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Niagara Investment Castings designs and produces parts in low and highalloy steels stainless steels tool steels nickel cobalt and copperbased alloys ranging in weight from ldquoouncesrdquo to 200 lb

Niagara Investment Castings Emerges from Asset Sale

March 17, 2015
Long-time foundry operation in Ontario has new name, renewed commitment Asahi buys Johnson Matthey North American assets $186 million in cash Testing, inspecting, heat treating, machining

Asahi Holdings Inc., a Tokyo-based portfolio of refining and recycling operations for precious and rare metals, completed its acquisition of Johnson Matthey’s North American gold and silver refining businesses — and that has led to a new identity for an Ontario investment casting foundry. The former Johnson Matthey Precision Castings in St. Catherines, Ont., is now Niagara Investment Castings.

Niagara Investment Castings produces investment castings in low- and high-alloy steels, stainless steels, tool steels, nickel-, cobalt-, and copper-based alloys ranging in weight from “ounces” to 200 lb. In addition to casting, the foundry performs lost-wax tool design and production, including single- and multi-cavity designs and semi- or fully automated tools. The plant also has full machining services.

It also maintains NDT testing capabilities (radiography, magnetic particle inspection, liquid penetrant inspection, ultrasound) and metals testing capabilities (chemical analysis, mechanical testing, charpy testing, etc.) It has a variety of heat-treatment options (annealing, solution annealing, normalizing, quench and temper hardening, case hardening, nitriding, and age hardening) and in-house rapid prototyping capability using 3D wax printing.

“One of the ways we strive to be the best we can be is through commitment to embracing changes in the technology employed by our industry,” commented Keith Neureuther, General Manager of the foundry business. “Just as we have always done in our past, we know we need to continue to keep our focus on these changes in order to remain a leading, trusted, and competitive supplier of quality investment castings to our clients well into the future.

Neureuther continued: “This focus has resulted in our implementing some of the most advanced technology available to us. From the latest in shell building robotics, to dewaxing of the shells, to safer and more efficient metal pouring, we have risen to the challenges facing the domestic metalcasting industry today, and emerged stronger, and as a better company.” 

Johnson Matthey divested its North American refining businesses to Asahi Holdings earlier this month for a reported £118million ($186 million) in cash, subject to post-closing adjustments. In addition to Niagara Investment Castings, the sale included refineries in Salt Lake City, UT, and Brampton, Ont.

“The divestment of the gold and silver refining business is in line with our long-term strategy to focus on areas where we can use our expertise in chemistry and its applications to deliver high-technology solutions or that provide a strategic service to the wider Johnson Matthey group,” explained CEO Robert MacLeod.

An Asahi statement suggested that the acquired assets will be highly compatible with its existing business, given the assets’ broad sourcing of materials, their production and distribution of precious metals products, and their technological capabilities. The acquisition will also expand Asahi’s geographic reach. “We plan on leveraging both entities’ sourcing and sales networks and technologies to create synergy that will lead to the growth and profitability of our business,” the Asahi statement concluded.

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.)