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Hunter Molding And Mold Handling Machinery Part Of Watts Water’s New WEFCO 2 Lead-free Foundry

Remarkable U.S.-only engineered and equipped foundry praised by New Hampshire Governor and Franklin, NH Mayor for technological initiative and for creating local jobs

One of two Hunter XL2024 Molding Machines at Watts Water’s WEFCO 2 lead-free foundry

One of two Hunter XL2024 Molding Machines at Watts Water’s WEFCO 2 lead-free foundry

SCHAUMBURG, IL — Watts Water Technologies has begun operation of a new lead-free foundry in Franklin, NH that reflects the company’s commitment to proactively meet the requirements of the “Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act,” which goes into effect in January 2014 and establishes new limits on the lead content in every pipe, fixture, and fitting used to convey water for human consumption. Watts’ new WEFCO 2 foundry produces lead-free products exclusively, including lead-free versions of products the company produces at its WEFCO 1 facility (which is also located in Franklin, NH), as well as other products. Opening ceremonies were highlighted by comments from New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and Franklin, NH Mayor Kenneth Merrifield.

Hunter XL2024 Molding Machine in operation

Hunter XL2024 Molding Machine in operation

Governor Hassan commended Watts for the types of products it produces at the new WEFCO 2 foundry, as “contributing to public health and safety, and for the company’s educational efforts around the Lead Free initiative.” She complimented the Franklin workforce, noting that, “The work effort here is extraordinary,” adding that the company is “emblematic of the ingenuity found across the Granite State.” Mayor Merrifield noted how rare it is to have a manufacturing facility that lasts 50 years, and how quickly the new foundry came into being.  He referred to meeting this development challenge as a “remarkable accomplishment” and added “Congratulations, to an absolutely fabulous company.”

Discharge on Hunter XL2024 Molding Machine

Discharge on Hunter XL2024 Molding Machine

The new WEFCO 2 foundry expands and diversifies the production capacity of Watts’ WEFCO 1 foundry, which opened in April 1977, has undergone 16 updates, and produces products for many Watts brands. Based on its decades-long history of working with the WEFCO 1 foundry Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation has kept pace with these expansions and updates.

“This is a great day for our company and its employees, our industry, and the Franklin community,” said Watts Water Technologies CEO and President David Coghlan at the June 21st ribbon-cutting ceremony of WEFCO 2 30,000-square foot state-of-the-art foundry. Coghlan stated the Watts WEFCO 2 foundry “will enable us to be the ‘safe choice’ for Lead Free products, since we can eliminate the possibility of cross contamination of materials. It will also enable us to provide efficient and timely availability of products.”

Mold entering Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler transfer station, on power conveyor, with weight and jacket lifted

Mold entering Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler transfer station, on power conveyor, with weight and jacket lifted

Former President and CEO, and Watts Water Director Emeritus, Tim Horne observed, “This significantly advanced foundry is the latest example of our commitment to the State of New Hampshire, and the city of Franklin.” Part of Watts’ strategy in this industry-leading facility are two XL2024 molding machines that feed onto a common HV-20 24 + 24 x 3 turntable mold handling systems, all produced by Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation in Schaumburg, IL.

Auto-Pour on Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler

Auto-Pour on Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler

HUNTER’S ROLE

Since its inception in 1977, the WEFCO 1 foundry used a full range of Hunter mold making and mold handling machinery. Originally, Hunter’s HMP-10 molding machines were installed on a Hunter HMH-210 mold handler alongside two Hunter HMP-20 machines that were installed on a Hunter HMH-220 mold handler. Hunter later addressed challenges in the older section of the foundry, including the need to increase pouring speeds, by replacing its older machines with Hunter’s C-series products. In 1999 these Hunter HMP-10C machines were replaced with Hunter’s HMP-10H mold making machines.

For the new WEFCO 2 foundry, Hunter integrated an Inductotherm Auto-Pour unit fed by two Hunter XL2024 molding machines into common Hunter HV-20 24 + 24 x 3 turntable mold handling systems through use of a proprietary mold-tracking program. Hunter’s direct interface controller communicates computer-based pattern data with the correct pouring profile to an Inductotherm Auto-Pour furnace.

Looking over Accumulating Conveyor at Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler mold elevator

Looking over Accumulating Conveyor at Hunter HV-20 Mold Handler mold elevator

In addition to this 35-year working history, according to New Hampshire Operations Engineering Manager Mike Geldermann there were several reasons why Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation was the molding machine and mold handling system provider of choice for the new foundry. “Hunter was the only single-source mold handling and mold making interface,” he states. “Their equipment was directly interchangeable with our current pattern plate setup and tooling, and provides us with improved cope-and-drag alignment to eliminate mold shift,” Geldermann says. Additionally, notes Geldermann, “Hunter’s systems were highly cost competitive when compared with other options,” he says, adding that Hunter’s familiarity with maintenance and upkeep of WEFCO 1 foundry machines was a key factor in their selection for the new WEFCO 2 production line.

For a video on this installation, please visit http://youtu.be/1d8475iM9Fo

For more information on the products in this story, please contact:

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

ABOUT WATTS WATER TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

Watts Water Technologies, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is a world leader in the manufacture of innovative products to control the efficiency, safety, and quality of water within residential, commercial, and institutional applications. Its expertise in a wide variety of water technologies enables it to be a comprehensive supplier to the water industry. For more information, visit www.wattswater.com.

ABOUT HUNTER

Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation was established in 1964 as Hunter Automated Machinery Corporation with the invention of the world’s first gravity-filled automated matchplate molding machine. This began the company’s history of innovation and launched the foundry industry into a new industrial revolution. Pioneered by William “Al” Hunter in his home garage, the original HMP-10 machine streamlined the laborious metal casting process by offering foundries unimagined new capabilities by producing as many molds in one hour as most had previously been produced in an entire day. As industry demands grew, Hunter responded with advanced solutions such as automated mold handling equipment and coresetters.

Now in its 50th year, Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation’s inventions have earned nearly 150 U.S. and international patents. Hunter has produced more than 1,800 molding machines and mold handling systems for customers around the world. The company’s global reach extends from offices in the U.S., Brazil, China, India and Italy through North American, South American and Asia-Pacific manufacturing sites. Hunter’s sales and technical support is underscored by its $12 million parts inventory, established to maintain each machine’s original production capability across the worldwide foundry market.

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Hunter Announces Sale Made to Swedish Foundry

Skeppshult Gjuteri AB buys XL 2430 automatic matchplate molding machine from Hunter for cast iron cookware production  

HunterXLMachine_rev2_300dpi copySCHAUMBURG, IL — Hunter, the first name in automated matchplate molding machines, sand and mold handling equipment, announced today the sale of an XL 2430 molding machine to Skeppshult Gjuteri AB, a cast iron foundry in Skeppshult, Sweden, world-famous for its cast iron, no-stick cookware.  By adding organic rapeseed oil to the raw materials used here, this cast iron foundry pioneered non-stick cookware from its beginnings in 1906, under the direction of founder Carl Andersson.  Today, the company’s cookware is found in high-end restaurants and homes worldwide.

The foundry, located on the Nissan River in southern Sweden, is the last remaining cast iron cookware production facility in Scandinavia. Skeppshult cookware and other household items carry a 25-year guarantee, owing to the quality of materials, production and craftsmanship provided by this manufacturer.Unknown-1

The Hunter XL 2430 is used at Skeppshult Gjuteri AB for the production of sand molds, the technology employed at this cast iron foundry.

This sale was made through the European office of Hunter in Milan, Italy and overseen by the director of European Operations for the company, Dr. Paolo Nazari. The local Hunter representative for this success was HYBE Maskin AB of Halmstad, Sweden.

ABOUT THE COMPANY
Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation was founded in 1964 as Hunter Automated Machinery Corporation with the invention of the first gravity-filled automated matchplate molding machine. This development established the company’s history of innovation and launched the foundry industry into a new industrial revolution. Pioneered by William “Al” Hunter in his garage, the original HMP-10 machine streamlined the laborious metal casting process by offering foundries unimagined new production capabilities, producing as many molds in one hour as most had been able to produce in an entire day. As industry demands grew, Hunter responded with advanced solutions such as automated mold handling equipment and coresetters.

Now in its 50th year, Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation’s inventions have earned nearly 150 patents around the world. With more than 1,800 molding machines and mold handling systems installed around the world, the Hunter sales and service reach extends from its manufacturing sites in North America, South America and China through its offices in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, India and Shanghai to every corner of the globe. Sales and technical support, as well as the company’s $12 million parts inventory, serve to maintain each machine’s original production capability, as well as Hunter’s preeminence in the world market.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Attention:  Bill Hunter, CEO
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

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Hunter Introduces CESAR™ at Cast Expo 2013

New technology provides safer, cleaner work environment, as well as cost savings, for foundries by capturing and recycling unused pattern spray.

SCHAUMBURG, IL  — Hunter, the first name in automated matchplate molding machines and mold handling equipment, announced today the introduction of its new CESAR™ vacuum pattern spray recovery system. The CESAR system will be made available to the world market at the company’s Cast Expo 2013 Booth #473, where it will be mounted on Hunter’s new HLM-10 linear motion molding machine. CESAR will run throughout Cast Expo 2013, one of the foundry industry’s leading events, being held April 6-9th at America’s Center in St. Louis, MO.

According to Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation president and CEO Bill Hunter, who invented the system, “CESAR” stands for Contain, Evacuate, Separate And Recover. “This relates to the proper disposition of pattern spray typically used in sand molding operations, to act as a release agent between the mold and the pattern plate,” Hunter said. “We invented it in response to our customer’s needs, in recognition both of modern foundry and global environmental standards and to help improve their return-on-investment (ROI).

In operation, the closed-loop CESAR System from Hunter executes the following:

  • Containment and collection of the unused sprayed materials
  • Air-powered, vacuum-Evacuation removal of the spray fumes
  • Cyclonic Separation of the usable liquid from the fumes, And
  • Recovery, recycling and reuse of the fluid.

Most typical molding machines include a spray head positioned in the sand filling station and a spray evacuation device positioned near the rotary cradle or the spray head.  The spray is then dispersed onto the pattern plate as it enters the rotary cradle. But uncontained, excess spray can go onto other parts, as well as into the foundry atmosphere. This is why Hunter created its new CESAR System.

“In our new CESAR System the evacuation device – a slotted tube on the circumference of the rotary cradle – connects to an inline vacuum pump. Then, a cyclonic separator and water separator capture release agent vapor from the air collected in the tube,” Hunter stated, adding that CESAR provides a cleaner, safer working environment in the sand foundry while providing not only substantial savings to a foundry’s operation but also a positive environmental benefit to that foundry’s “green” initiative.

ABOUT THE COMPANY

Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation was founded in 1964 as Hunter Automated Machinery Corporation with the invention of the first gravity-filled automated matchplate molding machine. This established the company’s history of innovation and launched the foundry industry into a new industrial revolution. Pioneered by William “Al” Hunter in his garage, the original HMP-10 machine streamlined the laborious metal casting process by offering foundries unimagined new production capabilities, producing as many molds in one hour as most had been able to produce in an entire day. As industry demands grew Hunter responded with advanced solutions such as automated mold handling equipment and coresetters.

Now in its 50th year, Hunter Foundry Machine Corporation’s inventions have earned nearly 150 patents around the world. With more than 1,800 molding machines and mold handling systems installed around the world, Hunter’s sales and service reach extends from its manufacturing sites in North America, South America and China through its offices in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, India and Shanghai to every corner of the globe. Sales and technical support, as well as the company’s $12 million parts inventory, serve to maintain each machine’s original production capability, as well as Hunter’s preeminence in the world market.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Attention:  Bill Hunter, CEO
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

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Hunter Celebrates 50th Year Serving the Foundry Industry with New Name: ‘Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation’

Expanding its pioneering position as the industry’s preeminent innovator, this new corporate name reflects the company’s single focus and dedication.

IMG_20140410_134016619SCHAUMBURG, IL — Hunter, the first name in automated matchplate molding machines and mold handling equipment for the foundry industry, is celebrating its 50th year in a very special way. President and CEO Bill Hunter is announcing the company’s new name: Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation. The company will be at Booth #473 throughout Cast Expo 2013, April 6-9th at America’s Center in St. Louis, MO. The company is also introducing its new HLM Series automated matchplate molding machines, which are based on Bill Hunter’s newly patented linear motion technology.

Founded in 1964 as Hunter Automated Machinery Corporation, the company’s reputation as a global foundry equipment leader has built steadily, beginning with its creation of the first truly automated matchplate molding machine developed by the company founder, the late William Allan “Al” Hunter.  Since that time it has expanded into linear and rotary mold handling lines, sand handling, preparation and testing equipment, and more.

“Ever since my father founded our company nearly 50 years ago, our reputation has been built on the successful development of new products and technologies for the global foundry industry. It has been our privilege to serve this industry with the latest innovations, as was my father’s vision, ever since,” said Hunter.

“As an inventor, his primary focus was pioneering the automation of matchplate molding and mold handling processes to facilitate our industry’s most backbreaking tasks,” Hunter observed, adding, “As an entrepreneur, he named our company Hunter Automated Machinery Corporation to reflect a potential for creating forward-thinking solutions for other industries, as well.”

“Today we’re looking both at our history and ahead, to our legacy of innovation within the foundry industry,” Hunter stated.  “Accordingly, we are announcing at Cast Expo 2013 the renaming of our company to Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation, as a reflection of our single-focus past, present, and future exclusively within this industry,” he noted.

According to Hunter, the company has always been 100% dedicated to the foundry market.  “It’s not only our business focus, it’s our inspiration,” he said. “The great people in this industry motivate our company to constantly and tirelessly pursue better ideas, technologies and production solutions for foundries worldwide. Our new name is a clear reflection of our business now, more than ever.”

The company’s introduction of the first gravity-filled automated matchplate molding machine established its history of innovation, and launched the foundry industry into a new industrial revolution. Its original HMP-10 machine streamlined the laborious metal casting process by offering foundries unimagined new production capabilities, producing as many molds in one hour as most had been able to produce in an entire day. As industry demands grew Hunter responded with advanced solutions such as automated mold handling equipment and coresetters.

Hunter’s inventions have earned the company nearly 150 patents around the world. With more than 1,800 molding machines and mold handling systems installed around the world, Hunter’s sales and service reach extends from its manufacturing sites in North America, South America and China through its offices in the U.S., Europe, Brazil, India and Shanghai to every corner of the globe. Sales and technical support, as well as the company’s $12 million parts inventory, serve to maintain each machine’s original production capability, as well as Hunter’s preeminence in the world market.

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Attention:  Bill Hunter, CEO
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

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CastExpo 2013: Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation

New HLM-10 Linear Motion Machine, First of Hunter’s New Product Line, Unveiled at Cast Expo 2013

Minimizing maintenance while promoting stability, HLM Series combines and integrates magnetically coupled rodless cylinders and linear bearings for movements of squeeze platen, cope flask, sand measuring hopper, and other components on machine. Separation of hydraulic power system facilitates maintenance, while linear motion-operated, programmable access doors maximize operator protection. Linear motion machine also features CESAR™ vacuum pattern spray recovery system.

See the HLM in action HERE!

Hunter Demos JetSlinger™ Air-Amplification Product At Cast Expo 2013

JetSlinger™, the newest add-on to industry innovator Hunter Foundry Machinery Corporation’s latest products, helps ensure improved pattern definition, as well as uniformity of mold hardness and surface integrity.

JetSlinger™ is an available option for the new Hunter HLM linear-motion machine, as well as a retrofit option for the company’s XL automated matchplate molding machines. It is an air amplification apparatus based on the Venturi principle that accelerates sand into the cope and drag flasks on these Hunter machines.

See the JetSlinger™ in action HERE!

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Attention:  Bill Hunter, CEO
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

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New Managing Director for Hunter Asia/Pacific Operations

peter_liMr. Peter Li will assume the new position of Managing Director for all Hunter Asia Pacific Operations, effective February 1, 2013.  Hunter is the world leader in automated matchplate molding machinery and mold handling lines for the foundry industry.

Peter Li’s 16-year career with Hunter has been dedicated to sales and manufacturing management in the Asia Pacific (A/P) territory. He was instrumental in the successful development of the company’s China operation, “Hunter Automated Machinery (Shanghai) Ltd.”  Today, Hunter builds machinery and other equipment in China to serve the A/P market.

Peter will be responsible for A/P marketing and manufacturing programs, including the Shanghai plant, the expansion of our agent network and the integration with new partners where necessary for Hunter to compete effectively in the local markets.

For further information on this announcement, interested parties may contact:

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Attention:  Bill Hunter, CEO
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

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JetSlinger from Hunter

JetSlingerJetSlingerTM
– Impact-assisted flask filling, adjustable for cope and drag
– Venturi action air amplification for sand mixture dispersion
– Perpendicular flask filling, superior to side blow fill, no shadow effect
– Improves mold production up to 300% on selected jobs
– Better pattern definition, uniformity of mold hardness and surface finish
Available as standard equipment on new Hunter automated matchplate molding machines.
Retrofit your existing XL machines, too!
The Hunter JetSlingerTM device, an air amplification apparatus, based on the Venturi principle, accelerates the sand into the cope and drag flasks on the Hunter XL machines.  Currently in Beta testing, this device creates a powerful vacuum and jet exhaust drawing the sand mixture through an array of nozzle assemblies built into a manifold mounted directly below the Fillaerator blades and then slinging the sand into the flask.
With a perpendicular fill, this impact-assisted device produces molds more quickly and with substantially improved surface quality, owing to the powered pre-compaction of the sand.  This action results in greater uniformity of mold density and wall hardness, without sacrificing the accessibility and flexibility of a gravity fill machine.
The JetSlingerTM achieves a flask filling operation that compensates for mold quality limitations often caused by the flowability of the sand and pattern configuration during the high-pressure squeeze cycle.
In contrast to the conventional blow fill machines, there is no shroud, seals or vented flask assemblies required, along with the attendant maintenance. Further, the JetSlingerTM allows far greater flexibility and access needed to produce various castings with the use of chaplets, ram-up cores and exothermic risers.
The JetSlingerTM was invented by company president Bill Hunter and the U.S. Patent Number US7819168B2 has been issued.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Attention:  Bill Hunter, CEO
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

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Hunter Automated Makes Donation to Foundry Scholarship Fund

Bill Hunter raises company-supported endowment to Foundry Educational Foundation; $25,000 in memory of Al Hunter will provide scholarships to students involved in metalcasting

Bill Hunter, left, president of Hunter Automated Machinery, presented a check to Bill Sorensen, executive director of the Foundry Educational Foundation, on August 9, 2012 at Hunter headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, near Chicago. The check raised the amount of money in the FEF Scholarship Fund to $25,000, in honor of Al Hunter, founder of the company.

Schaumburg, Illinois (USA)-Hunter Automated Machinery today announced a donation to the Foundry Educational Foundation (FEF), raising the current endowment to $25,000, in memory of Al Hunter, founder of the company and father of current owner Bill Hunter.  Bill made this donation on August 9, presenting a check to the FEF Executive Director, Bill Sorensen.

Hunter Automated has been a contributor to the FEF for many years.  Upon the death of Al Hunter in 2011, the family asked that donations be made to the foundation in honor of him.  Once the contributions were collected, the Hunter family asked that FEF establish an endowment to honor Al’s memory, with scholarships provided at selected schools.  The first school chosen was the University of Alabama.  It provides a deserving student a scholarship in Al Hunter’s name.

FEF is a non-profit organization and the foundry industry’s first link to the college campus.  The foundation uses funds contributed from the foundry industry to encourage the pursuit of metalcasting as an academic endeavor at schools across the country.  Hunter has pledged to donate $500 every year to FEF, going forward.

As Sorensen explained, “Students will benefit not only from the scholarship monies, but also from getting to know the contributions Al Hunter made to the industry and the substantial legacy he left behind.”  Al Hunter held over 80 patents in his lifetime and was chiefly responsible for the development and implementation of automatic matchplate molding machine technology in the North American and ultimately the global foundry market.

Bill Hunter presented the check to Bill Sorensen at Hunter headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois (Chicago) on August 9, 2012.  “It is our privilege to help fund this scholarship program that both encourages young people to enter the foundry industry and continues to honor the technological contributions made by Al Hunter,” Bill remarked.

Sorensen further noted that approximately 90% of the students who have received FEF scholarships continue to pursue their careers in metalcasting.

For further information on this announcement, interested parties may contact:

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Attention:  Bill Hunter, CEO
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

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Frazier & Frazier Adapts to Changing Metalcast Market

Texas foundry buys new equipment, including Hunter XL matchplate molding machine, to respond to customer needs with fast pattern changes, shorter runs and on-the-fly flexibility in job scheduling, deliveries 

Frazier & Frazier is a gray and ductile iron foundry in Coolidge, Texas and maintains over 8000 pattern to serve its large customer base in the oil & gas, agricultural, wind energy, waterworks and other markets

Schaumburg, Illinois (USA)-In the heart of Limestone County sits Coolidge, Texas, halfway between Dallas and Houston.  This classic American small town is home to another classic, Frazier & Frazier Industries, a ductile and gray iron foundry, established in 1972 by C.W. Frazier as a traditional cope-and-drag sandcasting operation with two squeezers and run today as a formidable shop by Plant Manager Will Frazier.  An ISO 9002 Certified process operation, F&F combines the best of the old ways with the newest casting technologies and equipment in the market.  As Will Frazier points out, “This is one of the biggest reasons we’ve continued to prosper, while so many other foundries have disappeared.  We recognize what works and what doesn’t, to best suit our current business and market conditions.”

Once a heavy production shop, F&F today continues to support their large batch customers, but has reshaped the business model in many ways, according to Frazier.  “We have traditionally worked in pieces from a few ounces up to 150 pounds or more.  The large runs were more typical in days past, while we saw a new business environment emerging, several years ago, when the market began to decline overall.”  He continued to explain how many of the company’s traditional customers began to reduce their inventories and thus placed shorter run orders with much tighter lead times.  In something of a “perfect storm” scenario, this combination of increased job numbers and more urgent shipping requirements literally changed the pace of business at F&F.  Frazier notes, “It’s not unusual for us to come in on a Sunday to finish a job for a customer who really needs it…and we rarely charge a premium, because we know how tough things are, for most of our accounts.”

Sample parts produced by Frazier & Frazier

While the oil & gas market applications are prominent here, as they are with most foundries in the region, F&F currently sells to end product manufacturers for the automotive, agricultural, wind energy, municipal water works and other market segments, a strategy that has helped to maintain a better balance in this shop’s workload.  With its own sales force plus several manufacturers’ rep organizations in the field, Frazier & Frazier boasts customers in a wide variety of markets and as far away as Indiana, a relatively rare achievement in the foundry business, especially when larger, heavier workpieces are involved.

Hunter XL2024 matchplate molding system

With over 8000 patterns in-house, F&F today experiences as many as 15 pattern changes per day per machine on the floor.   This further complicated the job scheduling and work flow.  Will Frazier and his team of Bob Pranger, general manager and Harlon Easton, vice president of sales, quickly saw the need for more automation in the machinery lineup.

F&F still does hand-rammed oil and air set cores, but over the years they’ve acquired automatic coresetting equipment, as well as automated molding machines, including the most recent purchase, a Hunter XL2024 automatic matchplate molding machine, which is used with the already in-place Hunter mold handling turntable system at F&F, as are other molding machines here.  Three melting units feed the certified chemically correct iron to the molding stations.  Currently, this shop does approximately 70% of its work in ASTM Class 60-100 ductile and 30% in Class 15-50 gray iron.

The XL2024 is a fully automated matchplate molding system, using gravity-fill technology pioneered by Hunter.  It produces sand molds up to 20” x 24” with shallow 6-1/2” cope and 5-1/2” drag (165mm/140mm) at 180 cycles per hour, using 400 lbs. (181kg) of sand.  Variable squeeze surface pressures to 142 psi (10kg/cm2) can be achieved in production.

This latest Hunter machine continued the tradition of leading-edge sandcasting technology used at Frazier & Frazier.  Although several generations of Hunter and other brands of machines have been used here, when a new machine was planned, Will Frazier notes there were some key criteria to be met.  “We’d been having critical problems with another machine builder, getting parts and service.  We always knew the Hunter folks were excellent in those areas based on past experience, plus they were willing to provide considerable application engineering assistance and set-up help with the new machine.  Coupling that with their stability as a company and great reputation in the world foundry market, we looked at all our options and settled on the XL2024.”  Frazier further cites his long relationship with Hunter’s Mike Hughes as a factor.  “Mike came down here several times to help us and, since the machine has been up and running, he’s stayed in close touch with us, even though we’ve had no performance issues with the machine.”

Will Frazier also points out that, currently, over 20% of the orders at F&F are rush and the quick changeover time of the Hunter machine makes it a highly productive piece of equipment and a definable competitive advantage in the market for his shop.

Frazier & Frazier provides its customers with metal castings as well as CNC machining, heat treating and galvanizing services, when needed.  The shop has a fully equipped quality inspection department, highlighted by CMM and other state-of-the-art lab apparatus.

For further information on this story, interested parties may contact:

FRAZIER & FRAZIER INDUSTRIES, INC.
817 South First Street P.O. Box 279
Coolidge, Texas 76635 USA
Phone:  254-786-2293
Fax:  254-786-2284
Web:  www.ffcastings.com
Email:  willfrazier@ffcastings.com
Attention:  Will Frazier, Plant Manager

Or

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION
2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Attention:  Bill Hunter, CEO
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

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Hunter Automated Mourns The Loss Of Its Founder

William Allen “Al” Hunter, originator of the matchplate molding machine and mold handling system for sand casting, dies at 89; pioneered many of the techniques and machine concepts used worldwide in the foundry industry

Al Hunter passed peacefully on October 29, 2011 in Naples, Florida.  A true giant in the world foundry market, Mr. Hunter changed the way sandcasting was done, by his invention of the matchplate molding and mold handling system in 1964, when he built his first machine, helped by his son and current president of the company, Bill, for sale to Moline Corporation of St. Charles, IL, a malleable iron foundry.  He will be missed by all who knew him and appreciated his zest for life and especially his love of invention.

Born on the family farm in Wilkie, Saskatchewan on July 13, 1922, Al left home at 17, took a bus to Edmonton, Alberta and worked in a meat packing plant.  In the Spring of 1940, he took a training course in airplane mechanics and then joined the Royal Canadian Air Force at 18.

Married to the late Margaret in Montreal in 1943 and released from military service in 1945, Al moved to Toronto to enter the university there, working as a floor molder at John T. Hepburn Foundry to pay for his part-time schooling.

Three children followed, Bill (current president of Hunter Automated) in 1946, Dianne in 1947 and Linda in 1949.  In 1951, Al received his BSME from the University of Toronto and moved back to Montreal to accept a position with Dominion Engineering.

A daughter Heather (wife of current Hunter VP Kevin Purdy) was born in 1956.  The following year, Al brought the family to America and accepted a position as chief engineer at Beardsley & Piper in Chicago, a leading builder of machinery for metalcasting and inventors of the SandSlinger technique.

At the end of 1963, Al left B&P to develop his concept for an automatic matchplate molding system.  In March of 1964, he founded Hunter Automated Machinery Corporation.

Having run the company day-to-day through 1988, Al turned over the operations to his son Bill, wishing to devote more time to his design and invention activities.

During his tenure at the head of the company, Al formed partnerships and reciprocal agreements with companies worldwide, a tradition that continues today, as Hunter Automated continuously seeks to serve its myriad customer needs for sand handling, testing, molding and finishing operations.   Hunter Automated is known worldwide in the foundry industry and its machines are found on every continent.

Al developed various concepts used every day in foundry operations, including multi-level mold handling systems and automatic coresetters.  His pioneering, can-do spirit will be missed by all who knew him and admired his total commitment to improving the world foundry market.

He was a member of AFS since 1960, was presented with the society’s Management Service Citation in 1990 and received the foundry industry’s prestigious Grede Award in 2001.  He held over 80 patents.

Al will be mourned by his children, their spouses, his 13 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild, as well as his family of employees at Hunter Automated, who will carry on his legacy.

The Hunter family asks that interested parties please contribute in Al’s memory to the Foundry Educational Foundation, c/o AFS, 1695 N. Penny Lane, Schaumburg, IL 60173 or at www.fefinc.com.

For more information, please contact:

HUNTER AUTOMATED MACHINERY CORPORATION

2222 Hammond Drive Schaumburg, IL 60196
Phone: (847) 397-5110
Fax: (847) 397-8254
Email: info@hunterfoundry.com
Attention:  Bill Hunter, CEO
Web: www.hunterfoundry.com
Connect with Hunter Foundry online:  yt gplus thomasnet

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