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EJ supplied this illustration of the ductile iron foundry it is building in Warner Township, MI. The new foundry will be operational in the fall of 2018.

EJ Breaks Ground for New Iron Foundry

July 31, 2017
$125-million project will keep Michigan operation "competitive" for global supplier of municipal and infrastructure castings

EJ —a global organization that produces and distributes iron castings for municipal and infrastructure programs — staged a groundbreaking event for a greenfield foundry it is building in Elmira, MI, about 20 miles east of its current and original location in Warner Township, in northern Michigan. The $125-million project will result in a new foundry to be operating by the fall of 2018.

Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and other elected officials, along with numerous members of the Malpass family, descendants of the founders and including current executives and directors of the company, joined in the groundbreaking event in late July.

Long known as East Jordan Iron Works, and rebranded as EJ in 2011, the foundry was established in 1883 to supply cast iron products to the logging industry. Today, it casts parts for agricultural, forestry, marine and railroad equipment, with a particular focus in supplying castings for water, sewer, and drainage systems, and telecom and utility networks. It has a second U.S. plant in Ardmore, OK, and a network of foundries in Australia, Canada, France, and Ireland.

The current East Jordan operation includes a cupola melting shop for ductile iron, three molding lines — automated green-sand molding, no-bake molding, and HWS molding for parts up to 76x60 in. That location also has automated finish machining, coating, and assembly and testing for fire hydrants and valves.

The new foundry in Michigan will expand casting capabilities and "allow EJ … to remain competitive, grow the business, and retain 340 jobs in Northern Michigan,” according to a company statement.

Specific details about the melting and casting operation have not been released. The corporate headquarters, pattern shop, product development group, water products and regional sales office will remain in East Jordan.

“The official start of construction of the new foundry is an exciting time for our company,” stated Tracy Malpass, EJ president and a board member. “This project is an important milestone in the life of our family business, our community, and our employees. A project like this requires the support of many individuals and groups.”

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.)