Ford Meter Box to construct new foundry, add manufacturing capacity

AFS Corporate Member The Ford Meter Box Co. Inc. (Wabash, Indiana) will expand and modernize its foundry operations and increase downstream production capacity.

The 125-year-old firm manufactures waterworks components for private and public infrastructure markets. Its production departments encompass foundry, machining, assembly, warehousing, and supporting skilled trades operations.

Ford Meter Box plans to construct a 300,000-sq.-ft. state-of-the-art nonferrous foundry on a 90-acre site in Wabash’s northeast industrial park, pending local approvals.

Company President Steve Ford said the expansion will be the largest in its history. 

“The new facility will complement existing manufacturing operations at the firm’s Manchester Avenue location,” he added. “Parts of our present foundry will remain in production, and parts will be repurposed to better utilize space.”
Groundbreaking is anticipated by late summer or early fall.

AFS Corporate Member GK Systems was chosen to be the principal design firm.

“Being selected as a partner by Ford Meter Box is a true honor,” said Tom Musschoot, CEO of GK Systems and a third-generation leader with the AFS Corporate Member engineering, planning and construction firm. “Our shared values of family and community drive our businesses. We both strive to uphold the highest standards while delivering quality products, making the opportunity an even greater privilege.”

The new standalone foundry is expected to support a substantial increase in brass production while allowing room for future production lines. Capacity improvements throughout the firm’s facilities will require additional staff; however, hiring numbers will depend ultimately on business levels. The firm is presently recruiting engineering, maintenance, and sales talent in support of its growing core business and recent water treatment plant offerings.

The company’s multi-year modernization effort represents a $250- to $300-million investment in technology, capacity, flexibility, safety, automation, and training across two Wabash campuses. The project is intended to increase the company’s resilience for the long term while addressing waterworks needs arising from an aging U.S. water infrastructure and the construction of single and multi-family housing units.