PumpWorks Castings, LLC, an industrial pump manufacturer and foundry, is tackling the challenge of hardware obsolescence by applying additive manufacturing technology. Responding to an urgent request from its customer MW Smith, a Division of DXP Enterprises, Inc., a rotating equipment supplier from Longview, Texas, PumpWorks reduced the lead time for the production of two custom parts down from 17 weeks to just 8.
For this request, PumpWorks applied ExOne’s S-Max additive manufacturing system to make 3D sand castings. According to Jared Helfrich, CCO, ExOne: “This was a very compelling case as the customer urgently needed a rapid turnaround time for the casting. ExOne’s S-Max system was able to effectively deliver on the mold package.”
“We are thrilled that PumpWorks was able to meet their customers’ needs by using ExOne’s technology.”
Additive manufacturing vs. traditional manufacturing
MW Smith’s request was for the production of two heads for an obsolete gas compressor which is no longer in production. Made from Class 40 Cast Iron, the traditional manufacturing method for these parts would be wood pattern based casting with machining. For the traditional process, ExOne estimates that manufacturers would typically run up a tooling bill of around $70,000. The cost is largely due to the custom tooling required. In additive manufacturing, no tooling is required to reproduce the shape.
PumpWorks used their ExOne S-Max, to make molds for the heads in silica sand using a furan binder. Approximately one week of 3D printing and complete casted part turnaround were required to complete each mold, as opposed to the expected 8/9 weeks for a wood pattern. When assembled, the mold measured 46 x 38 x 46 inches. Liquid cast iron was then poured into the mold and cooled, then the mold was removed, leaving the part to be finished and delivered to the customer.
Through this process, the PumpWorks team was able to meet MW Smith’s eight-week deadline for the parts, and the company could begin its compressor repairs. “ExOne technology has empowered our manufacturing team to take on projects we would not have taken on in the past,” said Mark Welch, Director of Sales at PumpWorks Castings, LLC.
“Matching our team’s skill sets with ExOne’s technology enables us as a supplier of parts to say yes to one-off designs and say yes to fast deliveries.”
3D printing straight from CAD file
In addition to the competitive lead time, and eradication of tooling costs, PumpWorks’ application of ExOne additive manufacturing meant that the team could 3D print direct from CAD file, rather than having to manually convert design information into operational data. In this process, ExOne promises 3D printed mold and core accuracies of ± 0.011 in. (± 0.3 mm). The process achieves geometric complexity and a scale unmatched using conventional casting techniques without the need for a physical pattern. You can watch ExOne’s rapid accurate and uniform 3D Core & Mold Printing process in the video below.
Recently, 3D Printing Industry has also seen how the ExOne Innovent+TM contributed to 13 weeks saved development time at MiMtechnik, and we took a closer look at the company’s latest X1 25PRO™ metal binder jetting system which has been nominated for 2019’s Enterprise 3D printer of the year (Metals).
For a closer look at ExOne 3D printing technology, visit the company as at booth #8653, OTC 2019, from May 6 – 9 in Houston, TX, and at GIFA, June 25 – 29th, Dusseldorf, Germany, Hall 15, A11.
The company will also be exhibiting at booth 917 in RAPID + TCT 2019 from May 21 through 23 in Detroit.
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Featured image shows the ExOne S-Max additive manufacturing system. Image via ExOne