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Conversion of sand casting to investment casting process delivers cost and quality advantages;     Concurrent Engineering during concept and design phase; Performance yield increases due to HERO-Premium-Casting® process

The titanium and aluminum investment casting specialist TITAL GmbH located in Bestwig, Germany was able to demonstrate once again that the conversion of the production process from an aluminum sand casting to an investment casting results in considerable cost savings for the customer. TITAL was able to convince the English-Italian helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland with a helicopter tail rotor gearbox made of aluminum A357 (22" x 24" x18") that substantial weight savings can be achieved using the patented HERO-Premium-Casting® process. The investment casting component achieves a higher quality rating than the equivalent sand casting; furthermore due to the conversion to aluminum investment casting the reject rates during machining and assembly could be reduced to zero compared to the sand casting process.  

A few months ago TITAL received an award at the "International Casting Contest" for the optimization of the tail rotor gearbox. The worldwide competition is an annual event sponsored by the American Investment Casting Institute which evaluates casting components based on complexity and product quality.  

As Philipp Jerusalem, Director Sales and Marketing at TITAL, emphasizes the company sees itself as a problem solver. "We are always in search for the best technical solution. We provide our entire know-how about casting technologies in close co-operation with our customers. While doing so we identify the challenges and together with our customers find solutions at the optimal cost. This happens directly at the CAD-station of the design engineer in charge. We call this Concurrent Engineering." During the last few years the TITAL foundry has been very successful in converting aluminum sand castings into aluminum investment castings. Due to the HERO-Premium-Casting® process TITAL is able to produce aluminum investment castings with a Casting Factor of 1.0.  

As Jerusalem explains the key to maximizing cost savings along the entire value added chain is the shared product development. Furthermore TITAL supports its customers to meet the tight deadlines of the end customer. Jerusalem: "High flexibility and intensive communication are important factors to make the product development a success. As soon as it's foreseeable that a development project shall be transferred into the production phase we form a project team consisting of members from the sales department, engineering, quality management and production. This team supervises the realization of the castings and is in constant touch with the corresponding contact persons from the customer."  

The tail rotor gearbox project started at the end of 2007 and in 2008, further conversion projects followed. Today, the tail rotor gearboxes are being designed directly as investment castings in close collaboration with TITAL because the customer wants to capture the cost and weight benefits right from the start.

Press release issued by Arconic Power and Propulsion (Arconic TITAL) on February 15, 2010

 

 Contact details from our directory:
Leonardo Helicopters (Finmeccanica) Airframer
Arconic Power and Propulsion (Arconic TITAL) Engine Parts, Titanium, Metal & Alloy Castings, Aircraft Structural Components, Aluminium, Engine Pylons

 

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