All of „the Big Three“, the three major American automobile manufacturers Ford, General Motors and Chrysler, use systems of MK Technology in their development departments. And as it should be expected from a proper company, none of these three is satisfied with small or medium-sized machines, they want the biggest one. For more than 15 years, Chrysler has been working with the Vacuum Casting System 3 in order to produce complete front aprons, radiator grilles and instrument panels for vehicles like the Crossfire or the AL 300. Meanwhile the system has run impressive 60,000 hours and the only repair required was the exchange of 3 of the 8 machine lights in the chamber.
Ford mainly uses the system to manufacture big wax models, which are needed for investment casting processes. The system is located at an exposed place, right across from the Hall of Fame and the really worth seeing and famous Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.
Less venerable is the ground where General Motors placed their vacuum casting systems which they had bought last year. Together with all the other machines of the rapid prototyping department, they found their place in the basement of the research and development department in Dearborn – and unfortunately this had fatal consequences: During the thunderstorm of the century in August 2014, torrential rains filled the whole cellar with water within a couple of minutes and destroyed all machines – the damage amounted to more than 75 million US-Dollars. All machines? No, not really. Although you can still see the high-water marks at the walls in a height of about 2.5 m today, and both vacuum casting systems including electronics were completely under water, the damage was manageable. After everything was dry and the pump oil had been exchanged, both machines worked properly again – actually, this is almost impossible.
The laconic comment of the Development Manager of General Motors was: Should we ever be at war, I would immediately go into the cellar and take a seat in the System 3 of MK Technology, it is atomic bomb-proof.
Let us hope that our machines to not have to pass such a test, as well.