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Metal Casting Technologies : December 2006
BRIEFINGS entirely. Vision systems are used to identify the wheel casting and to direct that casting into the correct furnace for the designated heat treatment for that particular casting. Another feature of the system is the use of parallel chains to convey the castings through the furnace as opposed to the traditional racks that are commonly used in the industry. This allows Superior to quench the castings eight at a time and in the "normal to the road" position, providing exceptional distortion control in both roundness and flatness. Superior Industries designed, automated, and implemented Phase I in joint effort with CEC to connect the low pressure permanent mold casting machines directly with the T-6 solution heat treatment, quench, and age. The lines heat-treat 600 castings per hour, and the castings can be charged hot immediately from the casting decks. Following the T-6, the castings are sent to inspection and machining without operator involvement or racking. Visit www.cec-intl.com. Lighter, more fuel-efficient cars - focus of new casting research centre in Canada Helping to develop lighter, stronger, more fuel-efficient automobiles is the focus of the new Light Metal Casting Research Centre (LMCRC) opened by the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. LMCRC is working with industry and government to advance automotive casting research for engines and body panels, and to develop a skilled workforce for the automotive casting sector. Among the project partners are Orlick Industries, General Motors, Burlington Technologies, Alcan International, and Magna Powertrain. A key mandate of the Centre is developing highly qualified researchers and employees to boost continued innovation in Canada. Bishop Technology Australian major player global markets Australian manufacturers have only one route to effective expansion into world markets. They must focus on innovation and the creation of intellectual property, commercialise it into major industrialised economies of the world. Bishop Technology is using this formula now has steering technology being incorporated in 23.8 per cent of all vehicles manufactured annually around the world. The CEO of Bishop Technology says that most companies now employ a systematic formal new-product process, but the nature of the process and the way it is implemented are the true keys to success. Delivering a differentiated, superior product is one practice that strongly separates the best and worst performers. This is the only proven approach in an environment of globalisation, free trade agreements and minimal government intervention in the economy. Germany is very much at the leading edge with this vision. In 2004--05 Australia's total manufacturing industry contributed 11 per cent or A$88.3 billion of value- added production to Australia's GDP. Manufacturing exports were A$67.4 billion and employment was more than 11 per cent of Australia's workforce. Germany, with limited natural resources, high labour costs and high taxation, is the world's largest exporter by value. Germany's exports are around 10 to 12 times Australia's exports for only four times the population. Germany also has high unemployment. Besides its major manufacturers, Germany has more than 500 world-class small-medium enterprises (SMEs) that have a devotion to innovation and an absolute obsession with quality. These companies use their intellectual property and manufacture labour- intensive components in low labour-cost regions such as Eastern Europe and China and continue to manufacture capital-intensive components in Germany. As a consequence, imports of goods ultimately destined for export are constantly growing. Huntsman Advanced Materials Wins Innovation Award at 2006 China Composites Expo Huntsman Advanced Materials won the highly prestigious 2006 China Composites Expo-JEC Innovation Award for the best application for FRP/ Composites Production. The Award recognised Huntsman's development of the process used to build the highly complex prototype of the engine air box for the Ferrari F430. This development is based on a perfectly balanced combination of the advanced RTM technology (Resin Transfer Moulding) achieved by ATR with the new epoxy resin system XB 3585/ Aradur® 3486 from Huntsman. The ATR Group, an Italian consortium comprising nine leading companies involved in the research and production of advanced structural composite parts and components, specified the new revolutionary advanced RTM system from Huntsman Advanced Materials. RTM is an established moulding METAL Casting Technologies December 2006 12 Receiving the Award, Dr Chih Chang of Huntsman Advanced Materials Sumanth Shankar and Xiachun Zeng pour an aluminum alloy cast in the New Light Metals Casting Research Centre at McMaster University