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World Class Advice to Die for!

As an international Recruitment Agency we are always seeking ways to help our clients improve their businesses and from time to time link up with recognised international experts to offer assistance here is the latest offering from one of the world’s leading authorities on die casting.

Here is a profile of John Lyons and we quote

“Since 1996 I was the Managing Director of Atlas Aluminium Limited, Ireland a very efficient and highly automated primarily aluminium die casting company, with some zinc. Our manning levels in the aluminium foundry were the lowest in the industry with one operator running three fully automated die casting cells, with robotic trimming.

I am now also involved in magnesium die casting. I am consultant to an OEM that supplies complete systems to the Auto industry. Some of these systems contain magnesium die castings which they manufacture globally themselves.

During my period with Atlas Ireland as you may be aware became the second most expensive country in Europe, and with over 85% of our product exported we had to reduce our costs significantly. From 1996 to date I lead three very successful ‘cost reduction programs’ and several restructures. The company moved from being positioned as a low cost producer to a ‘very reliable value added high end manufacturer’. I also lead the company technically throughout the years.

Due to a protracted strike over pay in November 2007 and the loss of business contracts as a result thereof Atlas Aluminium Limited decided to cease manufacturing from its plant in Limerick, Ireland on December 14th 2007.

With thirty years of experience in the die casting industry (a lot of it hands), and being a highly energetic objective driven individual with a winning attitude I have built up a vast range of skills, these include:
· Business/strategic planning and setting measurable objectives for all employees
· Organising/measuring large numbers of people in order that they work effectively/lean manufacturing
· Cost reduction programs/restructuring
· Although Atlas Aluminium Limited produced a wide range of parts with very low levels of rejects our company specialised in manufacturing medium to high complex parts. This included parts with very low level of porosity, thin walled parts, parts with tight tolerances, parts with high flatness requirements, die casting exotic alloys using vacuum, etc. This was achieved through effective runner/gating design, proper process controls, effective training, etc. I was the number one technical person in the company and was involved in the design of all new products.
· Quality improvement programs to achieve zero PPM (SPC, error proofing, etc.)
· Die casting process trouble shooting and Technical development programs
· In house training/development programs

I have got excellent results recently with regard to the manufacturing of forty aluminium pressure die castings.
Die cast parts ranging from 0.15 kg to 24 kg, these parts were CNC machined after die casting. These parts also had to be pressure tight, there were high levels of rejects after machining due to porosity and after ‘leak testing’.

Rejects were as high as 20% after machining. After my trials/modifications these processes are showing 0 % – 0.5% rejects in total depending on the part.
Due to constraints arising from the current tool design and die casting machine size available the actions taken ranged from:
a) Improving the die lock out.
b) Redesign of runner gates.
c) Change in plunger diameter.
d) Optimising of venting.
e) Slight modification of casting dimensions.
f) Die temperature optimisation.

I have put together a 280 page technical/management training program for a company, it took approximately 280+ hours to complete.
I recently gave the technical element of my die casting course to a company. They said it was by far the best course ever given (feedback available). This company previously had the top Japanese TQM, TPM consultants in their plant and a Japanese die casting expert.

I have vast experience for both aluminium (part weight a few grams to 24 kg), zinc die casting (part weight a few grams to 500 grams), and magnesium (up to 1 kg).

I can also provide a ‘management’ course on ‘lean’, ‘spc’, ‘measurable objectives, ‘systematic training’, ‘error proofing’, and ‘plant metrics’. The plan here is that once the management material has been covered we visit the production facility and compare our theory to current practice. We then agree an action plan to improve etc.
I am confident I can save any company dealing or involved in die casting a significant amount of money.”


Author: Chris Slay

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