Lufkin Adopts MagmaSoft

March 22, 2005
"Iron micro-modeling" helps resolve several casting defects

Lufkin Industries has adopted MAGMASOFT from Magma Foundry Technologies to help predict product quality on gray and ductile-iron castings. Producing more than 300 tons/day of castings for its own downstream operations and for commercial distribution, Lufkin designs, engineers, and manufactures oilfield equipment and power-transmission products globally. It also produces highway trailers in the South Central U.S. and Mexico.

Since starting its foundry in 1902, Lufkin has invested significantly to make the division an industry leader. It supplies OEMs with castings for valves, machine tools, pump and compressors, as well as construction equipment and special machinery. A solidification modeling software put in place several years ago helped improve product quality to some degree, but Lufkin had problems predicting the quality of several ductile iron castings and determined it need more accurate consideration of the graphite expansion and metallurgical behavior.

MAGMA Foundry Technologies. the North American subsidiary of MAGMA Giessereitechnologie GmbH, supplies metalcasting process simulation software and related engineering services.

Unlike other solidification software programs, MAGMASOFT uses an iron micro-modeling approach. This method considers, among other factors, metal treatment practices, as-poured chemistry composition, and mold-wall movement to accurately predict the feeding behavior of iron. Using this software, engineers at MAGMA and Lufkin were able to resolve several large defect issues. In one case, scrap levels were reduced from 60% to less than 2% on a casting that had been rigged using conventional solidification modeling.

Magma president Tim McMillin explained, "Lufkin purchased solidification software several years ago and, in several cases, found marginal benefit. As one can appreciate, they were hesitant to spend money on another software tool. MAGMA engineers worked closely with Lufkin on a contract engineering basis. Together we solved several nagging problems and avoided many more by simulating castings prior to production.

"We're pleased Lufkin has now decided to invest in MAGMASOFT and the MAGMAiron Module. They'll now be able to take a more aggressive approach using simulation as a key engineering tool in pre-production and defect resolution," McMillin summarized.