Pacific Cast to Expand, in Mexico

Dec. 14, 2007
Investment casting foundry calls demand for aerospace Ti castings "unprecedented"
Ladish Co, Inc., the parent of Pacific Cast Technologies, will build a new investment casting operation in Mexico to produce titanium aerospace components, a project it budgets at $16-20 million. Site selection is in progress, and the final determination will be made during the first quarter of 2008. The 55,000- to 60,000-ft 2 plant could be in operation within 20 months, according to Ladish Co. president and CEO Kerry L. Woody. The capacity of the new plant was not revealed. The plan is prompted by the continuing demand from aerospace manufacturers for cast titanium parts. Ladish reports the new operation will supply aerospace customers in Mexico, the U.S., Canada, and around the world. At its Albany, OR, investment casting plant, Pacific Cast is in the process of adding melting capacity with a new vacuum-arc refining furnace, and new finishing and inspection equipment, too. That expansion is due to be complete in 2009. "Our unprecedented backlog of orders, approaching $600 million, coupled with build- schedule requirements locked in by an array of long-term agreements, has shaped this expansion strategy," stated Woody. He explained that Mexico is becoming a location for a number of air-framers, system integrators, and aerospace Tier One companies that Ladish supplies. "It makes sense for us to co-locate with customers in the emerging Mexican aerospace industry," according to Woody. "In fact, they expect it of us." Woody added that Mexico has the industrial infrastructure to support aerospace, with different states presenting different advantages, which will be considered before a final site is named. Randy Turner, president of Pacific Cast Technologies, explained: "Our previously announced factory expansion in Albany will fully utilize the space available for adding capacities. However, customer demand points to the need for even more capacity. That's what's driving our decision to extend PCT's capabilities into Mexico, because such a move meets customer expectations for greater affordability and global presence."