Foresight - casting

As a result of the request from the Industry and Technology Policy Board, the Society have formulated the following table which illustrates Division's view of the Foresight Drivers for the Industry Sector.

Business Drivers Issues Technology & Innovation needs
Markets & Customers Globalisation of markets

Reduced lead times

Just-in-time delivery

Poor perceived status of industry and casting profession (leading to oppressively aggressive pricing of under-valued product, reinforced by poor performance of the industry).

Poor investment (since profitability is poor)

Competitive materials (since performance of casting, particularly reliability, is poor)

More cost-effective casting processes (+) Fulfilling all 10 Rules

Right-first-time philosophy Energy efficient
Lean labour requirement Higher margins to permit re-investment
Better trained operators, engineers, and managers
Materials market awareness
Integration of manufacture using CAD/CAM for:

  1. Process simulation
  2. Tool making
  3. Metrology
  Miniaturisation New tooling and casting processes
  Light weighting Development of Al, Mg, Li, Ti casting alloys
Development of thin walls plus increased accuracy
Business Practice Cost reduction

Labour relations

Distributed manufacture

Overseas ownership of local operations (leads to beneficial investment for good operations, but first to be closed down when business contracts).

Electronic data transmission for all aspects of business and manufacture
See (+) above
Education & Training Need for training ageing work force in new IT & CAD

Need to enhance University degree courses

Need to attract science and engineering students

Practical training of workforce

Poaching of internally trained skilled staff (thus no incentive to train)
IT, CAD and e-commerce training

University bases cast metals technology course and practical workshops

Introduction of cash incentives for science and engineering students

Trade association workshops

Re-introduction of national training levy and/or training requirements
Process Capability

Adoption of

  • Capable casting processes
  • Statistical process control (SPC)
Development of capable (10 Rules) casting processes
Development of 6 sigma concepts
Development of advanced NDT and metrology
Quality, reliability and durability Repairability Development of weldable, non-heat treated casting alloys
  Recycling Develop improved mould materials recycling
Regulations and Standards Health and Safety  
  Hazardous materials R&D for alternative materials e.g. asbestos
  Working conditions Improved PPE
  Transport of materials (COSHH) Full database for process materials
Bad Regulations and Standards Possibly wrongly identified hazardous materials (Be in Al cast alloys) Justify or withdraw unhelpful regulations.
  Dangerous heat treatments for Al alloys R&D to define safe practices, plus dissemination of good practice
Blue Skies R&D & Emerging Technologies Automation of manual tasks

Improved product quality

New processes

New materials
Advanced robotics

Process improvements and inspection methods

Blue sky R&D;

Blue sky R&D;Materials not in UK e.g. Ti, silicides, etc.
Information Technology and Concurrent Engineering E-business


Concurrent Engineering

Product quality responsibility
See (+) above, plus

Full alloy physical property characterisation

Full process material characterisation