Design & Engineering
Full Service Manufacturing
Inspection & Verification
Primary Industries Served
- Pedestal Heaters
- Gas Delivery Heaters
- Wet Bench Heaters
- Customer Components
- Medical Device Heaters
- Blood & Biofluid Heaters
- Oxygen Heaters
- Heaters for Medicine Processing
- Joule-Thomson Heaters
- Cryogas Heaters
- Gas Cabinet Heaters
- Specialty Heaters
- Commercial Grills
- Steam Generators
- Beverage Heaters
- Wash System Heaters
- Bottling Heaters
- Fuel Gas Conditioning
- Natural Gas Heaters
- Dry Gas Seal Heaters
- Soil Analysis
- J-T Heaters
- Engine & Compressor
- Painting & Plating
- Lab Heaters
- Cleaning Applications
Our Specialty: Helping Customers Go from Schematic to Finished Product
We collaborate with these organizations to help deliver on our promise of Total Quality
Cast Aluminum Solutions serves companies worldwide with highly-engineered thermal products and industrial components. Our company makes products that help save lives, connect the world, protect our country and cook the world’s most popular foods.
Our most popular product categories include inline heaters, circulation heaters, semiconductor platens & wafer pedestal heaters, foodservice equipment grills & steamers, blood & plasma heaters for medical devices, and a wealth of high-purity fluid heaters featuring stainless steel wetted surfaces.
CAS delivers value to our customers and partners through these three principles: Engineering Expertise, Speed to Market, and Operational Excellence.
Engineering Expertise is the foundational component to our value delivery approach. Consisting of a very experienced team of mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and thermal technicians, the CAS Engineering department utilizes state-of-the-art design technology and a fully-equipped Research and Development Laboratory to create initial designs, test their functionality via computer modeling before manufacturing, and then, after the prototypes are made, to test the first articles for reliability and performance.
Examples of the design software our engineering team uses include the Solidworks 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) application. Finite Element Analysis (FEA) is another very important application used by CAS Engineers. FEA allows CAS Engineers to create both thermal models and structural models. Thermal models are primarily aimed at (A) ensuring the component CAS is making achieves the desired target temperature (which ultimately ensures the customer’s required Delta-T, or change in temperature, can be met, leading to proper processing of the substrate, liquid, or gas in question), and (B) our thermal models aim to achieve consistency across the face of the heated component CAS is designing. Especially on flat heated surfaces, thermal consistency can be just as important as peak temperature. CAS Engineers also utilize FEA applications to construct structural models. Structural models can be tied to heating simulations, effectively allowing technicians to see how heat affects physical characteristics. Because the CAS Engineering department thrives on efficiency, they have the ability to link their 3-D CAD models to thermal and structural simulations, so when a design is changed they can automatically re-run the heat-transfer and structural portions of the modeling exercise.
The primary goal of these extensive modeling and design phases is to work out any and all design flaws before prototypes are made. Some of the variables CAS Engineers will augment in their modeling exercises include: heater and flow-tube shape, heater and flow-tube bend pattern, heater and flow-tube location within the larger component, heater wattage and operating temperature, the physical geometry of the heated component, and small variables such as surface groove patterning, mounting bracket dimensions, and the location and construction of any attached accessories, thermocouples, sensors, or electrical enclosures.
Once our engineers arrive at a point where the thermal and structural models meet the customer’s desired parameters, final approval schematics and STEP files are generated. If all involved parties agree upon the design specifications, preparations can be made for building prototypes. This might include ordering heaters, flow-tubes, sensors, compression fittings and of course, substrate material. CAS offers a number of substrate options, including several aluminum alloys, multiple grades of stainless steel, and specialty metals such as Incalloy, Monel, copper, titanium, and so on.
If casting the prototype, CAS offers tilt-pour casting methods and pressure casing methods. Both offer outstanding product quality, low porosity, and the ability to cast flow-tubes, heating elements, and thermowells into the molded component. Sand casting options are also available for prototyping. If casting is not desirable for the prototype, CAS offers our proprietary IFC (interference fit construction) technique. With this method, heaters and tubular components are fit into a milled groove on the substrate; and IFC has the ability to accommodate a wider variety of substrates than our casting procedures might.
After initial bodies for prototypes are successfully fabricated, they may be machined at one of CAS’s multi-axis machine centers. If welding or joining procedures are required, customers can choose from many options, including MIG and TIG welding, vacuum brazing, electron-beam welding, and more. If special surface finishes are required, CAS can also accomplish this, offering an array of anodizing, powder coating, and synthetic options. Final assembly and cleaning usually go hand-in-hand with surface finishing, and these represent the final steps in building a prototype.
When the final prototype has been completely assembled, it is ready to return to the hands of the CAS Engineering Team, and here, just as in the design phase, a number of advanced technologies are employed. CAS offers X-Ray and ultrasound imaging to verify the placement of heating elements, flow-tubes, and other components within the casting. Flow-tube positioning is especially important to the performance of our CAST-X Circulation Heaters and semiconductor pedestal heaters that might feature flow-tubes (which, in those circumstances, often serve to carry cooling fluids). Infra-red cameras, accompanied by extensive data-logging, are sometimes used by CAS Engineers to test for thermal uniformity. The reliability of prototypes is often checked using our variable-voltage life-cycle testing station. Helium leak tests may also be performed at CAS: this type of test is important for components to be installed in a vacuum chamber environment. For testing the heating capabilities of components destined for vacuum chamber installations, the CAS Research & Development Lab is equipped with a large vacuum chamber capable of accommodating semiconductor pedestal heaters and platens up to 450 mm.
Many of the tasks associated with developing and testing prototypes are in the hands of the CAS New Product Development Team. This team includes portions of our engineering staff, plus machinists, technicians, and project managers.
The second tenet that continuously propels CAS forward is the Speed to Market principle. CAS serves a number of tech-heavy, economically-vibrant industries. As a result, our customers tend to demand quick turnarounds, expedited performance, and a steady supply of next-generation components in the development pipeline. One of the primary business facets that our speed to market directive steers lies in our production department, which is essentially the volume manufacturing side of our business.
For products that are in production – those that have moved beyond the prototype stage and are in demand via orders from OEM accounts – it is essential products are developed, manufactured, tested, packaged and shipped on time. This may sound simple – but when one considers the complexity of our products, the multiple steps needed to make them, and the outside services that often come into play – it is easy to understand that staying on timeline requires sophisticated tracking tools, excellent personnel management, and a deliberate focus on job progression.
To accomplish the numerous assembly and fabrication steps on-time, Cast Aluminum Solutions has invested in state-of-the-industry pressure casting machines, computer-linked CNC (computer numeric control) machines, and CMM (coordinate measuring machines) for dimensional testing. These machines add efficiency, speed, and quality to our operation. Combined with our well-trained staff of technicians, they work to infuse the speed our customers demand with the legendary quality CAS is known for.
The third pillar on which CAS stands is Operational Excellence. This goal may sound lofty, but if properly brought to bear, it affects the two previous tenets. Operational excellence is both a state of mind and a series of quantifiable steps that must be taken. All CAS employees must adhere to a rigid program of continuous training and process improvement. In addition to investing in personnel, we’ve invested in operation-enhancing technologies such as bar-code tracking of each component in inventory, an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system that tracks every major business function, a cloud-based Smartsheet project management system, computer programs that tie together engineering schematics with CNC machine language, and PLC controls for casting machines that add speed and efficiency to our primary fabrication process. Customers of Cast Aluminum Solutions expect these operational services, and CAS makes every effort to deliver.
Standard CAS products include the CAST-X line of circulation heaters, which in the standard version has an aluminum body, and the CAST-X High Temperature line of circulation heaters, which has a bronze body. Another standard product line is our PFA-tube circulation heater, called PUR-X, available in two sizes.
The CAST-X Circulation Heater is a cast-in heat exchanger, available in six sizes, with power ranging from 500 to 60,000 watts. CAST-X Circulation Heaters have the ability to heat flammable liquids and gases because all media is isolated in the heater’s stainless steel flow-tube. With a CAST-X Circulation Heater, media never touches the heating element or any other component in the heater. This is an important safety feature, but it is also a key contamination-prevention feature. All CAST-X Circulation Heater flow-tubes are also capable of operating under high operating pressures, which is often relevant for gas heating applications. CAST-X Circulation Heaters are used widely in the emerging natural gas market, many industrial gas heating applications, and cryogenic liquid-to-gas phase change applications: all these processes have high pressure requirements. Common liquid-centric applications that fit CAST-X include heating glycol, DI water, various petrochemicals, and solvents for the semiconductor industry. Cast Aluminum Solutions even makes a CAST-X variant called the Universal Solvent Heater, which is specifically designed to heat low-flashpoint solvents. To accommodate the safe heating of flammable media, almost all CAST-X Circulation Heaters are available with explosion-proof electrical enclosures (NEMA 7 or ATEX), in addition to waterproof (NEMA 4) and general-purpose enclosure options (NEMA 1).
We serve a wealth of industrial and commercial sectors, with our primary customers being in semiconductor & wafer processing sector, the oil & gas industry, the commercial foodservice equipment industry, the industrial gas business, and various industrial chemical markets. CAS’s circulation heaters and custom-engineered inline heaters also fit well with carpet cleaning applications, parts washing devices, the printing & converting industry, and a number of aerospace and defense applications. Other markets, such as the medical device market and the semiconductor sector, rely on the CAS New Product Development Team to engineer custom products to fit their needs.
Cast Aluminum Solutions serves OEMs and end-users from our headquarters near Chicago and through a network of application engineers located across North America, Europe, and Asia. For further information regarding Cast Aluminum Solutions (CAS), please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 630-879-2696.