The Finecast Process

Every new product we manufacture is unique, each design different with its own bespoke technical and engineering requirements.

Drawing on our wealth experience, we have created a structure that supports projects of any size, complexity, and value. Our designated project management structure guides you seamlessly through defined development and manufacturing gateways to deliver finished ready to build components within your program lead times, budget ready with complete adherence to engineering standards.

Take the road to your project success.

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Stage 1: Enquiry
2
Stage 2: 3D CAD Modelling & Mould Assembly Package
3
Stage 3: Virtual MAGMASOFT Casting Simulation
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Stage 4: Additive Manufacturing 3D Tool-less Sand Printed Castings
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Stage 5: Foundry Tooling
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Stage 6: Prototype Foundry & Low volume Series Foundry
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Step 7: Cast Component Integrity Validation
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Step 8: Heat-Treatment facilities
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Step 9: Materials Laboratory
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Step 10: CNC Machining
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Step 11: Machined Component Dimensional Validation

Stage 1: Enquiry

Careers at Finecast

Our CAD resources allows us to work directly from raw component native data in CATIA V5, Pro E and CATIA Files.
Complete 3D casting and machined models can be generated from 2D drawings if no 3D data is available.

Reverse engineering can be supported from existing components using our onsite 3D CMM laser scanning and Computer Tomography capabilities to create both casting and machining 3D data sets with tolerance 2D drawings. What we need to know to choose the right casting process and provide an accurate engineering proposal for your project:

  • Quantity of parts required
  • Material specification and/or required mechanical properties
  • Application of part function
  • Part location and geometry in assembly
  • Critical or stressed areas on the component
  • Necessary NDT tests and inspection requirements
  • CNC machining information including critical dimensions
  • Required delivery schedule

Our technical and commercial team will provide a response to prototype enquiries in 1 working day and production programs within 3 days from RFQ.

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Stage 2: 3D CAD Modelling & Mould Assembly Package

Finecast virtual MAGMASOFT casting simulation

Direct from your product model, we generate a complete 3D CAD dataset based on the finished machined casting product requirements and intend chosen prototype or production process.

The raw casting model is full optimised to add machining allowance, radii, draft allowance for customer approval.

From this an 3D mould assembly package can be generated with defined split lines, core layout accounting for core print locations and clearance to guarantee dimensionally accurate and repeatable mould assembly. Each 3D mould package is customized to achieve its own casting product requirements.

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Stage 3: Virtual MAGMASOFT Casting Simulation

In house application of advanced MAGMASOFT 32 core casting simulation allows for us to make the appreciate changes to the cast design, manufacturing method and provide valuable feedback to our customers on the functionality of the components before prototype casting phase starts.

Virtual Simulations Performed:

  • Mould filling and solidification simulation
  • Prediction of residual stresses and distortion pre and post heat-treatment
  • Mechanical property prediction with virtual mechanical mapping of cast component

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Stage 4: Additive Manufacturing 3D Tool-less Sand Printed Castings

rapid prototyping at finecast

Onsite rapid prototype 3D sand printing to produce low volume and complex casting geometries in days. Our sand printing capabilities:

  • 3D print large complete moulds assembles to produce aluminum, iron, and steel casting cast components of 1800 x 1000x 700mm
  • 3D synthetic sand printed moulds and cores for high temperature or applications high thermal stress applications, requiring improved cast surface finish
  • 3D silica sand moulds packages cost-effective method of producing aluminium and iron alloys

Benefits of this process
Cost effective method to manufacture production design intent prototypes replicating without expense of foundry tooling.

Rapid turnaround as complex geometry cast components can be produced in days without the need to produce foundry tooling.

Unlimited design freedom as complex cores can be simplified and shapes including undercuts can be produced in one piece, without the need for foundry tools.

Risk reduction as multiple designs can be trailed before committing to a production design and tooling. Hybrid assembly with complex sand cores printed combined with conventional foundry tooling.

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Stage 5: Foundry Tooling

Foundry tooling

In house foundry tooling facilities to machine cut dimensionally consistent pattern equipment and fixtures up to 2000 x 1000 x 420 mm in size. Industry leading Delcam CAM software to offline program to reduce engineering and cycle times.

Benefits of process to our customers

Rapid turnaround as our tooling making facilities include for multiple CNC machining operating 24 hours a day.
Foundry tooling can be produced from various density resin boards to support prototype soft tooling and low volume sand casting manufacture up to 10,000 components.

Total confidentiality with the assurance that sensitive designs completely in house.

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Stage 6: Prototype Foundry & Low volume Series Foundry

Finecast Prototype Foundry & Low volume Series Foundry

All new cast products, small development or prototype batches are processed through are designated prototype foundry. Our purpose-built prototype facility offers the flexibility to rapidly manufacture and qualify cast products by our team of experienced apprentice served engineers.

Schedule production and large mould casting castings are processed through our low series production foundry. Equipped with multiple fast track semi semi automated mould assembly lines high quality, dimensionally accurate casting can be produced efficiently.

Materials:
Non-Ferrous:
All Aluminum alloy material grades including class 1 corrosion-resistant copper and nickel-based alloys.
900kg melting capacity for aluminium
Ferrous
Grey iron, ductile iron range including High Silicon Molybdenum and austempred iron. Steel grades, Stainless, High Nickel and Heat Resist Alloys

500 kg melting capacity for iron and steel alloys

Foundry Plant Facilities:

  • Fast Track & Carousel Moulding cells
  • OMEGA Sinto continuous sand mixers 60 tone per hour
  • OMEGA Sinto Large mould Compaction Tables
  • OEMGA Sinto Automated Mould Manipulation & Closing Stations up to 10 Tonnes.
  • 5 tonne & 5 tonne gantry cranes
  • Core Shooting
  • Flood coating for improved mould and core surface finish.
  • Thermal Sand Reclamation & Attrition System (90% Percent Sand Reclamation)
  • De-coring ovens

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Step 7: Cast Component Integrity Validation

Quality and inspection of castings using CT scanner

We offer a wide range of internal Non-Destructive Testing facilities to working to internal standards and customer product specific specifications including:

Computer Tomography.

We never compromise on quality due to the critical application that are cast components are destined to perform in. Investment into the most advanced industrial CT (Computer Tomography) Scanner, General Electric Seifert X|Cube series 320 provides finite radiographic and dimensional verification to an accuracy within 0.1mm.
The accuracy of this technology allows for micro porosity, small incipient cracks and surface imperfection within internal geometry which would not be identified be visual inspection to be detected.
High powered performance of our X Cube allows for a wide range of material to be scanned including;

  • Steel up to 90mm
  • Iron
  • Aluminum
  • Carbon Fibre
  • Sand

Max Dai Ø x height: 600mmx900mm
Max. Loaded Part Height: 930mm
Max Weight: 300Kgs
Max Component weight: 2540mmx2230mmx2400mm

  • Real Time Radiographic Inspection
  • Ultrasonic Testing
  • Dye Penetrant Inspection
  • Air Decay & Water Test

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Step 8: Heat-Treatment facilities

Onsite heat-treatment to process to internal and customer standards.

Largest solution furnace volume = 11.56m³ (2.15m x 2.15m x 2.5m)
Our range of water and polymer quench to control over distortion and residual stresses in all components.

Step 9: Materials Laboratory

Finecast Metallurgy Laboratory

Material Control monitored by continual metallurgical analysis in laboratory equipped with non-ferrous and ferrous spectrometers, microscopic examination of microstructures and tensile testing facilities.

Control of sand through constant production sampling and laboratory testing.

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Step 10: CNC Machining

CNC Machining in Sussex at Finecast

Continual investment into the latest machine tooling technology combined with expertise of our motivated highly trained team with a wealth of experience engineering and CNC machining complex geometry, close tolerance components in variety of material grades guarantees repeatable high quality finished components to reduced program times.

Complete Machined Cast Upfront Engineering
We operate multiple seats of Delcam CAD/CAM offline programming software. From the start, we engineer a finished machine component assessing the most suitable machining strategy to achieve all product requirements.
Machining technology that sets the benchmark within our industry.
Remaining true to our philosophy to offer the latest science and technology to support only the highest level of engineering service and product our machining facilities is equipped with state of the art multiple axis 5 axis simultaneous Mazak and driven turning machine tools.

Simultaneous 5 Axis Machining:
2000mm (X), 1800mm (Y), 600mm (Z)
Table Load: 600Kgs

Mill/Turn Simultaneous 5 Axis
850mm (X), 260mm (Y), 1033mm (Z)
Table Size – Dia Φ730 mm

CNC Turning
Max turning dia: Ø 48

We can minimise production cycles in various ways:
RAPID TOOL CHANGING
TWIN PALLET LOADING
ONLINE PROBING
HIGH-SPEED ROTARY TABLES
OFF-LINE PROGRAMMING

Machined Component Dimensional Validation
Our metrology department is equipped with 3 CMM’s, two equipped with fully programmable probe station to measure components up to . Surface finish, contour and angle measurements can also performed rapidly with accuracy using our Hobson Taylor Talysurf.

This technology combined with our highly experienced inspection team ensures that customer requirements are met including CPK Indices, SPC analysis, full ISIR and FAIR reports.

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Step 11: Machined Component Dimensional Validation

Finecast casting quality

Our metrology department is equipped with 3 CMM’s, two equipped with fully programmable probe station to measure components up to . Surface finish, contour and angle measurements can also performed rapidly with accuracy using our Hobson Taylor Talysurf.

This technology combined with our highly experienced inspection team ensures that customer requirements are met including CPK Indices, SPC analysis, full ISIR and FAIR reports.

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The team

Meet our fine people

More than 80 people work at the Finecast Foundry based on the South coast of England. Find out more about the team that's passionate about shaping the future of cast product design.

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Finecast Services

Finecast provides a complete casting service from engineering support through to low volume component manufacture, rapid prototyping and lots more.