The Department of Commerce and International Trade Commission suspect driveline components exported from China and Canada to the US are sold at prices below fair market value or are being subsidized by a foreign “authority”. However, a new anti-dumping or countervailing duty rule could change that. Preliminary findings of investigations by the Department of Commerce into subsidies and dumping allegations indicate that duties could soon be imposed on iron castings from these two countries.
“Dumping occurs” when a foreign company sells a product in the United States at less than its fair value. The anti-dumping law provides US businesses and workers with an internationally-accepted mechanism to seek relief from the market distortion caused by such imports. If final investigations by the Department of Commerce and U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) determine the allegations on the Chinese and Canadian driveline components to be true, an anti-dumping rule with strict duties is likely to come into effect in the near future.
On April 11, 2016, the Department of Commerce International Trade Administration (ITC) published preliminary determinations that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporter of Driveline Components from the People’s Republic of China. The preliminary determination is currently in its comment period. The notice sets forth Countervailing duties on driveline components from several manufactures in the People’s Republic of China ranging from 2.68% to 166.77% and a duty of 15.51% on all producers not specifically named in the notice. The ITC also announced their intention of aligning the Countervailing Duties Final Determination with the Final determination of the companion Anti-dumping investigation. The final Countervailing duty determination will be announced with the final anti-dumping determination, currently scheduled for December 2016.
On June 1, 2016, the Department of Commerce announced its affirmative preliminary determinations in the anti-dumping duty investigations of imports of certain iron mechanical transfer drive components from Canada and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Several categories of driveline components made of grey or ductile iron were investigated, including:
The Department of Commerce is scheduled to announce its final determinations on or about October 21, 2016 while ITC will make its final determinations in December 2016. Affirmation decisions by both will lead to anti-dumping orders being issued.
If your manufacturing business relies on finished or unfinished iron mechanical transfer drive components from China and Canada, it might be worth your while to explore a US based foundry as an alternative. Being proactive may prevent any unnecessary operational delays or unexpected costs that occur if the tariffs are imposed.
For US-made, quality driveline components that deliver performance and value, consider Waupaca Foundry. OEMs and Tier I manufacturers across the United States, Mexico and Europe rely on our casting design expertise and product development collaboration for high-performing, wear resistant and consistent high-quality iron castings. In addition to improving machine cycle time and machine tool life, we are able to improve your total manufacturing cost. As a trusted iron casting component supplier for the agriculture, construction, and industrial markets, Waupaca Foundry offers a full line of components for off-highway applications.
With nine foundry and machining/assembly locations in the United States, 1.5 million tons of capacity, and key account managers worldwide, you can count on our consistent, high quality iron casting components.
At its 15th annual awards banquet, Perry County Chamber of Commerce awarded Waupaca Foundry in Tell City, Indiana the 2016 Large Business of the Year. The gray iron and ductile iron foundry was recognized for its business practices and contributions to the community. The Chamber cited Waupaca Foundry’s commitment to the community, including its financial and in-kind support to public and technical schools, as well as countless local charities, events and fundraisers benefiting the enrichment of Perry County residents and businesses alike. Recent, major initiatives include civic collaboration to establish the County’s second helipad and Perry Childcare.
In the nomination form Mary Roberson, superintendent for Perry Central Community School said, “Waupaca Foundry has changed Perry County for the better in many ways over the past 20 years. As a community we are fortunate for their generosity, but equally important is Waupaca’s attitude of common sense solutions and ways to solve local challenges. It is particularly fitting that Waupaca Foundry is honored during this, their 20th anniversary year.
Pictured here accepting the award (left to right): Rick Sutton, Roxanna Stein, Shelby Applegate, Bruce Tesch, Gary Greubel, Cody Dawson, Ross Hendershot, Joey Leonard, Brian Hammack, and Jeremy Backer.
Waupaca Foundry is humbled to be named Large Business of the Year. Our goal is to be the industry leader in iron castings, but it’s also our passion to give back to the communities in which we operate. Our achievements depend on collaboration between civic leaders, businesses and residents alike.
Waupaca Foundry, headquartered in Waupaca, Wis., has operated in Tell City, Indiana since 1997. To meet customer growth and demand, construction of the Tell City ductile and gray iron foundry began in the fall of 1995. Today, Waupaca Foundry employs 4,400 in the U.S. The Tell City foundry operation employs 960 full-time workers, more than twice than what was projected when operations began in 1996. Today, the average annual payroll exceeds $65 million in Perry County and surrounding communities.
Waupaca Foundry’s Joey Leonard assisted the American Foundry Society (AFS) Pennsylvania contingent by awarding the Metalcasting Industry Eagle Award to United States Senator, Pat Toomey (R-PA). This award is presented annually to lawmakers who support policies in Congress that enhance the ability of U.S. foundries to create jobs and innovate, as well as those who fight back against burdensome and costly regulations that hinder metalcasting industry growth. The annual event hosted by AFS was held at its Government Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. on May 18, 2016.
Senator Toomey’s district is located in eastern Pennsylvania. The district stretches from the suburbs east of Harrisburg to communities east of Allentown and the New Jersey border. Eastern Pennsylvania has a rich manufacturing history and is home to over 15 Metalcasting facilities, including our ductile iron foundry in Lawrenceville, PA and machining and assembly facility in Wellsboro, PA..
Joey Leonard with the AFS Pennsylvania Foundry Association, present an Eagle Award to U.S. Senator Pat Toomey on May 18, 2016. Pictured (left to right): executive vice president and secretary of Pennsylvania Foundry Association Chris Moyer, Alan Brink, president of Spring City Electrical Manufacturing Co. Inc. , U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, vice president of T.B. Woods Corporation Inc. Bill Juergens, director of technical operations with PRL Inc. Greg Raudenbush, and executive vice president of human resources Joey Leonard Waupaca Foundry Inc.
Senator Toomey has been a strong ally and supporter of the foundry industry. Primarily Toomey has assisted the industry by fighting for an increase of tax relief and decrease of regulations so both Metalcasting industries and other manufactures can thrive.
The American Foundry Society is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1896. With its headquarters in Schaumburg, Ill., AFS provides members and consumers with information and services to promote and strengthen the metalcasting industry.
One of Waupaca Foundry’s most innovative programs is hitting the road in the Etowah, Tenn. city school system. Team members from Waupaca Foundry Etowah brought the hands-on “Foundry in a Box” program to the school system’s STEM Fair in April and had more than 100 students and parents in attendance.
Benjamin Webb (left) learns about the goings on at Waupaca Foundry at the industry's booth Thursday evening at the Etowah City School STEM Fair. Numerous booths were set up throughout the school for the fair with each one representing the four STEM areas – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Photo credit: The Daily Post Athenian
Foundry in a Box is a customized program created by Waupaca Foundry that helps students understand the importance of science, engineering, technology and mathematics in today's world. Team members expose the students to STEM careers available right in their own communities.
At Waupaca Foundry, hundreds of pounds of (ductile/gray) iron is poured into sand molds (about the size of a chest freezer) to make the parts that keep cars, tractors, and even fire hydrants in working order. At the schools, it all happens on a tabletop.
The team literally puts the foundry in a plastic box along with a small electric heater that melts tin to about 500-degrees. Molds to hold the liquid metal are made from a mixture of sand and oil. The process is very similar to building a sand castle where sand is packed to create impressions in the mold. Under the supervision of trained foundry men and women, students don safety equipment, manufacture the sand molds, help pour liquid tin into molds, and use files to sand off rough edges to make a variety of objects including keys, pins and key chains. During the demonstration, Waupaca Foundry employees explain that engineers, machinists and metallurgists helped create Foundry in a Box and educate the students on how the tasks they are doing relate to jobs in the foundry.
Etowah team members say the program was so successful, they ran out of sand!
“During the STEM Fair, all the other booths came down to our end of the building to see what the large crowd was doing,” said Quality Manager, Diana Elrod.
“As we poured the metal into the molds and we let the kids finish the products, the entire time we were discussing the properties of sand and mental. They were asking intelligent questions and I guarantee before that day they never thought of those concepts,” Elrod said.
Elrod says Waupaca Foundry Etowah has made the presentation several times to classrooms and will be participating in a STEAM camp this summer to give students a better understanding of the engineering and foundry jobs available right in their own backyards.
Seventeen Waupaca Foundry employees graduated from a pilot program designed to develop skills required for high demand electrical maintenance positions. The program was funded by a state of Wisconsin Fast Forward grant designed to train current employees at eleven Wisconsin businesses, one of which is Waupaca Foundry. The program was funded by $229,000 from state grants and a $330,000 match from participating employers.
Wisconsin-based Waupaca Foundry employees who were selected for the program were required to pass aptitude tests to qualify for the program, then attend weekly day-long training at Fox Valley Technical College for two semesters. Although employees were paid for their time spent in school, the program required extra hours of study and applied training on the job. Participating students were all from the Waupaca and Marinette plants. Graduates earned a Fundamentals of Maintenance certificate and 10 technical college credits, which can be applied toward an associate’s degree.
Finding qualified electrical maintenance workers is a challenge for Waupaca Foundry due to a shortage of qualified applicants, as well as the complexity of the machines and manufacturing processes used in foundries.
"We looked all over for these highly qualified people and all along they were right here in our operations, said Joey Leonard, executive vice president of human resources. All they needed was the right skills, he added.
Beccah Novak started in the mill room in Marinette and was most recently a forklift operator. She is one of only a few women enrolled in the program. “I always wanted to go back to school, but life got busy,” Novak said. "Im so thankful for Waupaca's investment in this rewarding program and I’m happy to gain a career, not just have a job," she said.
Jeremy Steingraber drove a forklift in the mill room at Plant 1 and said a career in electrical maintenance was never part of his plan, but he took the opportunity when it was presented. I have three kids and wouldn’t have been able to take the time away from work for this program,” he said.
Devin Wolberg is in maintenance at Plant 3 in Waupaca and had been working toward an associate’s degree in electrical maintenance but didn’t finish college. This program gave me the chance to finish my schooling,” he said.
According to Gordy Barth, manager of employee development & training, the program took two years to plan and required collaboration between private employers, Fox Valley Technical College, and the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. “Waupaca Foundry provides educational reimbursement to our team members, but the structure of this program and the fact that employees were paid to attend school made a big difference.”
The company will be rolling out a version of this program at plants in Etowah and Tell City in fall of 2016. In those programs, students will be able to pursue certification in electrical and mechanical maintenance. A similar program for mechanical maintenance is also offered at the Fox Valley Technical College campus in Waupaca for employees. The Wisconsin Fast Forward program used a combination of public and private dollars for funding, but in these programs Waupaca Foundry will underwrite the entire cost of training materials, tuition, and will pay employees for attending classes.
Waupaca Foundry has a long history of promotion from within and this program is a natural extension of our commitment to employee career pathing. “We would rather give an opportunity to someone who has worked for us awhile, someone who understands the foundry industry, has worked on our equipment, and who believes in the Waupaca Foundry culture,” Leonard said.
If employees have questions or are interested in the program, please contact your human resources manager or Manager of Employee Development & Training, Gordy Barth.
Please congratulate our graduates:
The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard is set to hit 54.5 mpg in 2025, so it’s no surprise the auto industry is aggressively pursuing ways to increase fuel efficiency. The Center for Automotive Lightweighting’s Web site states that the use of lightweight materials in vehicles will significantly increase fuel efficiency and cut emissions. As the market takes a serious step towards increasing fuel economy, the topic of material substitution is at the forefront. Gray and ductile iron material is not exactly perceived as lightweight. But, use of this higher-strength iron, allows for design engineers to use less material. Now we’re talking.
To achieve lightweighting objects—regardless of material selection—early design collaboration with your supplier is crucial. Early design collaboration with your iron casting foundry that combines tooling engineering, metallurgical expertise and computer simulation will result in iron castings that may reduce weight, lowers total landed costs, increases quality, assure part consistency and meet or exceed performance requirements; all the items OEMs and Tier 1s seek from its suppliers. Many decisions made during the design, specification and sourcing stages of an iron casting can lead to components that are lighter and stronger.
Here are five ways your iron casting supplier can help you achieve your lightweighting objectives:
It all starts with MAGMA® Flow Analysis, an electronic simulation showing how molten iron flows and solidifies as it is poured into the casting mold. MAGMA® Flow Analysis allows foundry engineers to pre-determine iron flow and identify turbulence, solidification, temperature, and pouring issues relative to the quality of the final cast part. While MAGMA® Flow Analysis is not a lightweighting tool itself, it is a valuable tool that tells foundry engineers and their customers the options they have to achieve a lighter weight part including the five we outline here:
A material selection upgrade to ADI over traditional ductile iron is a tool used for lightweighting. In particular ADI is two to four times stronger than standard ductile iron. Using ADI drives the weight of the casting down making it much lighter thanks to a reduction in structural mass requirements. When using ADI, strength requirements can be maintained while utilizing thinner sections, for an overall reduction in the weight of the component. The practical advantage to ADI is manufacturing cost, since it is much less expensive to produce.
If a MAGMA® Flow Analysis shows that an area of a mold will be difficult to fill resulting in porosity issues, it may be possible to reposition the gating or riser to overcome the porosity issues. Lowering the porosity in one or more areas of the casting can lead to there being more mass than needed in those areas. Removing mass and achieving an acceptable level of porosity will lead to a lighter part as long as that particular area is not necessary for strength or a machining location. Only through early collaboration can these questions be identified and answered.
Most if not all part designs call out an acceptable level of porosity throughout the print. Again, using MAGMA® Flow Analysis, engineers can tell whether the iron flow will cause porosity to be above or below the acceptable level. Foundry engineers are not strangers to following porosity specifications. There are cast components where there is quite a bit of mass resulting in a porosity level that is far below what is specified on the print. If we get a commitment from the purchaser to allow a higher level of porosity, but still below spec, we may be able to remove mass to reduce weight. However, this gets tricky because we may end up aggravating or creating more porosity in another area to achieve mass removal in this area. Again, early collaboration in the casting design will make all the difference in the success of this lightweighting effort.
This would take a commitment from the casting design engineer and the casting supplier early on in the design process. In some castings, the core simply cannot be removed due to internal features.
Changing the location of a parting line is a fifth tool in the box that can be used for lightweighting. Imagine a cast iron vase that stands vertically on a table. The top of the vase may have a diameter of two inches and as you move down the vase, the neck narrows to one inch. Then as you move further down the vase the belly of the vase opens to four inches. In the vertical green sand molding process, in order to remove this vase from the sand without destroying the part, a core would have to be used around the neck of the vase. Without a core, material would have to be added to the vase so that the vase has the same diameter throughout. This would make the vase heavier. However, by laying the vase on its side, changing the parting line to run along the curves of the vase, there would be no need for a core. There would also be no need to add material to the vase allowing the vase to be lightweight.
Again, early design collaboration between the purchaser and the casting supplier will maximize lightweighting outcomes and in best cases, lowers the total landed cost of the part, increases quality, improves run consistency and heightens its performance. Involve your casting supplier early on in the design; you’ll be happy you did.
Author: Kris Pfaehler, Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing
On April 1, 2016 the merger of Waupaca Foundry and Hitachi Metals Automotive Components USA (HMAC) was finalized. The merger solidifies Waupaca Foundry’s vision to increase revenue and profitability while maintaining diversity across markets and sectors.
Concurrent with the merger finalization, Waupaca Foundry also makes its three-year business plan public, which contains initiatives designed to accelerate global growth. The strategic initiatives are:
|Produce 100% ductile iron castings at Waupaca Foundry, Etowah.
The Etowah, Tennessee foundry will exclusively produce ductile iron castings. Customer demand for ductile iron is growing—parts we can produce efficiently at Lawrenceville, PA, Marinette, WI, Tell City, IN and Etowah, TN.
|Provide a machining solution and other value added services for strategic products.
Waupaca Foundry is developing partnerships to locate machining and assembly operations directly near our foundries to meet the needs of global customers who are requesting Tier 1 responsibilities from us.
|Install a horizontal molding line in North America.
Waupaca Foundry has built a reputation on creating high quality, vertically-parted iron castings, but opportunities exist to grow with existing and new customers who want to simplify their supply chain. Plans are underway to locate a horizontal molding line at Waupaca Foundry Tell City (Indiana).
|Locate a foundry in Mexico.
We are in the latter planning stages and intend to establish a footprint in Mexico to meet increasing demand. All options are open from new construction to brownfield or acquisition of an existing foundry.
Following our acquisition by Hitachi Metals Ltd., Waupaca Foundry and HMAC have been working to achieve synergies in North America to continuously improve and better serve our customers. This reorganization further unites Hitachi Metals' product design engineering expertise and materials development with Waupaca Foundry's manufacturing excellence. Our team is focused on delivering the most innovative products and technology to a growing base of global customers.
Together we are poised to supply the highest quality, cast and machined iron castings in the world and these changes present exciting opportunities not only for our customers, but for suppliers, and employees alike.
By Michael Behring, Director of Sales Off-Highway
Value Analysis and Value Engineering (VA/VE) is an intensive, innovative, and systematic problem-solving process used to drive cost out of our customer’s iron castings and improve quality.
Sometimes a VA/VE initiative also results in improved product performance. That was certainly the case when we collaborated with a global leader in commercial turf and lawn care equipment.
The OEM of a zero-turn commercial mower was seeking ways to reduce cost from a bumper cast in gray iron. What seemed like a straightforward, machined iron casting design was in reality a chance to enhance product performance.
The OEM identified three key opportunities as follows:
Additionally, the one-piece assembly required shipment to a third-party machine shop to drill and tap holes required to mount the bumper to the mower.
Engineering and manufacturing teams at Waupaca Foundry worked collaboratively with the customer’s product engineering group to review the production process and collaborate on increasing performance on the part.
Teams at Waupaca Foundry plant identified cost drivers and production solutions to produce the part more efficiently. We then proposed breaking the one-part casting into two parts to better meet the goals and the end user’s expectations.
This was not without challenges, however, and our foundry engineers worked to design a gray iron casting that repositioned the offset parting line to allow three halves of the new 2-piece bumper or 1.5 bumpers in each mold.
Additionally, the mounting holes in the 2-piece bumper were redesigned and are now cast without the use of cores versus features requiring a core and/or any secondary machining operations.
| Casting design
| Offset parting line
|Weight|| 67 pounds
||two 32-pound (64 pounds)
| Total casting in one mold chamber
||Three of each half of 1.5 bumpers per mold
| Matching required
| Bumbers per skid
|| 24 bumpers (or 48 pieces)
The most significant result of the casting redesign was the elimination of the machining required to drill and tap mounting holes. As a result, the customer eliminated shipping and machining costs. The redesign also allowed for shipping more products in a container, thereby reducing transportation costs.
Additionally, the two-part bumper decreased the weight 3%, from 67 pounds to two 32-pound parts without compromising the material needed to achieve balance on the mower. By changing the part’s geometry, the center of gravity was redistributed and improved the overall center of gravity of the mower.
The two-piece bumper system is safer and easier (more ergonomic) to handle for assembly and replacement at the factory and the dealership level.
Production efficiency increased due to casting a 2-piece bumper. Casting three parts on a smaller, vertical molding machine allowed for faster production.
Durability was enhanced by eliminating the weak point in the center of the one-piece bumper design, which in turn should reduce warranty claims and the need for costly bumper replacements.
And finally, the issue of scraping the bottom of the bumper during trailer loading and unloading was completely eliminated by reducing the overall profile that existed with the previous design.
Proactive design collaboration between Waupaca Foundry and the OEM resulted in an innovative design that redistributed mass, decreased weight, and dramatically streamlined part production—thus improving the product performance for end users.
Through VA/VE and early collaboration, Waupaca Foundry identifies product improvement and cost reduction opportunities for many of our customers. What can we do for you?
Hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of attendees will converge at the Minneapolis Convention Center on April 16-19 for CastExpo hosted by American Foundry Society & Metalcasting Congress. Waupaca Foundry, the industry’s leading iron casting supplier, is proud to be one of them.
CastExpo ‘16 offers optimal networking opportunities throughout the supply chain. This trade event offers information on the latest technical research and metalcasting developments, practical roundtable discussions, panels from industry experts, professional development opportunities, keynote speakers, metalcasting classes, and real-world solutions to apply back at the job.
Waupaca Foundry produces gray iron, ductile iron (including high strength HNM™ series ductile iron and austempered ductile iron) castings. But, there are more reasons than ever to stop and see us at the show.
As part of its 2016 mid-term business plan, Waupaca Foundry announces strategic initiatives designed to grow global markets following the merger with Hitachi Metals Automotive Components USA.
Finalized April 1, 2016, the merger solidifies Waupaca Foundry’s vision to increase revenue and profitability while maintaining diversity across markets and sectors. Combined with computer aided engineering and design expertise (CAE and CAD), Waupaca Foundry provides casting design solutions and VA/VE collaboration to our Tier 1 and OEM customers who continually need lighter weight and higher performing castings to reduce CO2 emissions and increase fuel efficiency.
It’s an exciting time for Waupaca Foundry with a new merger, newly announced key strategic initiatives, and most importantly, a commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our customers. CastExpo is a great opportunity to see the capabilities and services Waupaca Foundry has to offer.
We’d love to learn more about your casting needs. Visit booth #3420/22 and explore castings on display, see a few familiar faces, and network with the best in the industry. And when you do, make sure to enter for a chance to win one of 10 portable mobile chargers!
Written By: Michael Hoecker PE, CEM, Energy Manager, Waupaca Foundry
For many years, Waupaca Foundry has recognized the importance of managing our energy use, not only to remain competitive, but also to reduce our impact on the environment, strengthen our local and state economies and support the nation’s goal of energy independence.
In 2010, Waupaca Foundry accepted the U.S. Department of Energy’s “Better Buildings Challenge” to reduce energy intensity by 25% by 2020. Through the end of 2015, Waupaca Foundry has achieved a 16.3% reduction.
Unlike the Better Buildings Challenge, which focused primarily on private sector industrial and commercial firms, Accelerate Energy Productivity 2030 calls to arms all energy consumers, including federal, state and local governments, industrial and commercial businesses, utilities, higher education institutions, households and individuals. Also, where previous efforts targeted, for the most part, energy conservation and manufacturing technology improvements, the 2030 challenge additionally targets research and development, government policy, a more informed and knowledgeable work force, and a modernized and more efficient utility and grid infrastructure (electric, gas and water).
Sidebar: What is Energy Productivity?
Energy productivity asks the question “how much energy do we use to manufacture goods and provide services?” The nation’s output (goods and services) is also known as the Gross Domestic Product, or GDP.
GDP is often measured in dollars of value created. In 2010 (which is the baseline year for the “Accelerate Energy Productivity” program), for every unit of energy consumed, the nation created $134 in GDP. By 2030, through increasing GDP and reduced energy use, the program targets a goal of $268 of value for every unit of energy we use as a nation.
The chart below shows 2030 predictions based on “business as usual” (solid line) versus implementation of the “Accelerate” strategy (dotted line).
Our goal is to help you. Period. Our metal casting experts will keep you current in the world of gray, ductile, compacted graphite, and austempered ductile iron castings by providing unique information and perspectives on raw materials and scrap metal trends, optimizing casting design, improving quality, and helping you reduce total manufacturing costs. We share stories and offer tips and hints.