Our Collected Thoughts

What’s new at LeClaire Manufacturing? What’s happening in the aluminum casting industry, and what does it mean for your business? Read our blog posts to find out!

April 6, 2021

If you have a large project that you are planning for, sand casting is likely your project's consideration. But should you be considering permanent mold casting instead? Sand casting is an excellent option but can have a higher cost per item cast and a lower production rate. Our foundry focuses on quality regardless of the option you choose. With this in mind, we will review the pros of each option. By reviewing permanent mold casting vs. sand casting you can make an informed decision for your project.

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February 16, 2021

Since the dog days of the early 1900's, when Henry Ford was ram-rodding the idea of an "assembly line", while his customers were asking him for "faster horses", OEM's (Original equipment manufacturers) have sought out Machine Shops as their primary source for castings.  It made sense, the machine shop was the last stop in the line, so from a material flow standpoint, the OEM buys from the machine shop, and the machine shop sources the castings to a foundry.  

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April 16, 2019

Across all of manufacturing, the question “Which process should I use?” can only be solved by asking and answering further questions about the application at hand, the requirements of the project overall, and your needs as a customer. This is as true for aluminum casting methods as it is for any other process. The benefits and applications of using aluminum casting techniques for a project are vast, but there are several further choices to consider when deciding how to cast aluminum parts for your application.


March 20, 2019

Product design tailored to the CNC machining process is one of the easiest ways to lower production costs, yet it is often treated as a cursory consideration during the design process — not the major cost (and time) saving factor that it can be. To be clear, in the early stages of design, unfettered brainstorming and concepting is fine (and even preferable). Though as you fine-tune the product and approach the stage of generating technical drawings to be used for production, it can be extraordinarily helpful to begin incorporating best practices and standards for the CNC machining process.


January 23, 2019

Permanent mold casting refers to the fact that the same mold is used for each casting cycle, rather than being broken away after each use as with sand casting. Although the mold is not truly “permanent” — as with any process and tooling, it will degrade over time and eventually need to be refurbished or replaced — the name applies to the continually used nature of the mold.


December 18, 2018

With the numerous types of casting and molding available, it can be difficult to know which one to choose for your product. Each process that you might consider will have different pros and cons, which will all play a role in helping you decide which process is the right one for you. This piece will help you make a well-informed decision by understanding the process of sand casting: what it is, what the potential benefits are, and what any potential drawbacks might be.

September 21, 2018

Choosing the right casting process involves considering what the design needs and the economics of each possible route. It’s often an iterative process as casting method influences yields, part design and secondary finishing operations. A better understanding of the strengths of each method helps reduce the number of options and saves time.