According to the Steel Founders Society of America, selecting a good castings supplier involves much more than finding the lowest-cost provider. Because your casting is a proprietary engineered product – one that often involves a proprietary process – you need to find a partner with whom you can develop a long-term relationship. SFSA recommends that you look for a foundry that has deep experience in the materials and geometries you require, with a solid foundation complemented by a commitment to continuous improvement.
There are fewer foundries worldwide due to an aging workforce, many manufacturers’ inability to keep up with advancements in technology, and a consistently evolving market. According to the SFSA, there are only approximately 150 steel casting foundries remaining in North America. That means suppliers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with demand. It also makes it more critical to form a collaborative relationship with your castings supplier.
What should you look for in your castings supplier? SFSA recommends the following qualifications:
- Well established, with a strong, stable history;
- Specialized and certified in making castings in your industry;
- Forward-thinking, and nimble and financially strong enough to invest in new technologies like 3D modeling, solidification analysis and additive manufacturing processes;
- Experienced enough to assist when you are in the development cycle of your casting;
- Able to supply your casting in a machined state, to help identify surface issues immediately and ensure your quality expectations are met.
At Badger Alloys, we look to develop ongoing partnerships with our customers so we can make the best quality product at the best price. As one of our long-term customers once said, “Badger Alloys wasn’t the least expensive coming in the door, but they gave us the best value going out.”
For more information, watch SFSA’s 15-minute webinar on Source Selection.*
* Shared with permission.