Site:               CADIC Corporation
                    713 West Kanagawa Science Park
                    3-2-1 Sakado Takatsu-ku
                    Kawasaki 213, Japan
                    Tel: (81) 044-8192374; Fax: (81) 044-8192375

Date Visited:       January 8, 1996

WTEC Attendees:     B. Bertram (report author), D. Apelian, 
                    G. Holdridge, T.S. Piwonka

Hosts:              Nobuyoshi Sasaki, President/CEO CADIC
                    Yoshikazu Hashimoto, Technical Director
                    Li Weimin, Chief Engineer
                    Akira Tamura, Staff Officer, R&D, Kawasaki Heavy Industry
                    Shinjiro Yamada, President, INCS Inc.
                    Takao Ikeda, Senior Engineer
                    Michiyo Kuwabara, Engineer
                    Akio Baba, Senior Executive Director, Kanagawa Science Park
                    Shu Shimizu, General Manager

BACKGROUND

CADIC Corporation, along with over 50 other smaller companies, is housed in Kanagawa Science Park (KSP). This ten-year-old facility, capitalized at ¥4.5 billion, was created by the Kawagawa Prefecture, Kawasaki City, Japan Development Bank, and now about 42 private companies, to foster new technological businesses in the area. It is well equipped with common facilities such labs, conference facilities, shops, and a hotel.

CADIC supplies technology and systems to produce lower-cost, higher-volume investment castings. The "CADIC system" is aimed at serving the needs of the auto industry by providing thin wall, lighter weight, ferrous castings that compete directly with aluminum conversions to achieve automotive fuel economy goals.

INCS Inc. is also housed in KSP. It is the largest independent supplier of stereo lithography modeling services in Japan. The five machines it had at the time of this WTEC visit represented 60% of the installed capacity in Japan. INCS is also the exclusive supplier of three-dimensional systems equipment in Japan. 3-D Systems, a California company, produces stereo lithography equipment and has a dominant role in the U.S. market. [See JTEC/WTEC Panel Report on Rapid Prototyping in Europe and Japan, Vol. II, Site Reports, for more details on INCS.]

CURRENT MANUFACTURING PRACTICES

The CADIC system is currently used in manufacture of valve bodies at the Yamagata Seimitsu Chuzo Co., producing about 40 MT/month. Refer to the January 10, 1996 site report (p. 131) for additional information.

CADIC system was evaluated by Ford in a pilot facility supplied by CADIC for producing hollow, lightweight cast-steel cam shafts for its 1.9 liter engine. These shafts were found to be non-competitive with powder metal by about $1/unit.

A major U.S. automotive supplier is investigating using the process for thin wall stainless steel exhaust manifolds. A trial system has not yet been purchased.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

CADIC Corp. representatives discussed three processes during the meeting:

KSP and Japan's Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) are supporting this project. The Metal Casting Technology Center of the University of Alabama and Kawasaki Heavy Industries also are cooperating.

SUMMARY

CADIC's primary focus is to reduce the cost of the investment casting process and commercialize variations of the process so that it becomes economical for automotive applications.

These processes have the potential for casting much thinner walls than any process in production today. Molding systems that can hold the tolerances required for thin-wall part designs are an enabling technology yet to be developed.

REFERENCES

Sasaki, N. 1996. "The Development of a Process for Manufacturing Casting Molds for Thin Wall Cast Steel: Using Convert Mold Process." BCIRA International Conference April 1-3, York, England.


Published: March 1997; WTEC Hyper-Librarian