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Benton Foundry Expanding Coremaking, Finishing

March 17, 2020
A three-year, $21-million program at the Pennsylvania gray/ductile iron plant will add new core production options, increase casting cleaning capacity, and add more grinding capabilities.

Benton Foundry announced a three-year, $21-million expansion program, covering 80,000 sq.ft. of new and/or repurposed manufacturing space at the Benton, PA, ferrous foundry.

The project will receive funding from the state Dept. of Community and Economic Development, including a $150,000 Pennsylvania First Grant and $40,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon creation of the new jobs. An announcement by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf claimed the expansion programs would lead to "at least 40 new jobs".

Benton Foundry specializes in producing castings from one to 250 lb. in gray and ductile iron grades (as well as ADI) for products like pumps and valves, compressors, motors, drives fluid power components, and so on. Its castings are used in agricultural, construction, marine, mining, railroad, and similar equipment. According to the project announcement, Benton Foundry pours iron at a rate of 170 tons/day, and would increase that volume up to 225 tons/day after the expansion.

The expansion to the foundry’s core room and cleaning and finishing areas will begin this summer.

Plans call streamlining coremaking operations and adding new capabilities for future resin systems and alternative materials. The plan is to increase coremaking capacity from 5,000 to 10,000 tons/year.

A second goal is to install sand-reclamation as an option for core production.

In the casting cleaning and grinding areas, the current series of cleaning systems will be replaced with, according to published reports, a barrel drum, two tumble blast units, and a monorail system.

The foundry's six robotic grinding cells will be increased to 10 or 12 units, including robotic grinding capability.

“Benton Foundry has prospered by pushing into harder-to-make castings, which has made core assembly an integral part of our success and growth as we double the size of this portion of the foundry,” stated the foundry's vice president, Tim Brown. “We feel fortunate to partner with world-renowned ergonomics and industrial engineering professors from Penn State University, in addition to the Governor’s Action Team, whose work reflects tangible results that will provide sustenance for the continued growth of our operation.”