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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

Munish Chhabra and Rupinder Singh

The purpose of this paper is to investigate experimentally the effect of volume of casting, pouring temperature of different materials and shell mould wall thickness on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate experimentally the effect of volume of casting, pouring temperature of different materials and shell mould wall thickness on the surface roughness of the castings obtained by using ZCast direct metal casting process.

Design/methodology/approach

Taguchi's design of experiment approach was used for this investigation. An L9 orthogonal array (OA) of Taguchi design which involves nine experiments for three factors with three levels was used. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was then performed on S/N (signal‐to‐noise) ratios to determine the statistical significance and contribution of each factor on the surface roughness of the castings. The castings were obtained using the shell moulds fabricated with the ZCast process and the surface roughness of castings was measured by using the surface roughness tester.

Findings

Taguchi's analysis results showed that pouring temperature of materials was the most significant factor in deciding the surface roughness of the castings and the shell mould wall thickness was the next most significant factor, whereas volume of casting was found insignificant. Confirmation test was also carried out using the optimal values of factor levels to confirm the effectiveness of this approach. The predicted optimal value of surface roughness of castings produced by ZCast process was 6.47 microns.

Originality/value

The paper presents experimentally investigated data regarding the influence of various control factors on the surface roughness of castings produced by using ZCast process. The data may help to enhance the application of ZCast process in traditional foundry practice.

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Munish Chhabra and Rupinder Singh

This paper seeks to review the industrial applications of state‐of‐the‐art additive manufacturing (AM) techniques in metal casting technology. An extensive survey of…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to review the industrial applications of state‐of‐the‐art additive manufacturing (AM) techniques in metal casting technology. An extensive survey of concepts, techniques, approaches and suitability of various commercialised rapid casting (RC) solutions with traditional casting methods is presented.

Design/methodology/approach

The tooling required for producing metal casting such as fabrication of patterns, cores and moulds with RC directly by using different approaches are presented and evaluated. Relevant case studies and examples explaining the suitability and problems of using RC solutions by various manufacturers and researchers are also presented.

Findings

Latest research to optimize the current RC solutions, and new inventions in processing techniques and materials in RC performed by researchers worldwide are also discussed. The discussion regarding the benefits of RC solutions to foundrymen, and challenges to produce accurate and cost‐effective RC amongst AM manufacturers concludes this paper.

Research limitations/implications

The research related to this survey is limited to the applicability of RC solutions to sand casting and investment casting processes. There is practically no implication in industrial application of RC technology.

Originality/value

This review presents the information regarding potential AM application – RC, which facilitates the fabrication of patterns, cores and moulds directly using the computer‐aided design data. The information available in this paper serves the purpose of researchers and academicians to explore the new options in the field of RC and especially users, manufacturers and service industries to produce casting in relatively much shorter time and at low cost and even to cast complex design components which otherwise was impossible by using traditional casting processes and CNC technology.

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Case study
Publication date: 17 October 2012

Hari Narain Singh

Supply chain management.

Abstract

Subject area

Supply chain management.

Study level/applicability

The case is suitable for post graduates in management, and for those managing small sector supply and manufacturing systems.

Case overview

ACPL is an organisation which moved from trading to manufacturing a technology product instrument transformers (ITs) for power utility companies for 11 years, competing with the best in industry, reducing internal costs, and modernising the supply chain. ACPL was started as a trading organisation in electrical items in Delhi by Munish Kumar, an engineer by profession in 2001. In 2004 he ventured into manufacturing, which expanded in two locations in Ghaziabad, NCR Delhi. Later his two sons, engineer and management graduate, respectively, joined the organisation. In less than a decade, by 2007, ACPL had grown to be a private limited organisation. ACPL manufactures ITs required by power boards and companies for conversion and usage of high voltage (11 kV/33 kV) transmitted power into 220 V single phase/440 V three phase power. From tender/enquiry through manufacturing to inspection and despatch takes a long supply chain cycle time holding space as well as inventory. An interview with the chairman of ACPL in the case highlights issues affecting its margins and growth. The long process to delivery time may be in vogue in this type of industry but this holds up a huge inventory. The company management has been working to resolve this crisis along with an urgent need to grow in a competitive environment. The problem is being addressed.

Expected learning outcomes

This case study should help students to understand the concept of the supply chain and supply cycle, in a manufacturing company in particular. It has been found that students understand the supply chain as part of the marketing function dealing with finished stocks, warehousing and delivery to end customers as per agreements, and arranging payments from customers. The supply chain also deals with in bound materials management. Raw materials planning, purchasing, inventory management are crucial for effective business operations management in any organisation.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available; please contact your librarian for access.

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