By Dan Korpi
In July of this year Waupaca Foundry’s Marinette-based plant started an expansion project with a scheduled completion in April 2013. As of December 1, 2012 the expanded building structure and shell were completed.
The project consists of a 7,800 square foot addition to the northeast corner of the building. Another 5,000 square feet will be added to the second floor. The added footage on the lower level will be used primarily for extra tool and core storage, as well as a new pattern shop. Added footage on the second floor will add office space, including a conference room for employee training.
As an ongoing commitment to making safety a top priority, the primary objective of the project will be to improve safety at Plant 4. Today, workers share traffic routes with both forklifts and hot metal carriers. After the expansion is completed pedestrian walkways will be rerouted and improve overall traffic safety. The pattern shop will move closer to the molding department on the first floor.
This will open up space to move press tooling and other equipment out of the mill room, thus opening up a new pedestrian walkway. The additional space allows for a more efficient configuration of material flow. Improved material flow will reduce (and sometimes eliminate) vehicle and pedestrian interaction in the mill room, core room, molding department, and pattern shop.Additionally, the maintenance shop will be moved along the West side of vertical molding line number 6, making maintenance functions more centrally located within the plant. Also, a room will be built specifically for cleaning core tooling, which will increase safety and productivity when preparing patterns to make ductile iron castings.