Waste Minimisation in Investment Casting

Date: September 24, 2021

Minimising waste is important in all facilities, both from an economic point of view and in order to save resources and energy. This also includes investment casting. At Dean Group, we work hard to make our processes – and our facility – greener, be it by using recycled materials or ensuring the use of eco-friendly techniques.

Eco friendly industry concept. 3d rendering of green factory icon on fresh spring meadow with blue sky in background.

By doing this, we can better reduce waste in investment casting. Take a look at some of the different ways this can be achieved.

Using Computer Simulation

You can reduce waste in manufacturing by making use of simulation software. This helps to ensure that products are made to your specifications, since designs can be easily tweaked and checked for integrity and other potential issues. By the time it goes to production, your castings have the correct dimensions, tolerances and size, so they don’t need to be re-done later on. This will save you time and money.

By simulating problems, we can identify issues and figure out solutions virtually, which means we’re not wasting resources and creating several prototypes until we get it right. Simulation software is a good way to cut down waste in manufacturing, and it helps Dean Group to be even more efficient.

Using Rapid Prototyping

Rapid prototyping not only saves you time and money, but also resources. This technique allows you to have a few variations of your design, so that you can make changes to the product until you’re happy with it and without having it manufactured. If there are issues with the product, we can easily catch it at this point, so that we’re minimising production waste by preventing a faulty product from being made.

The prototype can be refined, changed and improved as needed, and it can also undergo destructive tests, allowing you to verify the strength or durability of the product.

Monitoring Water Usage

Keeping up to date with the water we use to create investment castings also helps us to reduce waste. We make sure to monitor it regularly and to improve its usage, seeing as this is a key component in our manufacturing processes and we understand that saving as much as we can is essential. Re-using water when possible is also crucial, especially because we use thousands of litres.

Using Recycled Metals and Waxes

Recycling is indispensable nowadays, so it’s not surprising that we also use recycled metals and waxes in our processes. This helps us to minimise waste, especially because metals are usually 100% recyclable without loss of properties. This also means, of course, that you don’t have to worry about the quality of the products, because each casting we make is manufactured with quality and integrity in mind.

As for waxes, we opt for recycled in our assembled trees that are dipped in ceramic. The wax is melted and leaves a hollow ceramic shell behind, which we use in our process. By using as many recycled materials as possible, we can help to preserve resources and to keep waste to a minimum.

Close-up of copper wire

Installing Energy-Saving Lights

A green factory needs efficient lighting too. So, consider installing LED lights on your premises in order to keep your energy bills down and to save electricity. This is what we did at Dean Group. We replaced our floor lights with LEDs and find that they offer even more brightness too.

Having a Good Inventory Management in Place

A major part of reducing waste is making sure that you have a proper inventory management system. It will help you to know the exact quantity of materials you’re using in your manufacturing processes and can help you to prevent excess of raw materials.

At Dean Group, on top of an efficient system, we also ensure that we only order as much materials as we need – and can actually stock.

Ensuring an Efficient Workflow

If the layout of your premises is not very efficient, for example, you can be wasting time and resources by having staff scrambling to find the right materials or parts or by having too many people operating a single machine.

You can avoid this by keeping workstations close by, especially if your employees need to move between them, to rearrange your layout, to keep heavy objects on the bottom of shelves instead of at the top, and more.

Implement Preventative Maintenance

Ensuring your machinery undergoes regular maintenance helps you stay on top of any potential issues, so that you don’t have to waste a lot of money down the line if they breakdown – especially if you’re in the middle of a project.

And, by scheduling maintenance, you can also choose the times that work for you, meaning you don’t have to halt operations or wait days and weeks until a specific machine is fixed.

Engineer using laptop computer for maintenance in thermal power

There are many more ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, but these are just some ideas to help you get started. At Dean Group, we aim to run the most efficient facility we can, so we’re also going to be installing solar panels this year for further energy-saving, so that we can help the planet while ensuring a healthy bottom line.

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