What Does it mean to be an Iron Casting Manufacturer Today?

Pouring Metal at the Willman Industries Iron Foundry

A lot has changed over the last 100 years for US iron casting manufacturers.  Between technological advances, international competition, and government regulation, the whole industry looks entirely different.  In fact, there is only a small percentage of iron casting manufacturers still around since internationalization of the industry began in the 1980’s.

While you may still assume taking your castings overseas is your best bet, some of the recent changes have made those of us on the leading edge of iron casting a better value proposition than going to a foreign nation.  Here are some things to consider:

  • Technological advances allow Willman to produce iron casting with higher quality at a great price point.
  • Tariffs have negatively affected the costs of castings from many overseas foundries, particularly in China.
  • Rising shipping costs make transporting castings long distances more burdensome than in previous decades
  • Your nimble manufacturing processes are hindered by long lead times requiring either excess inventories or a nimble supplier (like Willman Industries) to provide you Just-In-Time inventory
  • With today’s consumers expecting your corporate ethics and safety policies to trickle down to your first, second, and sometimes even third tier suppliers, your company cannot afford a black eye if consumers find one of your suppliers has a poor safety or environmental record. The days of outsourcing your “risky” manufacturing to obscure cities is over.
  • Some of the materials and processes available today can give you a lower total cost of your completed products, but these advanced material mixes and processes require advanced knowledge to ensure you receive your parts at the right quality level. Usually you cannot find this expertise overseas.

Even with the increasing value of casting from US foundries, we are still seeing many foundries close their doors every year and sometimes that happens with little to no notice.  Many foundries failed to update their facilities during the last few decades because they were “lean years” for many companies.  Looking at the cost to modernize, some of these companies just gave up, called it quits, and stopped producing parts.

Other foundries leveraged themselves so much to upgrade their equipment that they are constantly on the brink of collapse.  They may have equipment to quickly cast your parts and at a good price point too, but if the bank calls the loan soon, you could be stuck.

There are a few foundries like Willman Industries who have planned for the future. We continue to invest in more efficient, environmentally friendly equipment as well as investing in employees who are on the cutting edge of iron casting today.  Willman is financially stable and able to cast your most complicated iron castings.

Feel free to give us a call today about why Willman Industries may be a good fit as your iron casting manufacturer now and into the future.

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