Brass and Aluminum High-Pressure Die Castings and Value-Added Services

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How Die Casting Evolves To A Finished Item

Rheocast Installs New 800T HPM Brass Die Casting Press

April 17, 2017

Germantown, Wis. — Rheocast Company has enhanced its brass die casting capabilities with the addition of an HPM Model D-800 die casting machine at its Germantown facility.

Rheocast will pour brass alloys using the recently installed HPM machine, which has 800 tons of lock-up pressure. It replaces an older, smaller die casting machine.

“We decided to make this investment because of increasing demand from several new customers,” said Charlie Wright, plant superintendent at Rheocast. “We also plan to increase the quality of our castings by using the larger machine tonnage,” he said. Wright added that the newer machine provides more shot control, which can improve internal characteristics of a casting, for example.

The HPM machine was completely remanufactured by ITL Machinery Services in Marion, Ohio using advanced technology. It has been outfitted with tie bar tonnage indicators and is controlled via an Allen-Bradley 5/05 processor. The technology is integrated with Visitrak Worldwide’s latest Total Trak system of shot monitoring and control. The HMI interface allows for the adjustment of clamp and shot pressures, as well as the reading of tie bar tonnages.


Rheocast Expands Capabilities with New Tooling Facility

October 24, 2014

GERMANTOWN, Wis. — Rheocast Company has opened a new tooling facility in Germantown, Wisconsin, adjacent to its main manufacturing facility for brass and aluminum high-pressure die castings. At its new tooling operation, Rheocast occupies half of the 15,000- square-foot building at N114 W19049 Clinton Drive, and employs three new employees there. After thorough research, Rheocast invested well over $1 million in purchase of the building, new equipment and major renovations, including climate control systems specifically designed for tooling production. The new facility is equipped with CNC machines, grinders, lathes, CMM (coordinate measuring machine) and EDM (electrical discharge machining) equipment, overhead cranes and other machinery.

Previously, Rheocast conducted tool cleaning and die maintenance within its main 30,000-squarefoot die casting facility, but saw an opportunity to expand its tooling capabilities. “It all starts with well-built tooling,” said Charlie Wright, Jr., Rheocast sales and marketing manager. “These new capabilities give us more control over the tooling process. Rheocast is known for the complexity of the brass and aluminum parts we die cast, and with the new inhouse tooling, we have an even greater ability to achieve higher tolerances and more intricate shapes. We can select the highest quality materials, ensure the tool-making practices are what our customers need, and quickly make changes in-house to get our customers’ parts to market faster,” Wright said.


Local Foundry Wins International Casting Competition

November 15, 2012

Germantown, WI — Rheocast Company has won the International Die Casting Competition hosted by the North American Die Casting Association (NADCA) in the "Other Alloys" category with a brass casting. Company representatives attended the October industry convention in Indianapolis to accept their award.

"This is the first time NADCA, our trade association, has allowed a casting made out of a brass alloy into the competition," says Charlie Wright Jr, the Sales & Marketing Manager for Rheocast. "We are extremely excited for the opportunity to share how die cast brass can be used profitably by OEMs."

Rheocast, a division of The Fall River Group, Fall River, Wisconsin, has specialized in the high pressure die casting of brass and aluminum since 1977. According to the company, brass is less commonly die cast than aluminum or zinc. Wright claims this is because brass is more expensive as a raw material. "Brass is also poured at a hotter temperature which shortens tooling life. Consequently, the entire process is perceived as more expensive," he says. Additionally there has been major competitionfrom metalcasters in Asia, and the majority of domestic die casters capable of pouring brass have closed.

However, with their victory in the casting competition, Rheocast hopes to shake that stigma. Mark Morton, Rheocast's Vice President of Manufacturing, says, "In spite of its challenges, brass is in fact a viable alloy for the die casting process. Without getting too technical, we entered a part in the competition that was converted by our customer from a sand casting to a die casting." The savings were substantial. The machining time, casting weight, and assembly time were all reduced by 83% on average. "These results translate to significant cost savings for our customer," says Morton. What's more, this casting is part of a geothermal power unit that is 100% manufactured in the United States. "We are proud to help our customer compete successfully in the international market with parts that are entirely made in America."

NADCA states the competition is meant "to showcase outstanding die cast designs while acknowledging the continuous contribution die casters provide to the manufacturing industry." In addition to being honored at the convention, Rheocast and their customer were featured in the September issue of Die Casting Engineer magazine.

Wright says this was the first time Rheocast has submitted to the annual competition and asserts they will be back next year with another innovative brass design. "We always have something exciting happening. Manufacturing has not left Milwaukee or America. Even though we might not get as much press as other industries, we are still here. We are honored to be recognized for our work, especially with brass."