Specialist UK-based foundry expert Grainger & Worrall (G&W) is hoping it can attract business from the commercial vehicle (CV) powertrain market following the purchase of a second digital sand printer.
This latest purchase by G&W, based in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, a company which claims to be the UK’s leading provider of high-precision casting technologies, brings the investment in the company’s facilities to €2 million.
It follows on from the installation in 2013 of a S-Print HHS hot cure machine.
The new sand printer – an S-Max cold cure system - expands G&W’s scope and capacity in line with increasing customer demand. The new printer allows for much larger sand castings, meaning G&W is able to cater for a wider range of projects in the areas of commercial vehicle powertrain and complex structural castings.
Also, by using the furan cold cure process – a chemical setting binder system – the new S-Max printer requires no additional post process stages, thus increasing speed and throughput.
The S-Max cold cure printer provides a seven-fold increase in the build rate of printed cores to around three tonnes per day. This investment demonstrates the company’s clear vision for the future; based on the principles of upscaling and cost optimisation of processes.
G&W is well known for its pioneering work in the provision of prototype and small-run automotive engine cylinder blocks in compacted graphite iron (CGI), an area in which it has established market leadership. Ford Motor Company is just one the key names on its customer base, many of which cannot be named.
G&W also produces precision aluminium alloy castings for the automotive sector.
This year marks the 70th year of Grainger & Worrall, with more than 550 employees. This privately-owned family company, now run by co-founder Vernon Grainger’s three grandsons James, Matthew and Edward Grainger, is a recognised market leader in the field of prototype and small series complex high integrity structural castings, working within a diverse range of industries including automotive, commercial vehicles, motorsport, aerospace and defence.
The company was founded in 1946 by brothers-in-law Vernon Grainger and Charles Worrall, who set up business in post-war Britain as pattern makers and casting manufacturers in the Midlands.
Keith Denholm, engineering and technology director at Grainger & Worrall, said: “Our combined offering of two 3D sand printers provides customers with an unrivalled choice of process; both the hot and cold cure systems have an optimal application and G&W is able to combine and tailor these to best and fastest effect.”
As part of the 3D printing process, G&W employs laser scanning to provide dimensional controls to the printing cores further confirming the ‘Digital Factory’ approach from the point of customer supplied data, process simulation, core and casting manufacture and verification.
Denholm added: “Our growing digital capability enables a completely new dialogue with our customers, who are all interested in the future need for higher performance, lighter products, particularly in the dynamic areas of next generation engine, and vehicle castings.”
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