Barron Industries Responds to Military Parts Shortage Crisis
Oxford, MI – With parts shortages slowing efforts to replenish weaponry sent to the Ukrainian military, Barron Industries, awarded Best Military Casting for the 3rd straight year, has increased its capacity for casting and machining military components and assemblies. The Michigan manufacturer has acquired new technology doubling its capacity for mission-critical precision castings.
As the United States and its allies plan to bolster their arsenals, the Pentagon’s top defense contractors warn persistent parts shortages could continue into 2024. Castings are critical elements of military support systems and an essential part of the Department of Defense (DoD) supply chain. However, over the past several decades, the casting supply chain has shrunk and the DoD is now reaching out to industry in an effort to meet the military’s rising demand.
“They’re talking about ways to help suppliers accelerate production and change procurement logistics enabling the supply base to fulfill orders on a timely basis,” said Bruce Barron, President/CEO at Barron Industries. “We’re trying to stay ahead of the curve by adding people and equipment so we’re ready to service our aerospace and defense customers.”
Despite the current shortage of parts and labor, defense contractors are confident of long-term growth due to plans by western governments to spend tens of billions of dollars on defense packages unanticipated prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Barron Industries has received the Best Military Casting award for the third year in a row. The Investment Casting Institute (ICI) distributes the awards annually to companies that best demonstrate the benefits of investment castings. Barron won the 2022 award for using additive manufacturing techniques to produce a control housing in a military aircraft.
“The customer came to Barron with an urgent need to fill a supply gap of a component made of 17-4 PH stainless steel,” said Barron. “It was an extremely complex part so we used 3D-printed patterns to create the molds. This saved the customer a significant non-recurring expense by eliminating the need for tooling as well as taking tooling lead time out of the planning equation.”
Additive Manufacturing Process Provides Solutions
“Barron utilized rapid manufacturing techniques to provide fully processed First Article parts in eight weeks and then launched into monthly production deliveries,” said ICI Executive Director Joseph Fritz. “Barron was able to not only meet the program’s urgent demand requirements but they also put the program back on schedule.”
Barron manufactures precision cast components for the GDLS Stryker and Abrams tank programs, the Oshkosh Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV), as well as BAE’s Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV), Paladin Integrated Management (PIM) and Bradley programs. Barron also produces high-strength, lightweight aerospace components for companies like Boeing, Ball Aerospace, Curtiss Wright, General Dynamics, General Electric, Triumph Group and more.
The investment casting foundry pours more than 200 ferrous and non-ferrous alloys that pass strict non-destructive testing requirements for thin-walled, lightweight designs.
Benefits of Investment Castings
Investment casting is a process used for making precise and complex metal components and, for many industries, it saves time and cost in producing their parts. For example, when an aerospace company asked Barron Industries to manufacture investment castings for an advanced military guidance system, it reduced its costs by a whopping 75 percent. Barron’s superior casting solution won industry acclaim, winning the ICI’s 2020 Best Military Casting Award. Barron won the 2021 Award for a component the company manufactures for a military vehicle. Using the investment casting process, Barron converted a distorted multi-piece welded fabrication into a one-piece lightweight and thin-wall investment casting. Made of A356-T6 Aluminum, the thin-wall HVAC Diffuser is used in a military vehicle with tight packaging constraints.
Machined Military Castings from Barron Industries
Barron Industries is a global supplier of precision cast parts, machined components and complete assemblies. Barron manufactures highly-engineered investment castings with both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. Using the most advanced casting and CNC machining technology, Barron’s start-to-finish manufacturing process includes everything from design for manufacturing to in-house Nadcap certified NDT and welding, as well as off-shore production and complete supply chain management.