Casting Study: Structural Components
The KitchenAid mixer utilizes zinc die castings for all of its structural components–the 4-1/2-quart pedestal model incorporates seven zinc castings, and the 5-quart bowl support model incorporates eight zinc castings. Zinc castings provide a number of design advantages, two of which are weight and vibration dampening. This provides the mixer with stability and prevents the appliance from walking away. Zinc castings also enhance the quality image of the mixers through surface finish; the exterior mixer components are polished and powder coated for a smooth, rich look. Details are designed and cast in zinc, which minimizes, and sometimes eliminates, machining. Currently, machining for all the die cast components is limited to mounting surfaces, bearing surfaces, drilling, and tapping. Costs are contained because zinc produces minimal die wear. Tool life is over 1,000,000 shots per die.