The Timken Co. has installed an investment casting operation at its new Mesa, AZ, plant, to supply precision components to the aerospace aftermarket. It occupies 20,000 ft2, or 25%, of the "integrated customer solution center" opened there last October. Production of castings began in December.
"By bringing investment casting capability in-house, we attain better quality, and can participate more closely in the casting design process to optimize efficient manufacturing," states Pete Patriquin, operations manager at Mesa. Timken contends that by producing its own castings — rather than relying on third parties — it cuts production time, and establishes better capabilities to respond to future market growth and new product development.
As of now, Timken's investment-cast products include turbine blades, vanes, nozzles, and turbine-engine hardware.
Timken, a specialty steelmaker and manufacturer of bearings and power transmission devices, now claims to be the sole producer of castings in the aerospace aftermarket. The Mesa facility also offers design capabilities, machining, heat treating, finishing, and testing operations.