Local manufacturer increases output using CSIRO technology
The CASTvac™ chill vent valve
Courtesy of Andrew Barcham
Nissan Casting Australia Pty Ltd (NCAP), Australia’s largest
exporter of aluminium automotive castings, is using CSIRO’s CASTvac™
technology to improve productivity.
CASTvac™ helps reduce costs per casting and has been a significant
contributor in NCAP maintaining its position as a major global car
Savings on one cast part produced by Nissan with annual volume of
150,000 were just under $100,000 per annum. This was achieved by
eliminating machine stoppages due to blocked valves.
CASTvac™ is a robust, low-maintenance vacuum valve for high pressure
die casting, which is more reliable than mechanical vacuum valves,
more effective than chill vents, and proven in commercial casting
production. CASTvac™ has been developed by scientists from CSIRO’s
Light Metals Flagship high pressure die casting team working in a
CAST CRC project, and has been patented by the CAST CRC.
Nissan Australia have replaced several mechanical valves with
CASTvac™, and found that CASTvac™ significantly improves
productivity by eliminating machine stoppages due to molten
A high pressure die casting mould
showing the CASTvac™ valve in place
Courtesy of Mark Fergus
Productivity is improved because the machines make more parts per
hour, and because the die is consistently maintained at working
temperature rather than cooling down when blocked valves are removed
and needing to be “warmed up” before production resumes.
Fluctuations in die temperature increase metal wastage due to
increased reject rates (castings which are remelted) and warmup
shots (molten metal used to heat the die).
CASTvac™ has proved so reliable that toolroom maintenance was
dramatically reduced and the valve life was significantly better
Nissan Australia’s positive experience with CASTvac™ has stimulated
interest from the wider Nissan global group of companies. Nissan
Japan is currently exploring opportunities for uptake of CASTvac™.
For more information contact
Mr Gary Savage.