbent to hold oils or wax. The coating is economical and extends the service life and performance characteristics of a part.</p> <p>In these past four blog posts, we’ve discussed chrome, nickel, other elements, and additional coating options that are not elements.</p> <p><strong><i>Do you have any questions about the surface coatings we’ve reviewed? Are there additional surface coatings that you’d like to see? If so, please reach out to our engineering team. We would be happy to answer any additional questions you have or provide assistance for your project.&nbsp;</i></strong></p> <p><strong>You may also be interested in:</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-finishing-options-part-one-–-chromate-and-chrome-">Surface Coating Options Part One - Chrome &amp; Chromate</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-two-–-nickel-">Surface Coating Options Part Two – Nickel</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-three-–-the-elements-">Surface Coating Options Part Three – The Elements</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-four-–-additional-options-">&nbsp;</a></strong></p> Tuesday, 09 June 2015 12:00:00 What the Future Holds for the Automotive Industry /en/knowledge-center/blog/what-the-future-holds-for-the-automotive-industry {964142AF-8B0F-46AC-B4F7-03ECE8E64C54} <p>I remember being six years old driving with my dad, daydreaming about cars and what they may be like when I would be old enough to drive. I always was infatuated with cars and in my six-year-old brain, I was sure that by the time I was an adult, cars would have jet propulsion and wings that would let them fly everywhere to avoid the annoyance of traffic. I remember looking at my dad and asking him, “do you think cars will ever be able to drive themselves?” He looked back at me and said, “I don’t think in my lifetime, but if that happens, I would never trust that a self-driving car could be as safe as my driving.” Twenty years later, my question has been answered and my dad was wrong. Flying cars didn’t exactly happen the way I had imagined (though they <i>are </i>out there), but self -driving cars are going to be a very tangible reality for most of us within the next few years.</p> <p>A major milestone was recently reached through a partnership between Audi and Delphi. A car that they have named “Roadrunner” completed a 3,400 mile journey across the United States from San Francisco to the New York Auto Show in nine days without any significant human intervention. The car was able to accomplish this by using Delphi’s various active safety systems. The car was equipped with six long-range radars, four short-range radars, three vision-based cameras, six lidars, and numerous software algorithms analyzed all of the information coming in through these devices.</p> <p>The fact that a car was able to drive across the U.S. is an enormous accomplishment for both Audi and Delphi, but it’s also a milestone for the entire industry as it indicates a seismic shift in how consumers interact with automobiles. In a very short period of time, we may not be sitting behind the wheel of our cars, but in the back seat writing emails and sipping a latte while the car guides us through traffic.</p> <p>Delphi may have gotten the most publicity through their Audi partnership, but there are a number of other players who are also making a significant impact on the industry. Established companies like TRW, Bosch, Denso, and Valeo are joined by newcomers like Mobileye and Velodyne in creating various types of active safety systems. The active safety industry is projected to grow by 50% year over year for the next three years as auto manufacturers embrace this technology and as costs decline.</p> <p>As the technology becomes cheaper, cars will increasingly be available with multiple active safety systems; this means that driving will inevitably become safer. Some car manufacturers are aiming to have zero fatalities in any of their vehicles worldwide by the year 2020. They believe that with advances in technology, their cars will be intelligent enough to prevent most crashes themselves.</p> <p>Humans have had an obsessive enchantment with the automobile over the past century. Many people feel a genuine attachment to their vehicles and will argue that the technology controlling self-driving cars are not as capable as human beings at making quick decisions. It will quickly become evident that this argument does not hold truth, especially since as a society we are increasingly becoming engaged with the constant distractions coming through our wearable devices and smartphones. I predict that in the very near future – maybe within fifteen years – governments will deem people unfit to drive and a fleet of autonomous vehicles will ferry us wherever we need to go with a much lower rate of accidents. If you’ve seen the movie Minority Report, the self-driving cars in that movie seemed impossible at the time, but they may not be as far from reality as they were when the movie was released in 2002. A news story that validates the legitimacy of this certainty is that Mercedes recently announced that they plan to have a fully autonomous vehicle for sale by 2025.</p> <p>The automotive world remained a steady place to operate throughout the past seventy-or-so years. Mergers occurred, there were some major advancements in passive safety, and we saw brands like Pontiac and Oldsmobile disappear into obsolescence, but through it all, companies were still creating a product where a human sat on a seat and used a wheel to maneuver the vehicle. When I said that a seismic shift was coming, I meant it. This is going to be the first time that a machine will freely move humans around and we will begin interacting with cars more like we do with trains. Like it or not, you may question whether you are driving the next car your purchase or if it is driving you.</p> Tuesday, 02 June 2015 12:00:00 Lean Manufacturing in Action /en/knowledge-center/blog/lean-manufacturing-in-action {4AE2D642-2D0E-4AA9-92A9-43DCFBC11D59} <p class="Body">Lean manufacturing has continued to build in popularity over the past several years – and with good reason.&nbsp; Facilities that have successfully implemented a lean manufacturing culture have seen significant gains in all aspects of their business.&nbsp;</p> <p class="Body">Since 2014, our Lake Forest, CA location has been implementing these lean processes.&nbsp; Here are the steps we have taken and the gains that have been made by adapting lean manufacturing.</p> <h3>About Dynacast Lake Forest</h3> <p class="Body">Our <a href="/discover-dynacast/locations/dynacast-lake-forest" target="_blank">facility</a> is located in Lake Forest, CA in Southern California’s Orange County region.&nbsp; The plant is approximately 111,000 square feet with roughly 250 employees.&nbsp; Lake Forest currently has 33 multi-slide zinc die casting machines, three conventional zinc die casting machines, 17 aluminum die casting machines, an X-Ray imaging machine and an advanced ultrasonic cleaning machine.</p> <h3>Commitment to our Customers</h3> <p class="Body">What sets Dynacast Lake Forest apart is our compulsive desire to be the best in our market.&nbsp; That requires us to deliver on our promise to each and every customer.&nbsp; To make this happen, we are transforming traditional die casting by seamlessly integrating automation, advanced technologies and lean manufacturing resulting in a more refined and competitive product.</p> <p class="Body">Because we are located in Southern California, we also need to invest in our people and in developing manufacturing skills while being mindful of the environment.&nbsp; By utilizing efficient LED lighting throughout the factory and partnering with alternative energy companies to reduce utility consumption, Dynacast Lake Forest is making a concerted effort to conserve our natural resources.</p> <p class="Body">When we do all of this right, I believe, our customers will be delighted, our employees will be invigorated and our environment will be better for it.</p> <h3>Introducing Lean Manufacturing</h3> <p class="Body">Often, lean manufacturing is viewed as a tool.&nbsp; In fact, it is a set of principles that is applied to the everyday running of the business.&nbsp; Dynacast Lake Forest is committed to producing the highest-quality components with the least amount of waste.&nbsp; To do this, we embarked on introducing lean manufacturing with the goal of looking at every aspect of manufacturing with fresh eyes.</p> <p class="Body">We started by training our operators and managers on the 8 elements of lean, which can be seen in picture form below this blog for your reference. The 5S element (Sort, Straighten, Shine, Standardize and Sustain) is typically the very first element to implement as it is the easiest and fastest way to introduce lean.&nbsp;</p> <p class="Body">Simple steps like creating aisles throughout the factory, adding better lighting, painting old equipment and removing clutter creates a more visual factory for our employees, suppliers and customers.</p> <h3>Refocusing on Key Goals and Data</h3> <p class="Body">As companies experience rapid growth, they often tend to lose focus of the back end of the business.&nbsp; Our first step was to get back to “operations basics”.&nbsp; We set up daily production meetings to go over priorities for the day and any outstanding issues from the day before.&nbsp; We introduced single piece flow and value stream mapping, as well as automation to further improve cycle time resulting in better on time delivery to our customers.&nbsp; We also streamlined the operations, quality, and engineering departments by restructuring the teams to remove redondance and improve efficiencies while maintaining a sense of urgency.</p> <p class="Body">We also focused on factual data and root cause/corrective action rather than making decisions on a whim with false promises.&nbsp; Emphasis was made on obtaining and gathering data and trends through analysis in order to effectively drive change.&nbsp; Also, new goals were put into place and made available to everyone in the plant to measure effectiveness and hold accountability.&nbsp;<b>&nbsp;</b></p> <h3>Seeing Results</h3> <p class="Body">By focusing on operations basics and utilizing lean manufacturing elements, we were able to make significant improvement in all areas of the facility.&nbsp; These dramatic improvements happened over a short time period.&nbsp; When we introduced these lean elements like value steam mapping, the standardization of work, and a pull system in combination with automation, we saw improved cycle time, reduced inventory, improved quality, fewer defects and reduced labor costs.&nbsp;</p> <p class="Body">There were also noticeable differences in employees – fewer lost time incidents, higher morale, and more engagement.&nbsp; Our customers could also tell a difference; our annual customer survey scores increased dramatically.&nbsp; The highest ratings were in customer service, delivery, technical support, and quality.</p> <p class="Body">Here are additional results that were seen in Lake Forest in only the first twelve months of lean manufacturing implementation:</p> <ul> <li>Beat Q1 2015 budget (both Sales and EBITDA)</li> <li>Improved Q1 Sales by 7.4% (Q1 2015 vs. Q1 2014)</li> <li>Improved Q1 EBITDA by 91% (Q1 2015 vs. Q1 2014)</li> <li>Top 20 Customer Sales increased by 15% (Q1 2015 vs. Q1 2014)</li> <li>Reduced Total Scrap by &gt;70% (Jan 2015 vs. Jan 2014: excludes Tesla)</li> <li>Improved OTD by &gt;50% (Jan 2015 vs. Jan 2014)</li> <li>Improved Total Sales per head by 77% (Jan 2015 vs. Jan 2014)</li> <li>Zero lost time incidents since June 2014</li> </ul> <p class="Body">In conclusion, lean manufacturing has led to increased sales and profitability at Dynacast Lake Forest.&nbsp; As a side benefit, we are seeing more employee engagement, significant reduction in waste and a safer work environment.&nbsp;</p> <p class="Body">More importantly, the key to sustaining these achievements is to reward continuous improvements and celebrate success!</p> <p class="Body"><i>What questions do you have regarding lean manufacturing? Are there particular sections you</i><i>’d like me to expand on?</i> I’d love to hear your feedback.&nbsp;</p> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="4673"><div class="inner imageblock" style="line-height:0"> <a name="block-4673"></a> <img src="-/media/26C895E38E234BD4950E069BB881C639.ashx" class="image-block" alt="" /></div></div></div> Tuesday, 19 May 2015 12:00:00 How We Upgrade Our Machines /en/knowledge-center/blog/how-we-upgrade-our-machines {52A87651-6BB3-42FA-915A-ECCDA9E12B0C} <p>At Dynacast all of our machines need to meet certain standards. As a machine ages, technologies can become outdated and parts can wear. This blog post will give you an inside look at how we keep our machines up and running, and how we upgrade them to ensure the most up-to-date technology is available for our customers’ manufacturing needs.</p> <h3>Why is maintenance required on machines?</h3> <p>We only want to produce the best parts possible and this means having reliable, up-to-date machines. If one of our machines breaks down this could mean hours of down time, which in the end means thousands of parts that were not produced. This is a hassle not only for us but for our customers. While we want our machines to be reliable, there are also other reasons for consistently updating our machines. We always want to remain compliant to all of the legal and safety requirements. Safety is a top priority, and by making sure our machines are compliant we are ensuring that an accident won’t happen because of a machine breaking or not meeting specifications. Another reason we upgrade is to stay ahead of the latest trends in the market place so we can anticipate our customers needs and be able to provide the components that they request.</p> <p>Everyone knows how much – and how quickly – technology changes. This is another major reason that we update our machines often. The changes in technology software only help our machines and that ultimately helps our customers.</p> <h3>What happens if a machine does break down?</h3> <p>Even though we try our best to keep our machines running smoothly, sometimes machines do break down. We have prepared ourselves for when these scenarios happen. Typically if a machine breaks down it could take days to fix, mainly because a part has to be ordered and then shipped in. At Dynacast we have cut this lead-time down by having spare parts and a steady part supply. This means that if a machine does stop working, we have parts available to help fix it. &nbsp;Last but not least, our preventative maintenance programs avoid machine break downs before they arise.</p> <h3>Parts for Special Projects</h3> <p>In case a customer requests a special project or component, we also have special tool and machine equipment. This equipment enables us to move quicker than other companies would. There are parts that are dedicated to a tool and project, which helps with very complex, high-volume parts or with special requests. Our machines are also capable of special programming if certain functions are needed.</p> <p><i>What questions do you have for me about how our machines are upgraded? Please feel free to share your comments or questions below.&nbsp;&nbsp;</i></p> Tuesday, 05 May 2015 12:00:00 Surface Coating Options Part Three – The Elements /en/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-three-–-the-elements- {A58D8456-DE73-43BA-8D0F-6BC4C9A0ECAD} <p>In the third piece of my surface coating blog series, I’d like to discuss the elements with you. As mentioned previously, we offer about thirty different surface coatings, and we are constantly adding more. The last two blogs that I posted were related to <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-finishing-options-part-one-–-chromate-and-chrome-" target="_blank">chrome</a> and <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-two-–-nickel-" target="_blank">nickel</a>&nbsp;surface coatings. While chrome and nickel are both elements, I felt that it was important to distinguish them from the rest of the elements because they offer so many different options. Below are the rest of the elements that are available for surface coating.</p> <p>To learn more about our surface coating options, <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact our team today</a>!</p> <h3>Tin</h3> <p>Tin plating is most frequently specified for components that are soldered during their assembly. It is a silvery blue-white metal that offers excellent ductility, high solderability and good surface coverage. Matte tin, which Dynacast offers as an option, typically has better solderability than bright tin, but bright tin is more commonly specified due to its better appearance.</p> <h3>Cobalt-Tin</h3> <p>This two-element coating is very similar to chrome in appearance and application. The part is first plated with copper/nickel and then flashed with cobalt-tin to give the part a chrome-like appearance. The finish is hard and durable.</p> <h3>Silver</h3> <p>One of silver’s advantages is its relatively low cost, although when exposed to sulfur it could tarnish. Normally silver is chosen for one of three reasons – decorative, electrical conductivity, or thermal conductivity. It has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. It is also highly solderable, malleable, and ductile.</p> <h3>Gold</h3> <p>Gold plating is frequently used in the electronics industry because of the need for low contact resistance, solderability, and wire bonding. When gold is alloyed with small amounts of cobalt, it drastically improves the gold’s hardness and wear characteristics. Even though gold plating can be more expensive, its excellent physical and chemical properties can offset the price. There are four types of gold plating that are available: pure gold, hard gold, electroless gold, and immersion gold. To find out more about these four types, check out our <a href="/specialty-die-casting/surface-finishes-plating" target="_blank">surface finishes page</a>.</p> <h3>Cadmium</h3> <p>Cadmium plating offers excellent corrosion protection, roughly twice that of zinc. For this reason, it is often used in aerospace, marine and salt water environments.</p> <h3>Brass</h3> <p>There are two types of brass surface coatings that are available: brass and brass with lacquer. Brass finish is used mostly for its decorative appearance. &nbsp;It can be applied as either a bright or satin finish, and can also be oxidized to look antique. A lacquer topcoat can also be applied which adds longevity to the coating.</p> <p><strong><i>Do you have any questions about the elements that we have available? Is there something I didn’t cover that you are interested in? <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">Contact our team of engineers</a>&nbsp; for information or assitance on your project.</i></strong></p> <p><strong>You may also be interested in:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-finishing-options-part-one-–-chromate-and-chrome-">Surface Coating Options Part One - Chrome &amp; Chromate</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-two-–-nickel-">Surface Coating Options Part Two – Nickel</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-four-–-additional-options-">Surface Coating Options Part Four – Additional Options</a></strong></p> Tuesday, 28 April 2015 12:00:00 Surface Coating Options Part Two – Nickel /en/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-two-–-nickel- {09098627-83C0-483B-841C-B33CFAAE9366} <p>This blog post will focus on the various types of nickel plating that are available as surface finishes. If you are interested in other elements besides <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-finishing-options-part-one-–-chromate-and-chrome-" target="_blank">chrome</a> and nickel, my third post will go through the other elements that we currently coat with, such as gold, silver, and tin. Nickel is considered a transition metal and it is hard and ductile with good corrosion resistance. It can be applied using either a rack-process or barrel-process depending on part size and geometry. These make it a great option for coating diecast parts.</p> <p><strong>To learn more about surface coating options,&nbsp;<a href="/ask-an-engineer">contact one of our design engineers today</a>!</strong></p> <h2>Nickel</h2> <p>Nickel plating is yellowish-white in color and has a hard reflective finish. It has good wear resistance, solderability, and dimensional repeatability. This plating is applied over copper when used on a diecasting.&nbsp; It is also used as a secondary layer under chrome plating. Bright nickel is the most common variety, but should be used with caution on parts that require cold-forming as the brighteners can compromise ductility.&nbsp; If your component requires a cold-forming operation after plating, a Watt’s nickel can be used. It has a satin finish but is more ductile. This will ensure that the coating does not delaminate during bending or crimping.</p> <h2>Electroless Nickel</h2> <p>Unlike conventional electroplating, no electric current is used for deposition during the electroless plating process. The chemically deposited nickel follows the contours of a part very closely and does not build up at the edges and corners. This yields a plated component with very uniform thickness in comparison to electroplated finishes. Electroless nickel is the most widely used form of electroless plating. Most depositions are done with an acid phosphorus bath that provides the part with excellent corrosion, wear, and abrasion resistance. Other properties include ductility, lubricity, solderability, and hardness. The three types of electroless nickel are low phos, mid phos, and high phos. These characteristics are detailed out on our surface finishes page &lt;link to page&gt;.</p> <p>Two additional electroless nickel finishes are black and dark blue. For black electroless nickel, the part is blackened to give it a metallic brown/black appearance. It’s mostly used for decorative purposes, although it also doubles the contact resistance. Dark blue has the same process as black electroless nickel except it produces a dark blue color.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Are there questions you have about Nickel, its properties, or how it’s applied during surface coating? One of our engineers would be happy to answer and questions you may have, <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">contact us </a>today.&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><strong>You may also be interested in:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-finishing-options-part-one-–-chromate-and-chrome-">Surface Coating Options Part One - Chrome &amp; Chromate</a></p> <p><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-three-–-the-elements-">Surface Coating Options Part Three – The Elements</a></p> <p><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-four-–-additional-options-">Surface Coating Options Part Four – Additional Options</a></p> Tuesday, 14 April 2015 12:00:00 The Transformation of the Wearable Device Industry /en/knowledge-center/blog/the-transformation-of-the-wearable-device-industry {CC62796B-9807-4747-AF65-EF6C77B89FBD} <p>As the Market Research Analyst for Dynacast, it’s my responsibility to gain an understanding of the many industries that we are involved in as well as the ones we could gain entry into. I scan a variety of news sources daily and have noticed that the wearable device industry has been getting a significant amount of press as manufacturers churn out new devices at a rapid pace. This is an industry that Dynacast has been involved in for years; we have worked with some of the biggest manufacturers around the globe and our parts will be in many of the 150 million devices that are projected to be purchased this year.</p> <p>The wearable market is poised to explode and grow to a $60 billion industry from the $700 million industry it was in 2013. Dozens of companies have entered the market and have offered a variety of devices to consumers throughout the past year. These companies come from a range of industries, including apparel manufacturers, GPS makers, watchmakers, and consumer electronics companies.</p> <p>Our engineers use the Design for Manufacturing process to analyze any potential shortfalls that our wearable device parts may have in order to guarantee that each distinctive part meets every company’s needs. We pride ourselves on being able to create small sophisticated parts that are used to create some of the most advanced wearables available.</p> <p>Wearable devices are something that you may have some basic knowledge about – you may even own one already! When you really begin to dig into the business, it quickly becomes obvious that these devices are going to become completely intertwined with our everyday lives.</p> <p>House keys, car keys, boarding passes, remote controls, thermostats and dozens of other things that you use every day will all be replaced or controlled by a wearable device at some point within the next few years. That may be hard to believe if you don’t even own of these devices today, but the recent launch of the <a href="https://www.apple.com/watch/">Apple Watch</a> is going to create a major shift in the wearable device industry and others. 23% of consumers say they plan to purchase a wearable device in the near future, but that number will grow when the full capabilities of these devices are realized. The launch will propel smartphone makers, automakers, smart home companies, and more to come together and integrate many aspects of your life into a sort of “life remote control”.</p> <p>These devices will be easily accessible on your wrist, finger, or somewhere else within reach. BMW has already created an app for the Apple Watch that can control many functions of their vehicles and other car manufactures are sure to follow. Wearables that are available for purchase currently are able to do things like monitor a person’s sleep and judging by the restfulness of the sleep, brew a stronger pot of coffee when the person wakes up. Wearables can also do things like open your garage door, turn on your lights, and turn on your favorite music before you even walk in the door of your house when connected to other smart home devices. The possibilities are limitless when you begin to really learn about all of the devices’ current capabilities. We understand that each wearable device is unique. Our design capabilities and precision engineering has resulted in bringing many of the incredibly complex wearable devices to the market. &nbsp;Dynacast is at the forefront of the industry, working with players large and small, to bring the “Internet of Things” a little closer to reality within your home and mine.</p> <p><em>Do you agree with my projections? Do you envision the wearable device industry going in a different direction?</em></p> Tuesday, 07 April 2015 12:00:00 Surface Finishing Options Part One – Chromate and Chrome /en/knowledge-center/blog/surface-finishing-options-part-one-–-chromate-and-chrome- {58823C57-DF45-42FD-9359-0870C902B708} <p>Is your part in need of a surface coating but you aren’t sure what would work best? My next four blog posts will feature some of the many different choices that Dynacast has to offer. We offer about thirty different coatings, from chrome to electroless nickel and many more. This post will focus on the chrome and chromate surface finishes. If you see a coating that you’d like but it isn’t listed on our site or mentioned in one of my blogs, please reach out to us! We constantly add new <a href="/specialty-die-casting/surface-finishes-plating">surface coating</a> options based on customers needs.</p> <p><strong>To learn more about surface finishing options, <a href="/ask-an-engineer">contact one of our design engineers today</a>!</strong></p> <h2>Chrome vs. Chromate</h2> <p>Before I get into the different coatings that are offered, I first want to touch on the differences between chrome and chromate. Chrome, which is short for chromium, is an element and is applied as an electroplated finish. The chrome that you are familiar with on cars or other materials has the shiny, metallic finish that it is most commonly associated. Chromate, on the other hand, is used to describe a corrosion resistant process that is classified as a conversion finish, rather than an additive finish. We have many different options for both of these finishes, which I will now go into more detail.</p> <h2>Chrome Plating</h2> <p>There are several types of chrome plating that we currently offer, two of which are bright and satin. Bright chrome is the mirror-like finish that you know from automobiles, toys, furniture, and more. It’s a finish that provides corrosion protection and good wear life, as well as a good appearance. Satin chrome has the same characteristics as polished chrome but has a duller finish. Both finishes are rack-plated, with layers of copper and nickel followed by a chrome layer.</p> <h2>Chromate with Zinc</h2> <p>The three types of surface finish for this section are clear, yellow, and black. Zinc surface coating is soft, decorative, and corrosion resistant. It protects the part by corroding before the base metal. For extra corrosion protection, chromates are applied over this zinc coating. Clear chromate with zinc is a slightly iridescent blue color when complete, while yellow and black both give the respective colors to the finished part.</p> <h2>Chromate without Zinc</h2> <p>We have two surface finish options that are chromate and do not contain zinc. These options are black chromate without zinc and yellow chromate without zinc. Black chromate without zinc is an inexpensive type of chromate. It’s typically used for parts that do not require a high amount of corrosion resistance. The coating goes directly onto a zinc die cast part. Yellow chromate parts are chemically milled and then chromated. This gives the part a dull finish. Both of these coating options are very thin and contribute no measureable thickness to the overall coating.</p> <h2>Additional Chromates</h2> <p>Olive drab chromate and trivalent chromate are two additional chromates that were not covered in the above sections. Olive drab chromate has a dark green finish, and can pass 150 hours to white corrosion.</p> <p>Trivalent chromate has similar characteristics to a typical chromate, but does not contain hexavalent chromium. This eliminates the issue of chrome reduction in waste treatment, and is not harmful to humans or the environment. The color is bright blue and it exceeds the requirements of automotive specifications.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Do you have other questions regarding chrome? Chromate? Is there a particular color you’d like to see that isn’t currently outlined? <a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">Contact us today </a>to learn more!</strong></p> <p>You may also be interested in:&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-two-–-nickel-">Surface Coating Options Part Two – Nickel</a></p> <p><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-three-–-the-elements-">Surface Coating Options Part Three – The Elements</a></p> <p><a href="/knowledge-center/blog/surface-coating-options-part-four-–-additional-options-">Surface Coating Options Part Four – Additional Options</a></p> Tuesday, 31 March 2015 12:00:00 How Culture Drives Growth and Profit /en/knowledge-center/blog/how-culture-drives-growth-and-profit {F551554E-A205-479B-9C6B-376F5C4FC0E4} <p>My <a href="/">previous blog post</a> focused on three key areas that are critical to the success and growth of manufacturing: our people, our customers, and our plants. For this post, I want to expand on one of those key areas, our people. Dynacast’s employees are the reason we are as profitable and successful as we are. Specifically, the culture we have been able to cultivate over the years has been a determining factor in our success. Our culture is rooted in trust, but also in the ability to be agile and adapt to changes. With 5,500 employees spread across 16 countries, it is hard to ensure that the culture is integrated fully, but it’s something that Dynacast works hard to achieve. How do we do it? It starts before someone is even considered for an open position.</p> <p>Before the hiring process begins, we make sure there is a complete understanding of what the role is, what the person will be responsible for, and what type of person best fits the role. This is not just about degrees or experience – we also look at the compatibility someone will have when working with their peers and also what motivates them. We strive to hire people who have a passion for what they do and have a vested interest in the company. The hiring process is one of many factors that help us maintain a very low turnover rate and it also gives us the opportunity to hire the correct fit not only for the position but also for the culture of the company. <br /> <br /> What else do we do to ensure we have a strong culture? We encourage our employees to find their passion. If they were hired in a plant, but then become passionate about sales, we listen to them. We take their feedback and try to make a path for them to reach their goals. Dynacast understands that a person performs better when they are doing what that they are passionate about. It motivates the employee to perform at a higher level and learn as much as they can about the business.</p> <p>Dynacast has succession and progression plans to help employees achieve their goals. I am a great example of what can occur.&nbsp; I started with the company over 30 years ago and followed my passions, which eventually led to me becoming CEO of the company. We constantly encourage employees to learn about what interests them and to train with others. We also encourage them to travel to other plants in order to gain as much knowledge as possible. Dynacast is committed to building tomorrow’s leaders through developing our employees, and encouraging the sharing of ideas and innovation to instill the entrepreneurial spirit.</p> <p>Now that I’ve explained how our culture is built, I can discuss why it drives our growth and profits. Many leaders know that an engaged employee equals a higher performing employee, but do you know by how much? According to a recent <a href="http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/163130/employee-engagement-drives-growth.aspx">Gallup poll</a>, companies with high employee engagement outperformed their competitors by 147% in earnings per share. There is no doubt that employee engagement drives our growth and profits. Over the past years, we have consistently shown double-digit growth. We are on track to continue this growth rate, and within the next five years we have the potential to double in size. During this growth, making sure that our employees are engaged and our culture isn’t faltering will constantly be on our radar. Employee experience and a good culture ultimately drive the customer experience and create positive business results.</p> <p><i>How has your business grown as a result of your culture? Do you think that it relates directly to your profits? I’m interested to hear your perspective.&nbsp;</i></p> Tuesday, 24 March 2015 12:00:00 The Benefits of Our A3 Machines /en/knowledge-center/blog/the-benefits-of-our-a3-machines {8EE39F9A-91BB-4A7C-9A3D-6654D8CF408F} <p>As I mentioned in my previous blog on <a href="/knowledge-center/blog/superior-quality-,-a-,-higher-density-metal-components" target="_blank">A2 machines</a>, one of Dynacast’s distinguishing factors are our unique machine capabilities. We have proprietary machines that use multi-slide technology and create fast cycle times and precision components. Below I’ve given some additional details on another type of machine we use, the A3.</p> <h3>A3 SIS</h3> <p>The A3 SIS machine was created in 2010 and features a reinforced main plate with 28 tons of locking force. It can handle a die size up to 160 x 140 mm and a shot weight of up to 180 grams. Like the A2 SIS machines, the A3 SIS has the SIS injection system. This machine has a high CPM compared to conventional machines and also has the capability of more cavities for A2 parts. The A3 SIS machine is able to fill parts faster and produce no heavy flash. Because of this the part has improved surface quality and less porosity. The A3 SIS is able to handle more complex parts because it could have four slides plus more integrated ones.</p> <h3>A3 MAG SIS</h3> <p>Our A3 MAG SIS machine also features a reinforced main plate with 28 tons of locking force. The die size and shot weight are identical to the A3 SIS machine, but there are some differences in the machines. This machine has a two-chamber melting pot with 30 kW. It is suitable for small, high quality magnesium parts. There are no machining operations needed and it has a CE safety standard, as do all of our machines. Also, the machine has higher CPM, the ability to handle more complex parts, and manufacture parts with thinner walls and tighter tolerances when compared to conventional machines, especially cold chamber machines. &nbsp;</p> <p>Our A3 machines were created to enhance our capabilities and further help our customers with their precision component needs. In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how we maintain and upgrade all of our machines to ensure the latest technology and safety measures are in place.</p> <p><i>What questions do you have regarding our A3 machines? I’d love to hear from you! Please share your comments or questions below.</i></p> Wednesday, 11 March 2015 12:00:00 Design Tips for Die Casting /en/knowledge-center/blog/design-tips-for-die-casting {DAFB69B1-3B33-4079-B6F5-080B89F699E3} <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="4522"><div class="inner imageblock"> <a name="block-4522"></a> <div class="flexslider" id="slide-1"><div class="flex-viewport" style="overflow: hidden; position: relative;"><ul class="slides" style="width: 1000%; transition-duration: 0s; transform: translate3d(-732px, 0px, 0px);"><li class="clone" aria-hidden="true" style="width: 732px; float: left; display: block;"><img src="-/media/3989A275D8554C3D9C9A10C19F237323.ashx alt=" "="" draggable="false" /></li><li style="width: 732px; float: left; display: block;" class="flex-active-slide"><img src="-/media/4C3A92F373F448F991588E444E9E5DFE.ashx" alt="" draggable="false" /></li><li style="width: 732px; float: left; display: block;" class=""><img src="-/media/CD93E688A0B148AA9DC8B0E53DEE1CCB.ashx" alt="" draggable="false" /></li></ul></div><ol class="flex-control-nav flex-control-paging"><li><a class="flex-active">1</a></li><li><a class="">2</a></li><li><a class="">3</a></li></ol><ul class="flex-direction-nav"><li><a class="flex-prev" href="#">Previous</a></li><li><a class="flex-next" href="#">Next</a></li></ul></div> </div></div></div> <div class="block-row" rel-rowtype="10"><div class="handle"></div><div class="row-delete"></div><div class="content-block block-100" rel-id="4581"> <div class="inner"> <a name="block-4581"></a> <p>At Dynacast we are often asked what tips we have that can improve a part design. I wanted to share with you some of the more common design tips that we recommend for die casting. Die casting can be done in various metals and the parts that are created differ widely. These tips listed below can help with the design of many parts. Also, remember to take into consideration the alloy that you would like to use, as well as any surface finishing that you’d like done after the part has been cast.</p> <h2 class="blue">Die Casting Variables</h2> <h3>Draft</h3> <p>The first tip that I’d like to share is regarding adding draft to a part. Adding draft means applying a slight taper on the internal and external walls of a part, normal to the parting line. This offsets the effects of shrinkage and makes it easier for the casting to be removed from the cavity. Adding draft makes it easier for a part to be cast.&nbsp; In general, recommended draft angles are in the range of ¼ degree to one degree per side depending on the alloy and process choices.&nbsp; Be sure to inform your Dynacast technical representative about critical areas where draft must be kept to a minimum.&nbsp; In many cases, near zero draft can be achieved in specific areas.&nbsp; Try to be mindful of draft when you are designing your component and apply liberal draft in non-critical areas from the beginning.</p> <h3>Fillets and Radii</h3> <p>Also, be sure to incorporate fillets and radii into your component design. Wherever possible, use generous fillets and radii, especially in non-critical areas. &nbsp;If you have an area where a fillet or radius is not possible or desirable, be sure to note it on your component drawing.&nbsp; Fillets and radii strengthen the component, improve metal flow and make the application of subsequent finishes easier.</p> <h3>Ribs and Bosses</h3> <p>Ribs and bosses are used commonly in the design of a part in order to increase its strength. They should be blended with fillets and radii to eliminate sharp corners whenever possible. &nbsp;Since most ribs and bosses have non-critical side surfaces, be sure to apply draft accordingly.</p> <h3>Pockets</h3> <p>If the part that is being designed needs to be lightweight, one option commonly used is to design pockets in solid sections. This not only reduces the weight of the part but also decreases cycle time and reduces the cost. Again, be sure to apply draft and radii accordingly.</p> <p>When designing a die cast component, take into account everything the process has to offer. Consider adding features that have little-to-no added cost. For instance: logos, surfaces textures, integrated fasteners (rivets, studs), embossed part numbers, etc. The 4-slide die casting process can offer even more flexibility. Your Dynacast technical representative can help you with these options and more.</p> <h2 class="blue">Optimizing Material Flow</h2> <p>Finally, there are tips I’d like to share for assisting with the flow of the metal into the cavity, to produce the final part. If a part has smooth corners and uniform sections, the metal can flow easier throughout the entire cavity, which means faster filling without producing metal flow turbulence. However, I know a uniform part is not always an option<i><u>.</u></i>&nbsp;In regards to flow, parts with long “windows” or slots can severely restrict metal flow, while round holes assist in the flow.</p> <p>I hope these tips have been useful to you. If you’d like to see more about these options, as well as additional options that I didn’t discuss, please see our&nbsp;<a href="/knowledge-center/multiple-design-solutions/die-cast-design/part-improvement" target="_blank">part improvement page</a>&nbsp;on our site. It contains a wealth of knowledge on how to improve part design.</p> <p>Dynacast has a great design for manufacturing (DFM) service, which you can learn more about&nbsp;<a href="/knowledge-center/multiple-design-solutions/die-cast-design" target="_blank">here</a>. This service allows Dynacast experts to look at your design and suggest tips on how to make the design easier to die cast and/or more cost effective.&nbsp;</p> <h3><strong><i>If you would like to learn more about design tips, <a href="/knowledge-center/webinars">sign up for our of our online seminars!</a></i></strong></h3></div> </div></div> Tuesday, 17 February 2015 12:00:00 Welcome to Our Improved Website /en/knowledge-center/blog/welcome-to-our-improved-website {176FB4F4-FE45-4057-BCAE-CE9AB8B5CF5E} <p>For my first blog post, I’m excited to guide you through a few highlights of Dynacast’s improved website.</p> <p>At Dynacast, we know that visitors need to not only have an easy, quick way to find information, but also the ability to see Dynacast’s alloys, process offerings, and design expertise in a precise, detailed manner. On top of the added features I detail below, the site is completely rebranded, and is cleaner, more flexible, and easier to navigate.&nbsp;</p> <h3>The Knowledge Center</h3> <p>Dynacast is a leader in the small component manufacturing industry with over 80 years of experience, and this new section of our website showcases our expertise. The Knowledge Center is where you can find blogs, case studies, white papers, and a wealth of knowledge relating to manufacturing and die casting. You can dive deeper into our multiple processes and materials as well as the materials that we have available for your next component design.</p> <h3>Dynamic Process &amp; Metal Selector</h3> <p>One of the new features on our site is the dynamic process and metal selector. This selector tool allows you to easily compare different materials to see which one works best for your application. You can use the tabs to see the physical properties and the composition of each material. There is also a great feature at the bottom that allows you to either share your results by email, or contact one of our engineers about the results.</p> <h3>Our Blogs</h3> <p>The blog section of our website had a complete overhaul. So that you can learn from the experts from the Dynacast team, new blog content will be posted weekly. You can recommend topics that you are interested in learning more about, and your topics can be incorporated into future posts.</p> <h3>Case Studies</h3> <p>In order to make our case studies page easier for you, we added in a filter by topic option. We’ve also highlighted the newest case study and give you the ability to read a short description before reading the full document.</p> <h3>Heritage</h3> <p>Dynacast has over 80 years of history. In order to showcase this properly, we completely reworked the history page. It starts with the immigration of Otto Gries and continues into present day. It’s an easy to navigate, interactive timeline that showcases the evolution of Dynacast.</p> <h3>Locations</h3> <p>Our locations page features a streamlined, consistent view of all of the available manufacturing sites at Dynacast. You’ll notice that when you click into a specific location, you can easily see the address, phone number, machines available, and certifications.&nbsp;</p> <p>As you look through our new site,<i> let me know what you like and what you think could be improved.</i> We are constantly looking for ways to improve communications and make our site easier to use.</p> Wednesday, 04 February 2015 12:00:00 Die Cast Material Spotlight: EZAC /en/knowledge-center/blog/die-cast-material-spotlight--ezac {84EEB06F-6FC7-4C1B-A1C7-1253630C671F} <p>If you are looking for a high strength, creep resistant, zinc based alloy, keep reading. Dynacast partners with Eastern Alloys, Inc., a manufacturer of world-class zinc alloys. They are constantly working on new alloys that result in better, more economical ways to die cast. By working closely with them, Dynacast offers alloys that many of its competitors do not. It ensures that our customers are receiving the best possible alloy for their components. Recently,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eazall.com/">Eastern Alloys</a>&nbsp;introduced a new zinc alloy, EZAC<sup>TM</sup> and it may be the right material for your next die casting project.</p> <p><b>Interested in learning more about EZAC? <a href="/ask-an-engineer">Ask one of our engineers</a>.</b></p> <h2>Zinc Alloys</h2> <p>When zinc die casting first became available, it was known as the more lightweight, lower cost alloy in comparison to the other die casting alloys that were available such as tin and lead. Over the past century, there has slowly been a progression in the <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/zinc-casting-metals">zinc alloys</a>. While zinc has always been known for its high strength, the addition of the Zamak family, and now EZAC, make <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-cast-process/hot-chamber-die-casting">hot chamber die casting</a> zinc alloys even more suitable for multiple applications. Before EZAC, zinc was often overlooked for applications requiring high tensile strength and more specifically high-temperature tensile strength. Additionally, most zinc alloys have a <a href="/knowledge-center/material-information/die-cast-metals/zinc-casting-metals/zinc-creep">low creep resistance</a> when compared with other materials. These areas of improvement were the focus when creating EZAC.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Benefits of EZAC</h2> <p>The EZAC alloy has many benefits including superior creep resistance, higher yield strength, and higher hardness when compared with other zinc alloys. EZAC performs approximately fourteen times longer than Zamak 2 and three times longer than ACuZinc5 in creep resistance tests at 140C and 31MPa, achieving 730 hours.</p> <h2>Comparing EZAC to Other Alloys</h2> <p>In regards to yield strength, EZAC is comparable to ZA-27, which is the strongest cold chamber zinc die cast alloy.&nbsp; With a yield strength of 396 MPa—stronger than any other hot chamber zinc die cast alloy, EZAC achieves a 42% improvement over Zamak 2 and a 19% improvement over ACuZinc5. The hardness of EZAC also shows a 19% improvement over Zamak 2 and 11% improvement compared to ACuZinc5.</p> <p><b>To compare mechanical and physical properties of other alloys, try our <a href="/knowledge-center/dynamic-process-metal-selector">metal selector tool</a>!</b></p> <p>While EZAC exhibits low elongation at approximately 1%, it maintains comparable Impact Strength with ACuZinc5 at 2.2ft-lbs.</p> <p>Compared with other high strength zinc alloys such as ACuZinc5 and ZA27, EZAC has shown excellent castability that does not result in accelerated wear on shot end components.</p> <p><b>If you would like to speak to our team directly, please <a href="/ask-an-engineer">contact one of our engineers</a> or <a href="/request-a-quote">click here to request a quote online</a>.</b></p> <p><b></b></p> <p class="blue"><a href="-/media/E8D68F84B70E449DAF018DC4B201BE70.ashx" target="_blank"></a></p> <p class="button-container"><a href="-/media/E8D68F84B70E449DAF018DC4B201BE70.ashx" target="_blank">Click to learn more about EZAC</a></p> <p class="button-container" /> Tuesday, 13 January 2015 12:00:00 Aluminum Die Casting Spotlight /en/knowledge-center/blog/aluminum-die-casting-spotlight {BF07159A-EE45-4AED-948D-E7381D69C6EB} <p>Aluminum is one of the most commonly used materials in <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-casting">die casting</a>. It’s lightweight, strong, rigid, and can withstand high temperatures, which makes it common across many industries. Some other qualities of aluminum include:</p> <ul> <li>Good stiffness and strength to weight ratio</li> <li>Corrosion resistance</li> <li>Heat dissipating</li> <li>Fully recyclable</li> <li>Ideal for harsh environments</li> <li>Excellent EMI shielding properties</li> <li>Excellent thermal conductivity</li> <li>Good finishing characteristics</li> <li>Good machining characteristics</li> </ul> <h3 class="blue">Aluminum Alloys</h3> <p>At Dynacast, the aluminum alloys that are most commonly used in North America are A380, 383 and 413 with their equivalent Asian and European alloys being used in other regions. However, a number of other alloys are available depending on customer requirements and product design needs. Unlike primary aluminum alloys that have to be mined and extracted from ore, these secondary alloys are derived from primary aluminum scrap, which means they are more environmentally friendly. Dynacast has aluminum plants all over the world, which means your aluminum parts can be manufactured in a location that’s best for you. <a href="/specialty-die-casting/die-casting">See all of our locations, here.</a></p> <p>Below are two industry examples of how aluminum can be used:</p> <h3 class="blue">Aluminum Die Casting Applications</h3> <h3>Automotive</h3> <p>Die casting in aluminum significantly contributes to the weight saving requirements needed to improve fuel economy in vehicles. One of Dynacast’s strengths in the automobile industry is in electronic applications, where customers are looking for proven quality, part-to-part consistency, and high volume. Dynacast is a leading supplier in automotive parts such as airbag housings, retractor spools, shields for telematics equipment and housings for sensors.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Handheld Devices</h3> <p>Aluminum die cast shields and housings give EMI shielding, rigidity, and durability with minimal additional weight for handheld devices. This becomes an important quality when emission and interference suppression requirements are high.</p> <p><i>What are some parts you’ve die casted using aluminum? Did you feel like it was the correct metal for your parts? Do you need our engineering assistance on a project?&nbsp;</i></p> <section class="intro"><a href="/discover-dynacast/contact">Contact our team today!</a></section> Wednesday, 17 December 2014 12:00:00