2017 RCM Division Focus: Imperial Die Casting

Imperial Building Shot

Imperial Profile:

Imperial Die Casting was founded in 1966 in Liberty, South Carolina. Acquired in 1988 by RCM and eventually growing to a 90,000 square foot modern aluminum die casting facility, Imperial has the expertise in producing high quality aluminum die castings requiring close tolerances, pressure tightness, good surface finish, extensive CNC machining and other various secondary operations.

As a division of RCM Industries, Inc., Imperial has full access to the leading-edge resources of the combined RCM corporate wide-operations. To view Imperial’s full listing of die casting capabilities, please view: Imperial Die Casting- Die Casting Capabilities.

Imperial’s Recent Upgrades and Improvements:

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The newest additions to Imperials extensive CNC machining capabilities include a dual robot cell- complete with a conveyor, spindle heads, pin stamper, pneumatic grippers and multiple camera systems. This impressive piece of machinery transfers, machines, inspects, and pin stamps parts to ensure no flashing is present.

 

This investment alone has resulted in a 50% increase in production through the robot versus the previous methods, with continued improvement expected.

To view the short “mini-clip” of this impressive automation: Imperial dual robot cell- ‘mini-clip’.

RCM lean revised

 

 

In recent years, Imperial has made productive strides towards lean manufacturing implementation. The successes associated with Imperial’s lean journey are worth highlighting.

Key Imperial team members have continued their ‘Toyota Production System’ lean education through the University of Kentucky.

 

  • Many areas of the production plant have been reorganized to provide improve product flow and efficiency, most notably in CNC machining. Improved walkways have been created to enhance these new layouts in addition to improving plant safety.
  • Improved LED lighting technology has been added to the new quality assurance inspection area as well as individual die casting cells and the finishing department.
  • Communication boards containing work standards have been added throughout the plant for team leaders and team members. Areas of focus include all areas of the production process, work space cleaning, auditing materials, and safety information.
  • Die casting setup areas were targeted for improvement. New additions after 5S include visual reference guides for different sized components, improved storage racks and shelving for component storage, and new setup areas consisting of re-purposed materials.
  • Finished goods staging areas have been added with metal signage to clearly identify product status.
  • The inventory process has been improved by the increased utilization of bar code scanners, thus eliminating the use of inventory tags and manual entries of inventory detail.
  • The LPA (Layered Process Audit) process has been revised, thus increasing awareness of LPA findings for production team members by utilizing electronic media. Other benefits of electronic media enhancement include increased awareness of quality, safety, and delivery metrics.

Planned Investments and Upgrades: 

  • Upgraded Shotscope process monitoring technology will improve overall process control. As part of the RCM Industries corporate R&D program for continuous improvement, Shotscope is an integrated process and web-based production monitoring system built directly into the die casting robots. This technology automatically captures all process and production data for permanent record, as well as real-time from anywhere. In summary, Imperial will be able to view current and historical specific production metrics plant wide or machine specific from anywhere so that issues are identified early and corrective actions are taken sooner.
  • All trim presses in die casting will be upgraded to include one touch controls, light curtains, air safety bars, logic to be capable of sequencing multiple slide action control, and capable of interlocking de-burr equipment to create one-piece flow.
  • Two additional quench tanks and pre-trim stations will also be added to the existing operations.

For more information on Imperial’s aluminum die casting capabilities, please contact us at sales@rcmindustries.com.