Smith Foundry has developed significant expertise in helping its customers convert fabrications and weldments to castings in order to improve product appearance, reduce part weights, reduce lead times and save costs. Through our in-house engineering and metallurgical capabilities, and our deep understanding of manufacturing concerns, we have helped our customers implement hundreds of intelligent solutions. A few examples of past successes have been:


The award winning AFS “Casting of the Year” is an austempered ductile iron seed boot that was a conversion from a multiple piece steel weldment. The seed boot measures 3” x 8” x 19” and features a vastly improved design. The casting process allowed the part to be manufactured with smooth angles and blended surfaces which greatly improved the accuracy of the seed delivery process.

Working in concert with the customer, Smith engineers were also able to achieve a 15% weight reduction over the steel weldment and reduce lead-times by 50% to complete the finished part.

Most importantly, the casting conversion achieved a 65% cost reduction and the use of ADI iron increased wear resistance and significantly improved service life when compared to the steel weldment. In addition, the customer realized addition savings by eliminating the need to purchase significant amounts of raw steel, welding rod, and stocking of finished product in their factory.                  

Link to article

Drive Wheel Casting (past “BEST IN CLASS AWARD”)

Originally an 84-piece steel assembly, Smith Foundry engineers worked closely with the customer to redesign the part into a single 21-lb casting; realizing a 15% weight reduction, a 55% cost reduction (which saved the customer in excess of $190,000 annually), and the elimination of 30 min of assembly time. As well, because the full capabilities of the casting process were utilized (for example, where FEA analysis showed that joints where the six heavy spokes link to the but were critical areas, 1/2" fillets were used at those junctions to reduce stress concentrations), the new part demonstrated improved wear and durability as well as delivering on a significant improvement in appearance.

In addition to winning a Best In Class award, this project was used by AFS and SFS as a metalcasting design study.  That study can be found here: Link to study

Tube Clamp Casting (featured in Feb. 2016 Metal casting design and purchasing)


Smith Foundry’s award winning conversion of a farm field harrow machine casting from a steel weldment to a ductile iron casting reduced the customer’s component cost by 60%.

The design assistance provided resulted in reduced stress concentration and smoother transitions which in turn provided improved wear resistance of the casting. Smith’s expertise allowed the incorporation of key features that had been missing from the steel fabrication. 

Link to article

Cast Walking Beam Conveys Cost Savings

The walking beam is a part of a conveyor used in mining or construction industries that could measure up to 190 feet in length.  Strength is crucial, as it supports the weight of the conveyor and the heavy material being moved.  For that reason, the original walking beam was made of welded steel.  While meeting the strength requirement, the 14 piece weldment was expensive to produce.  The move to a cast walking beam was natural, based on the success the manufacturer experienced with other casting conversions created with Smith Foundry.


The design for the cast walking beam was supplied by the manufacturer’s engineering department.  To meet the part’s need for strength, the engineers selected ductile iron.  Designs were created and a finite element analysis was conducted.  Upon receiving the digital files, Smith Foundry made patterns for the walking beam.


The walking beam cast by Smith Foundry has made three big improvements.  It reduces costs by 65% compared to the original 14 piece weldment.  It provides all the needed strength.  The cast piece also contributes a significant aesthetic upgrade to the stacking conveyor, one that adds a look of durability, quality and sales appeal.


Request a Quote