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.)

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.
Ahead of the Trends in Automaking 
The automotive industry is working to prolong its recent growth and redirect its future, a multi-directional strategy that requires vehicle manufacturers to continue revamping and retooling for current needs, simultaneously pushing capital and resources toward visionary ideas for future models, technologies, and production processes.
Wise Investment? Or Impulse Spending?
We are on course for another public debate about “infrastructure” spending. Can any amount of money have the rewarding, unifying effects that past investments have delivered? Or, are we anxious to spend because there is nothing else that this fractured civilization can agree to do together.
Kobe Steel Buys Quintus Technologies for $115M
Kobe Steel Ltd. acquired isostatic press designer and manufacturer Quintus Technologies AB for a reported $115 million. The seller was Milestone Partners, a private-equity firm.
French Foundry Aims to Restart After Investigation
Areva — a multinational organization active in nuclear energy system design, development, and operation — committed to restart its Le Creusot Forge foundry in France, which has been idled due to an investigation into the production of defective parts for nuclear reactor systems.
American Axle Completes $3.3B Takeover of MPG
American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. completed its takeover of Metaldyne Performance Group Inc., a $3.3-billion cash and debt transaction in November 2016.
Dynacast Completes Signicast Takeover, Considers Expansion
Dynacast Inc. completed its takeover of Signicast Inc. on schedule March 31, combining the one organization widely recognized as a precision diecaster with another well established as producer of high-value investment castings.
U.S. Manufacturers’ Confidence at 20-Year High, NAM Finds
The National Assn. of Manufacturers reported that its quarterly Manufacturers’ Outlook survey shows optimism increased to 93.3% during Q1 2017, a record high in the survey’s 20-year history.
Superior’s Purchase Sets Up a Global Aluminum Wheel Producer
Superior Industries International Inc. has made a $715-million bid to acquire Uniwheels AG, a deal that it expects will establish itself a global supplier of cast aluminum wheels to numerous automakers.
Chassix to Build $50M Metalcasting, Machining Plant in Europe
Chassix, the Michigan-based automotive foundry group, announced plans for a $50-million greenfield plant in the Czech Republic, to produce aluminum chassis and powertrain parts for passenger vehicles.
Fire Closes Automotive Diecaster, For Now
A late-night fire did extensive damage at Muskegon Castings Corp. in Muskegon, MI, putting the aluminum diecaster out of commission for now, though its parent company CEO vowed the plant would be fully rebuilt and returned to operation.
Free Trade vs. Fair Trade, Again
"We're a nation with an economy," fair-market proponents often say. "Not an economy with a nation." Can an uncivil society agree on “free market” principles — or “fair market” goals?
Reforming Forming and the Concepts Shaping It
The role of 3D printing in manufacturing metal parts is leading businesses like foundries and diecasters in directions that have not been fully imagined. The changes introduced by additive manufacturing involve more than parts are formed, but just as importantly how such operations now define the purpose of their business.
Nemak Opens New HPDC Plant In Mexico
Automotive metalcaster Nemak staged an opening event earlier this month for its new high-pressure diecasting plant in Monterrey, Mexico. Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto officiated at the event, which marked the start-up of Nemak’s seventh operation in Mexico.
Grede, Three Managers Indicted in Asbestos Case
Grede LLC and three individuals are named in a seven-count indictment brought by a federal grand jury, alleging the company and the individuals obstructed an investigation into workers’ exposure to asbestos at the now-closed gray and ductile iron foundry in Berlin, WI.
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