At Dean Group, we provide the best possible service throughout the entire manufacturing journey. We understand just how important it is to trust that the parts and components you need for your project are of the highest quality at all times. Be it for the aerospace, the automotive or the medical industry, for example, we can help you create the parts you require for your specific needs.
Each case is different and will have different requirements and challenges, but you can always rest assured that each step of the Dean Group journey will be focused on you, the customer, and on providing accurate models and parts with the highest possible and repeatable quality standards.
How Does This Journey Start?
It all begins when we’re contacted by a client. We get a lot of enquiries through our website, especially via the contact form, and also get referrals from existing customers.
While some people will know exactly what they want and need, this is not always the case. If you find that this is your situation, don’t worry – Dean Group can assist with material choices and ensuring the design meets the specified requirements
We start by working with your design team to fully understand the functional requirements and design constraints which will help us identify the appropriate casting process as well.
For example, if weight is an issue we may be able to offer a solution using an aluminium alloy, and this then opens up other process options depending on volumes, life of the product and commercial drivers.
We deal with our projects on a case-by-case basis, meaning you always get a personalised service that is tailored to your needs.
Why 3D CAD Modelling is Crucial
A heavy emphasis is put on front end engineering design to keep the development (sampling) phase as short and clean as possible.
In essence, our aim is to make sure we get it right the first time around!
If the customer does not have 3D models we will create these ourselves and these will be used to develop the design with input from your design team. This means that you are always aware of any potential changes the design requires, so that you can decide whether or not those changes can be implemented.
We often make recommendations that will help guide you through this process; sometimes, however, parts can’t be altered, as the design parameters are already set. This is not uncommon, and our challenge then is to develop a process that will produce sound castings with changes to feeding and part orientation. In addition, we run casting simulations of the models we create, which helps us to identify and design out potential problems.
We use a 2D drawing for tolerance information and a 3D model is used for simulation and tool manufacture.
The Benefits of Rapid Prototyping
If the design is still fluid or the demand is for a small quantity for validation, we can offer you rapid prototyping services.
There are a number of options available depending on the number of prototype parts required. By opting for rapid prototyping, you can be confident of how your product will perform under real-world stress and whether it’s commercially suitable or not.
This process also allows for direct comparison testing or alternative concepts and for design changes without costly modifications after the release of your product.
Which Casting Process is Best for You?
As we mentioned, this will depend on the project and functional requirements of the parts.
For light weight applications where mechanical strength is less important, die casting (which can be pressure die casting or gravity die casting) may be the solution, but both have design and volume constraints. These processes offer great dimensional accuracy too.
For fewer parts or where the design parameters are too complex for die casting, investment casting may be the best solution, and this process also opens up the material choices dramatically- virtually any metal.
With low tooling costs this is an ideal process for lower volume applications or could be used as an interim process which could be transitioned to a more suitable, lower cost process once established and volumes have increased. Investment casting offers great consistency and repeatability, precision, and design flexibility.
Whether the parts are to be produced here in Manchester or by one of our approved, low cost sourcing partners, the front-end engineering design and manufacturing process controls are all produced by us, and all parts supplied are quality assured and certified by us here in Manchester.
For more information about working with Dean Group, we can answer your questions when it comes to designing and manufacturing parts, when you contact us on 0161 775 1633.
Our team of experts are always on hand to discuss your project, whether you require a prototype or wish to manufacture a specific part – or both.