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From concept to reality – in just 10 weeks

The ability to handle a full turnkey project to a tight delivery schedule, supplying equipment to satisfy a specific order for a new customer, helped FTL Foundry Equipment Ltd secure an order to build a new casting bay with no-bake moulding plant at a world-leading automotive casting facility.

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When Grainger & Worrall (UK) kick-started its three-phase £3million investment programme in 2010 there was a fundamental need to choose suppliers capable of delivering what was needed to get the job done – namely to design, build and install the plant and produce sample castings in a 10-week timeframe. Confidence in the quality of moulds and subsequently castings which would be made in the bay was high on the list of criteria and FTL’s proven 40+ year track record stood them in good stead when the extent of the project was realised.

Built to supply aluminium torque tubes to Mercedes-AMG GmbH, this latest addition to the casting capabilities at Grainger & Worrall was up and running as promised producing sample castings in October 2010 and has helped this leading castings manufacturer deliver as per customer requests.

Andy Hough G&W executive manager operations is delighted with the outcome: “The building of this new foundry was driven by the customer and to satisfy this particular order. FTL performed exactly as we had hoped. They understood our concept and were able to take that and make it a reality designing the production line we needed to fulfil our commitment to the customer. There were some issues we had to change but that was merely because of the speed at which we had to make things happen which meant we had forgotten a couple of things. But we sorted it and the plant was working on the day we needed it to be.”

The new manual plant is producing 2 moulds an hour and includes an articulated mixer, fill and strip stations and dual low-level knockout stations. The foundry thermally reclaims all sand to ensure high quality castings and FTL also supplied the new storage silos for dirty and clean sand, dust extraction and blowing systems.

FTL managed and co-ordinated the whole project including liaison with other suppliers and with service providers to ensure connection to the new building.

The quality of the moulds and castings produced on the new equipment was celebrated on the FTL stand at GIFA, the world’s largest foundry equipment show, in Dusseldorf in June when the moulds for a transmission housing for an American truck company and the aluminium V12 NASCAR block and head castings were on display.

John Griffiths of FTL said the ability to do exactly what they say they can and work closely with the customer to make that happen is a basic FTL philosophy which is why they have more moulding and handling equipment installed in the UK than any other company. They are also developing a good reputation in Turkey, Russia, Poland and other parts of the world as more and more foundries look to improve their moulding and material handling systems. “The whole project had a 10-week timescale and we had to make sure the plant could make trial castings on the day we said it could so there would be no loss of time for Grainger and Worrall’s new customer. The foundry hadn’t used FTL equipment before but they were aware of what we could achieve from other foundries and they were confident they could deliver the quality of parts they needed using our equipment.”

Some of the most notable foundries in the UK have installed FTL’s well-engineered equipment over the past 40 years and Grainger & Worrall is a leading light in the industry. An understanding of the foundry’s needs, the ability to project manage, design, commission and install equipment in a timely manner and a history of getting the job done helped put FTL in the driving seat for this phase of development at this award winning casting facility.

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