Alphacasting Inc. casts over 100 ferrous and non-ferrous metals. It serves several high technology industries, including aerospace, armaments, forestry, medical sciences, military, telecommunications and transportation. The company maintains a lab where it conducts several tests, including tensile tests, on production output. The company pours a test bar, or flat bar, in each casting run to test against American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.
Alphacasting uses a 45-year-old SATEC materials testing frame that it purchased several years ago from Pratt & Whitney. The hydraulic machine was still in good mechanical condition but, with analog controls and readouts, there was too much opportunity for errors in test reporting. ASTM standards and customers required greater accuracy, as well as assurance that the test results could be tracked.
Dufresnes turned to his test machine service representative, Buehler Canada, for help in recommending a solution. He commented, “a new system would have cost $120,000. The hydraulics never die, so an upgrade made sense,” Dufresne saw that a retrofit of the existing test frame with MTESTQuattro would be the best use of an existing asset and would bring the company’s materials testing into compliance with today’s standards.
The MTESTQuattro retrofit has been in place for four years and has met all of Alphacasting’s needs for collecting and reporting tensile test data. “Now, the computer takes care of everything and we know it is accurate,” concluded Dufresne.