Best Investment Casting Awarded to Barron, 2nd Year in a Row
At Barron Industries, we’re bursting with pride in our award-winning investment castings and the people who make them. For the second year in a row, Barron Industries has received the Best Investment Casting Award. The Investment Casting Institute distributes the awards annually to manufacturing companies that best demonstrate the benefits of Investment Casting. Barron won the 2021 Best Military Casting award for a component the company manufactures for a military vehicle.
Lightweight and thin-wall Casting is Fabrication Conversion
Barron Industries converted a distorted multi-piece welded fabrication into a one-piece lightweight and thin-wall investment casting using the investment casting process. Made of A356-T6 Aluminum, the thin-wall HVAC Diffuser is used in a military vehicle with tight packaging constraints.
Barron produced an SLA Quickcast RP pattern using the latest additive manufacturing techniques to create a rapid prototype casting to prove the concept and manufacturing method. The diffuser was designed, cast, machined, and painted in just eight weeks to meet test vehicle requirements.
“The former method of manufacture was time-consuming and costly,” said company president and CEO Bruce Barron. “Barron Industries is producing this as a single piece casting at half the original cost of providing significant cost savings. Additionally, the investment casting process has provided the customer with a great deal of design flexibility not previously available.”
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 an investment casting 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 Investment Casting Institute’s 2020 Military Award.
When the Going gets tough, Barron continues to make the best investment castings.
When many of the world’s manufacturing companies sent their people home, Barron’s dedicated team continued to show up to make high-quality investment castings for the aerospace and defense industries, essential for the safety of our military. Barron Industries is a supplier to some of the largest aerospace and defense contractors, including General Dynamics, BAE, Oshkosh, Raytheon, GE Aviation, and Boeing Defense, to name a few, and we didn’t let them down.
Together with the University of Michigan’s Economic Growth Institute, we developed a successful COVID containment strategy promoted in the Harvard Business Review. None of Barron’s 80 employees tested positive for the virus until December 2020. Only eight total or ten percent of our staff have contracted COVID over the last two years, which we spent improving our investment casting process and advancing our people.
Here’s a look at our latest and best investment casting quality improvements:
THE LATEST FUJIFILM COMPUTED RADIOGRAPHY
We’ve upgraded our NADCAP Certified Non-Destructive Testing (NDT) department by acquiring the latest Fujifilm computed radiography (CR) capable of detecting and precisely imaging microstructural defects in castings used across castings a wide range of industries, including aerospace, defense, and satellites.
THE MOST ADVANCED ROLLOVER FURNACE TECHNOLOGY
We’ve just installed the most advanced Rollover Furnace technology in our melting and casting departments allowing us to produce thin-walled and high-strength aerospace components in stainless steel, cobalt, and nickel base alloys.
DOUBLING MELTING CAPACITY
We’ve added a 2nd 325 Kilowatt next-generation Inductotherm furnace doubling our capacity to melt steel, stainless steel, and other ferrous alloys.
THE MOST ADVANCED 5-AXIS CNC MACHINING
Barron has acquired the latest CNC machining technology enabling the complete turnkey production of complex aluminum components. The Doosan DVF 5000 vertical 5-axis machining center is perfect for machining high-strength A356 and A357 Aluminum alloy castings Barron produces for aerospace applications requiring tight dimensions and accurate position tolerances.
FASTER AND BETTER ENGINEERING AND INSPECTION
Barron has also installed the latest quality control technology to become better, faster, and leaner in manufacturing engineered metal components for demanding applications. We’ve expanded our engineering and inspection capabilities with the addition of a new FARO Quantum S 7-axis, high-definition laser probe scanner, and 8th-axis rotary platform. Certified to the latest ISO standards, the innovative portable coordinate measuring machine (PCMM) allows Barron to easily verify casting quality by performing 3D inspections, dimensional analysis, CAD comparison, and reverse engineering while saving time and reducing scrap and rework costs. Barron’s in-house inspection facilities have equipment that can inspect up to millionths of an inch.
INVESTING IN OUR PEOPLE
Our best investment is in our people! With help from the state of Michigan’s Going Pro grants for skilled trades training, we’ve been able to hire and train 35 people in 2021. Barron hired new employees for various positions, including foundry and mold technicians, metal finishing specialists, CNC machinists, quality control, and other general labor roles that required no previous experience. Current employees received leadership skills training allowing them to advance to supervisory positions in which they direct and onboard new employees. Barron has also received a 2021 Going PRO Apprenticeship Grant to help fund its first CNC machining apprenticeship.