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1994: the year in review.

Higher casting shipments, a stronger economy, expansions and legislative victories cast a bright glow over the foundry industry.

"Beginning with the '93 Cast Expo, the industry has been on a steady climb," 1993-94 AFS President Dan Goodyear wrote in the June issue of modern asting. "We set high goals for ourselves and I think we have met, and in some cases, surpassed them."

Looking back at 1994, the metalcasting industry, indeed, surpassed itself on various fronts.

U.S. foundries enjoyed a boom year by shipping more castings in 1994 (14.6 million metric tons) than any year since 1981. Meanwhile, several companies announced expansions through acquisitions or by constructing additions to their plants.

On the legislative front, the metalcasting industry won several victories in Washington, including defeat of the striker replacement bill.

Major foundry shows had a truly international flavor as AFS attracted 1600 attendees to its 98th Casting in Hamilton, Ontario, while GIFA 94 (and its two related exhibitions) drew 71,000 visitors to Dusseldorf, Germany. Elsewhere, attendance at AFS' many conferences reflected the industry's vitality and enthusiasm.

The following month-by-month review highlights industry, AFS and other events in 1994 as reported by modern casting.


* Metalcasters had reason to start the year optimistically. The annual "Forecast & Trends" report in modern casting said "a stronger economy and increased car and track sales offer boom potential for the American foundry industry."

* At the AFS Labor Relations and Human Resource Conference in Orlando, Florida, 100-plus attendees learned about the latest about labor contract bargaining and other topics.


* Amcast Industrial Corp., Dayton, Ohio, announced it was realigning its automotive units into a new organization called Amcast Automotive.

* Two Wisconsin foundries - Waupaca Foundry, Inc. and Northern Precision Castings - received awards from the state for their successful environmental programs.

* More than 400 attended the AFS Southeast Regional Conference in Birmingham, Alabama.

* The AFS Wisconsin Regional Conference in Milwaukee attracted more than 805 foundry officials.

* Western Foundry Co., Portland, Oregon, was to close down by month's end after its union rejected a wage freeze.


* After an unsuccessful search for a buyer, General Motors said it will close its Danville, Illinois, foundry by mid-1996.

* Griffin Wheel Co. said it will reopen its railroad wheel manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Kansas, by fall 1994.

* Conducted by AFS and cohosted by seven other metalcasting associations, the Metalcasting Industry Government Affairs Conference gave its 140 attendees an opportunity to meet with officials at 110 House and Senate offices.

* Alloy Cast Steel Co., Marion, Ohio, earned a casting supplier award from the Universal Engineering Div. of Pettibone Milliken, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


* The first AFS Marketing Seminar on April 19-20 in Northbrook, Illinois, drew 97 sales and marketing officials.

* The Alabama Cast Metals Assn. named A.R. (Bob) Tomlinson, president and CEO, The Foundry of the Shoals, as its "Distinguished Foundryman of the Year."

* Great Lakes Casting Corp., Ludington, Michigan, earned the Rockwell International Automotive Outstanding Award.


* The Casting Congress on May 1-4 included 100 tabletop exhibits and four days of technical presentations. John Jorstad, CMI-Tech Center, Inc., delivered the industry's most acclaimed speech - The Hoyt Memorial Lecture. Tom Woehlke, Lawran Foundry Co., began his term as AFS president.

* Precision Castparts Corp., Portland, Oregon, bought ACC Electronics, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

* Arch-Will Enterprises, a minority-owned holding company, purchased the Elizabeth Street Foundry, Chicago. The firm said it plans to modernize the century-old plant.

* Bruce Cherek and Jack Featherston bought Neenah Aluminum Foundry, Inc., Neenah, Wisconsin.

* The Dalton Foundries, Inc., Warsaw, Indiana, won Caterpillar's quality improvement competition for 1993.


* A total of 755 companies from 38 countries exhibited from June 15-22 at GIFA 94, the world's largest foundry show. Forty-two U.S. firms participated in the event.

* Sharpsville Quality Products said it will begin making high-grade ductile iron castings.


* Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, dedicated its newly refurbished foundry facilities by renaming it the Case Metal Casting Laboratory.

* Pelton Casteel, Inc., Milwaukee and Oak Creek, Wisconsin, became the first sand foundry to obtain "Preferred Supplier" status from PACCAR, Inc.


* Motor Castings Co. announced plans for a $4 million upgrade of its facility in West Allis, Wisconsin.

* The U.S. Small Business Administration named Hitchcock Industries, Bloomington, Minnesota, as "Midwestern Subcontractor of the Year."

* Morel Industries poured its first castings after moving from Seattle to a new $7 million foundry in Entiat, Washington.

* General Motors unveiled the Sand Reclamation Development Center at its Malleable Iron Foundry, Saginaw, Michigan.

* Roloff Manufacturing Co., Kaukauna, Wisconsin, continued to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

* Progress Casting Group, Inc., Plymouth, Minnesota, became the first supplier to receive metrology certification from Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Co., Milwaukee.


* Casting Technology Co. - a venture between Amcast Industrial Corp. and Japan's Izumi Industries - said Franklin, Indiana, will be the site of its new $30 million foundry.

* Wheland Foundry announced it will build a $50 million iron foundry in Warrenton, Georgia.

* Howmet Cercast (Canada), Inc. and Brush Wellman, Inc. formed a partnership to produce and market investment-cast aluminum berryllium components.

* Gregg Industries said it will more than double its iron casting capacity after adding two automatic molding lines, and new melting and sand handling systems.


* Griffin Wheel Co.'s railroad wheel plant in Kansas City, Kansas, resumed operations two months ahead of schedule.

* Milwaukee's Briggs & Stratton Corp. bought a vacated foundry in Ravenna, Michigan, to expand production.

* Southern Tool, Inc., Oxford, Alabama, said it will build an $8 million addition for its new automated casting operation.

* CMI International and Alcoa planned to finalize a joint venture to make cast aluminum automotive components.

* CIFUNSA, Saltillo, Mexico, bought a 12-megawatt melting system to meet a growing demand for engine blocks and other automotive castings.

* Nearly 150 foundry officials attended the AFS Foundry Executive Management Conference on October 2-5 in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

* With 180 attendees, AFS held its International Sand "Reduce, Reuse, Reclaim" Conference on October 14-15 in Novi, Michigan.


* Amcast Industrial Corp. began searching for a site to build its fourth new facility since 1992. The company also said Casting Technology Co. received a $100 million contract from GM to make cast suspension components.

* SanCast, Coshocton, Ohio, bought Mid America Foundry & Machine, Inc., Lancaster, Ohio.

* Woodland/Racine Aluminum Casting, Racine, Wisconsin, acquired Alloy Casting Co., Racine.

* Citation Corp., Birmingham, Alabama, completed its purchase of Mansfield Foundry Corp., Mansfield, Ohio. The firm also agreed in principle to buy Oberdorfer Industries, Syracuse, New York.

* GH Hensley, Dallas, surpassed 2 million man-hours without a lost-time accident.


* modern casting reported higher world casting shipments for 1993 - from 61.44 million metric tons in 1992 to 66.83 million in 1993. Again, China, CIS and U.S. led production.

* Amcast Industrial Corp. secured a $35 million contract to supply aluminum driveline components to Ford Motor Co.

* American Steel Foundries recently celebrated the 100th anniversary of its plant in Granite City, Illinois.

RELATED ARTICLE: Washington Roundup

The foundry industry fared well last year on labor, trade and other issues in Congress:

January - The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) took effect, lowering many trade barriers with Mexico.

February - EPA was denied elevation to Cabinet status, since the House Democratic leadership refused to accept a bipartisan-supported, risk assessment reform bill as a condition of the elevation.

July - A Republican-led filibuster struck down the Workplace Fairness Act (stalker replacement) in the Senate, and signaled the death of the expansive OSHA reform bill. AFS members nationwide had met with and written to their senators to oppose striker replacement.

October - AFS helped the Cast Metals Coalition secure congressional approval for an additional $2.5 million for the Dept. of Energy metalcasting research program. This initiative already is providing tangible research results.

November - The American Metalcasting Consortium received a two-year $4.9 million program to promote research to reduce casting leadtime, technology transfer and small-foundry assistance.

With heavy bipartisan support, the House and Senate approved wide-ranging changes to the 124-nation General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). These changes included lowering tariffs by a third and removing trade quotas.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:includes related article
Author:Davies, Nancy J.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jan 1, 1995
Previous Article:1994 super boom will soften somewhat in '95.
Next Article:Growth through acquisitions: Citation's unique structure pays.

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