* RPT of bespoke shaped prosthetics to meet the individuals need

* Direct metal sintering i.e. CAD to Metal, already used in some trauma cases

• Will body-matching ceramic or ceramic/matrix materials replace metals in prosthetics?

Protection & Defence It seems strange that I have just written about extending life and will now talk about potentially the opposite. This is a huge market and it is

difficult to separate out the value of the components made by PIC manufacturers. In 2010, the turnover of the top 100 companies who are openly declared was $411bn. The top 10 with greater than 50% interest in Defence products are: • Lockheed Martin • Boeing • Raytherm • BAE Systems • Northrop Gruman • General dynamics • EADS/Airbus • United Technologies • Leonardo • Thales The comments already made concerning Aerospace, Marine, Airframe and Electronic boxes also apply to this section. With the increasing cost of defence

aircraft, will drones gradually replace conventional aircraft? It wouldn’t be the same seeing Tom Cruise in Top Gun X flying a drone but seriously, what will the impact be on PIC input to this industry?

Firearms The global firearms industry is huge, covering both defence and civil markets with many manufacturers. Of those known manufacturers, USA dominates the market: Area USA

Europe Russia Asia

South America ®

Manufacturers 30 16 8 1 1

I will not delve into military/ defence applications in this paper but the figures below are just the tip of the iceberg and using the USA as an example, in 2016 around 11.5m firearms were manufactured in America: Type


Revolvers Rifles

Shotguns Miscellaneous

Quantity 4.7m 856k 4.2m 849k 833k

43% of USA households have 1 or more guns, purchased for personal security and/or sports use.

Whilst there is a demand for guns

investment castings will continue to be part of the manufacturing process.

How could this market change? • Potential use of ceramic, ceramic matrix or graphene type matrix parts - this is already being developed

• Bespoke ornamentation and handle design using RPT and laser etching

• James Bond style electronic hand/ eye recognition for firing security

• Electronic weaponry such as stun, laser, electronic/ magnetic disruption

• Political change and legislation driven by populous choice

Commercial This is a catch-all basket and the heading does not do justice to the foundries which service the vast array and complexity within these markets: • Electronic boxes • Hydraulic and fuel distribution systems

• Mining equipment • Fire and Safety • Architectural hardware • Leisure and Sport • Chemical and Gas industry

For all the markets Precision

Investment Casters serve, there is no equilibrium - demand is cyclic for many reasons. This means companies need to evolve processes, materials, products manufactured, and services

offered to stay ahead of the game and add value for the Customer and be the Supplier of Choice. The ICI publication “Case Studies


Applications” shows many excellent examples of what can and has been done to stay ahead of the competition and become the Supplier of Choice:

• Delivering very complex parts at near net shape

• Weight-saving by design • Investment casting replacing multi piece fabrications/castings/forgings other manufacturing

• Substituting techniques i.e. welding, brazing

• Substituting machined parts with castings

• Cycle time reduction (Design to Supply) - within the processes and by using RPT The above are insightful engineering solutions of value to your customer - What else will make your company stand out in the future? In the next paper I will review

how the PIC processes and materials have changed over time, what new competing/complementary processes have entered the market, and where this may lead.

About the Author

Stephen Pilbury has degrees in Physics and Inorganic and Polymer Chemistry from Liverpool University and further degrees in Occupational Safety and Health (D.OSH) and Managerial Studies (D.Mgt). He has more than 48 years of experience in the Investment Casting

Industry, 23 years within

foundries at Rolls Royce plc and Vickers plc as a Chemist, Laboratories and NDT Manager, Engineering Manager and Plant Manager. Since July 1994 he worked within Dussek Campbell Yates nowadays Remet UK where he was Managing Director EMEA. Stephen has held directorships in Remet Corporation, other Remet businesses as well as the European Investment Casters Federation.

October 2019 ❘ 15

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