Barron Industries wins 2016 investment casting of the year

Barron Industries has received the Investment Casting Institute’s Defense Casting of the Year Award for a low-alloy steel fabrication conversion part the company makes for an armored personnel carrier. The award, presented at the Institute’s 63rd Technical Conference and Expo, recognizes manufacturers which produce parts and components that best illustrate and promote the benefits and flexibility of the investment casting process, or which demonstrate problem solving techniques for the customer.

Barron’s award-winning casting was converted from two separate welded fabrications totaling 12 pieces. It now serves as both an engine mount and an alternator mount for a power pack used on a new generation armored personnel carrier. Barron Industries also machines the casting in-house using a 5-axis CNC machining center, performing all machining in one setup.

“Barron Industries’ winning entry exemplifies the benefits offered by this specialized process,” said Joseph Fritz, Investment Casting Institute Executive Director. “Cast as a single piece component, Barron’s approach to this engine mount eliminated fabrication and assembly costs, while at the same time reducing OEM production cycle time and logistics costs, resulting in better than a 60% savings to their customer.”

“The finished casting is manufactured at 1/3 the total cost of the original fabrication,” said Bruce Barron, president and CEO of Barron Industries.

“The Barron Industries investment casting process provides distinctive advantages over sand and other casting methods,” said Barron. “Our process turns out precision castings with greater dimensional accuracy, higher consistency, superior product integrity and improved surface finish. It is often the only way a part can be manufactured economically.”

Investment casting is one of the oldest manufacturing processes in which molten metal is poured into an expendable ceramic mold. The mold is formed by using a wax pattern – a disposable piece in the shape of the desired part. The pattern is surrounded, or “invested”, into ceramic slurry that hardens into the mold. Investment casting is often referred to as “lost-wax casting” because the wax pattern is melted out of the mold after it has been formed. Since the mold is destroyed during the process, parts with complex geometries and intricate details can be created.

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