A casting company based in Sheffield, UK has recently invested £6 million ($7.5M) in many new technologies among which one of them is a huge 3D printer. It was a successful attempt to save his declining business because of the reducing demand of British steel.
Sheffield, an English city of Yorkshire, is best known for its steel industry, and has been internationally renowned since the 19th century. However, in recent years it has seen a huge decline in the British steel demand. Steel manufacturing companies like Howco and Tata Steel are suffering from the same condition and thus have to work harder to neutralize the loss game.
William Cook Cast Products made a smart investment by investing in new manufacturing technologies, including a new Precision Foundry and a large-scale 3D printer. With these new technologies, they can now increase their production ten times more using just a tenth of the material.
According to Sir Andrew Cook, chairman of William Cook, “Making such a smart investment was an crucial step for the company. It has resulted in securing around 200 local jobs and improving production efficiency at the company. The new 3D printer technology can be used to speed up the 3D process and lower the cost of wax casting, which is a technique in which wax patterns are plunged in a ceramic slurry, baked, and then melted away, allowing molten steel to be transferred into the ceramic mould.
He added that, “If there is any first-world manufacturing then it is in precision engineering. All the commodity stuff has gone to China and engineers are left with last choice that is steel. Working with Aluminium is much more difficult because it can’t be welded easily”.
Sir Andrew Cook believes that using new manufacturing strategies could be used to generated fresh interest in the metal alloy, bringing jobs and prosperity back to the region. He said, “3D printing technology allows large scale production at a very cheap rate. I am confident about the growth of my company with this investment”.
Simon Alexander, managing director at William Cook Cast Products said, “3D printing allows people to design with more flexibility and freedom”