Robert Brooks

Foundry Management & Technology

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.)

Canadian Group Developing Tennessee Tooling Operation
A Canadian group is establishing a new U.S. operation to manufacture molds and castings for automotive manufacturing, in particular for molding foam materials for automotive seating. Tennessee Tool and Fixture is investing a reported $6.5 million to renovate an existing plant site at Manchester, TN, where it will employ about 60 workers.
Accuride Acquisition Expands Global Presence
Accuride Corporation agreed to buy a rival manufacturer of steel wheels, Mefro Wheels GmbH, which produces and supplies steel wheels for passenger cars, light vehicles, and commercial vehicles in Europe and Asia.
Eck’s Exclusive Rare-Earth Alloy for Lightweight Engines
Eck Industries, a Wisconsin aluminum sand and permanent-mold foundry, has an exclusive license to commercialize a new cerium-aluminum (Ce-Al) alloy co-developed by the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, that is easy to work with, lightweight, corrosion-resistant, and “exceptionally stable at high temperatures.”
High Flying Targets Rely on Fundamental Research
In design centers and laboratories around the world researchers continue to identify and create better materials. If aerospace engineers later specify one of those materials, it becomes a project for manufacturers like foundries and diecasters to execute.
Remembering the Moments
Big moments in history help us understand ourselves and the world we live in, and how the things we believe are true, but we’d prefer not to know those things, because the “big moments” of our present age are regrettable and (we believe) forgettable.
ASK Chemicals Raises Prices for Cold-Box, No-Bake Binders
ASK Chemicals LLC cited a “substantial shortage of several key raw materials” for its recent increase in prices for its cold-box and no-bake binder systems. The announcement was made May 29 and the price increases took effect June 1.
William Cook Opens High-Tech Foundry
William Cook Holdings Ltd., a British engineering and manufacturing group has inaugurated a new foundry in Sheffield, a £6-million project that revives one of the group’s original capabiltiies, metalcasting.
Specialty Foundry Opens U.S. Branch
Sakae Casting, a Japanese company that specializes in precision casting of pipes and mold forms, recently opened a U.S. location in Idaho Falls, ID.
New Heavy Trucks Offer CGI Engine Options
China’s JMC Heavy Duty Vehicle Co. Ltd. introduced a new heavy-duty truck for the Chinese market, with two engine options, each one relying on compacted graphite iron produced using SinterCast process control.
Equity Group Buys Specialty Steel Foundry
Speyside Equity Fund I LP, a New York-based private-equity group, acquired Ashland Foundry and Machine Works Inc., a specialty steel foundry in eastern Pennsylvania. The seller was Michael Bargani, an investor who also is listed as the owner of several other metalcasting businesses. The value of the purchase was not announced.
Understanding Zinc Penetration on Induction Furnace Linings
Zinc-coated scrap may affect induction furnace refractory lining negatively, accelerating its deterioration and requiring some changes to the sintering procedure to prolong lining effectiveness.
Creating Positive Airflow for a Large, Roof-Vented Plant
A large diecasting operation relies on positive airflow to maintain safe and comfortable working temperatures, and a properly designed, natural airflow configuration enhanced by air cannons in a system designed by Dust Control Technology Inc., proves to be more environmentally friendly and less expensive to run and maintain than HVAC systems.
High-Pressure Diecasting is a Big Deal 
In April, Mercury Castings in Fond du Lac, WI, commissioned a 4,500-ton, BuhlerPrince 4575CCA diecasting machine, the largest HPDC system operating in North America.
We’re Still Not Communicating
Communication, such as we know it now, is defined now by format — that is, how ideas or information are conveyed — rather than on function, or, how well it is apprehended.
Titanium Foundry Takes Off 
Great Britain’s AMRC Castings Group is ready to produce titanium castings sized according to the emerging design objectives for the global aerospace industry. The new melt shop is in operation at AMRC Castings, a program operating within the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing at the University of Sheffield.
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