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Foundry operation plays integral role at The Electric Materials Co.

Foundry Operation Plays Integral Role at The Electric Materials Co

The Electric Materials Co, established in 1915, operates out of a single location in North East, PA, situated along the southern shores of Lake Erie and nestled amidst the fertile farmlands of grapes, apples and other fruits.

Its initial purpose was to produce electrical components to satisfy the inter-urban trolley line systems. Since then the company has grown into an integrated, complex manufacturer of copper-based heavy electrical components.

Since its start 75 years ago, The Electric Materials Co has earned a reputation for producing quality parts, meeting delivery requirements and providing necessary customer services. The company serves industries in the U.S. and worldwide, including: mill, mining, power generation, transportation, electroplating, marine and military.

In recent years many of the major manufacturing companies in the electrical industry have reduced or eliminated the production of their own components and have looked to outside sources. However, The Electric Materials Co has continued to supply its own needs because of a wide range of production capabilities.

Manufacturing activities include most metalworking and fabricating processes such as rolling, extruding, drawing, casting, forging, plating, welding, brazing, machining and fabricating in a variety of copper alloys. This diversity of capabilities enables the company to offer not only semi-finished products (rod, bar, castings, forgings and extrusions) but also fully machined, plated and ready-to-assemble components for customer equipment.

Semi-finished products produced in the mill, foundry and forge departments can be transferred to machining centers or fabrication equipment for additional processing. This eliminates the need for customers to transfer parts from factory to factory to complete complex components.

Foundry Operation

Although the foundry is a small part of the total manufacturing scope, it is an integral part. Service to the electrical industry has allowed the company to focus primarily on high conductivity copper and chrome copper materials. An in-house copper mill and extrusion press allow the company to use the pure copper scrap generated as raw material for the foundry.

By maintaining close controls on melting temperature, degassing, shrink sampling and pouring, copper castings are produced with 85% conductivity as a minimum standard and as high as 95% minimum conductivity when required.

When working with chrome copper and its inherent problem of chrome oxide, strict controls of melting time, temperature, degassing and pour-off must be maintained for sound casting integrity.

The Electric Materials Co offers many other nonferrous alloys, such as red brass, aluminum bronze, silicon bronze, copper-nickel, copper-tin-zinc and copper-zinc alloys.

Several in-house services support the foundry operation. A staff of product design engineers and skilled pattern-makers uses CAD/CAM workstations to develop patterns with proper gating and risering necessary to the production of quality castings.

Full laboratory services offer complete chemical and mechanical tests and metallurgical certification for all copper and copper alloys manufactured. X-ray analysis and dye-penetrant testing also are available.

Working closely to customers' drawings, quality control personnel monitor production from initial patternmaking and corebox construction to sectioning of sample first-run castings to qualify proper gating and risering. Processes are continually reviewed to ensure sound castings even after the initial order is processed.

In addition to an internal quality systems program, the company can comply with the requirements for a quality program as set forth by the U.S. government's MIL-Q-9858A, MIL-I-45208A and MIL-STD-45662.

This year, The Electric Materials Co is celebrating its 75th anniversary. From a modest start, the firm now employs more than 400 people in a facility that measures more than 400,000 sq ft.
COPYRIGHT 1990 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Publication:Modern Casting
Article Type:company profile
Date:Feb 1, 1990
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