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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.”
PumpWorks - Customers - Needs - ExOne - Technology
“We are thrilled that PumpWorks was able to meet their customers’ needs by using ExOne’s technology.”
Additive manufacturing vs. traditional manufacturing
MW - Smith - Request - Production - Heads
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.
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