Simalex Blog

The Die Casting Manufacturing Process

Oct 1, 2019 1:30:00 PM

What are you trying to solve?

When a company contacts Simalex, they’ll share the parts they need and the bigger challenge they’re seeking to solve. What that looks like can be anything from a phone call describing the intent of what they’re looking for to a fully scaled 3D model that’s already been produced as a prototype.

It’s normal for designers, engineers, and inventors on the customer end to have varying amounts of understanding of die casting and how to design for the process. Sometimes, designers may have plenty of experience with creating parts for other processes — but none with die casting.

That’s when a good die casting partner can eliminate risk for the customer. At Simalex for instance, with almost 60 years of experience with die casting, our engineering team knows what is and isn’t possible. When we can push the limits and when we can’t. How to reduce costs and eliminate cost.

Is Die Casting Right for the Part?

The first thing we’ll do is ask the question, “is this part a good fit for the die casting process?”

If the answer is no, we’ll see what changes would need to happen to make it possible — and in some cases, suggest another process altogether. Here are some of the criteria a die caster would look at to determine material choice and coatings:

  • Is the geometry of the part a good fit?
  • Will the part be exposed to the elements?
  • Will it be used around sea water?
  • Will it need to dissipate heat?
  • Will it need to conduct electricity?

We’ll also ask if the part would be hidden inside another part, or if it will be obviously visible to the end customer — this will affect the amount of cleaning up that would need to be done or whether it would need some special attention like hand sanding. When not so much cleaning is needed there are some cost-saving opportunities!

At this stage, customers should expect all of this to be discussed to ensure a comprehensive quote.

Determining Pricing

Once we know we have a “diecastable” part, the next step is providing pricing.

When there’s a 3D model, Simalex can actually provide an exact price — to the penny. Without a drawing, just a concept, we’ll give an estimate based on approximate size, weight, volumes, finishing needs and complexity. These estimates benefit from our lengthy experience in the industry and, in many cases, having similar previously produced parts to refer to.

After the quote, we’ll deal with the realities of budgetary goals. We can adjust the plans for the part in order to see where additional cost efficiencies might be found. Depending on what’s most important to the customer, there are many ways to offset the initial tooling cost.

With small budgets for the initial tooling cost — when the volumes are low, or the part is unproven, we can remove a lot of the frills from the tooling. That may mean additional cleanup, but the initial tooling savings may mean the customer comes out ahead on cost.

Some customers may have a long-term growth strategy for the part and want to invest in the best tool that will provide them the lowest part price possible. It all depends on your needs and resources.

Die Casting Design to Production

Simalex supplies some of the largest multinationals — as well as local mom and pop companies. And we handle the tooling from A to Z. We work closely with toolmakers and draw upon our extensive toolmaking experience to design and product tools that produce the part to the customer’s specifications.

How long does it take? Anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months depending on the size and complexity — but 12 to 16 weeks is a fair average.

Our internal approval process is customer-dictated. With tooling complete, we send samples to our customers.

With approval complete, we do what we do best: create consistent parts to our customers’ requirements based on their production schedule needs.

And with die casting tools often performing for many years before rebuilds are necessary — and thanks to our consistent quality delivery! — Simalex has many customers who have chosen us over and over again. For decades.

Want to know more about how our process can deliver the parts you need? Whether you’re high or low volume, whether you’ve got that 3D model or are starting from scratch, get in contact with us here. We can’t wait to with you to create the parts you need.