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Automated iron casting at Brillion Iron Works, Brillon, WI.

Brillion Iron Cuts Employment on Weak Demand

Sept. 5, 2012
New employment level is sufficient, “barring further market softening” Work crews reduced from 11 to seven Machining operations phasing out

Brillion Iron Works, a gray and ductile iron foundry that produces a range of castings for heavy- and medium-duty truck, industrial machinery, and construction equipment markets, is reducing its workforce in response to slow demand. The company cut the number of its work crews from 11 to seven as of September 1, eliminating 184 hourly and 14 salaried positions.

The Wisconsin foundry will continue to have 584 workers after the downsizing, and a spokesman indicated that number will be sufficient to meet Brillion Iron Works’ customer commitments, “barring further market softening.”

The foundry has a capacity to produce castings up to 350 lb at a rate of 550-650 tons/day. It has eight automated molding lines, in-house coremaking, 11 coreless induction furnaces (with preheaters), and two channel induction furnaces.

In July, Brillion Iron’s parent company Accuride Corp. announced it is phasing out machining at Brillion and consolidating that activity at its Gunite division in Rockford, IL.

Timothy Weir, a spokesman for Accuride, explained that 2012 started out strong for Brillion Iron Works, which recorded “significant revenue growth through June.” He noted that the foundry increased its workforce earlier this year as demand grew from existing customers and competitors continued to endure capacity constraints.

However, “conditions slowed in Brillion’s core industrial, agricultural, construction, and oil and gas markets, during July and August due to the very weak pace of growth in the overall economy,” Weir explained. He said the new size of the workforce reflects the current level of demand.

Weir added that Brillion Iron Works “remains a strong, stable, and healthy business,” with a solid order book.