Dean Group History

Dean Group history from its foundation in 1972 to the current day: our development, continuous investment and achievements of over 40 years in the casting industry.

  • 1972

    The original factory was built in Stretford. We made everything ourselves including the wax injection machines, metal melting equipment, even the fencing.

  • 1982

    Had a factory purpose built in Irlam; moved from Stretford with no loss of production.

  • 1985

    Re-designed the shop floor to maximise the efficiency of manufacturing.

  • 1990

    A bespoke Unix production, purchasing and estimating software system was designed and implemented as there was no software available on the market at the time; it was used for 15 years before upgrading to another bespoke software system in 2005 written on MS Access.

  • 1991

    Introduced automated wax injection.

  • 1992

    Expanded automated wax injection.

  • 1994

    New runner system facility installed.

  • 1995

    Converted from alcohol (used for 20 years) to water based ceramics due to new challenging environmental legislation.

  • 1996

    Automated robotic shell production, introduced bar coded manufacturing system. Manual lifting became a problem with larger moulds so added manual manipulators to pick up heavy loads to comply with lifting regulations and some specific DGI requirements. This has revolutionised, improved efficiency, and increased the size of moulds.

  • 1997

    Brought DGI into the 21st century and revolutionised casting techniques: added SolidWorks 3D CAD, Mavies CAD casting simulation, Mitutoyo coordinate measuring machine, fast prototyping, made 3D CAD models available to the shop floor.

  • 1998

    Significant investment to balance the capabilities in the foundry to match downstream facility.

  • 2000

    Integrated SolidWorks CAD software and 3D CAM software to cut our own tooling which allowed us to be self sufficient in tool manufacture.

  • 2001

    Introduced cellular manufacture to improve efficiency.

  • 2002

    Re-aligned the business to the changing market conditions: introduced suppliers in China for high volume work keeping low/medium volume work for manufacture in the UK. Focussed around 3 main requirements: quality, service, and price, which remain fundamental to our business to date. The change was completed by 2003 with no disruption to customers.

  • 2005

    After taking a hit from a lightning strike which nearly destroyed all DGI data, a bespoke MS Access database software was designed and specifically written for DGI for Production control, Estimating and Quality.

  • 2007

    Manchester Investment Castings re-branded to Dean Group International. New marketing and business strategy encompassing other types of cast processes: precision grade investment casting, commercial grade investment casting, die casting, fabrications, sub assemblies and more.

  • 2008

    Shell development for non ferrous metals. Spectrometer for the analysis of Carbon Steel, Stainless Steel, Nickel and Cobalt alloys.

  • 2009

    Multiple fast prototype tooling developements: introduced fast tooling or soft tooling options which have bridged a gap and won several new jobs in quick succession.

  • 2010

    Major upgrade to Access database: Estimating, Stock and Quality Control linked into Sage software allowing for further efficiencies. DGI won Salford Business Award for Technology as a recognition of our technical innovation and abilities.

  • 2011

    Significant upgrade of the investment area environmental control allowing for better shell consistency, less scrap and improved quality.

  • 2012

    Added to the capability of our spectrometer with lines for Aluminium and copper base alloys. The factory was refurbished in preparation of forthcoming 40th Anniversary celebrations.

  • 2013

    Significant investments into our foundry of a new Aluminium melting facility, and Microscopy laboratory.