Lectrotherm is developing a new cold hearth system intended to demonstrate improved throughput, higher yields, and greater process utilisation, regardless of the dimensional characteristics of the product manufactured. It is also said to be flexible with regard to product size and dimension. The design is called SNAPP (TM) (simultaneous non-consumable arc melting plasma refining process). It consists of a conventional central hearth and feeding arrangement but includes the capability of directing the material to one of two or three secondary hearths from the melting hearth or directly to two or more crucibles or moulds in an efficient sequential fashion. This concept will have advantages for ingot production sizes up to 20â? in diameter. It can also be useful in the casting of slabs or the manufacture of forging preforms and titanium castings. The concept is to productively cast an object closer to the final dimensions. In the system, equipped with the VersaCastTM feature, as one crucible or set of crucibles is being filled, the cast form(s) from the opposite chamber is removed. The chamber is then resealed and readied for the next pour. The cycle is then reversed. This process continues back and forth until the melt campaign has been completed. Estimates are that this will double or triple productivity over current hearth melting technology. The focus of SNAPPTM is on high yield, high productivity, high flexibility, high utilisation near net shape titanium melting.