Queen's Award for Enterprise

GW ‘goes large’ with second industrial 3D sand printer

3D sand printer

10 May 2016

Grainger & Worrall (G&W), the UK’s leading provider of high-precision casting technologies, has purchased a second digital sand printer. This brings the investment in G&W’s facilities to €2 million and follows on from the installation in 2013 of a S-Print HHS hot cure machine.

The new sand printer – an S-Max cold cure system – expands G&W’s scope and capacity in line with increasing customer demand. The new printer allows for much larger sand castings, meaning G&W is able to cater for a wider range of projects in the areas of commercial vehicle powertrain and complex structural castings.

Also, thanks to its adoption of the furan cold cure process – a chemical setting binder system – the new S-Max printer requires no additional post process stages, thus increasing speed and throughput.

The S-Max cold cure printer provides a seven-fold increase in the build rate of printed cores to around three tonnes per day. This investment demonstrates the company’s clear vision for the future; based on the principles of upscaling and cost optimisation of processes.

Keith Denholm, engineering and technology director at Grainger & Worrall, said: “Our combined offering of two 3D sand printers provides customers with an unrivalled choice of process; both the hot and cold cure systems have an optimal application and G&W is able to combine and tailor these to best and fastest effect.”

As part of the 3D printing process, G&W employs laser scanning to provide dimensional controls to the printing cores further confirming the ‘Digital Factory’ approach from the point of customer supplied data, process simulation, core and casting manufacture and verification.

Keith Denholm continued: “Our growing digital capability enables a completely new dialogue with our customers, who are all interested in the future need for higher performance, lighter products, particularly in the dynamic areas of next generation engine, and vehicle castings.”