HIDES 4 HEROES SUPPORTS VETERANS



Waupaca Foundry Employee Creates Hides 4 Heros to Benefit Veterans

At times all it takes is determination and one person to change the world and that’s just what Waupaca Foundry employee Dave Hintz is doing—one deer hide at a time.

Dave started a unique partnership called Hides 4 Heroes to support veterans through the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation. During the Wisconsin bow and gun deer seasons, Hintz sets up hide collection locations throughout the Northeastern, Central and Northern Wisconsin region. He volunteers his time to collect and cure the hides, then sells them to a broker. The funds raised are donated to Camp Hackett near Phillips, Wisconsin where veterans participate in outdoor sporting activities designed to help heal mental and physical wounds from active duty.


A box is overflowing with deer hides during last year's deer hunting season. Photo supplied by Dave Hintz.

Since 2012, he has donated $14,000 through his Hides 4 Heroes project thanks to a partnership with Waupaca Foundry and regional hunters. In 2015, Hintz collected 780 deer hides from harvests throughout Wisconsin and this year, he hopes to break records.

Hintz was inspired to support veterans when he met Matt Tennessen while hunting in northern Wisconsin. Tennessen was wounded in 2009 from an IED blast while serving in Afghanistan and his stories of recovery impressed Hintz who decided to get involved.

“I wanted to give back,” Hintz said. “When Matt told me his story and how the Wounded Warriors in Action Foundation helped veterans, I knew this was something I could do. Most guys throw their hides away, and I knew they could be useful.” A life-long hunter, Hintz had a side business of butchering deer during the hunting season and knew there was a market for cured hides. Last year, many of the hides he collected ended up in Italy and were used to make boots and purses.

Hintz contacted his employer, Waupaca Foundry, to help with the project. The foundry donated collection boxes and the nearly 2,000 pounds of salt Hintz uses to cure the hides each season. Hintz has worked at Waupaca Foundry for 27 years and said the company’s support is gratifying.


Dave Hintz (far right) presents $6,700 to Matt Tennessen (far left) for Wounded Warriors in Action on behalf of Hides for Heroes, General Beer and Waupaca Foundry. In 2015 and 2016, $11,800 has been donated to Wounded Warriors In Action. Photo supplied by Dave Hintz.

Waupaca Foundry has a history of supporting veteran’s causes and in 2015 was awarded the Patriot Award for employer support of the National Guard or Reserve. About 11% of the foundry’s workforce are veterans and many of the skills learned on active duty directly apply on the job, according to Joey Leonard, executive vice president of human resources.

“Veterans put direct experience in leadership, responsibility, teamwork and many other attributes to work for us daily and we are honored to support causes that support veterans,” he said.

Hintz will be collecting deer hides through January 13, 2017 and hides may be dropped off at these participating locations:
Waupaca Foundry, 406 N. Division St., Waupaca
Waupaca Foundry, 1955 Brunner Drive, Waupaca
Chain BP, King
JR's Sports Shop, Iola
Depo Street Station, Iola
Scandy "C" Store, Scandinavia
Sand Burr Corners, Ogdensburg
Waupaca Truck Stop, Waupaca
The Cenex, Weyauwega
Sun Set BP, Weyauwega
Machow Sports, Wild Rose
Badger Sports Center, Phillips
Elk River Rods, Phillips
Corner Connection Bar, Phillips

What is “Manufacturing Day” you ask?



Manufacturing Day℠ is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. Although Manufacturing Day officially occurs on the first Friday in October - this year is Oct 7, 2016 - any day can be a Manufacturing Day.

MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is - and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.


Special “Foundry in a Box” Events on Manufacturing Day

Waupaca Foundry Manufacturing Day 2016. Each of our locations will be hosting an event. Activities may include a tour of our state-of-the-art facilities, Foundry in a box simulation and mini cupola demonstration. Our experts will guide you through the process of making your own tabletop casting using melted tin. We will also be happy to answer any questions about our iron castings, our foundry or the industry in general. Check our listings below (October 6 and 7) for event details.

Manufacturing Day was instituted, in North America, to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. By opening our manufacturing doors to the community, Waupaca Foundry and our peers hope to dispel common misconceptions and attract a skilled workforce. Our aim; to make your experience as educational, interesting and personalized as possible.

Waupaca Foundry Events to Mark Manufacturing Day

Open House and Tour

Date: October 6, 2016 9:00am - 3:00pm
Location: 805 Ogden St, Marinette, WI 54143

Join us for FOUNDRY IN A BOX, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn how the foundry operates. You’ll get to create and keep a casting. What better way to learn how our foundry operates?

*Note: Must be 16 years of age to tour the facility. Long pants and closed-toed shoes required.

Experience Automation in Motion - Open House

Date: October 6, 2016 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: 1500 Heartland Ave, Effingham, IL 62401

Don’t miss the opportunity to see automated machining and manufacturing at its best. Tour our sophisticated facility and view our highly technical processes that display innovations in robotics and automation.

*Note: Must be 16 years of age to tour the facility. Long pants and closed-toed shoes required.

Waupaca County Grade School Students Create Castings - Invite Only

Date: October 7, 2016 9:00am - 2:00pm
Location: 1955 Brunner Dr., Waupaca, WI 54981

Invited students join us for FOUNDRY IN A BOX, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to create and keep a casting. What better way to learn how our foundry operates? From molding and pouring to shakeout and cleaning, we will show you exactly how it’s done. In addition, our mini cupola will be set up with viewing and demonstrations of high temperature melting and pouring of actual iron.

Open House and Tour

Date: October 7, 2016 10:00am - 2:00pm
Location: 134 Waupaca Drive, Etowah, TN 37331

Join us for facility tours and FOUNDRY IN A BOX, a one-of-a-kind opportunity to create and keep a casting. What better way to learn how our foundry operates? From molding and pouring to shakeout and cleaning, we will show you exactly how it’s done.

Foundry In A Box

 

Since the Foundry in a Box program started, Waupaca Foundry has reached 24 K-12 school districts across the U.S. and more than 2,000 students have been exposed to foundry processes. To request the Foundry in a Box program for your school or STEM event, please contact Waupaca Foundry’s manager of training and development.

Waupaca Foundry: Worldwide Supplier of Iron Castings for Diverse Industries

Waupaca Foundry, a Hitachi Metals Group company, is a leading supplier of iron castings to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agriculture, construction, rail, and industrial markets. Our unwavering commitment to providing value and dependability to the millions who use metal castings everyday has helped make customers for life. Sophisticated technology, proven green processes and a highly-trained workforce enable us to exceed your expectations of quality and service. Our staff takes great pride in what they do and we encourage them to advance their skills and career through continuing education and an attractive compensation package.

Learn more about our Manufacturing Day events at mfgday.com!

Visit Waupaca Foundry at IZB 2016 Booth 4203 Hall 4



Waupaca Foundry and Hitachi Metals will join Volkswagen, other OEM’s and 750 Tier suppliers at IZB 2016 October 18 – 20. IZB 2016 is being held at the AutoBook International Pavilion located next to the global Volkswagen Headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. Stop by and talk to Waupaca Foundry’s Carsten Behrensmeier and James Newsome at IZB 2016 Booth 4203 in Hall 4 to discuss your next project.

Millions of people rely on Waupaca Foundry castings every day. Our light vehicle automotive casting components are of the highest quality. Source iron castings from Waupaca Foundry to give your automotive parts consistent quality—achieving your lightweighting objectives, improving machinablity, and reducing total manufacturing costs. Waupaca Foundry combines casting design, material solutions, and computer simulation to produce gray iron and ductile iron castings that have the quality, consistency and performance that our customers have come to trust.

Value Added Services for the Automotive Industry

In addition to manufacturing iron castings, we provide value added services to streamline the assembly and manufacture of your passenger car and light truck components and systems. This includes casting design collaboration and VA/VE support, machining and assembly, heat treating, and paint services to achieve your lightweighting and cost reduction objectives. Automobile industry OEM’s and Tier 1 suppliers rely on our foundry expertise, innovative solutions and cost-effective iron casting supply services to gain a competitive edge.

With nine foundry and machining/assembly locations in the United States, more than a million tons of capacity, and key account managers worldwide, you can count on our consistent, high-quality iron casting components.

International Suppliers Fair (IZB) 2016

The IZB was first hosted in 2001 as a Volkswagen in-house trade fair with 128 exhibitors from six nations, which attracted 13,500 visitors. It has since established itself as a showcase event for the international automotive supplier industry. In 2014, the organizers recorded a total of 51,000 visitors to the fair including 821 exhibitors from 29 nations taking advantage of the trade fair to showcase their products and innovations.



The IZB represents the entire automotive value chain. The key areas of the IZB are:

  • Electrics | Electronics | Mechatronics
  • Assembly and Joining Technology
  • Metal and Lightweight Construction | Car Body Construction
  • Plastics
  • Vehicle Interiors | Modules
  • Chemical Products
  • Chassis | Assemblies | Drive Control
  • Development
  • IT and Service Providers
  • Logistics
  • Production Processes
  • Special Topic: Mobility Goes Digital

The International Suppliers Fair (IZB) is aimed at all automotive industry suppliers and has a prominent reputation in international professional circles. The high-quality exhibitors and large number of key decision-makers and trade visitors that attend the IZB make it an important communication and business platform for the industry.

Contact Us or Request a Quote Today! And we look forward seeing you at IZB 2016.

Visit Waupaca Foundry at the 2016 InnoTrans Technology Fair



Visit Waupaca Foundry
at the
2016 InnoTrans Technology Fair
September 20th – 23rd, 2016

InnoTrans, the world’s leading transport technology fair, is set to attract more than 135,000 visitors from 55 countries to Berlin in September 2016. Waupaca Foundry, Inc. is on track to showcase our portfolio of gray iron and ductile iron castings for use by passenger and freight car component manufacturers. Join or follow us in Berlin as we discuss our advanced manufacturing technology, consistent high quality, and continuous cost conscience methodology with OEM’s and Tier 1 Suppliers to the rail industry.

Advanced Solutions for Your Unique Needs

The rail industry relies on trusted suppliers like Waupaca Foundry to keep its customers’ rail cars and locomotive engines in service, making money. Our high quality iron castings meet demanding specifications ensuring durability, extended wear and superior performance in the field. And through casting design collaboration and material solutions Waupaca Foundry can help you meet your light-weighting and cost reduction objectives.

Waupaca Foundry recognizes that our rail customers are committed to help railroads all over the world haul heavier loads over greater distances with improved reliability and performance. So we are also committed to advance the rail industry with iron casting component innovations that improve productivity, safety and efficiency. Our flexibility is a key benefit when projects come in with short notice or demanding turn-around times. Our innovative gray iron and ductile iron casting solutions help these OEM’s and Tier 1 suppliers remain a step above their competitors.

We welcome the challenges your complex designs and specifications offer. These challenges give us the opportunity to demonstrate our expertise encouraging manufacturers worldwide to source their railcar and locomotive engine components from Waupaca Foundry. Our castings improve performance and service life of your systems and components. Stop by and talk to Waupaca Foundry’s Carsten Behrensmeier at InnoTrans 2016 booth 212 in Hall 10.1 to discuss your iron casting supply needs.

Waupaca’s Iron Castings Services for the Rail Industry

At Waupaca Foundry we set the benchmark for quality and reliability as an iron casting manufacturer. As a trusted supplier to passenger, freight, tank, oil and coal car manufacturers, we supply iron castings for:

  • Locomotive Engine
  • Railcar Suspension
  • Rail Axle
  • Rail Coupling (aka coupler) System
  • Rail Braking System

Value Added Services for the Rail Industry

In addition to manufacturing iron castings, we provide many value added services to streamline the assembly and manufacture of your rail components and systems. This includes casting design collaboration and VA/VE support, machining and assembly, heat treating, and paint services to reduce the time and cost to market. Rail industry manufacturers rely on our foundry expertise, innovative solutions and cost-effective services to gain a competitive edge.

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.

Contact Us or Request a Quote Today! And we look forward seeing you at InnoTrans 2016.

Foundry in a Box Sparks Interest in Manufacturing Jobs



When a young person says “I want to be a firefighter when I grow up,” there’s a clear visual image of that career. But when a young person is told “you could have a career as a quality engineer,” there’s no reference point. But Waupaca Foundry is working to change the image of tomorrow’s industrial careers.

According to the Manufacturing Institute, American manufacturing will need to fill 3.5 million skilled jobs over the next decade. The institutes’ 2015 Skills Gap Report shows that almost 2 million of these jobs will go unfilled because manufacturers cannot find qualified applicants.

At Waupaca Foundry, teams of employees are sparking interest in STEM careers with an innovative program.

In a plant setting, molten iron is poured into sand molds (about the size of a chest freezer) to make the parts found in cars, tractors, and even fire hydrants. At the schools, it all happens on a table top in a program called “Foundry in a Box.”

The team literally puts a mini-foundry in a metal box along with a small electric furnace that melts tin to about 500-degrees. Molds to hold the liquid tin are made from a mixture of sand and vegetable 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 sand off rough edges to make a variety of objects including keys, paper weights and horseshoes. During the demonstration, Waupaca Foundry employees talk about their careers and educate the students on how the tasks they are doing relate to jobs in the foundry—jobs in engineering, machining, electrical work and metallurgy.

“It’s about educating students on what we do at Waupaca Foundry and making sure we have good workers in the future,” said Rusty Brandt, tooling and layout manager at Waupaca Foundry in Waupaca, Wisconsin.

Waupaca Foundry has been bringing this program to Wisconsin schools for several years and teams from each foundry have demonstrations planned through the 2016 school year. Each visit reaches anywhere from 20-300 students at a time.

Many of the schools have no formalized programs or clubs focused on STEM technology or jobs and this demonstration opens students’ minds to manufacturing careers. “Many tend to stereotype foundry work as the place for those who have chosen not to pursue higher education, while this program demonstrates just the opposite! It is the new foundry career!” said Amy Anaya from Iola-Scandinavia Elementary School in Wisconsin.

Waupaca Foundry’s “Foundry in a Box” earned the 2016 Manufacturing Innovation Award from the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance. The Alliance recognized manufacturers such as Kohler Company, Georgia Pacific, Vollrath and Waupaca Foundry for programs that show students how careers in engineering, production, quality, metallurgy, maintenance are exciting options for their future.

“There’s a science and an art to metalcasting and we want our youth to see the possibilities,” said Amie Borchardt, a lead process engineer at Waupaca Foundry.

Borchardt was honored by the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance as a 2016 All Star Mentor for her work in promoting STEM careers, specifically for women. She acknowledges there are still barriers to attracting more women to manufacturing, so girls need to know the career options available to them.

“We’ve got a really good team,” Borchardt said. “We’ve got a lot of up-and-comers who have taken opportunities to go to school and are replacing our retiring work force. To me, that’s exciting.”

Team members who champion Waupaca’s Foundry In a Box hold a variety of jobs at the company from foundry production employees to engineers and quality managers. For company leaders and employees, the demonstrations help ensure there is a next generation of foundry men and women.

Waupaca Foundry CEO Mike Nikolai began his career as a metallurgical engineer working at all three plants in Waupaca. He holds a masters degree from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and an M.B.A. from the University of Louisville which have taught him the value of STEM education.

“Our industry continues to change due to automation, robotics and continual innovation,” Nikolai said. “In the future, students who pursue STEM related careers will find entry level positions pay 25-30% higher compared to non-STEM jobs.”

Since the Foundry in a Box program started, Waupaca Foundry has reached 24 K-12 school districts across the U.S. and more than 2,000 students have been exposed to foundry processes. To request the Foundry In a Box program for your school or STEM event, please contact Waupaca Foundry’s manager of training and development.

STEM Students

Tariffs on Driveline Components



Stiff Duties Expected on Driveline Components from China and Canada

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.

Preliminary Affirmative Determination and Alignment of Final Determination with Final Antidumping Duty Determination

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.


Driveline Components Likely to be Affected by Anti-Dumping Duty

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:

  • Wheels or cylinders often referred to as sheaves, pulleys, flywheels, flat pulleys, idlers, conveyer pulleys, synchronous sheaves, and timing pulleys
  • Components in the form of a cylinder (also known as bushings) which fit into the bore holes of other mechanical transfer drive components to lock them into drive shafts by means of elements such as teeth, bolts, or screws.
  • Unfinished drive components (i.e., blanks or castings) which possess the approximate shape of the finished iron mechanical transfer drive component and have not yet been machined to final specification after the initial casting, forging or like operations. These machining processes may include cutting, punching, notching, boring, threading, mitering, or chamfering.
  • Drive components that have been finished or machined in a third country

Read the ITC fact sheet and summary of the investigations for details.

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.

Reduce Manufacturing Costs with High-Quality Driveline Components from Waupaca Foundry

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.

Contact Us or Request a Quote Today!

Chamber of Commerce Recognizes Waupaca Foundry's commitment to community; Names Foundry 2016 Business of The Year



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 & AFS present Eagle Award to Senator Toomey



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.







Foundry in a box brings STEM careers to Etowah



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.

Waupaca Foundry Graduates Fill Skills Gap



Waupaca Foundry Graduates Fill Skills Gap

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:

Pictured here (from left to right): Ryan Buchholz, Joshua Wanty, Devin Wolberg, Al Gilliard, Justin Gabrielson, Keith Janke, Dan Nelsen, Tallon Golz, Josh Johnson, Blake Wolfe, Jeremy Steingraber, Samantha Bucholtz, Jeff Johnson, Beccah Novak, Stan Novak, Andrea Pillasch, Greg Block.










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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.

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