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Waupaca, Dotson, Kohler Aim to Streamline Supply Chain

March 18, 2019
Waupaca Foundry sets up manufacturing alliances to source horizontally parted castings for OEMs, Tier 1 customers

Three ferrous foundry operations have agreed to coordinate production for horizontally parted castings ordered by Waupaca Foundry Inc. customers, in a "streamlined supply chain" managed by Waupaca Foundry. Waupaca Foundry, long known for its reliance on vertically parted castings, will source the alternative products via separate manufacturing alliances with Dotson Iron Castings, Mankato, MN, and Kohler Industrial Castings, Kohler, WI.  

No specific terms of the agreements were announced.

“Increasingly our customers want the flexibility to source both vertically- and horizontally-parted iron castings with fewer suppliers,” explained John Wiesbrock, EVP for Waupaca Foundry. “Buyers want to simplify their supply-chain relationships and need reliable suppliers with proven track records, such as Dotson, Kohler, and Waupaca Foundry.”

The difference between a vertical parted and a horizontally parted mold may depend on the casting design, as well as on the customer’s preference. The location of the parting line — which forms between the cope and drag of a mold, where metal may accumulate and solidify as flashing — can be important to the function as well as the appearance of the finished part.

For Dotson and Kohler, supplying castings through Waupaca Foundry’s established customer relationships will create new market connections, and improve supply-chain performance for those OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturers.

“This new agreement maximizes the strengths of two great foundries with high standards for quality manufacturing and exceptional customer service,” according to Mike Marbach, Kohler Co.’s v.p. for global kitchen products and industrial castings.

Waupaca Foundry operates 35 vertical molding lines at seven foundries in the U.S. Also, it is a holding of Hitachi Metals Ltd., which casts iron and specialty steel castings among its wider portfolio of automotive, infrastructure, and electronics products.

Dotson Iron Castings operates three molding lines for green-sand matchplate molding, with molds sized up to 20x24 in.

Kohler Industrial Castings produces molds up to 28x34 in., at up to 300 molds/hour with multiple automated pouring ladles and core-setting stations.

All three foundries pour ductile iron grades; Waupaca and Kohler also pour gray iron. Waupaca also produces compacted graphite iron castings, and Kohler produces some austempered ductile iron products.

All three foundries supply castings to automotive, agricultural, rail, municipal, and other industrial markets.

“These three companies have a strong reputation in our metalcasting industry and with our customers around the globe,” according to Dotson Iron Castings president and CEO Jean Bye. "This alliance will support Dotson’s growth goals to serve new customers.”