ARC - Manufacturing Process

Project Cost Estimation
Upon receipt of project drawings and scope details, our team of project estimators will prepare a detailed quote outlining quantities and any available options including value-engineering opportunities. A general manufacturing leadtime estimate will be provided.
Project Award
Final commercial terms, scope, and delivery times are reviewed and finalized.
Sample Approval
When required, samples prepared at the project specification stage, or after the project is awarded, are signed off by the architect. Production will not begin until sample approval is obtained or waived.
Shop Drawing Preparation
Detailed shop drawings providing part dimensions and installation details are prepared using AutoCAD 2008.  Appropriate engineering stamps are obtained, and the drawings are approved by the customer before production begins.
Pattern Making / Tooling
Where existing samples are not available, most new patterns are manufactured by 5-axis CNC machines to ensure accurate dimensions, crisp details, and rapid production. Where ornate details or the appearance of aging is required, ARC is experienced team of sculpters will produce the pattern. Most patterns are machined on furniture grade MDF, or are produced using clay and sometimes metal. All completed patterns go through a quality control process to ensure dimensional accuracy.
Mold Making
Using the pattern as the positive or “plug”, a negative mold is produced to form the cavity into which the GFRC material is sprayed. A range of composite materials may be used to ensure the appropriate balance between dimensional stability, durability, detail reproduction, cost effectiveness and production efficiency. Quality control processes are again in place to ensure that the final mold meets approved specifications.
Casting Production
The mold is first sprayed with an un-reinforced “face coat” of cement with integral color, which becomes the exterior surface of the casting. Aggregates can be applied in the face coat for varied surface appearance. The balance of the shape is sprayed with an identical compound, intermixed with pre-cut glass fiber filaments, which provide for high strength in a thin section. Where the piece is to be used to support other masonry, the cast section must be back-filled with concrete or GFRC.
Frame Attachment
A steel frame is bonded to the casting with flex anchors, which allow relative movement between the frame and the casting. The steel frame permits erection by bolting or welding to the building steelwork. All completed frames are inspected for quality and specification adherence.
Casting Removal
After curing in the mold, the casting is stripped and further cured until ready for finishing. Undercuts, or intricate sections are accommodated by the use of flexible mold materials.
Surface Finishing
Since the mold face is smooth, carefully controlled surface sandblasting, acid washing, and other techniques may be used to provide the desired surface texture. Where aggregates are used, they can be exposed for special effects. Sealers and coatings may also be used to provide a polished surface appearance. Parts receive a final inspection before preparation for shipping.
Most parts (due to their size) are shipped protected, but uncrated. ARC will crate where required for long distance shipping or overseas shipment.
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