Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. Inc. will close its North Country Manufacturing Complex in Littleton, NH, “over the next 12 months,” the investment casting foundry has announced on March 6. A company statement explained that “the operating economics of the Littleton facility and its distance from our Milford, NH, wax, shell, and casting operations are prompting this action.”
“We’re doing this simply to lower our costs so we can be more competitive when we quote new business,” Tim Sullivan, vice president for corporate affairs for Hitchiner noted to a local reporter. “Anytime you’re running product 125 miles up the road to be further processed, there’s a lot of excess costs.”
The group plans to consolidate the two operations at the Milford location, affecting 135 workers at the Littleton site. Hitchiner pledged to offer jobs and relocation assistance to employees able to transfer to Milford, which includes two nearby plants: one plant performs wax injection, pattern assembly, shell building, casting, and heat treating; the other is the +90,000-sq.ft. Automated Casting Facility, where Hitchiner performs its “complete-to-print countergravity casting” process a high level of automation.
The Littleton plant’s operations include medium-to-high volume machining and finishing.
According to the statement, the investment casting programs affected by the consolidation include aircraft parts (e.g., float walls, torque bars) and automotive parts (e.g., turbowheels, turbocharger rods) that will be shifted to Milford.
“While this decision means fewer jobs in Littleton, it means more jobs in Milford and better positions Hitchiner to compete strongly and remain one of the leading manufacturing companies in New Hampshire and a globally competitive industry leader,” Hitchiner assured.
Hitchiner Manufacturing supplies “complete-to-print”, thin-wall investment castings and casting-based parts and subassemblies for automotive, aerospace, and other industrial markets. The New Hampshire operations are the Ferrous-USA Division and the Gas Turbine Division, and the group also maintains an R&D division in Milford, Metal Casting Technology Inc.
In addition to these, the organization includes Ferrous-Mexico Division, Santiago Tianguistenco, Mexico, and Hitchiner Manufacturing Company de Mexico, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.