The Waukesha, WI, ferrous foundry long operated by Navistar International Corp. has been sold to a team of local investors, called Renaissance Manufacturing Group, according to two sources. The buyers, represented by brothers Paul and Phil Knoebel, confirmed the April 30 sale and that the foundry’s workforce numbering over 200 would remain in place.
RMG, which has no previous presence in the metalcasting market, named Todd Martin as president and Bobby Carr as vice president of its new RMG Waukesha division.
“We are really looking at this to reinvest with our people, our plant, our processes,” Todd Martin told local reporters. “So this isn’t an equity group that is going to buy it and turn and sell it. What we are really wanting to do is build a long-term legacy around a legacy company.”
Neither Navistar nor its PurePower Technologies subsidiary that managed the foundry has commented the sale, and no value has been listed for the transaction. A local news report noted that the buyers had been negotiating the purchase for three years.
Navistar announced late last year that it planned to close the PurePower Technologies foundry in Indianapolis in Q3 of this year. With that closing and the Waukesha sale, the diesel engine and truck manufacturer will have exited the metalcasting industry.
The Waukesha foundry, which was established in 1896 and acquired by International Harvester (later Navistar) in 1946, has been mainly a ductile iron operation since the early 1980s. It also produces austempered ductile iron, high-temperature and abrasion-resistant ferrous alloys, and since 2011 it has held a license (in common with the Indianapolis foundry) from Sintercast to produce compacted graphite iron. The Waukesha foundry also began lost foam casting in 2011.
The foundry has two pouring lines with flask sizes up to 24X32 in., for castings weighing 5-150 lb. Total production is estimated at 250,000-300,000 tons/year.
Cast products from Waukesha are supplied for light and heavy truck, combustion engine, railroad, construction, agriculture, and pump/compressor manufacturing.