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stranger to change. Several years ago, the iron casting giant was forced to idle one of its six facilities in the face of slowing demand. In 2011, it reopened the plant as business began to rebound. In May of the same year, it received word from its parent company, ThyssenKrupp AG, Essen, Germany, that the metalcasting division was going up for sale. The sale of the company to a


W


private equity group was finalized in June. Operations pressed on through it


all, and Waupaca Foundry continued to move forward. T e company has long served the automotive market with its high-production green sand casting lines, a market which requires innovation to stay competitive. Waupaca Foundry produces a


23-lb., 14.715 x 14.291 x 2.402-in. casting for a hybrid car engine bed- plate through just such innovation. Using a splitter core slipped between two vertical molding cavities, Waupaca met the automotive customer’s cost and lead time requirements while maintaining the neces- sary quality. “The innovation that


Waupaca has done and con- tinues to do is what drives this and other products,” said James Newsome, Waupaca Foundry director of marketing. “[It’s not just tied to] this particular part, but more to Waupaca’s culture.”


Benefi tting the Customer


Waupaca Foundry uses splitter cores on a variety of parts, but the bedplate casting off ered unique challenges, according to Plant 2/3 plant manager, Jeff Walters. “This core package really


allowed us to put two parts within a smaller space because of the design


The core assembly package is shown here. Two splitter cores, which enable the bedpates to be cast with a single core package, are in the center of the depicted assembly.


Waupaca Foundry produces this gray iron engine bedplate for a small passenger car via its vertical green sand molding process.


of the splitter core,” he said. The total number of castings


in one green sand vertical mold- ing chamber increased from two to four. Previously, one casting was produced using six cores. The new design requires eight total cores for two castings. This allowed Waupaca Foundry to reduce its internal pro- cessing time for the casting. Efficiency was increased by


streamlining the assembly on this complicated part. Waupaca Foundry underwent what production teams called the most precise core pack- age design ever undertaken. To meet tight tolerances and customer demand, significant process changes were made to the core production cycle, resulting in a casting with fewer core components, and increased quality. “T e development


process was three to four months,” Walters said. “We met here, and our customer’s customer came in with them to meet with their engineers and ours.” Cost guidelines for the


project required the pro- duction team to create a production control process that would optimize the number of castings made in one mold and stream- line the core assembly. T e key was to cast the bedplate vertically, but this required additional preci- sion in creating multiple core assemblies. T e eight components


of the core assembly previously were assembled manually, requiring time and manpower to handle


September 2012 MODERN CASTING | 21


aupaca Foundry Inc., Waupaca, Wis., is no


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