High Quality Aluminum Castings in our IATF 16949:2016 Registered Permanent Mold Aluminum Foundry
The Quality Policy of Alcast Company is to continuously improve production processes to provide products that consistently meet or exceed customer expectations of Quality, Price, and Delivery.
IATF 16949:2016 Quality System
At our permanent mold aluminum foundry we follow the methodologies of the IATF 16949:2016 quality system while remaining flexible to meet customer specific requirements.
Four basic elements create the underlying theme:
- Advanced Quality Planning
- Production Part Approval
- Process Control
- Continuous Improvement
Advanced Quality Planning
With Advanced Quality Planning, control plans are developed during the prototype, pre-Launch, and production phases. Failure mode and effect analysis are also performed during the early stages of product implementation and is revised as the process evolves toward production. Critical characteristics are analyzed and process capability is established. Communication with the customer is most important during the Advanced Quality Planning to insure the casting meets the print specifications.
Production Part Approval (PPAP)
The Production Part Approval (PPAP) carries the work laid out during Advanced Quality Planning and incorporates it to production tooling. A full dimensional layout of all features is performed to insure parts made from the production tool meet print specifications and capabilities can be held on critical characteristics. The high quality aluminum castings are verified to the solid model using a Coordinate Measuring Machine. Capability of critical characteristics is also tracked using the CMM and accompanying statistical software.
Process Control now becomes critical to maintaining the process established during the pre-production phases. Detailed work instructions that incorporate digital pictures are used. The Maintenance Department maintains calibration of melting and other processing equipment, such as heat treatment furnaces. Predictive and preventative maintenance tasks are performed to insure equipment is in good operating condition in the foundry.
We are committed to the philosophy of continuous improvement. Action items from monthly management reviews are one of the drivers used for continuous improvement. The research and development team also formulates, prioritizes, and implements continuous improvement activities. Many of the projects have come from employees on the foundry floor. Lean activities are incorporated throughout facilities in an effort to maintain the goals of the quality policy.
The latest digital X-ray technology is used to inspect the high quality aluminum castings and help develop casting process parameters. Using the phosphorus plate technology, we can identify defects less than .010 of an inch in diameter. All X-ray records are maintained digitally and can be emailed if needed.
Caterpillar Bronze Certification
In 2009 Alcast Company was the first aluminum foundry to obtain Bronze Certification under the Caterpillar Inc. Supplier Quality Excellence Process. This demonstrates our strong values and ethical principles in conducting business and our commitment to collaborate with Caterpillar’s objective to implement a culture for "zero defects" across the supply base.