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A worker pours molten aluminum at Oberdorfer LLC in this archive photo The upstate New York foundry is due to close in May

Aluminum Foundry Cites Finances for Closing

Feb. 15, 2013
WARN notice filed Low demand, high operating costs

Oberdorfer LLC, an aluminum foundry in DeWitt, NY, will discontinue operations and close on May 3. The news was made known because the company filed a notice with the New York Dept. of Labor, in compliance with the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, indicating its plan to cease operations.

The company’s only comment on the subject is a single paragraph describing unresolved economic conditions as the basis for the decision to close:

“This has been an extremely difficult decision but the economic conditions of the company have left us with no other choice but to cease operations and close the business,” according to the unattributed statement. “Unfortunately, business volume combined with increasing costs leave us unable to sustain the business.”

An attorney representing Oberdorfer explained in a local report that the foundry could not overcome the challenges of low demand for its products and high operating costs.

Oberdorfer has been in operation in the Syracuse area since 1875. It uses cold box, shell, and no-bake molding to produce cast aluminum components for aviation, transportation, utilities, aerospace, military, high-performance automotive, and medical markets

The foundry’s website – — has been disabled.

Presently Oberdorfer LLC has 86 employees, according to local reports. Last fall, the Pension Guaranty Corp. assumed responsibility for the pension plans established by a previous owner, who died leaving the plan with no funding source. At that time, current employees’ pensions were covered by a different plan, and were not affected by PBGC's decision to take over the earlier plan.

The current owner is Advanced Metals Group, which also controls Ross Aluminum Castings in Sidney, OH; US Aluminum Castings in Entiat, Wash.; and Mabry Iron Castings in Beaumont, TX. There is no indication of any change at those foundries.

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.)