The specialist in big-size titanium and aluminium investment, castings TITAL from Bestwig, Germany, succeeded in reducing the scrap rate of a Eurofighter part by 30% at the customer’s shop floor.
In cooperation with their British customer BAE Systems, TITAL succeeded within only 10 months in developing a redesign for a large-size sand-casting part for the aircraft with a weight of about 20kg. The new part was produced by applying the patented HERO premium-casting® process for aluminium.
BAE Systems has been a customer of TITAL since 2001. Sales manager Michael Kersting said: “When we started our relationship with BAE Systems, at first we produced just two cast parts of about 3kg. The low scrap rate, the high dimensional stability and the excellent quality of this aluminium investment casting were very well noted at BAE Systems.
Today we manufacture 18 different parts for BAE Systems. Based on the HERO premium-casting process for aluminium, TITAL is in a position to produce castings according to casting factor CF1.”
In 2000 TITAL and BAE Systems had first contacts and started business with two parts in 2001. Jim Addison, from BAE Systems’ Warton unit, said: “The cooperation and work ethic of TITAL has proven very beneficial for both parties. TITAL is recognising challenges very quickly and problems are mutually worked and solved in the way of concurrent engineering.” The solution of manufacturing components as investment casting has been proven for many years.
The case of the latest cast part achieved the desired cost saving and was achieved within a few months. Today the scrap rate at BAE Systems is close to zero. The total required quantity of this part amounts to 400pcs within the next three years.
Mr Addison said: “The cooperative and collaborative approach, together with high, repeatable quality of parts and reliable delivery performance married with aggressive, competitive pricing, have been major factors in winning further business.”
The latest casting is exposed to loads on the aircraft and high-strength characteristics are an important factor in its design parameter. The component is structured with several technical undercuts.
Mr Kersting said: “We deliver this part fully machined and surface treated. It is one of the biggest parts we have in production. At the start of this project, few believed that an investment casting would realise the overall benefits now experienced.”