Navistar International Corp. is expanding operations at its iron foundry in Indianapolis, planning to recall 150 workers by this summer and aiming to hire 100 more by 2014. The company, which is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of diesel engines, indicated the nearly 80-year-old operation is capable of supplying any diesel engine manufacturer.
Details and cost for new investments in the operation have not been released.
Long known as Indianapolis Casting, the foundry casts gray and ductile iron engine blocks, and some sources indicate that Navistar intends to begin producing compacted graphite iron there in the future. CGI is a lightweight alternative to gray iron and aluminum that is gaining popularity for automotive engine production. Most of Navistar’s MaxxForce family of diesel engines are built from CGI blocks that Navistar sources from other foundries.
In 2009, Indianapolis Casting was marked for closure but a five-year labor agreement with the United Autoworkers in July 2010 preserved the operation on a scaled-down basis.
Now, the plant operates as a unit of PurePOWER Technologies, a company Navistar acquired in 2009 from Continental Diesel Systems US LLC, to strengthen its research and development program for diesel power technology.
“The Indianapolis foundry is a vital part of our efforts to maintain manufacturing capabilities and technical skills in the United States,” stated Navistar Engine Group president Eric Tech. “As a result of our investment to make the Indianapolis foundry a state-of-the-art facility, we will make the company more competitive to meet the global demands of the diesel engine industry.”
Navistar said the Indianapolis project is part of its plan to make PurePOWER Technologies “a world-class supplier of engine components.”