Foundry Daily News

USA - Great Lakes Castings stable

<font size="2">Ludington, MI - Great Lakes <a href=";tx_hrtdictionary_pi1[showUid]=1396" target="_top">Castings</a> employment is stable at about 220 people, said Tim Fischer, director of operating companies for Republic Financial, now the <a href=";tx_hrtdictionary_pi1[showUid]=4184" target="_top">foundry</a>’s parent company. </font>

<font size="2">Fischer is in Ludington several days a month as he tracks and seeks to improve the <a href=";tx_hrtdictionary_pi1[showUid]=4184" target="_top">foundry</a>’s progress.</font>

<font size="2">He praised the workforce here for its two-week turn-around time, the envy of the industry. </font>

<font size="2">“It is hard to believe,” he said.</font>

<font size="2">Other <a href=";tx_hrtdictionary_pi1[showUid]=4184" target="_top">foundries</a> offer six- or eight-week — or longer — response to customer orders. </font>

<font size="2">GLC has had its fast response in place for about 10 years, he said, and it’s just the way business is done at the local plant. </font>

<font size="2">It does make it difficult to forecast, he said, as the company never knows for sure what work it will have ahead of time. </font>

<font size="2">To combat a hit from a downturn in one area of the economy, the <a href=";tx_hrtdictionary_pi1[showUid]=4184" target="_top">foundry</a> has diversified, moving from 80 percent of its work in the automotive industry to about 25 percent in that volatile market. Now it makes <a href=";tx_hrtdictionary_pi1[showUid]=1396" target="_top">castings</a> for the industrial and agricultural industries as well, from pumps to door-closer components.</font>

<font size="2">Republic, of Aurora, Colo., bought the <a href=";tx_hrtdictionary_pi1[showUid]=4184" target="_top">foundry</a> from Brittany Corp. of Cleveland late in 2006.</font>

<font size="2">Since then Republic has invested in capital, adding at least $800,000 in new equipment “to streamline and improve efficiencies,” Fischer said.</font>

<font size="2">The company and Union Local 1464 worked out a four-year contract earlier this year, which means stability and “peace of mind,” he said. “It’s in everyone’s best interest.”</font>

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