03 Jul Precision Facility, Lestercast, Host Industry Visit
The CMF Investment Sector meeting was hosted by Lestercast Ltd at their precision investment casting facility in Leicester during June. The meeting discussed the usual variety of industry topics and attendees were able to share any concerns relating to sector trends, energy or raw materials availability as well as health and safety matters. There was also a presentation from Hannah Sparrow, Business Development Manager for CMF partner, Abbey Tax, with tips on maximising the opportunity for R&D Tax Credits for foundries when undertaking new projects, casting or tooling modifications and process improvements and also discussed the Capital Allowances that are available when refurbishing buildings. Whilst most foundries do now take advantage of these tax credits, many still miss out on some aspects so Hannah encouraged participants to take advantage of the free initial telephone consultation that Abbey Tax offers to CMF Members.
Following the meeting, which was chaired by Howard Pickard, MD of LBBC Technologies Ltd, the attendees, which included other investment foundry professionals as well as industry suppliers, were able to have a tour of the facility including the wax room, the additive manufacturing (3D printing) suite within the technical development centre, used to produce patterns and models.
The company has also recently invested in a digital in-house system for inspection through the use of various robotic machines to enhance verification and reduce lead time by up to two thirds as part of its drive for continuous improvement.
One of the latest developments for the precision manufacturer was the recent implementation of a new water-based shelling process with the associated environmental and employee health benefits that this has brought. Indeed, as Martyn Whelpton, Technical and Operations Manager, explained “the process has not only led to a reduction in fumes and emissions but the resulting shell is stronger so less coats are required and some redesign of the wax assembly has been possible for certain parts, leading to reduced post processing”.