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J Walter Miller has selected Quikcast, ESI’s casting-simulation software, to quickly and cheaply reconfigure its castings during a transition from manual to automated moulding.

J Walter Miller (JWMC) produces brass and bronze castings for the fire protection, pumping and valve industries.

Both leaded and non-leaded alloys are poured on a daily basis.

JWMC has historically specialised in small castings but is growing into larger sizes with the recent acquisition of the DISA Match 130, a match-plate moulding machine.

As a result, each squeezer pattern needs to be converted to run on the new equipment.

For a foundry producing non-leaded pump components, impellers are a main challenge because of the heavy and thin sections of the casting.

JWMC’s impeller castings exhibited shrink porosity and voids in the hub when machined at the customer’s facility; this meant the riser at the hub area required redesign.

The initial design led to the addition of a core in the hub to reduce the amount of liquid metal required to feed the hub during solidification.

However, a new defect began to appear in the wear ring section of the casting.

At this time, JWMC decided to explore the use of ESI’s Quikcast casting software, enabling the simulation of the entire casting process from filling to solidification, including defects prediction, to determine the cause of the new defect.

Quikcast allowed JWMC to find a new design configuration, eliminating the shrink during machining.

The configuration enabled JWMC to reduce the number of iterations required to reconfigure patterns, reduce porosity in finished castings and explore opportunities for yield improvement.

JWMC’s customer also witnessed a reduction of scrap in the machining process, which contributed to large cost savings for both the customer and JWMC.

‘This problem would have taken about 12 weeks and USD6,000 (GBP3,905) in pattern changes plus countless hours of machine time to solve using conventional trial-and-error methods,’ said Dan Rudolph, quality engineer at J Walter Miller.

‘With Quikcast, we can easily solve similar problems in two weeks and produce a good pattern the first time.

‘We have used simulation on about 20 parts to date and the simulation results are similar to what we see in the shop,’ Rudolph concluded.

ESI is a world-leading supplier and pioneer of digital simulation software
for prototyping and manufacturing processes that take into account the
physics of materials.

ESI has developed an extensive suite of coherent, industry-oriented
applications to realistically simulate a product’s behavior during testing,
to fine-tune manufacturing processes in accordance with desired product
performance, and to evaluate the environment’s impact on product
performance.

ESI’s products represent a unique collaborative and open environment for
Simulation-Based Design, enabling virtual prototypes to be improved in a
continuous and collaborative manner while eliminating the need for physical
prototypes during product development.

A scalable Simulation-Based Design solution to accelerate innovation

ESI’s End-to-End Virtual Prototyping solutions, including software and
services, allow to manage with remarkable efficiency the virtual prototyping
of industrial products from creation through to end development, to limit
its complexity and risks, resulting in the successful validation of real
prototypes “to get it right at the right time”.

The company employs over 750 high-level specialists worldwide covering more
than 30 countries.

ESI Group is listed in compartment C of NYSE Euronext Paris.

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