The paper presents the theory of constraints (TOC) as a method used to improve results in a complex, multiplants organization. In the article the assumptions of this method has been presented as well as iterative approach concerning how to launch it in practice. Main indicators for organizational effectiveness assessment have also been presented. The maximization of production assets utilization is a key issue for competitive organization in the changing market conditions. An appropriate usage of the theory of constraints enables efficient allocation of financial assets among particular plants within a capital group. An application of a method has been presented based on throughput analyses and its influence to improve financial results of one plant organization and synergy effect in multiplants organization. The theory of constraints can be used in almost every kind of business sectors, among them are metal and foundry industries. It allows to be implemented in production organizations as well as in any other company’s profiles. Everywhere the constraint has been defined there is a chance to achieve an improvement following the presented method. The examples have been taken from the casting plants which use continuous and mold casting technologies. The examples show that TOC approach can be successfully employed as the improvement tool of foundries’ performances.
The results of studies presented in this article are an example of the research activity of the authors related to lead-free alloys. The studies covered binary SnZn90 and SnZn95 lead-free alloys, including their microstructure and complex mechanical characteristics. The microstructure was examined by both light microscopy (LM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The identification of alloy chemical composition in micro-areas was performed by SEM/EDS method. As regards light microscopy, the assessment was of both qualitative and quantitative character. The determination of the geometrical parameters of microstructure was based on an original combinatorial method using phase quantum theory. Comprehensive characterization of mechanical behavior with a focus on fatigue life of alloys was performed by means of the original modified low cycle fatigue method (MLCF) adapted to the actually available test machine. The article discusses the fatigue life of binary SnZn90 and SnZn95 alloys in terms of their microstructure. Additionally, the benefits resulting from the use of the combinatorial method in microstructure examinations and MLCF test in the quick estimation of several mechanical parameters have been underlined.
The constantly developing and the broadly understood automation of production processes in foundry industry, creates both new working conditions - better working standards, faster and more accurate production - and new demands for previously used materials as well as opportunities to generate new foundry defects. Those high requirements create the need to develop further the existing elements of the casting production process. This work focuses on mechanical and thermal deformation of moulding sands prepared in hot-box technology. Moulding sands hardened in different time periods were tested immediately after hardening and after cooling. The obtained results showed that hardening time period in the range 30-120 sec does not influence the mechanical deformation of tested moulding sands significantly. Hot distortion tests proved that moulding sands prepared in hot-box technology can be characterized with stable thermal deformation up to the temperature of circa 320oC.
In this work, the effects of 75 mm thick cast iron, (casting mould YIV) composition (Cu) and heat treatment were investigated on the microstructure and mechanical properties (hardness, elongation, tensile strength, yield strength) of ductile iron castings. As a result of adding Cu, the amount of pearlite is at 80% reduces of amount of ferrite. Normalizing of non-alloy cast iron increases the amount of pearlite to 70%. It also, increases tensile strength (659 MPa) and hardness (248 HB). Studied metallographic crossections were made from the grip sections of the tensile specimens. The structure composition and the characteristics of graphite were determined by computer image analysis. Measurements of graphite of non-alloy cast iron after normalizing and in cooper cast iron indicate the approximate amount of precipitates of graphite and their approximate average diameters. The applied normalizing and the additive alloy (Cu) were established to give comparable mechanical properties and structure of matrix in thick-walled castings.
The results of statistical analysis applied in order to evaluate the effect of the high melting point elements to pressure die cast silumin on its tensile strength Rm, unit elongation A and HB were discussed. The base alloy was silumin with the chemical composition similar to ENAC 46000. To this silumin, high melting point elements such as Cr, Mo, V and W were added. All possible combinations of the additives were used. The content of individual high melting point additives ranged from 0.05 to 0.50%. The tests were carried out on silumin with and without above mentioned elements. The values of Rm, A and HB were determined for all the examined chemical compositions of the silumin. The conducted statistical analysis showed that each of the examined high melting point additives added to the silumin in an appropriate amount could raise the values of Rm, A and HB. To obtain the high tensile strength of Rm = 291 MPa in the tested silumin, the best content of each of the additives should be in the range of 0.05-0.10%. To obtain the highest possible elongation A of about 6.0%, the best content of the additives should be as follows: chromium in the range of 0.05-0.15%, molybdenum 0.05% or 0.15%, vanadium 0.05% and tungsten 0.15%. To obtain the silumin with hardness of 117 HB, chromium, molybdenum and vanadium content should be equal to about 0.05%, and tungsten to about 0.5%.