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Culture - Dec 9, 2022

To Munich and Beyond with Level III MAGMA Certification

Janelle Bailey | Waupaca Foundry

Employee Spotlight: Alan Crawford

Waupaca Foundry Tooling Engineer Alan Crawford earned his Level III MAGMASOFT® certification in 2022—one of only approximately 50 in the United States. His recent presentation at the MAGMA North American User Group meeting in Chicago, Illinois, on September 7-9, 2022, made a significant impact. In fact, the certification panel asked Crawford to share his capstone project again at the MAGMA International User Group event in Munich, Germany, on October 19-21, 2022.

Crawford has been using MAGMASOFT® since 2013. Level III certification requires successful demonstration and use of the software’s advanced features, primarily its ability to conduct simulations and through the completion of a capstone project self-chosen by the user seeking certification. Crawford asserts: “The simulations are a big deal, as this saves time in sampling and time and money with any foreseeable issues or concerns. It brings to the customer experience a demonstration that they can give a newer design and show them features that can be tweaked slightly and with foresight into those results.”
Pictured left to right: Matt Jacobs, Alan Crawford, Steve Sirkorski
Simulations with MAGMASOFT® in an automated virtual test plan allows engineers to pursue different quality and cost objectives simultaneously. While there is other software that functions similarly, MAGMA is an industry standard and has 16 users across Waupaca Foundry. Crawford is the fourth to attain Level III certification at the Foundry. Levels I and II of MAGMASOFT® training through MAGMAacademy primarily develop the basics of how to use the software. Level III, however, is a culmination of Levels I and II and is project-based, requiring the engineer seeking certification to show proficient use of the software and its advanced features.

Crawford’s project centers on research and design with a brake rotor using the “Stress Module” of the software. The project took nearly a year to complete. “It has had its ups and downs, but it has been incredibly fun and interesting overall…and very enjoyable,” said Crawford. “Going out on the floor and watching the results of what I did and the changes we made—especially in the core making process—because watching the solution work was quite enjoyable.” Crawford reported.

Without a finite element analysis tool, the expense of trial and error and experimentation of such changes in a production environment would be cost-prohibitive. With MAGMASOFT® and Crawford’s capstone project that led to his Level III certification, work toward optimizing brake rotor manufacturing at Waupaca Foundry will continue as he explores further opportunities.

Waupaca Foundry has a rich reputation supplying iron castings for brake systems—both for the automotive and commercial vehicle markets. The software enables Crawford to continuously improve and optimize brake production manufacturing. “Customers can give us a new design idea, and we can work through some of its aspects in the software and show, through simulation, how things could be changed slightly this way or that to optimize the design.”
Waupaca Foundry Tooling Engineer, Alan Crawford presenting at MAGMA Academy.
Waupaca Foundry Director of Tooling & Process Manufacturing, David Scott, explains that Crawford, “married the different aspects of the software so that we could predict what the dimensional effects would be on the casting in addition to manufacturing this very specialized core for the rotor and putting that all together in the mold,” leading to discovery and insights that truly change how rotors can and will be manufactured at Waupaca Foundry. “Alan is helping Waupaca Foundry revolutionize the way that we make and manufacture rotors, continuing with Waupaca Foundry’s legacy of continuous improvement and keeping us competitive in the marketplace,” adds Scott.

Among the benefits of Level III MAGMASOFT® certification is benchmarking other projects. While at the International User Group in Munich, Crawford learned from other MAGMASoft users and returned with new ideas for continuous improvement on his initial project. He will continue to make adjustments and progress toward even greater gains and brake rotor manufacturing optimization.
Crawford manages tooling design and build at Waupaca Foundry headquarters, where he is primarily responsible for tooling used for horizontally-parted castings. Prior to joining Waupaca Foundry in 2020, Crawford had previously worked elsewhere in the industry after earning his Mechanical Engineering degree from Michigan Technological University in 2006.
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