Graham Jagger becomes iron castings consultant at the leading European centre of excellence dedicated to providing independent R&D, technical support and consultancy services to the castings and metal related industries, based on the Advanced Manufacturing Park at Catcliffe in South Yorkshire.
He is no stranger to Cti, having previously managed one of its business units.
Graham started his career in the foundry industry as an apprentice pattern maker in 1965, becoming a shop floor technician and technical and development engineer before moving into management 35 years ago.
He has spent more than 20 years as a foundries manager and helped a medium-sized iron foundry to expand into new markets and increase its manufacturing capabilities as technical manager, before becoming the joint owner and technical director of an iron foundry in West Yorkshire, which he has continued to advise after selling his stake in the business.
Graham says: “My experience has been gained on the ground, on a day to day business, producing castings, managing foundries and managing people.
“My role at Cti will be to support iron foundries in whatever way I can.
“These are challenging times for UK iron foundries, but there are opportunities for them to thrive if they are prepared to target low volume, niche markets, versatile technologies and supply the full spectrum of iron based materials including Compacted Graphite Iron and Austempered Ductile Iron, which engineers are increasingly utilising, the latter of which can replace steel in some applications.”
Graham believes adopting technologies like Cti’s Patternless® and Replicast® processes, more often used for stainless and special steel alloys and reactive metals, could give UK iron foundries the versatility and ability to react rapidly which they need to succeed in modern markets.
The Patternless® Process does away with the need to make permanent patterns for components which have to be stored. Instead, data from CAD drawings is fed into CNC machines which directly produce moulds from blocks of sand.
Replicast® creates a replica pattern, either by machining it from polystyrene or building it up using Additive Manufacturing (AM) technology.
“Both technologies reduce time to manufacture and total manufacturing costs and allow foundries to produce one off castings and rapid prototypes as well as short runs,” says Graham.
“I think the iron side of the casting industry and their customers aren’t aware of the potential of this technology for their products and are missing out on the ability to be more agile, respond rapidly and gain a foothold in new markets as a result.”