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The year in review.

1997

Foundries continued to modernize and expand their facilities as the high demand for castings kept the industry hopping for the third straight year.

For the foundry industry, 1997 continued the current trend of plant modernization, as U.S. demand topped the 14 million ton mark for the third consecutive year. Foundries examined ways to increase their capacity, shorten lead times and meet the demand for quality metal castings. As projections show a continuing boom in demand into the next century, the future looks to hold more of the same for an industry which just increased supply capacity over the previous year for the first time since 1981.

The following month-by-month review highlights the significant foundry events of 1997 as reported in Industry News.

January

* Wescast Industries, Inc., Brantford, Ontario, announced its construction of a new 60,000 sq ft facility in Stratford, Ontario, that will have the capacity to produce 2000 tons per year of stainless steel castings. The new plant will be operated by the foundry's Magalloy div.

* Intermet Corp., Troy, Michigan, acquired Sudbury, Inc., Cleveland, for $186 million.

* Chicago Faucet Co. surpassed all ANSI/NSF requirements by converting 100% of its casting operations to a new "no lead" brass alloy.

* Chrysler Corp.'s Indianapolis Foundry began the installation of 29 new core machines for the March 1998 launch of its new 165,000 sq ft core dept.

* Ford Motor Co., Warren, Michigan, announced its plan to invest $30 million in a Gladstone, Melbourne, Australia magnesium plant.

* Intermet Corp. completed the installation of a new vertical molding line at Wagner Castings, Decatur, Illinois.

* Cercast Group, Montreal, announced a joint development agreement with Ashurst Technology Ltd., Hamilton, Bermuda, to use Ashurst's aluminum alloys to improve and develop products for Cercast's aerospace investment castings.

February

* Waupaca Foundry, Inc., Waupaca, Wisconsin, began disc brake and brake drum production at its new Tell City, Indiana, gray iron plant with a 60 ton per hr cupola and four Disamatic molding lines.

* Atchison Casting Corp., Atchison, Kansas, purchased Jahn Foundry Corp., Springfield, Massachusetts.

* Intermet Corp. agreed to purchase 50% ownership in Polcast Sp. Zo.o. (Polcast), Drezdenko, Poland.

* Dalton Kendallville Manufacturing Facility, Kendallville, Indiana, announced a $1.6 million investment to upgrade quality and cut costs.

* American Industrial Casting, Inc., Cranston, Rhode Island, purchased Connecticut Investment Casting Co., Pawcatuck, Connecticut.

* The Brost Foundry Co., Cleveland, achieved ISO compliance under NQS 9000.

* Wheland Foundry, Chattanooga, Tennessee, received QS 9000 certification for its Middle Street plant.

March

* Citation Corp., Birmingham, Alabama, began a $12 million capital expansion of its Citation Foam Casting Co., Columbiana, Alabama, that doubled its capacity and made it one of the world's largest independent foam foundries.

* Cast Masters, Bowling Green, Ohio, was purchased by Silver Spring Holdings, Inc., Chadsford, Pennsylvania.

* Nemak, S.A., Monterrey, Mexico, began construction on plant #4 that will produce aluminum engine blocks and cylinder heads by the semi-permanent mold process. The 193,000 sq ft facility will produce 1.7 million units per year.

* Mitsui Components, Inc., Casa Grande, Arizona, began production at its 100-employee, $11.2 million aluminum diecasting facility.

* Four foundries of Amcast Industrial Corp., Dayton, Ohio - Fremont and Gas City, Indiana; Cedarburg, Wisconsin; and Amcast Automotive Center, Southfield, Michigan - received QS 9000 certification.

* General Casting Co.'s Grafton, Ohio nobake foundry achieved ISO 9002 certification.

* Aarrowcast, Inc., Shawano, Wisconsin, achieved ISO 9002 and QS 9000 certification.

April

* The 101st AFS Casting Congress in Seattle drew 1528 metalcasters. Daryl Hoyt, Wedron Silica Co., and Jerry Agin, Hill and Griffith Co., were presented with the industry's highest honor, the AFS Gold Medal.

* Amcast Industrial Corp.'s Gas City, Indiana plant begins a $10 million, 30,000 sq ft expansion.

* The Casting Emission Reduction Program (CERP) held an open house at its state,of-the-art foundry.

* GM Powertrain's Bedford, Ohio Plant is awarded QS 9000 certification.

* Intermet Corp. merged its sales and marketing with subsidiary Wagner Castings.

* Amcast Industrial Corp.'s Casting Technology Co., Franklin, Indiana, a joint venture with the Japanese company Izumi, shipped its 1 millionth aluminum knuckle less than one year after it began production. In addition, the foundry launched five new cast aluminum knuckles for 1997 model vehicles.

* Neenah Corp., Neenah, Wisconsin, was purchased by ACP Holding Co., Dublin, Ohio.

* Chrysler Corp. awarded Wescast Industries, Inc., with the 4.7L V-8 replacement program for the 2000 model year.

* The Metalworking Sales Alliance, a partnership of nine Iowa metalcasting companies, was formed by Strategic Marketing Services, Cedar Falls, Iowa.

* Wescast Industries, Inc.'s Brantford plant joined the Wingham, Ontario foundry and the Wingham machining operation in becoming certified Ford Q1 suppliers.

* The Dotson Co., Mankato, Minnesota, was awarded ISO 9002 certification.

* Superior Industries' Johnson City, Tennessee facility earned recommendation for QS 9000 certification.

May

* Teksid S.p.A., Farmington Hills, Michigan, opened two foundries in Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico, in a joint venture with the Mexican group, Quimmco.

* Hamilton Foundry & Machine Co., Harrison, Ohio, acquired the assets of Sterling Casting Corp., Bluffton, Indiana, in an $880,000 transaction.

* Cagiva, S.P.A., Varese, Italy, became the largest lost foam foundry in the world with its addition of three complete casting systems.

* Nemak, S.A. began production of aluminum cylinder heads at its plant.#3. As with the under-construction plant #4, this 193,000 sq ft facility produces 1.7 million units per year.

* GM Corp., Pontiac, Michigan, entered into partnership with Teksid S.p.A., Farmington Hills, Michigan, to accelerate the development of the environmentally friendly GMBond binder system.

* Dalton Foundries, Inc., Warsaw, Indiana, announced a change in name and organizational structure as it became Dalton Corp.

* Benton Foundry, Inc., Benton, Pennsylvania, completed its $5 million, 30,000 sq ft expansion that increased melt capacity by 150% to 300 ton/day and added new manufacturing space, offices and a state-of-the-art training facility.

* Amcast Industrial Corp.'s Gas City, Indiana plant began its $10 million, 30,000 sq ft expansion that will create 80 new jobs and increase its wheel manufacturing production.

* Consolidated Casting Co., Hutchins, Texas, became the first investment caster to achieve QS 9000 certification.

* The Taylor& Fenn Co., Windsor, Connecticut, was awarded certified supplier status by Dresser Rand Corp.'s Engine Process Compressor Div., Painted Post, New York.

* The four business units of Briggs & Stratton's Castings Div., Milwaukee, achieved QS 9000 and ISO 9002 registration.

* Amcast Industrial Corp.'s Cedarburg, Wisconsin plant began shipment of aluminum automotive brake calipers.

June

* GM Powertrain's Bedford, Ohio Plant receives the 1997 North American Die Casting Assn. Safety Award.

* GH Hensley Industries, Inc., Dallas, Texas, acquired majority interest in Mason & Cox Pty. Ltd., Torrensville, South Australia.

* National Roll Co., Avonmore, Pennsylvania, purchased Hyde Park Foundry and Machine Co., Hyde Park, Pennsylvania.

* Conbraco Industries, Inc., held groundbreaking ceremonies for its new $22 million, 200,000 sq ft foundry and manufacturing facility.

* Howmet Corp., Greenwich, Connecticut, was selected to manufacture turbine airfoil castings for the Joint Strike Fighter program by Pratt & Whitney Space and Government Operations, West Palm Beach, Florida.

* Citation Corp.'s Foundry Service Co., Biscoe, North Carolina, received Freightliner Corp.'s 1996 Master of Quality Award.

* Intermet Corp. announced that two of its foundries - Wagner Castings, Decatur, Illinois, and Havana Iron Foundry, Havana, Illinois - achieved QS 9000 and ISO 9001 certification.

* Belcher Corp., Easton, Massachusetts, a subsidiary of Advanced Cast Products, Inc., Meadville, Pennsylvania, achieved ISO 9002 certification.

July

* Wilton Armetale, Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, became the first U.S. foundry to achieve ISO 14000 compliance.

* Signicast Corp.'s Hartford, Wisconsin facility was named one of the 25 best of 1997 by Industry Week magazine.

* Intermet's Ironton Iron, Ironton, Ohio, and Northern Castings, Hibbing, Minnesota, received QS 9000 certification.

* Atchison Casting Corp. purchased the foundry div. of Beloit Corp., Beloit, Wisconsin, and renamed it Primecast, Inc.

* Park Corp., Cleveland, purchased the foundry formerly known as Manoir Electroalloys Corp., Elyria, Ohio, from its parent company Manoir Industries, which is headquartered in France.

* GM Corp., Warren, Michigan, presented Wescast Industries, Inc. with its fourth Supplier of the Year award.

* Briggs & Stratton Corp., Wauwatosa, Wisconsin sold its West Allis, Wisconsin foundry to Milwaukee Gray Iron.

* Burgess-Norton Manufacturing Co., Geneva, Illinois, completed a 25,000 sq ft expansion to its Muskegon, Michigan Foundry and Machined Castings Div.

* Amcast Industrial Corp., Dayton, Ohio, approved an agreement to acquire Speedline, S.p.A., Padova, Italy.

* R & J Foundry Co., Milwaukee, sold its aluminum casting accounts to Epcor Foundries, Cincinnati.

* Chrysler Corp.'s Indianapolis Foundry poured its 2 millionth cylinder block for the model year.

* General Casting Co.'s Grafton, Ohio green sand foundry in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, was awarded ISO 9002 certification.

* Employees at Teksid Aluminum Foundry, Inc., Dickson, Tennessee, worked 1 million hr without a lost-time accident.

August

* Grede Foundries, Inc.'s Iron Mountain Plant, Kingsford, Michigan, broke ground on a $2.1 million, 14,000 sq ft addition to its employee facilities.

* Indianapolis Casting Corp. remained in operation as the United Auto Workers ratified an agreement that saved the foundry from closing.

* Big Four Foundries Corp., Inc., Tulsa. Oklahoma, broke ground on a 60,000 sq ft greenfield plant.

* Acme Foundry, Inc., Coffeyville, Kansas, announced its building of a 15,000 sq ft addition to house its revamped inspection dept.

* Fountain Foundry, Pueblo, Colorado, received a $105,000 economic development grant from the city council to cap off its $1.5 million expansion.

* AC Foundry, Battle Creek, Michigan, obtained a local government tax abatement to build an $800,000 addition to its plant.

* The Texas EPA honored Southwestern Foundry, Paris, Texas, for exceeding clean air standards.

* Citation Corp.'s Texas Foundries, Lufkin, Texas, achieved QS 9000 certification.

* North Manchester Foundry, Inc., North Manchester, Indiana, achieved ISO 9002 and QS 9002 certification.

September

* Chrysler Corp.'s Indianapolis Foundry broke ground on a new 42,000 sq ft cleaning dept.

* GM Powertrain Group's Saginaw, Michigan Metal Casting Operations Plant became registered to QS 9000.

* Dynacast, Inc., Yorktown Heights, New York, opened its new 90,000 sq ft Lake Forest, California facility.

* Bodine Aluminum announced the construction of a 160,000 sq ft facility to introduce high-pressure diecasting to its Troy, Missouri plant.

* Turbodyne Technologies, Inc., agreed to supply Navistar International Transportation Corp. with 100% of Navistar's original equipment and service requirements for aluminum engine castings.

* Citation Corp.'s Alabama Ductile Casting Co., Brewton, Alabama, achieved QS 9000 certification.

* Maco Corp., Huntington, Indiana, received QS 9000 certification.

* Spartan Light Metal Products, Sparta, Illinois and Mexico, Missouri, achieved ISO 9001 and QS 9000 certification.

* Wheland Foundry, Chattanooga, Tennessee, received a state Award for Excellence for solid waste management.

* Johnson Matthey Limited's Precision Casting Div., St. Catharines, Ontario, completed its expansion to increase capacity, quality and productivity.

October

* Signicast Corp., Milwaukee, completed a 76,149 sq ft addition to its Hartford, Wisconsin plant.

* Goldens' Foundry & Machine Co., Columbus, Georgia, announced a $1.5 million addition for manufacturing centrifugally cast parts.

* Atchison Casting Corp. purchased Inverness Castings Group, Inc., Dowagiac, Michigan, for $6.7 million in cash plus the assumption of $12.2 million in debt.

* Wescast Industries, Inc., began ramping up for the Gen III V8 program for new trucks for the fall of 1998.

* General Casting Co., Grafton, Ohio, invested $2.5 million in its Delaware, Ohio foundries, including the installation of a 5-ton induction furnace at the Liberty Road plant.

* Grede Foundries, Inc., Milwaukee, purchased Duport Harper Group Ltd., the parent company of Duport Harper Foundries, Ltd., Tipton, West Midlands, England.

* Aluminum lost foam foundry American Foamcast, Sylacauga, Alabama, began production. The 25,000 sq ft greenfield plant features a new 40 mold per hr lost foam line, test lab and CNC machining.

* Hempfield Foundries Co., Greensburg, Pennsylvania, completed the first phase of its renovation that will increase production capacity by 20%.

* Wheland Foundry received QS 9000 certification for its two Broad Street plants.

* Wescast Industries, Inc., began production on its GM 2.2L and Chrysler 2.5L machine lines.

November

* Citation Corp. signed a co-maker agreement with LucasVarity, Livonia, Michigan, and acquired LucasVarity's Camden Casting Center, Camden, Tennessee.

* General Casting Co. completed the addition of a new 7200 sq ft cleaning facility to its Power Street Foundry in Cincinnati.

* Intermet Corp. moved its design and engineering staff to a new technical center in Lynchburg, Virginia.

* Waupaca Foundry, Inc. announced a $65 million, 200,000 sq ft Phase II expansion to its just completed Tell City, Indiana plant. The new ductile iron facility will manufacture large automotive parts.

* National Bronze & Metals, Houston, announced plans to open a continuous casting foundry for bronze castings in Sheffield, Ohio in February 1998.

* O-Z/Gedney Co., Terryville, Connecticut, celebrated its 150 year anniversary as the oldest continuing malleable iron foundry.

* Employees at Grede Foundries' Greenwood, South Carolina facility reached 2 million work hours without a lost-time accident.

* Ormet Corp., Wheeling, West Virginia, acquired majority ownership in Formcast, Inc., Denver, Colorado.

* Ford Motor Co., Warren, Michigan, announced its plans to build a new aluminum foundry in the Cleveland area.

* ME International, Minneapolis, announced an agreement with the Chilean foundry Electmetal (Electro Metalurgica S.A.) to build and operate a steel foundry in Santiago, Chile.

December

* Stratecasts, Inc., Ft. Myers, Florida, reported that an estimated 14,090,000 tons of castings were shipped in 1997. The 1998 projection calls for 14,924,000 tons to be shipped, which would be the highest total since 1981 and 1% higher than the most recent peak year of 1994.

* Wheland Foundry was recommended for QS 9000 certification for its Warrenton, Georgia plant.

* Atchison Casting Corp.'s Atchison, Kansas facility replaced half of its sand reclamation system and its zircon separation system with a new system rated at 20 tons/hr.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:evaluation of the foundry industry in 1997
Author:Spada, Alfred T.
Publication:Modern Casting
Article Type:Industry Overview
Date:Jan 1, 1998
Words:2263
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