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Casting is one of the most economical and efficient methods for producing metal parts. In terms of scale, it is well suited for everything from low-volume, prototype production runs to filling global orders for millions of parts. Casting also affords great flexibility in terms of design, readily accommodating a wide range of shapes, dimensional requirements, and configuration complexities. This article traces the history of metal casting from its beginnings to the current state, creating a timeline marked by discoveries, advancements, and influential events. It also lists some of the major markets where castings are used.

This article describes the four basic steps of the purchasing process of cast components. These steps include defining requirements and developing a purchasing plan; requesting and evaluating bids from potential sources; selecting a source and negotiating contract terms; and carrying out the contract and pursuing continuous improvement. It provides guidance on purchasing cast components and explains specific issues and approaches that have proven to be useful in purchasing castings. The article presents a list of the most significant considerations when attempting to determine the overall cost and design requirements of a metal casting.

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