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The investment cast process is considered a "net shape" or "near net shape" process. That is, most any configuration can be investment cast without having significant additional tooling or fabrication. Therefore the key, to the economical use of this process is to fully utilize its flexible capabilities and incorporate as much added value into the cast piece as possible. Compared to this process, there is no other metal working process that provides the design freedom and variety of alloy selections of investment casting.

Other Key Benefits of Investment Casting:

• Low Initial Tooling Costs: Tooling costs, averaged over parts produced, are often lower that other manufacturing tooling costs. Signicast builds all tools to last the program lifetime. All Signicast tools are made with 7075 T-6 aluminum versus the industry standard 6061, which is a softer and less reliable material. Signicast utilizes wear plates and gibs in the tool's slide areas for longer life, ease of repair, and greater performance. Signicast also offers rapid prototyping so customers can evaluate their component pattern before going into production.

• Consistency: The investment casting process at Signicast provides consistent process control and repeatability that are maintained from batch to batch.

• Tolerance Control: The most accurate tolerances of any casting processes, over a wide variety of alloys, are achieved by investment casting. We believe that early involvement and input by our engineering staff allows customers to overcome traditional casting tolerance issues and produce a component that is 100% conformance to specifications.

• Eliminates Material Waste: Investment Casting is the best casting process for low scrap and waste rates. Since investment castings are cast to specifications, there is little to no machining needed.

• Design Flexibility & Capability: Investment casting allows you to have freedom in design flexibility for external and internal configurations. Signicast has the ability to pour over 100 different alloys so you are not bound to a limited number of alloy choices.

• Design Enhancements: Investment casting does not have any draft requirements like other casting processes. Logos, numbers, and letters can be cast for added features to your component. Also, gear and thread profiles can be produced with accuracies of +/- .004” per .5” of pitch.

• Surface Finish Enhancement: Investment castings provide you with a finer surface finish that any other casting process. Roughness (Ra), as measured by stylus instrument, will be 125 microinch maximum for parts that weigh 0.5 pound or less. Larger parts may be rougher that 125 microinch. For extra fine surface finishes, Signicast has in-house secondary finishing operations to perfect the surface finish.

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