The CAST CRC, in association with the Australian Die Casting Association (ADCA) has been working closely with the die casting industry for a number of years. As a result, a large knowledge base covering all facets of die-casting has been developed. CAST wishes to facilitate the use of this knowledge by industry and has expanded into other areas of metal technology. The Best Practice project exists to assist the Australian metals industry to address both day-to-day problems and strategic improvements.
The Best Practice project offers an opportunity for metal technology companies to participate in CAST as associate members and tap into the diverse network of resources at CSIRO, Central Queensland University, Monash University, IRIS (Swinburne), Deakin University and The University of Queensland. The Best Practice project started in 2000 with an initial Benchmarking exercise of 18 die casting companies. This identified operational practices and management procedures. From this data, a company could easily identify their strengths and improvement opportunities. Companies then proceeded to develop and implement improvement strategies. Participation in the Best Practice project costs individual companies a total of $3000 per year.
Via a collaboration of ADCA, CAST and individual companies, a wide range of projects were initiated – the results of which have been dramatic:
$140,000 p.a. savings achieved in a Cycle Time reduction project for Nissan.
$40,000 p.a. savings identified in an Energy Audit at Melbourne Gravity.
With CAST and Merne working together, a die design for a complex gravity die casting was developed – the result: quality parts produced on the first trial maximising quality and reducing time-to-market.
Other benefits include improving casting quality, porosity reduction, die cooling die, market analysis and development of an environmental management system.