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.)

Brembo’s Global Expansion Continues with Michigan Iron Foundry
Automotive brake manufacturer Brembo SpA reported success with the first pouring of gray iron at its greenfield foundry in Homer, Mich., a $100-million plant designed to produce 80,000 tons/year of brake discs.
Columbus Castings Faces Decision on Sale or Shutdown
Columbus Castings is negotiating to sell itself to an unnamed buyer, but has made its 799 employees aware that failing to secure that new equity stake could result in a shutdown of the Ohio steel foundry.
Waupaca Pursuing Ambitious Expansion, Investment Strategy
Following the completion of its merger with Hitachi Metals Automotive, Waupaca Foundry Inc. set forth a four-part, three-year plan to develop new capacity in Mexico and modernize operations at two of its six current foundries.
Sheffield Casts Mammoth Steel Frame for New Press
In England, Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd. is producing a large-scale casting for a new forging press being built by Ajax-Ceco for Southwest Steel Processing. According to reports, the order is worth more than $1.4 million to Sheffield Forgemasters.
Lightweight Aluminum Research Center Opens in U.K.
The Constellium University Technology Center (UTC) at Brunel University London was dedicated recently, providing an academic and research background for the design, development and prototyping of aluminum alloys and automotive structural components.
Alcoa Lands Airbus Contract on Strength of 3DP
Alcoa’s new contract with Airbus includes 3D-printed titanium fuselage and engine pylon parts, in a supply agreement that draws on various materials design, product development, and aerospace manufacturing capabilities.
Tips for Metalcasters Getting Started with Finishing
A metalcaster may or may not seek to become a machine shop, but the technologies that make the best machine shops more competitive can make any grinding or finishing operation more efficient.
Fresh Starts for Foundries Supplying Auto Parts 
Metalcasters should recognize the cycle of renewal springing from their automotive industry customers. It’s prompting new foundry projects in the Midwest, and in the Southeast, with a particular focus on aluminum parts, structural components, and automotive wheels.
Apple’s CAD-3DPrint-Production Process
Apple earned a U.S. patent for a 3D printing process it would use to form investment-casting molds, in order to form parts from amorphous alloys to produce handset devices.
New Patent Hints at Apple’s Design-Print-Cast Sequence 
Apple Inc. was granted a new patent for a 3D printing process to be used to form investment-casting molds, in order to form parts from amorphous alloys to produce handset devices.
Recognizing the Success of Free Trade
We need a new adaptation of global free trade so that economic growth will benefit suppliers and consumers, and outpace those who would manage trade to expand their own influence.
With Merger Complete, Waupaca Foundry Adds Three Plants
Waupaca Foundry Inc. finalized its merger with Hitachi Metals Automotive Components USA LLC, a deal outlined in February. The Wisconsin-based ferrous foundry group adds the auto parts manufacturer’s three plants, and expands the scope of its business.
IBC Scores New Order for Beryllium-Aluminum Investment Castings
Investment caster IBC Engineered Materials will supply beryllium-aluminum parts to an unnamed manufacturer of semiconductor and electronics assembly equipment, according to an exclusive four-year contract.
OSHA Issues Final Rule on Workplace Silica Exposure
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a final rule on Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica, establishing workplace safety standards for employees exposed to silica, or silicon dioxide.
New Auto Wheel Foundry Picks Melting Systems
CITIC Dicastal Co. Ltd., a Chinese manufacturer of cast aluminum automotive wheels selected StrikoWestofen technology as the melting systems for its Greenville, MI, project. Diecastal North America Inc. was announced in September 2014 as a $140-milion revamp and restart for a former photovoltaic systems plant.
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