C.A. Lawton Co: New Approach to Old Method

By C.A. Lawton | September 15, 2016

The C.A. Lawton Co. constantly strives to meet or exceed its customers’ needs. Often, it involves meeting very short customer lead times. Making the core and core boxes required to produce a casting is the most time-consuming step in the process. This step can add many weeks to the casting production time. In order to significantly reduce this time, we have been exploring new approaches to this old problem. It came up with a solution using a relatively new technology called additive manufacturing or 3D printing.

We have developed a number of partnerships with colleges and businesses that have the ability to use a 3D sand printer. The printer works by laying down a very thin layer of sand and then coating it with resin-based upon the shape of the desired part. After this is done, the excess sand is removed and the core is complete. This process eliminates the man-hours required to make a core by hand and provides a consistently high-quality part every time.

The quality of these cores is comparable to that of a traditionally made one. The 3D-printed cores are much faster to produce but they are slightly more expensive. The price to print a core is decreasing as time and technology go forward.

3d printed cores

We have used 3D printed cores on five prototype projects in the last 15 months. This much faster process is planned to be used on products with short lead times, repetitive cores, and older products that are reverse engineered because a pattern no longer exists. We are embracing this technology by having its engineers trained in 3D printing technology and making room for the necessary equipment. It is excited about adding this new technology to its traditional capabilities

About The C.A. Lawton Co.: The Company is 137 years old with fifth-generation leadership. It is ISO 9001:2008 certified and has two facilities in De Pere, WI. Its integrated business includes pattern making, iron casting (gray & ductile), machining, and other value-added services. The C.A. Lawton Co. provides large iron castings and machining to both domestic and foreign manufacturers in the HVAC, municipal pump and valve, oil & gas, mining, agriculture, and power generation industries. Its customers include General Electric, IR/Trane, Metso, and Siemens.

Please contact Lawton online or call 920-337-2470 for additional information or to request a quote.

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