Overall product costs and part weight were reduced by conversion of this housing used in a microwave telecom application. Elimination of machined chips of an expensive nickel alloy was one part of the cost reduction. Another was a design that incorporated threaded posts that had been separate "stand-offs" with longer bolts. All eight threaded holes were molded into the part. Like other microelectronic devices used in telecommunications, this part needed to be sealed in a hermetic package. The molder, FloMet of DeLand, FL, went to sister company Teka Seal for a glass-to-metal sealing process that completes the part. Final nickel/gold plating was done through an outside contractor. Cost savings over the original wrought design were 60 percent. For more information on FloMet, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4933-516.
Siemens and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology have achieved a faster production process based on selective laser melting for speeding up the prototyping of big, complex metal parts in gas turbine engines.
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