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Bradken to Close Washington Steel Foundry

Jan. 27, 2015
Chehalis, WA, foundry to be phased out, work transferred to affiliates ... 91 workers affected

Foundry holding company Bradken Ltd. has outlined its plans to close its ferrous foundry in Chehalis, WA, and consolidate the operations with other plants in the group. The plant’s 91 employees were notified earlier this month, and the group plans to phase out the operation in order to complete current orders.

Most of the work orders will be transferred to the Bradken foundry in Tacoma, WA, which is about 60 miles to the northeast.

Australia-based Bradken Ltd. is a holding company that manufactures products supplied to mining, energy, and railroad operations. It operates steel foundries, machine shops, and fabricating operations in Australia, Canada, China, Great Britain, India, and the U.S. The North American foundries, each with dedicated machine shops, include: Bradken-Amite in Amite, LA; Bradken-Atchison/St. Joe, in Atchison, KS; Bradken-Atlas, Tacoma, WA; and Bradken-London, London, ON.

According to the announcement signed by Stephen Gear, president of Bradken’s Energy Business, the closing is a “response to softer market conditions in the major markets served by the Chehalis facility and Bradken’s Energy Business Unit, and will allow Bradken Energy to remain competitive through improved economies of scale.”

Bradken indicated it would offer help and resources to employees affected by the closing.

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.)