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Foundry of the Week - Sonafi S.A.

Established in 1951, SONAFI was the first company in Portugal with High Pressure Die Casting technology (HPDC). The company is located in S. Mamede de Infesta, just aside of Oporto and the airport.

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SONAFI offers the most advanced and competitive solutions, based on a long experience developing new products with customers. Its main fields of operation are: HPDC of aluminum alloys components, precise machining and assemblies. Complying with automotive industry requirements, parts are tested using sophisticated equipments.

Customers are some of the most reputed OEM and TIER 1. Provided service is based on internal trained and experimented workforce. A diversified and close base of suppliers present the highest skills to develop and to build complex and efficient tools, such as dies, machining clamping fixtures, assembly and testing equipments, as well as capabilities to implement full automated solutions. The company is committed to reach automotive industry’s high demanding standards and Industry 4.0 challenges.

Long term and strong partnerships allowed the company to specialize services in order to provide some of the most competitive concepts. Following product families are representative of current state-of-the-art:

  • Oil pump housing and cover
  • Water pump housing
  • Oil filter housing
  • EGR valve housing
  • Throttle valve housing
  • Camshaft bearing caps
  •  Cooler housing
  • Heat sink housing
  • Brackets for engine, A/C and others

Engineering & Technical expertise
Since foundation the company based expansion on activities at Engineering department, composed by experienced technicians and young engineers aiming to reach the most optimized solution for each project, complying time to market related challenges. 

Product co-development contribution at project’s earliest stage allows building the best concept to meet both quality and cost wise solution. Engineering department resources include CAD and simulation software, which allow providing a valuable service to our customers, developing complex products.

Calculation and simulation have iterative improvement loops to conceive the best design to meet both mechanical resistance and casting feasibility.
Simulation software QuikCAST is used at an early stage for mold and process development. It predicts potential defects after casting simulation: filling, solidification and air entrapment simulation results introduce data for runner design and gating improvement loops, allowing reducing die development time, avoiding costs and potential weaknesses caused by corrections of the die after trials.

By request prototypes are built in order to allow tests in the shortest lead time. Sand casting, investment casting and HPDC using soft tool are the most used technologies. Prototypes are machined according to defined specification using simple clamping fixtures.

Interacting with a local experimented supplier base, reliable concepts are developed for: dies, trimming tools, machining fixtures, gauges, assembling machines, Leak Proof Test equipments, transfer machines and other specific machines for production and testing. 


Ingots are melted using four furnaces dimensioned each one according to alloy’s consumption. Most used alloy is AlSi9Cu3, but many applications demand other alloys such as AlSi12Cu, AlSi10Mg and AlSi12(Fe), in order to prevent oxidation, corrosion or simply to improve thermal conductibility. Main supplier of ingots is company RECIAL, located at 80km North, owned by company’s main shareholders.
In the die casting area 24 cells include holding furnace, HPDC machine, photocells detection system, cooling tank, hydraulic trim press and are operated by robot or pick-mat. 
Closing force ranges from 500 up to 1400 tones are available in Bühler and Colosio machines. SONAFI main products are small and medium size parts, with simple and complex geometries, casted in engineered multi-cavity die concepts. 
All machines are connected to a real time production monitoring system with statistical process control.
Burrs and flashes are removed using shotblasting, tumbling and vibrodeburring.


In the machining area different concepts of production line are conceived according to requirements for parts quality accuracy and output. Full automated lines for high runners and stand alone machines, installed by our technical staff, assure capacity and flexibility in line with customers’ demand. In total 49 machines, Chiron, Heller, Makino and transfer CNC gives the right balance to comply with projects requirements.    
Customized transfer or simple action assembly devices, using electric or hydraulic presses, may control insertion load, end stroke position and dimensions, to be recorded, according to control plan.

Main driver is to develop robust production processes, and customized test equipments grant quality assurance. Poka-Yokes are built-in for 100% control and final inspection.

Certification & Awards
IATF 16949 certified by BVQI.              

General Motors award: “Supplier Quality Excellence Award ” 2018 and 2019.


Company Info

SONAFI S.A. - Sociedade Nacional de Fundição Injectada, S.A.

Rua Santos Dias 1052 - P.P Box 1017
4465-253 S. Mamede Infesta

Telephone: +35 1 229 050 700