FAQ – Questions and Answers about Production, Machining and Tests for Aluminium Castings. What is worth learning?
FAQ – the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Aluminium Castings
What are the smallest and the largest castings you can make?
We can make castings of various sizes, from the smallest to very large. Be it a 1 kg or 10,000 kg casting, we can make it. Even if you need a casting 5 m in diameter or 10 m long, we will deliver.
Do you print moulds?
Yes, we do. We have our own sand 3D printer. We have been using 3D printed sand moulds for years.
Do you do non-destructive tests on castings?
Yes, we do. We have all the necessary equipment and qualified personnel to perform X-ray tests (including radioscopy, digital radiography and film), as well as penetrant, ultrasonic and hardness tests.
Do you cast prototype parts?
Yes, we do. We cooperate with many clients on product development and optimization. What is more, before any product is put into mass production, we cast prototype parts (first articles).
Do you have low pressure casting facilities?
Yes, we do, for both sand and dies.
What is the minimum wall thickness you can cast?
As low as 4 mm while meeting all the required casting tolerances, of course.
How are your castings inspected?
We inspect our castings at every production stage. We perform various tests, e.g. non-destructive, leak and strength tests. We test the chemical composition, material structure and properties, as well as the capacity for internal defects. The material structure analysis is performed with the use of digital microscopes, whereas the quality and strength of castings is evaluated using cutting-edge devices for destructive testing.
Do you weld aluminium castings?
Yes, we do. We weld castings and drawn aluminium parts together into uniform, “hybrid” components.
How do you measure castings?
We do that with the use of Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMMs), a 3D laser scanner and various kinds of specialist devices, e.g. thickness gauges for measuring walls which are hard to access.
Do you provide annealing services?
Yes, we do. They are part of our heat treatment services.
Do you provide silver plating services?
Yes, we do. We also provide painting and copper plating services.
Do you do T6 heat treatment?
Yes, we do. We offer T6 heat treatment as well as other HT services, depending on customer specifications.
Do you have your own CNC machine shop?
Yes, we do. Our machine shop contains over 60 machining centres with 3-, 4-, 5- and 6-axis machines.
Do you have your own paint shop?
Yes, we do. We offer powder coating and wet painting services. We also perform silver and copper plating.
Do you do assembly of castings and other parts into ready-made components?
Yes, we do. We assemble the castings we make as per customer requirements. The components which we use for assembly are either supplied by customers or, if required, they are bought from customer-selected suppliers. It is not only raw or machined castings that we offer. We also provide complete assembly-ready components.
Do you make castings designs and patterns?
Yes, we do. We provide a complete package of foundry services. Our clients receive all the foundry services they need. 3D models and patterns are made in our design department and pattern shop respectively.
Do you make prototype castings before the product is put into mass production?
Yes, we do. As a rule, we make prototypes which undergo FAI approval processes, and then they can be put into mass production.
I would like to redesign an existing component. Is it possible to do that at Thoni Alutec?
Yes, it is. We have a dedicated design department for that purpose.
Do you make extra-large components?
Yes, we do. We cast large lots, unusual components, parts over 10 tonnes in weight and even over 10 metres long.
What exactly is your casting material?
We cast using many kinds of light aluminium alloys. Our castings are tested and certified as per EN1706 (Material Certificate 3.1) and other international standards, such as VDS, DIN and UNI.
How long does it take to make a casting?
It depends on the level of complexity and the casting method. Most often, it is 6-10 weeks.
Can I buy just the casting, without having it machined?
Yes, absolutely. We are focused on serving our customers and we want to meet your casting needs.
Do I need to have a finished design?
No, you don’t. Our design office is here to help you.
Is there a chance I could send you a sample casting so that you could reverse-engineer and start production?
Yes, there is. We would only have to confirm that the casting processes match and that we can adapt our tooling.
Are you able to scan and measure a component and then compare it with the original data?
Yes, we do. We have a laser tracker, so we can scan a component and create a set of 3D data to compare it with the original data.
What information do I have to produce to be able to submit a Request For Quotation and receive a quote?
It is enough to produce a drawing, a draft or a physical component. However, 2D drawings, 3D drawings, quantities and specifications are always welcome, as they allow us to understand your request better and prepare a more precise quotation.
What certificates does Thoni Alutec have?
Our plant is ISO9001 certified, both generally and in terms of specific standards, such as IRIS, ISO/TS22163 for rail and EN9100 for aerospace. In addition, we have a NADCAP accreditation for special processes for the aerospace industry issued by PRI, an independent body. We also have accreditations for the defence and marine industries.
Have you implemented ISO systems?
Yes, we have.
What incoterms do you usually offer?
As per customer requirements, but usually FCA or DDP.
How long does it take to get a quote?
It usually takes max. 3 working days if we have all the data we need.
What is your turnaround time?
Our turnaround time is typically 6-10 weeks.
What industries do you produce for?
Thoni Alutec provides a complete package of foundry services. Thanks to our versatility, we can make any kind of aluminium casting. Our main clients are in energy, rail, aerospace, medical, robotics and many others.
Will you keep me informed about the progress in the production process?
Yes, we will. You will have a dedicated project leader to inform you about every production stage. Their job is to answer your questions and keep you informed about the production process.
What is your scope of delivery?
We provide the full supply chain services, so the casting, machining, tests, painting and even assembly.
Do you provide delivery services?
Yes, we have our own transport services, but we outsource deliveries, too. We cooperate with highly experienced carriers. Our Europeans clients receive their castings within a three-day delivery tolerance. Our clients outside Europe are served by our business partners—forwarding companies with subsidiaries on all continents. Export customs and duty tax formalities are taken care of internally.
Can I count on you for help with customs?
Absolutely. Most of the components we make are sent all over the world, so we have plenty of experience in customs. We take care of export customs and duty tax formalities internally.
Where do you deliver castings?
We deliver castings all over the world.
How long have you been in the market?
Thoni Alutec sp. z o.o. has been in the market for over 20 years.
I’m from a start-up and I need advice. Can you help me?
Yes, we can. As part of our operations, we always try to develop new projects with our partners.