Inside ICI

Investment Casting Process Control Standards and Certification


he Process Control Standards (PCS)

Program was Virtual rolled out to ICI Members at this year’s

Technical Conference in a panel discussion conducted by an ICI subcommittee of the same name. Leading the discussion was ICI Director and Subcommittee Chair Nip Singh, who noted that the objective of the Program is to provide foundries with a standardized tool to facilitate continuous self-improvement.

PCS Mission Statement The Mission of the Process Control Standards Subcommittee is to create, establish and summarize in a numerical manner an industry accepted method for evaluating the degree to which process controls are in place and utilized by the Precision Investment Casting foundry. Subcommittee member Brian Ferg of CPP Corporation noted that this program has three levels of certification, modelled after the Olympics’ award platforms, and is valid for a period of two years. The Bronze level certification indicates that a foundry meets 40% of the Program’s certification criteria and is the only level to which a foundry can self- certify. Silver and Gold levels, which are awarded to foundries meeting 60% and 80% of the stated criteria respectively, requires that an independent survey of a facility’s process controls be performed. Mr. Ferg noted that regardless of

certification level, a survey must be performed by an ICI trained and certified PCS Surveyor.

Surveyor training and

certification is free of charge to ICI Members and it is required that program participants have a company internal certified surveyor to support the process for all three levels of certification. ICI Member Emeritus Mr. Craig

Lanham reviewed PCS certification criteria, noting that the program is checklist driven with criteria based on Key Input Variables and Key Output Variables for the wax, shell and foundry

4 ❘ December 2020 ®

production departments.

A fourth

section of the survey addresses foundry management and support. Key Output

Variables (KOVs)

are traits or features of a casting that are impacted by the variations in the manufacturing processes. Key Input Variables (KIVs) are

process inputs that have significant impacts

on casting’s department in Key four

Variables. The survey addresses production KIVs


Environment, Machine, Material and Method / Procedure / Manpower.


Foundry management KIVs are group as: Communications / Visibility, Financial Support / Employee Awareness and Failure Reviews. KIVs are evaluated on a 5-point scale and are measured against criteria deemed applicable to each KIV. Each criterion has been defined with a corresponding rating scale to assist the Certified Surveyor assess the KIV being reviewed and to ensure survey uniformity.

In the above table is

an example of the Calibrated / Certified criterion. The Surveyor’s checklist tool is a functioning spreadsheet that allows for

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