Industry News

Tesla files patent to die cast vehicle frame

Tesla filed a patent for a casting machine that could help streamline production for future vehicle projects. The diecasting machine is likely to be part of several manufacturing improvements for its Model Y program.

CEO Elon Musk has said Tesla is shifting to an aluminum casting design instead of stamped steel for the Model Y.

Tesla’s patent is for a “Multi-Directional Unibody Casting Machine for a Vehicle Frame and Associated Methods.”

AMERICAN works to meets seismic standards in Oregon

AFS Corporate Member AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Company (Birmingham, Alabama) and Oregon’s Joint Water Commission (JWC)—owned in partnership by the cities of Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Beaverton, and the Tualatin Valley Water District —worked together to design a water-delivery pipeline for an area that has averaged nearly one earthquake per week during the past year.

The JWC treats, transmits and stores drinking water for more than 365,000 customers and operates the largest conventional water treatment plant in Oregon.

Lodge acquires FINEX Cast Iron

For the first time in its 123-year history, AFS Corporate Member Lodge Cast Iron (South Pittsburg, Tennessee) has made an acquisition.

Lodge announced it is purchasing FINEX Cast Iron, a producer of skillets, pans and ovens. Lodge is shifting FINEX production to South Pittsburg, though FINEX will keep its sales and marketing base in Portland, Oregon. The FINEX brand will remain.

Skuld wins thin-walled ductile iron grant

Skuld LLC (Columbus, Ohio) received a Small Business Innovative Research grant from the Department of Energy (DOE). The grant will be used to show going to 0.060-in. thick ductile iron can be done without negatively impacting automobile properties.

Skuld’s most recent trials reduced the weight of designs by 70% and material costs by 40%.  This is of interest to the DOE due to increasing fuel efficiency standards. 

By 2025, the corporate average fuel efficiency standards are supposed to rise to 54.5 mpg, up from 35.

ASK Chemicals to acquire industrial resin business from SI Group

AFS Corporate Member ASK Chemicals, a supplier of foundry chemicals, announced it entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the industrial resin business from SI Group (New York).  ASK Chemicals and SI Group have agreed on the purchase of SI Group’s industrial resins business and associated manufacturing sites in Rio Claro, Brazil; Ranjangaon, India; Johannesburg and Durban, South Africa, as well as licensed technology and multiple tolling agreements globally. The transaction is expected to close later this year.

UNI hosts 3D printing camp for kids

The University of Northern Iowa’s Additive Manufacturing Center, located at TechWorks (Waterloo, Iowa) hosted a three-day camp for Cedar Valley students interested in STEM.

Focusing on a “Jurassic Park” dinosaur theme, Panther Park 3D was one of many camps offered by the STEM program at UNI and granted students the opportunity to broaden and develop their STEM interests and skills with an immersive 3D printing and design experience involving dinosaurs.

Batesville starts second chance program

AFS Corporate Member Batesville Products (Lawrenceburg, Indiana) has introduced a second chance program. Working with Beacon of Hope, Dearborn County Court Services (DCCS), Workforce Connection and Purdue University’s Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP), Batesville is developing a program that “will help individuals get a fresh start in the workforce,” the company said in a news release.

Victaulic acquires Globe Fire Sprinkler

AFS Corporate Member Victaulic (Easton, Pennsylvania) has purchased Globe Fire Sprinkler ( Standish, Michigan).

“The addition of Globe’s fire protection sprinkler volume and engineering capabilities will provide the scale and skills necessary to be a true leader in all aspects of the fire protection industry," Victaulic CEO John F. Malloy said.

Steven Worthington, who will serve as president of Globe Fire Protection, echoed that excitement.