Articles: Industry News

ATLANTA – With a set of oversized scissors, current AFS president Jean Bye cut the ribbon early Saturday morning to officially open CastExpo. And while he clearly had fun as the emcee of the event, incoming AFS president Peter Reich relished seeing everybody in attendance.

“Oh man, can you tell how fun it is? It’s just fun to be able to see the people show up,” Reich said. “We can send emails and texts and we can have your person call our person and then we can read in the magazine and we can call each other and check out each other… no, the big thing is you show up.”

Barron Industries (Oxford, Michigan) is increasing capacity to meet demand from its defense customers for aluminum, stainless and carbon steel precision castings. The company is growing its workforce by more than 30% and investing in new equipment to bring on a second and third shift at its 65,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in southeast Michigan.

AFS Corporate Member Latrobe Foundry Machine & Supply Co. (Latrobe, Pennsylvania) announced the opening of a second machining location in Pasco, Washington. The site will machine items from aluminum bar and tube stock and will increase capacity to better serve customers across the country. The manufacturing facility in Whitney, Pennsylvania, will continue to cast and machine aluminum products.

The conversion of the compact utility tractor component from an 11-piece steel weldment to a single ductile iron casting was the result of a collaboration between companies with different backgrounds but common goals.

Gibbs Die Casting Corp. (Henderson, Kentucky) won the Operational Excellence Leadership Award from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturing Leadership Council.

AFS Corporate Member Badger Mining Corporation (BMC) was recognized as the 401(k) Plan Sponsor of the Year at an awards banquet in New York City at the end of March. This national honor, awarded by PLANSPONSOR Magazine, recognizes companies that best “show commitment to their participants’ financial health and retirement success.” As one of four finalists in the asset category of $50 million to $100 million, a representative of BMC was in attendance at the awards dinner, not knowing if the company would take home the top honor.

The Weir Group (Glasgow, Scotland) is investing an additional $15 million in its Newton, Mississippi, manufacturing facility, as part of a total $50 million plan supporting an additional 150 jobs at the plant.

There will be over 400 employees at the facility after the investment is complete.

AFS Corporate Member Eagle Alloy Inc. (Muskegon, Michigan) was recognized by John Deere as a 2018 partner-level supplier. In a news release, Eagle said the partner-level status is Deere & Company’s highest supplier rating.

"Eagle Alloy was selected for the honor in recognition of our dedication to providing products and services of outstanding quality as well as our commitment to continuous improvement," the company said in a release.

Eagle employees Mark Hollenbeck and Nic Tarzwell accepted the honor on February 13th in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Burleigh Jacobs, a former chairman of Grede Foundries Inc. and the oldest living past-president of AFS, died March 8, 2019. He was 99.

Born Feb. 3, 1920, in Milwaukee, Jacobs graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1942. During World War II he served in the U.S. Navy and rose to the rank of lieutenant commander. In 1945 he joined Grede as a trainee. He held positions of assistant vice president, president, and eventually became chairman and CEO.

Bruschi USA is establishing a zinc diecasting plant in Milwaukee.  

According to reports, the Italian company Bruschi (Milan, Italy) bought two pieces of land for $1.1 million.

On its website, Bruschi said it is starting North American production to “bring into the U.S. our vacuum technology in zinc diecasting, our co-design service and innovative surface treatment, integrated in a vertical approach.”