Chromalloy, makers of high-value investment castings recently crowed that six laboratories at its Engineering Center of Excellence — Metallurgy, Modal, Fatigue, Airflow, Metrology and Optical Metrology — have received ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation, validating their conformance with international standards requirements for testing services. For all metalcasters, it’s one thing to invest in high-tech production equipment and claim the precision quality of your products: proving it is something else. In fact, it’s another investment.
“With ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation Chromalloy builds on our world-class processes with the technical competence and ability to produce precise and accurate test data for customers around the globe,” stated president Carlo Luzzatto.
Testing scrap, testing sand, sampling molten metal. Hardness testing, eddy current testing, and non-destructive testing of all types. From charge preparation practically to the shipping dock, there is no limit to the number and types of tests that casting buyers can require of producers – and so new technologies arrive impressive regularity.
Metallurgical quality is a constant concern of buyers, so spectrographic reports are standard requirements even for general industrial castings. Thermo Scientific ARL offers a WDXRF instrument, Optim’X, designed for ease of operation (running on a customized, Windows 7 program) and low maintenance — as most new testing equipment must be now, in order to be effective for the plant operators. It’s offered in a 50-W and 200-W version, and the developer promises 10 times better spectral resolution than a conventional EDXRF instrument as well as more precision, and short- and long-term stability. It can analyze Na and Mg without any problem, and even in slags when necessary.
For finished cast parts, dimensional quality control presents another category of testing and measuring. Laser-based measuring systems, often aided by robotics to compile measurements quickly and repeatably, are increasingly common investments for metalcasters that aim to document quality control for high-volume production.
One new laser-powered tool is Keyence Corp.’s LS-9000 series optical micrometer for high-speed diameter inspection. With a standard sampling rate of 16,000 Hz, it keeps up with production volumes while maintaining repeatability of 1.2 millionths of an inch. (0.03 μm). It is designed durability and ease of use as well as repeatability, and incorporates several features that simplify setup and reduce cost of ownership.
Of course, in a market so hungry for documented quality, there are commercial services ready to help, too. Surface-treatment experts Osborn has field service engineers available to solve deburring problems for foundries and machine shops, at the Richmond, IN, Product and Application Lab. The company offers to be a part of a producer’s product engineering process for by developing solutions that improve existing processes or create new ones in the lab, or at the customer’s location.
“The product and application lab allows Osborn to solve difficult deburring problems for customers, saving them the time and streamlining their processes,” according to Mike Akuszewski, field application engineer.