Fansteel/Wellman Expanding to Supply Defense Program

Foundry thriving on V-22 helicopter orders

Fansteel/Wellman Dynamics in Creston, IA, expects to complete a plant expansion by April, a project undertaken to help the multidimensional metalcaster supply components for the Boeing V-22 Osprey military helicopter.

The company produces sand castings in aluminum and magnesium for aerospace and defense industries, as well as investment castings for various automotive and commercial markets. A third operating unit produces powdered metal components, and the group also performs some machining, assembly, and coating services.

According to a report by Creston (IA) News-Advertiser, Fansteel/Wellman Dynamics has surpassed $60 million in total annual sales, and doubled its number of employees since 2003, on the strength of its military supply programs.

The 5,200-ft 2 addition will house production for a series of castings to be supplied to Bell Helicopter Co., Fort Worth, TX. Fansteel produces 12 different castings for the V-22, including gear boxes and left and right tilt-rotor mechanism — part of the distinctive design capability for the Osprey, which allows the craft to land and takeoff like a helicopter but to fly like an airplane.

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