Q: What does ASK Chemicals mean by “optimizing costs in use with value”, and why is it important for foundries?
A: Optimizing “costs in use” – which is an accounting term referring to “the cost of owning, running, or using something” – is a critical strategy for foundries that are working to improve profitability, reduce waste and remain globally competitive. There are several different ways to accomplish this goal. Cost in use can be achieved by negotiating lower prices but there are more effective ways of delivering value to foundry operations for long-term viability. Targeted measures that optimize energy usage, material consumption, or process adjustments are more sustainable in delivering value and make the foundry more efficient while delivering high-quality castings.
To understand the levers for optimizing costs in use, the foundry must have cross-departmental collaboration along with support from its suppliers. Purchasing departments must work closely with the foundries’ technical experts, as well as the suppliers’ experts.
ASK Chemicals has a diverse team of technicians and engineers with many years of experience and knowledge in both foundry processes and chemical innovations. We provide foundries with support through documentation while delivering cost reductions and increased value through process improvement and waste reduction.
Foundry chemicals are an integral part of the casting process and have an impact on efficiency and quality. ASK Chemicals is a leader in foundry consumables. As an industry leader, we continue to develop new technologies that assist foundries in lowering binder levels, reducing scrap, and improving product throughput. Our ISOCURE FOCUS™ technology is a good example. This innovative product has proven successful in increasing throughput in the foundry by reducing the amount of time a casting spends in the cleaning phase.
There are other ways to optimize costs in use. Raw material adjustments can have a positive impact on cost in use reductions if product quality, performance, and productivity are not compromised. Let's discuss casting performance for example: By using an engineered sand additive in core production, foundries can improve the quality of the product while also reducing material costs. By replacing a portion of the chromite sand with an engineered sand additive, the overall mixed-material cost in use becomes lower. In addition to the mixed-material cost savings, there could be additional benefits seen in scrap reduction and improved product throughput.
ASK Chemicals has made improvements in our technology that have improved environmental attributes, which translate to positive impacts at the consumer level. For example, our environmentally friendly binder technology is used at a reduced binder level and uses less amine for curing, all while assisting sustainability.
As for optimizing cost-in-use for foundry chemicals, it is important to focus not only on the initial purchase price of a product but also to consider the long-term impact on operating costs. ASK Chemicals' goal is to form partnerships with our customers to support cost reductions while increasing overall efficiency, improving product quality, and maximizing profitability. The proper selection and application of foundry chemicals can have a significant impact on a foundry's overall performance and delivered value.
Thomas Oliver is the Director of Commercial Operations North America at ASK Chemicals.
ASK Experts are available to collaborate with you to optimize your cost in use for your individual foundry.