Frequently Asked Questions

We at Lestercast are happy to answer any questions that you may wish ask us, please read below and follow the relevant page links.

If you can't find an answer to your particular query, please submit one here and we will endeavour to answer you.

view answer What quality accreditations are held by Lestercast?

The company holds a number of quality approvals including ISO 9001 and the internationally recognised automotive accreditation, ISO TS16949, together with a number of major industry-related tier one approvals including Bentley and Mercedes. Please view our Quality page for our official certificates.

Lestercast has also achieved for Fit 4 Nuclear status which means that in addition to supplying and manufacturing to an endless list of sectors, Nuclear status approval enables us to work directly into this highly competitive industry also. For more information read here.

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view answer Common misspellings of Lestercast

Lestercast, although based in Leicester, Leicestershire is not spelt as the city spells its name. We spell the company name Lestercast. A common misspelling would be Leicestercast.

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view answer Does Lestercast have an environmental policy?

One of the company’s main objectives is to establish itself as an environmentally friendly organisation and we are constantly exploring new initiatives for minimising waste and reducing pollution. To this end, we are developing our environmental policy to enable us to achieve ISO 14000 in the near future.

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view answer Does Lestercast offer a rapid turnaround service?

Our highly skilled team has considerable expertise in rapid prototyping technologies and is able to provide its customers with an efficient method of acquiring high quality cast parts quickly. The principal benefit of this process is the speed at which the solid model is generated and its ability to produce complex 3D shapes accurately from CAD drawings. Wax models can be produced in hours and turned into investment castings within one to two weeks, compared with the overall lead time of four to six weeks using conventional production methods.

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view answer How much does Investment Casting Cost?

Investment Casting is bespoke to the individual and to the design of the finished product. Each cast part must be priced up individually depending on the choice of metals, finishings, whether we produce your products here in the UK or at our Foundry in China and of course quantity.

Lestercast offer very competitive prices and will do our best to keep the costs down for your requirements.

To obtain a quote, please contact our Sales Team on 0116 276 7284 or click here for more information.

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view answer Is it possible to visit Lestercast to view its manufacturing processes?

Of course! We are extremely proud of our facility and invite new and existing customers to visit our premises for a full tour and refreshments. Our tours are given by the individual best suited to dealing with your business enquiry so that you get the best explanations and most relevant advice available.

We think you will be very impressed by our clean and well organised foundry, as well as the warm welcome that awaits you from our friendly, experienced team.

Contact us here to arrange a visit.

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view answer Is Lestercast able to offer budget prices via the Far East?

Yes. Lestercast has a long-standing and successful working relationship with an investment casting foundry in China that manufactures quality castings at very competitive rates. The company has successfully supplied numerous parts to its customers through this arrangement, combining the benefits of low pricing from the Far East with the advantage of stringent quality controls from an experienced investment caster, without the complexities of dealing direct.

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view answer Is Lestercast able to offer stockholding and scheduled deliveries?

Yes. We can maintain a stockholding agreement for customers at our Leicester-based premises and supply components within one to two days, or we can arrange for parts to be delivered on a scheduling basis.

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view answer Lestercast - A Poem

Stainless, mild bronze or brass, we have to be the best in class;
Duplex, aluminium, hasteloys or zinc, give us a try and see what you think.
Production, sample or rapid prototype, place your orders, you’re sure to like
Even if it’s something simple to measure, call us now, it would be our pleasure;
Avoid a rush there’s no time to waste, for Investment Casting there’s no better place!

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view answer What are Lestercast's current lead times?

Our lead times are dependent upon casting and finishing requirements, but generally are as follows:

Samples                  4-6 weeks (UK)           7-8 (Far East)

Production              5-6 weeks (UK)           7-8 weeks (Far East, by air) 12-14 weeks (Far East, by sea)

Rapid Prototyping   1-2 weeks (UK)  

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view answer What are the casting tolerances?

Our casting tolerances are detailed on our Technical Data page and can be downloaded if required.

We adhere to the VDG P690 Tolerance Table which can be downloaded here for further information. 

For additional questions on tolerances or quality issues, please contact us here

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view answer What file formats does Lestercast accept for drawings?

The company can accept a range of formats for drawings but the main ones are detailed below:

2-D     PDF and TIFF

3-D     STL, IGES, STEP, Solidworks, etc

To submit a drawing online and to send us details of your product to be manufactured, please click here.

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view answer What is 5S and Does Lestercast Practise the Techniques?

Lestercast integrate the techniques of the Japanese 5S Programme of Development through a structured two-day training session rolled out across the company.

As part of Lean Manufacturing, a process found in production firms such as ourselves here at Lestercast, the 5S programme is a simple tool which, in short, organises your workplace into the most effective and efficient place it can be through a series of specialised techniques. The intention for the programme is to maximise value and reduce waste by implementing inexpensive methodologies and principles to accomplish these goals.

As an advocate of the programme for many years previously, a welcome update on our strategies was rolled out. 

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Originating from Japan, the term ‘5S’ represents five Japanese words which on translation become:-

- Sort
- Straighten
- Shine
- Standardise
- Sustain

Having recently been approved as Fit for Nuclear (F4N), one of the requirements is to consistently maintain an effective and lean working environment. Through the identified steps, each building on the next one, this is possible and is easily achievable if every member of staff in each department is on-board with the methodology.

The Process of Implementing 5S

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On day 1, the individuals understand the benefits behind the techniques of improving all work areas, from foundry and workshop areas to general administration offices. Eventually all areas of the entire Lestercast facility are assessed and the programme applied. They then assess each area for unnecessary items which are surplus to requirement; vital items for working practises and apply a tag to items that need to be worked on or addressed to aid the working environment and practises.

These improvements are implemented between day 1 and day 2 and on day 2, the improvements are assessed and quantified.

The programme promotes and develops teamwork, identifies needs for change and maintains and improves all working practises within all work environments.

A Champion for each department is identified and they are responsible for ensuring the work area is kept constantly monitored and streamlined according to the techniques applied. The Champion will attend regular meetings and will also audit their area of responsibility.

Why Implement 5S?

Businesses find there are numerous benefits to making use of the 5s principles in the workplace. First and foremost, use of these principles establishes a foundation for continuous improvement that may be built on. Employees become more involved in the company as they gain more responsibility and they tend to acquire a sense of ownership in their work and the business. The improvements in morale, quality, and productivity lead to increased profitability for the company and safety, likewise, improves. Every aspect of the business benefits as a result of the implementation of the principles.

The process is an ongoing one and should theoretically be integrated as standard practice of everyday policies and procedures.

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Above images depict a storage shelf before and after 5S - Clear precise labelling and organisation         

Aaron Smethurst our Quality Engineer who is heading up this programme said:

“Organise, maintain and improve – the fundamental structure behind the processes of 5s which the team are taking in their stride. We’re delighted with the impact the programme has had since we have refreshed our practices.”

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view answer What is the Lost Wax Casting method?

Lost wax casting, also known as Investment Casting converts molten metal in a single operation to precision engineered components with minimum wastage of material, energy and subsequent machining.

The process is extremely versatile and cost effective, and is excellent for complex components where fine detail and dimensional accuracy are required. It also reduces or totally eliminates the need for costly machining operations and, as several parts can be made as one casting, the time and cost involved for subsequent assembly is removed. This provides numerous advantages and flexibility for engineers and designers and can be a great alternative to other manufacturing processes due to the complex shapes and little surface finishing that is required to the finished parts and the varied metals and alloys that are able to be used.

Investment casting - using the lost wax casting technique - is one of the oldest casting methods known dating back over 5000 years and examples of its uses in producing jewellery and statues can be traced back to use with natural waxes.

Relevant download

To open the document below please click on the icon or the link next to the icon. The document will open in a new browser window as a PDF file. You may need to install Adobe Reader, if so you can download the PDF reader here.

PDF IconThe Lost Wax Casting Process - Investment Casting



Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you may have about Lestercast.

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view answer What is the maximum size and/or weight product that Lestercast can produce?

We are able to supply products in the UK up to half a cubic metre, and to a weight of 20kg for ferrous metals and 10kg for non-ferrous metals.  Our partner foundry in China is able to produce parts up to one cubic metre, and up to 120kg for ferrous and 40kg for non-ferrous metals.

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view answer What metals/alloys can be used in the manufacturing process?

Lestercast can produce components in a variety of materials including (but not limited to) carbon steels, stainless steels, aluminium, brass, bronze, copper, zinc and superalloys (Inconel, Hastelloy).

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view answer What treatments and finishes are available?

We offer a range of treatments and finishes which can be found on our Services page.  However, we are always willing to discuss and explore any specialist treatments or finishes not listed; please contact us for more details.

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view answer When are Lestercast's offices open?

The company’s offices are open from 7.30am to 4.30pm, Mondays to Thursdays, and from 7.30am to 12.30pm on Fridays. 

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