Starting with a general definition of manufacturing process, manufacturing processes are a collection of methods that converts “naturally occurring raw materials into desired end-products” (Harrington, 1984). In other words, raw materials are collected and by means of a chain of production activities, are converted into end-products. A rather precise definition is given by Halevi (1999): “the manufacturing process is a chain of activities directed toward meeting a set of objectives defined by management.” The objectives include development and production of products, production of customer-designed products, and reproduction of products manufactured in the past. Although manufacturing environments differ due to the differences in industry types, the fundamental principles of manufacturing processes remain similar and common to all industry types.
Classification of manufacturing processes primarily includes two broad categories: shaping and non-shaping processes, or rather specifically, primary shaping and secondary shaping processes. Primary shaping processes are also known as basic manufacturing processes, which are the oldest manufacturing processes and still the most used processes. These manufacturing processes are used to produce or manufacture a product directly to its usable form without any machining. So these processes are relatively cheaper. Examples of products made by using primary shaping processes include cast-iron articles, hot-rolled metal products such as channels, rods, bar stocks, etc. Secondary shaping processes are usually carried out for further refinement of products manufactured from the primary shaping processes. Some of the examples of products made by using secondary shaping processes are the hot-rolled products that are required to undergo further refinement in shape and size.
This paper will focus particularly on the casting processes. Casting, also known as metal casting, is one of the