From: Michael Vincek (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Sat Feb 23 2002 - 15:45:39 EET
Prototype Metal Castings Available in Detroit using
MCP Systems’ MPA 300 Vacuum Metal Casting Machine
For Immediate Release
February 21, 2002. Farmington Hills, Michigan. MCP Systems opens its demonstration center in the Detroit area for customer evaluations of the MetCastÔ process for fast and low cost metal parts prototyping. President Michael Vincek comments that this unique process produces quality parts with quick turnaround times. However, North American designers and engineers need a facility to try out the process before committing to an installation. This prompted MCP to open its doors for initial prototyping production to both OEMs and service providers. Vincek adds, “In these changing economic times, companies can come to us for services while evaluating their on-site options. Capital constraints delayed one automotive manufacturer’s 2001 installation but the available capacity at our center allowed the engineers to get parts to their customers now. Our equipment and technicians fine-tune the process from precision master patterns to accurate finished parts. This same automotive company is impressed by our 3 to 4 day turn around from the receipt of the master pattern to finished parts. MCP is committed to helping the industry move forward by providing services as a short term solution.” The Farmington Hills center currently processes aluminum 356 alloy, brass and bronze. Non-automotive applications for this technology include furniture for hinges and hardware; electronics for cases, bezels, and heat sinks; and power tools for motor housings and fans. The MetCast system excels at fabricating 1-25 geometrically complex parts with low up-front tooling costs.
The cornerstone of this process is the new MPA 300 vacuum metal casting machine. As a fully automated metal caster, this machine replicates production properties of aluminum die cast alloys. The complete turnkey system produces accurate metal parts in as little as 3 days from a wax master.
Although new to the North American market, this equipment is proven with more than 20 worldwide installations. Universities and service bureaus join automotive, medical, and electronic companies as the first adapters of the technology. The system processes all non-ferrous metals (excluding magnesium) with melt temperature under 1200°C. This flexibility, along with the ability to use models from any current free form modeling method, offers customers a wide range of options to produce production-intent parts for prototypes.
The MPA 300 caster holds 3 liters of molten metal and has a cylindrical casting flank capability of 13” in diameter by 19” in height. Similar to investment casting, MetCasting uses a lost wax system. The complete system includes a ceramic encapsulation unit for creation of the ceramic mold; a kiln to burn out the master and fire the mold; the MPA 300 caster to melt the metal and fill the mold under vacuum; and a water jet for removal of the ceramic mold from the completed cast metal part.
The MetCast process starts with a master of the desired part as a wax or other “burn-out” type of model. After adding gates and risers, ceramic slurry encapsulates the master in a casting flask. Mixing and pouring the slurry under vacuum removes all entrapped air bubbles, ensuring fine and even grain structure in the mold. This results in replication of precise detail in the final cast part. Firing the flask in a kiln melts the pattern and cures the mold. Next, the induction chamber at the top of the MPA 300 melts the metal while the casting flask in the bottom chamber automatically seals against the upper unit. A fully automated PLC controller aids in this clean, laboratory-type process. The casting process begins when the alloy reaches casting temperature. As the plunger rises, molten metal flows into the mold with vacuum assisting the total fill of all features. The casting process completes in 3-6 minutes.
After removing the flask from the MPA unit, it cools to room temperature. Finally, a water jet blasts away the fragile ceramic mold with high-pressure water. Removing gates and runners completes the process. The final product is a high quality, cast metal prototype.
About MCP Systems
The MCP Group is a world market leader in supplying vacuum oriented casting equipment. MCP equipment replicates Rapid Prototyping models to produce prototype and low-run quantities for superior quality plastic and metal parts. With over 40 years of experience in plastics and metal tooling technology, MCP pioneered the fusible metal core process for producing automotive plastic inlet manifolds as well as polyurethane vacuum cast molding. MetCast vacuum metal casting technology is their latest innovation for metal parts prototyping. Technical centers are located in Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and Belarus, as well as two United States centers in Fairfield, CT and Farmington Hills, MI. For more information, to schedule an equipment demonstration, or to attend one of our workshops, call 1-800-627-0222, e-mail at email@example.com, or visit the website at www.mcp-group.de.
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://rapid.lpt.fi/rp-ml/
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