Agricultural Planter Boot Casting Takes Top Honors at Casting Competition
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Nine Award-Winning Castings Are Recognized at 111th Metalcasting Congress in Houston

A 20-pound cast component that distributes seeds during the re-vegetation of arid sites earned Smith Foundry Co. (Minneapolis, Minn.) top honors for Casting of the Year at the Casting Competition, co-sponsored by Engineered Casting Solutions and the American Foundry Society (AFS). Smith Foundry's Rangeland Planter Boot Casting, manufactured using horizontally-parted green sand molding, was one of nine winning castings that were officially recognized by the metal casting industry as top designs at the 111th Metalcasting Congress, held May 15-18 in Houston, Texas. In addition to the Casting of the Year, the winners included four Best-in-Class and four Honorable Mention castings.

The winning components are currently being used by OEMs in a variety of industries, ranging from agriculture and recreation, to automotive, military, marine, and heating. Following are brief summaries of each of the award-winning castings.

Casting of the Year

Rangeland Planter Boot Casting
Smith Foundry Co., Minneapolis, won the competition's highest honors for its Rangeland Planter Boot Casting, a component used in the agricultural industry to distribute seeds for the re-vegetation of arid land. Made from austempered ductile iron, the cast component weighs 20 pounds and measures 3 x 8 x 19 inches. The casting reportedly reduced weight by 15%, cut lead time by 50%, and reduced cost by 65% over the steel weldment originally used by the OEM.

Best-in-Class Castings

Snowmobile Chassis Suspension Support
Grenville Castings Ltd., Perth, Ontario, received Best-in-Class honors for its snowmobile chassis suspension support. At 2.9 pounds, the aluminum, low-pressure permanent mold casting is said to offer superior strength while limiting overall weight. The result, according to the company, is improved performance and decreased gas consumption.

BMW X5 Instrument Panel Cross Car Beam
Lunt Manufacturing Co. Inc., Schaumburg, Ill., was recognized for its instrument panel cross car beam for the BMW X5. The magnesium die-cast component weighs 12.5 pounds, providing a 50% weight saving over a comparable steel design without sacrificing impact strength. It also provided significant cost savings as a result of being cast in a two-cavity, high-pressure die-casting mold.

Transmission Main Housing
Denison Industries Inc., Denison, Texas, won Best-in-Class recognition for its transmission main housing, an A355 aluminum semi-permanent mold component that saved an estimated 75% in cost over the proposed machined and assembled component consisting of 15-20 pieces. The 261-pound component is also said to have saved 50% in lead time.

Drop Tube
Signicast Corp., Hartford, Wis., won a Best-in-Class award for its carbon steel investment-cast drop tube. The casting provided a dimensionally accurate and consistent part with no secondary operations. It also reduced the overall cost by enabling the use of self-taping hardware. According to the manufacturer, cast threads allowed for easy assembly of the additional sensors required for the product.

Honorable Mentions

Manifold Housing
Watry Industries, LLC, Sheboygan, Wis., received Honorable Mention for its manifold housing, used to house a hydraulic pump and cylinder for trim and tilt outboard motors. The A356 aluminum permanent mold casting weighs 10.5 pounds, measures 5 x 9 x 9.5 inches, and is said to have reduced the need for any external plumbing to avoid fluid leaks.

Offset Bracket
Citation Columbiana, Columbiana, Ala., was awarded Honorable Mention for casting a ductile iron, lost-foam casting that was converted from a multi-piece fabrication. Used in a multi-function frame rail and suspension assembly, the component weighs 74 pounds and has dimensions of 29 x 14 x 15 inches. Its 39 cast-in holes reduced the weight of the casting by 20% without sacrificing strength, according to the manufacturer.

Processing Unit Enclosure
Precise Cast Prototypes & Engineering Inc., Commerce City, Colo., received Honorable Mention for its processing unit enclosure. The 9.8-pound unit, which dissipates heat to improve the performance of microprocessors, is made of A356 aluminum by a rubber plaster mold casting process. The part was cast and delivered within two weeks of the order.

Evolution Size II Bottom Header
Burnham Foundry LLC, Zanesville, Ohio, received Honorable Mention recognition for its Evolution Size II Bottom Header, a gray iron component made by a green sand casting process. By including many value-added services, the manufacturer enabled its customer to realize time and cost savings over the original weldment design, which involved processing by several suppliers.

For more information on the competition, contact Christopher Lawson at clawson@afsinc.org or (847) 824-0181, ext. 286.

For more on Smith Foundry Co., visit www.smithfoundry.com.

For more on Grenville Castings Ltd., visit www.grenvillecastings.com.

For more on Lunt Manufacturing Co. Inc., visit www.lunt.com.

For more on Denison Industries Inc., visit www.denisonindustries.com.

For more on Signicast Corp., visit www.signicast.com.

For more on Watry Industries, LLC, visit www.watry.com.

For more on Citation Columbiana, visit www.citation.net.

For more on Precise Cast Prototypes & Engineering Inc., visit www.precisecast.com.

For more on Burnham Foundry LLC, visit www.burnhamfoundry.com

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