Caterpillar Inc. has acquired the closed Crown Casting Industries foundry in Hodges, SC, and will invest in improvements to restart the ferrous casting operati0n early next year. The announcement was made by the South Carolina Dept. of Commerce. Caterpillar, the world’s largest manufacturer of construction equipment, has not announced its plans.
The state’s announcement indicate that Caterpillar will produce specialty castings for its engines and transmissions, supplement the production of castings produced elsewhere.
The 103,000-sq.-ft building was acquired by Caterpillar for a reported $1.8 million. It committed to invest $13.5 million, according to the state agency, and its manufacturing plan would create 85 jobs at the foundry.
Caterpillar will begin hiring workers for the plant immediately, the state noted.
“Globally-renowned industry leaders, such as Caterpillar, continue to invest in South Carolina’s world-class workforce,” stated South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster. “The 85 new jobs that this facility will create will make a major impact on Greenwood and our entire Upstate community.”
Crown Casting Industries closed at the end of September 2016, eliminating 28 jobs. It operated as an air-set jobbing foundry for short- to mid-run production of gray iron, ductile iron, and bronze castings weighing less than 300 lbs. It operated two five-ton coreless induction furnaces for iron melting, and three one-ton furnaces for bronze melting. It’s not known what production equipment may be reactivated there.
Nearly four years ago Caterpillar closed an iron foundry in Toccoa, GA, where it cast parts for its Remanufacturing, Components, and Work Tools division, reassigning those activities to its primary metalcasting operation in Mapleton, IL.
“We are excited to have the Hodges facility join our global manufacturing footprint. Hodges will provide Caterpillar with a cost-effective source for supply for many of our specialty iron castings,” according to Caterpillar Large Power Systems Div. vice president Tana Utley, in a statement supplied by the agency. We want to thank Greenwood County community leaders and representatives from the state of South Carolina for their support throughout our evaluation of this opportunity. We look forward to our continued partnership.”