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.)

Technology’s Power, Our Purpose
Technologies should expand our understanding of the world and ourselves, and help to harness and reinforce the order that directs human progress. Technology is a force, but one that results from human ingenuity and cooperation. We can control it if we work to understand its power – and our purpose.
Nemak Granted Funding for Lightweight Engine Block Production
Nemak of Canada landed a C$3-million federal grant to install a fully automated, “flexible manufacturing” process that will produce a series of lighter engine blocks.
Allied Mineral Buying Monolithics, Precast Shape Producer
Refractories manufacturer Allied Mineral Products Inc. announced it plans to buy Pryor-Giggey Co., a maker of monolithic refractory products and precast shapes. No price has been reported for the purchase. Columbus, OH-based Allied Mineral stated it expects to complete the acquisition by the end of January 2017.
Daido Metal Buying HPDC Plant from Asahi Tec
Daido Metal Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of automotive engine bearings, agreed to buy all outstanding shares of a high-pressure and gravity diecasting operation in Thailand from Asahi Tec. Both the buyer and the seller are headquartered in Japan, and the sale price is reported to be more than ¥10 billion ($85 million), and the sale is expected to close during the current fiscal year.
Pierburg Forms Chinese Venture for EGR Modules
Pierburg GmbH, an automotive foundry and auto parts manufacturer within Germany’s Rheinmetall Automotive AG, agreed to form a joint venture with Zhejiang Yinlun Machinery Co. Ltd., in Tiantai, China, to produce cooled exhaust-gas recirculation modules for the Chinese automotive industry.
Purchase Complete, Restart Planned at Keokuk Steel Castings
Less than a year after the first announcement of its closing, Keokuk Steel Castings in Iowa has been purchased and preparations are in progress to restart the operations. The Mills Group, a manufacturing holding company closed the acquisition of the plant on November 30. A team of workers is preparing to restart the electric melting and casting operation in January 2017.
Iron Foundry Finds 3D Scanning is a Faster Problem Solver
Wisconsin iron foundry WIllman Industries acquired an Exact Metrology 3D scanning device to assist in tracking and documenting the dimensional accuracy of its patterns and castings.
Understanding Decline and Fall, and Learning from It
In this second century of the Modern Era, the empire built by free trade and respect for individual rights extends to the best parts of our world, and benefits the most civilized portions of human life today.
Actual Progress in Virtual Reality is Making the Real World Better 
Britain’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre is focused on producing parts for current and emerging manufacturing programs, and it manages to stage the best theoretical and conceptual ideas for real-world application.
Alliance Castings Files WARN Notice, WIll Lay Off 435
Alliance Castings Co. LLC in Alliance, OH, will begin shutting down in late January 2017, according to local reports. The plant is expected to be fully idle by the end of February, leaving approximately 435 workers unemployed. A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) notice was filed December 1 with the Ohio Office of Workforce Development.
CGI Production Stable, Revenues Up for SinterCast
SinterCast AB licensees’ series production of compacted-graphite iron (CGI) stabilized during the third quarter (July-September) of 2016, marking the seventh-straight quarter with output “at or above the 2 million engine equivalent threshold” (i.e., 110,231 short tons), though it added that the quarterly total was 5-10% lower than during Q1 or Q2.
Palmer Mfg. Supplying Parts for IMF Equipment
Palmer Manufacturing & Supply has started engineering repair and replacement parts for no-bake foundry equipment designed and manufactured by IMF s.r.l., including sand-mixer blades.
British Center Prepping Europe’s Largest Ti Casting Foundry
Britain’s AMRC Castings, part of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing at the University of Sheffield, reports it soon will start up the largest titanium melting and casting operation in Europe, one capable of producing 500-kg (1,100-lb.) castings, described as some of the world’s largest aerospace titanium castings. “We plan to create a world-class titanium casting capability in the U.K., developing the skills base necessary to enable companies to reap the rewards of carrying out a process that is very, very challenging,” according to AMRC Castings’ commercial manager Richard Gould.
Diecast Tooling Developer Expanding R&D, Production
HTS International Corp., a developer of tooling for diecasting and injection molding, plans to build a global headquarters and manufacturing center in eastern Tennessee, a $21.4-million capital program that would employ about 200 new workers over the coming four years.
Nothing Will Change
The ordeal we have been having for 18 months reveals the defects of our civilization, and maybe its demise. One day we may realize what we’ve lost.
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