The Investment Casting Process offers Engineers the opportunity to enhance the affordability of their designed products by combining multiple pieces into a single near-net-shape structure that reduces both the need for secondary machining and the part count of an engineered assembly. However, good applications for employing the IC process are often poorly understood so excellent casting opportunities can be frequently lost on the “drawing board”. In 2011, to assist its customers to better identify casting opportunities, O’Fallon Casting began to teach a 3-hour IC-101 class at customer locations across North America on the considerations and principles of Investment Casting design.
It soon became apparent that a sub-segment of IC-101 students could benefit from a more in-depth exposure to the investment casting process. In 2014, as an outgrowth of its IC-101 class, O’Fallon Casting began to provide its customers that additional experience with an IC-201 class.
Investment Casting-201 is a three day class taught at O’Fallon Casting on the basics of Investment Casting manufacture. An IC-201 class provides an introduction to all of the investment casting manufacturing operations and includes hands-on experience with pattern injection, sprue assembly, gate grinding, straightening, radiography and penetrant inspection. In addition IC-201 “students” receive 3-hours of classroom work, participate in a collaborative engineering workshop and are exposed to toolmaking, solidification modeling and defect analysis.
IC-201 classes are limited to two or three customer/students per session. Although the curriculum is largely targeted to Design Engineers OFC has found that Quality Engineers and Procurement Professionals will also benefit from the training.
In its first five years O’Fallon Casting IC-101 classes have trained more than nine-hundred customer engineers on the basics of Investment Casting Design and in less than two years nearly fifty IC-201 students have gained valuable experience in the rudiments of Investment Casting Manufacture. O’Fallon Casting’s IC-101 and IC-201 classes together with its Concurrent Engineering Service, Design Guide, website and blogs are collectively now known as being “The O’Fallon Casting University”.
O’Fallon Casting believes that its better educated customers will design better and more affordable products. The OFC University underscores O’Fallon Casting’s commitment to helping its customers be more successful.