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Precision Castparts Buys Another Investment Caster

July 2, 2012
Klune Industries also brings more machining, assembly capabilities in 'aerostructures' market

Portland-based Precision Castparts Corp. has an agreement to buy Klune Industries, which produces aircraft investment castings in aluminum, stainless steel and Inconel 625 at its operation in Spanish Fork, UT. Klune also machines and fabricates aircraft component structures in aluminum, nickel, titanium, and steel. The move extends a series of PCC acquisitions that are focused on aircraft manufacturing, though it has also purchased companies operating in the power-generation market.

The value of the all-cash acquisition was not announced. The company has 740 workers at plants in North Hollywood, CA, and Kent, WA, as well as in Utah. According to its website, Klune offers 3- to 5-axis machining and high-speed machining. It produces investment castings, machined and processed castings, and tooling. It has a range of sheet metal forming capabilities, including hydroforming, brake forming, stretch forming, bulge forming, and draw forming. Its fabricating capabilities include welding, composite bonding, kitting, and complex structures. Klune also offers in-house NADCAP processing and testing.

Precision Castparts — which is generally described as an investment caster and forger, also manufactures fasteners and other critical metal components — recently purchased Centra Industries, an Ontario machining and fabricating operation specializing in “aerostructures”; Dickson Testing Co., a California company that performs mechanical, metallurgical, and chemical destructive testing services; and Aerocraft Heat Treating Co., a heat treater for titanium- and nickel-alloy forgings and castings used in aerospace manufacturing.

Last year, PCC paid $900 million for Primus International, a manufacturer of machined and fabricated aerospace components.

"Like Centra and Primus before that, Klune expands our reach into the widely fragmented aerostructures market," stated PCC chairman and CEO Mark Donegan. "Klune also offers significant synergies with our existing operations. Klune's sheet metal and fabrication capabilities will be a major addition to our aerostructures product offering. The company purchases castings, forgings, and fasteners, which can now be supplied internally, and their expertise in machining castings adds to the capabilities of our aerostructures companies.”

Donegan noted that Klune’s plants in California and Washington are near to PCC aerostructures plants, which will create operating and logistical advantages.

“And,” he emphasized, “from a top-line perspective, Klune's product line will significantly increase our dollar content on the Boeing 787, and they have solid positions on other major aircraft platforms, such as the Boeing 737 and Gulfstream G650."

The transaction should be completed during the second quarter of fiscal 2013. Klune will operate as part of PCC’s Fastener Products segment.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)