Top 10 Investment Casting Companies 2021 - How to choose your Supplier

Posted on Sep 9, 2021

Investment Casting Companies

An investment casting company is a business that manufactures, sells, or distributes investment cast components and offers investment precision casting services. Supplierst that produce complex metal parts in large quantities, such as automotive, aerospace, and firearm companies, often make their own investment casts or outsource the services with dedicated investment cast contractors.

Investment casting is the most common precision casting method based on lost wax casting. It is one of the oldest metal-forming techniques that has been around for centuries. In this article, we'll specifically look at the top foundries around the world in this area. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list as there are many more companies that provide excellent precision casting services.

As with choosing the best machine for your cutting applications, selecting the best companies and foundries to procure the right casting processes is just as important to meet your production requirements. Read on to find out what some of your best choices are in terms of investment casting. If you already know what you are looking for and understand investment casting you can jump to the top ten list right away!

1. What does a precision casting company do?

casting
It's getting hot in here...

 

An investment casting company is a business that manufactures, sells, or distributes investment cast components and offers investment precision casting services. Manufacturers that produce complex metal parts in large quantities, such as automotive, aerospace, and firearm companies, often make their own investment casts or outsource the services with dedicated investment cast contractors. Therefore, it is often difficult to identify a company as a dedicated investment casting company because it is virtually always coupled with some product or final design. But don't you worry we will introduce you to some of the top precision casting companies in the US and elsewhere.

What is an investment casting foundry?

It is a place where the investment casting process takes place. The process works by applying materials such as ceramic and wax to shape a molded shell to apply to the metal component, which is why it's also called lost wax casting. The investment casting process features cutting down the waste of material and can finish the casting within less time. It wouldn't be a bad idea to find out how your factory would be reshaped and reborn by providing a better quality of intensified and precise merchandise for your customers. This ultimate goal would be based on this spectacular one-way manufacturing and production strategy of the investment casting process.
 

2. Precision Casting=Investment Casting?

 

So you might have already realized that we are using precision casting and investment casting synonymously. While precision casting could technically also include other casting methods, across the industry in most cases precision casting implies an investment casting process.

Pros and cons of the investment casting procedure

Before we dive into the top 10 precision casting companies worldwide, here is a quick refresher of the advantages and disadvantages of investment casting :

Pros:

  • The investment casting process is able to create an excellent surface finish and extraordinary dimensional precision. This results in high-performance components for all kinds of applications.
  • Extremely intricate parts are castable.
  • Suitable for a wide range of metals and alloys.
  • No flash or parting lines during the process.

Cons:

  • The cost for the foundry, especially for short-running manufacture, can be a major disadvantage of the method. High costs basically result from refractories, binders, and even specialized equipment. However, the total cost would still be lower than bar stock production.
  • The process has its difficulty casting objects that require cores.
  • The holes within the workpieces must be smaller than 1.6 mm and can't be deeper than 1.5 times the diameter.
  • Relatively lengthy production cycle compared to other processes.
 

To learn more about the investment casting process check out the following article:
Investment Casting - The Process, Pros, Cons, and Applications



3. The Top Ten Precision Investment Casting Companies

Signicast (USA)

signicast Signicast is a leading precision investment casting manufacturer located in Wisconsin in the United States. They have been around for over six decades and definitely belong on this list. Their services range from precision castings, metal investment casting parts to prototyping. As one of the well-known investment casting companies, Signicast’s competitive precision investment casting products and delivery time make them well-renowned in the industry. They have a whole group of expert engineers and manufacturing specialists that always come up with a custom solution for each customer to achieve maximum performance and low-cost casting results. According to their website, they can provide lead times of just one week!  (Logo Copyright @Signicast)

MetalTek (USA)

MetalTek Metaltek is a reputable precision casting provider from the US that excels in producing bushings, bearings, brackets, grate systems, pump housings, impellers, and many other components and tools you can find in the industry. By employing a variety of casting processes, including centrifugal, investment, and sand casting, the company can manufacture high-quality cast products that will certainly meet customers' needs. Markets in which Metaltek's high-performance metal solutions benefit include aerospace, processing, mining, nuclear power, defense power transfer, turbine engine, and process equipment. (Logo Copyright @Metaltek)

Precision Castparts (USA)

Castparts Precision Castparts is yet another big player in the investment casting industry. The company specializes in large, complex structural investment castings, forged components, airfoil castings, aerostructures, as well as highly engineered fasteners for aerospace applications. They are also the market leader of airfoil castings for industrial gas turbines. As one of the top investment casting companies, Precision Castparts places an especially important emphasis on the quality and dependability of its products. They can surely offer you the best casting solutions for any critical applications. (Logo Copyright @Precision Castparts)

GF Casting Solutions (Germany)

gfcasting The Georg Fischer AG was founded in 1802 and GF Casting Solutions (formerly GF Automotive) is one of the three major divisions of the company. GF provides precision castings with dozens of alloys and metals depending on your application. Whether it's superalloys, high-strength steel, nickel, or cobalt-based alloys, GF's biggest expertise is air- and vacuum-melted components with equiaxed, directionally solidified, or single-crystal structures. The German company has a total of 14 production sites in Germany, Austria, Romania, Switzerland, China, and the USA. In 2018 they acquired another household name in the investment casting industry: Precicast from Switzerland. (Logo Copyright @GF Casting Solutions)

Zollern (Germany)

zollern You won't be surprised that Germany has more than just one world-class precision casting company. ZOLLERN Investment Casting produces high-quality investment casting products for industries such as the automotive industry, aviation, energy, mechanical engineering, and medical technology. According to the official website their services span from the 'master melt to ready-to-install investment castings', including mechanical processing, surface finishing, and assembly. (Logo Copyright @Zollern)

Alcoa (USA)

alcoaAlcoa Corporation is one of the oldest American metal companies that's capable of making billions of revenue on an annual basis. As a global aluminum, bauxite, and alumina supplier, they also make investment cast components for jet engines, including airfoils and turbines made with titanium and nickel alloys. It is without a doubt that Alcoa Corporation has earned a solid footing in the aerospace industry, dedicated to providing vast engineered aerospace solutions. If you are looking to buy state value-added aluminum casts products, Alcoa might be your best bet. (Image Copyright @Alcoa)

Provo (Taiwan)

provo When it comes to investment casting in Asia, Provo (Proval) located in Taiwan is definitely a company to look out for. Especially when you are looking for high-quality, low-cost casted valves, they have a wide array of turnkey solutions available for their customers. Not only does the company perform the whole investment casting process in-house to remain in full control, but they also have their very own lab and full-fledged QC department to ensure the quality and longevity of their casted parts. To learn a bit more about this precision casting company check out the video below. (Image Copyright @Proval)

 

 


Milwaukee Precision Casting (USA)

milwaukee The fifth company on our list from the US is Milwaukee Precision Casting inc. They provide precision investment casting products made of stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and cobalt for a wide range of markets. As a full-service provider, they offer metal investment castings from just a few grams to 50 pounds and more. They also offer prototyping with short lead times, custom small batch production as well as high-volume applications. (Image Copyright @Milwaukee Precision Casting)


Impro Precision Industries (China)

impro Impro Precision is a global player that operates in four segments: Investment casting. They manufacture highly precise and complex casting and machined parts for diverse applications. Their products and services span across the industries, including automotive, aerospace, power, hydraulic, heavy-duty machinery, and more. Impro only uses the best equipment and can meet even the most demanding investment casting requirements. for different ferrous and non-ferrous alloys with super tight tolerances. (Image Copyright @Impro)
 


Dongying Giayoung (China)

GiayoungThough Chinese providers might be a bit behind in terms of quality and reliability of their cast parts, China is still a big investment casting production country that is slowly but surely catching up in regard to casting technology. One big player is Dongying Giayoung Precision Metal Co., Ltd. The company manufactures a wide variety of fabricated metal products. Their precision casting services encompass stainless steel castings, heat-resistant steel castings, carbon steel castings, low alloy steel castings, high-temperature alloy castings, and more. (Image Copyright @Giayoung)
 

4. How to choose the right foundry?

When it comes to selecting the best investment casting partner for you, there are numerous aspects to consider. You should conduct sufficient study to select the best metal foundry to match your company's requirements.

Some general advice

There are a number of elements to consider when selecting a foundry to work with—a lot more to it than heating metal and pouring it into a mold. Not all foundries are the same. To begin, what distinguishes one foundry from another will determine which foundry can meet the needs of your business. What industries are served by that foundry? What are your casting and production requirements? Can it meet your project's and applications' requirements? Is it known for its custom work or specialties? Some foundries only work with ferrous metals, such as iron or steel, while others only work with non-ferrous metals or alloys like aluminum, bronze, zinc, and so on. In this final section, we'll go over some of the most critical questions to consider when comparing precision casting firms.

Is the whole casting process performed in-house?

An experienced foundry will have a track record of creating unique molds, ideally in-house. If a steel casting foundry does not provide a one-stop mold fabrication and casting service, be sure to inquire about casting production costs, lead times, and budgets. While à la carte services may appear to be the greatest option for those on a low budget, the lengthier lead times caused by shipping and back-and-forth can increase prices in the long run. Keep everything in-house if at all possible. While size does not always equate to quality, a large casting foundry will have the best equipment, industry knowledge, and staff to bring your project to reality.

What machining and QC equipment is available?
Using a steel casting foundry that handles all machining and testing in-house will help you save time and money. Inquire about the metallurgical lab, tools, and inspection method. Although stainless steel investment casting creates high-precision parts with tight tolerances, most commercial and industrial applications will necessitate extra machining and testing before use. Inquire about surface treatments for steel castings. Select a steel casting foundry that provides customized, low-cost surface treatments as well as an online portfolio of precision machining equipment.

How experienced and reputable is the foundry in your industry?

valve casting
Valve Castings
 

If your project is industry-specific, such as stainless steel ball valves, you should engage with a casting foundry that specializes in that area. A competent casting foundry will let you produce practically any shape, no matter how difficult, without considerably increasing the cost of the item. Internal channels and holes are just as simple to cast as outward components like flanges, shoulders, and bosses. Make sure to inquire about shrinkage-controlling techniques. Because molten metal shrinks as it freezes, the shapes within the design must be examined in order to control shrinkage. With the help of an experienced casting foundry and some design know-how and a rudimentary grasp of how liquid metal behaves when it freezes, practically any complex component design can be transformed into a high-quality, detailed, and repeatable cast.

How are the custom casting capabilities?

While investment casting is best suited to smaller, lighter castings, it is nonetheless used by makers of heavy automobile gears, dental fixtures, aerospace components, and everything in between. From weapons to hydraulics, an expert steel casting foundry should be able to help you develop custom steel investment casts for any project. The availability of multiple stainless steel grades allows foundries to tailor your design to match the needs of any industry and produce cost-effective, high-quality, and long-lasting components. Their professionals should have the know-how to walk you through every step of the procedure and offer you a reliable estimate of what to expect.

What kind of metals do you need to have processed?

The type of metal required to be cast will also be a deciding factor in selecting a precision casting company. Sand dies, or ceramic molds are the most widely used materials for casting. Finally, environmental applications for your product should be considered. Will it necessitate specialized work or special changes in order to satisfy the requirements of a certain environment or harsh condition? Your cooperating foundry should be able to determine what metal to use for a component to preserve its exact shape in cold temperatures, resist corrosion from chemicals or a damp environment, or withstand variable loads.


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