Die Casting Consultant,
McClintic & Associates
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First, I would like to say that I admire Jim Hamilton and his numerous contributions to the die casting industry. I consider him a fine and trusted friend and advisor. His article was a "must read" for everyone who received the magazine. I consider it an honor to be invited to contribute from my experience as Jim so faithfully has through his presence in the die casting plants of his many clients and to us, his readers. To Jim, I say, "good health, and thank you".
Introducing: Bob McClintic, Die Casting Consultant, McClintic & Associates
Bob began his die casting career over 35 years ago as a Dynacast (multi-slide) machine operator at Diemakers, Inc. (Diemakers is now part of the Intermet Corporation.) Over the following 13 years, his skills expanded to support the growth of the organization and the technology. Eventually the die casting operations expanded from the two Dynacast machines to a zinc department of 18 machines, an aluminum plant of 3 machines plus a hot chamber magnesium operation of 2 machines. The expansion included 2 new "green-field" plant designs with a lot of the innovations coming from his experience. Bob trained operators, set up and maintenance people and many of the supervisors.
In 1981 Bob joined Black & Decker, Fayetteville, North Carolina as a Senior Manufacturing Engineer to support their hot chamber magnesium die casting facility. "Robert Johnson (the department manager) and I performed a 6 month turn-around on the facility with the existing work force." "We repaired machinery and tooling and trained people. The result was a 50% increase in productivity. We were able to drop back from a 7 to a 5 day work week and shut off 2 of the 8 machines while maintaining the same sales levels."
In 1985, Bob became the plant manager for a cold chamber magnesium operation in Michigan. Over the next 13 years he would help one company after another improve their technology and become more competitive in the market place. "In one company, we grew from $25 to 45 million in 18 months!" "That's a lot of new tooling and late night start ups."
In 1998 Bob began consulting independently. "Numerous friends and co-workers had encouraged me over the years to go in to consulting. Finally in 1998 I made the decision to do it. My first big project was another "green field" project. The design was a fine-tuning of one we had laid out 5 years previous. It was also a "fast-track" project with castings due out of the facility only a few months after ground breaking. The facility was ready to pour metal 6 months after ground breaking!"
Since then, there have been numerous clients ranging from New York to California and Mexico. They range in size from 1 to 36 machines in zinc, aluminum and magnesium.
"The exciting thing about the business is seeing the improvements people can make using the technology that is available today. When I first started, process control was the second hand on a watch and a very suspect pressure gage on the shot end. Now we can view the injection process a millisecond and a few thousands of an inch at a time. We can relate the process measurements to the final quality of the castings and make adjustments that improve the quality both immediately and long term. The system is much more reliable and this is reflected in the growing volume of castings used in all types of applications."
In future issues, I will share a few of the lessons I have learned the hard way. I look forward to hearing your comments, questions or experiences.
The above article was first published in "Die Casting Management" magazine, December 2002.
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Bob McClintic and Associates
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Copyright Bob McClintic and Associates: 1993 to 2017
Revised: August 2017