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INDUSTRY FACES Design Engineer Shines Light on Rapid Manufacturing


Robert Davis, senior design engineer-new products for Acuity Brands, Altanta, built his career at the lighting manufacturer by refusing to accept things at face value. As a student at Rochester Institute of Technology, he was undeterred by the college’s lack of a bowling team, starting up a NCAA-ranked team with a few other friends from youth leagues. At Acuity Brands, Davis saw the normal industry lead time of six to eight weeks and found a way to bring it down to one to two weeks. As a design engineer for Acu-


ity Brands, Davis works closely with the company’s vendors, including an in-house casting facility in Matamoros, Mexico. Trough this partnership and with the help of casting engi- neering personnel, Davis found a way to use a 3D printer—typi- cally associated with investment cast rapid prototypes—to pro- duce rapid sand casting tooling for production components. “Don’t get locked in by what


you know to be feasible,” Davis said. “I am always looking at different technologies and ways to try to improve products


Robert Davis is a senior design engineer for Acuity Brands, Atlanta.


PERSONALS Dominion Metallurgical, Roa-


noke, Va., recently hired two new em- ployees. Kevin Mitchell is the newest addition to the account manager team, and Jeff Chochran was announced as the quality department manager.


Accuride Corp.,


Evansville, Ind., has announced that its President and CEO Rick Dauch has received the Quality Leader of the Year Award from the automotive division of the American Society of Quality.


and processes for Acuity Brands Lighting.” Davis started his career designing custom assembly machines. His first foray design- ing castings began when he joined Antique Street Lamps (now part of Acuity Brands) in 2001. He has relied heavily on the engineers at the company’s in-house metalcasting facility to provide castability and manufac- turability input. After eight years of experi-


mentation and implementation, Davis’ rapid tooling method is nearly perfected. Acuity Brands’ has added additional 3D print- ers to its arsenal to provide custom castings quickly. Lead time has been cut to one to two weeks, and tooling costs are negligible. But as other casting customers in other industries are finding ways to produce rapid tooling, Davis is not ready to rest on the status quo. His work is yet to be finished. “We still have the advantage, but I see a challenge,” he said. “How do we change? How can we bring those lead times and costs down lower?”


announced that two members of its North American technical team, Craig Wallbank and Patrick Patterson, completed the Level 1 inspector certification program through the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. The company also has hired Matthew Schweitzer as regional manager for the western USA region.


OBITUARIES Teodore Operhall, Essex, Conn.,


Rick Dauch W Abrasives, Bedford, Va. has


died Nov. 6. He was 94. Operhall, with two other partners, founded an investment casting firm that eventually became Alcoa Howmet in Whitehall, Mich. Alcoa Howmet produced internal


parts for turbine engines. He spent 35 years in the investment casting in- dustry and held 17 patents for casting technology. He is an honored member of the American Society of Metals and the Investment Casting Institute.


William Duca, Boardman,


Ohio, died Nov. 1. He was 74. Duca received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in metallurgical engineering from Michigan Technological Univ., Houghton, Mich. He was president of Duca Manufacturing, a furnace company supplying metalcasting facilities, for 34 years. He authored several technical papers for AFS conferences and was an instructor for the Cast Metals Institute.


December 2012 MODERN CASTING | 15


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