Investment casting foundry SeaCast Inc. and GE Aviation are forming a joint venture in Butte, MT, to produce tubes, ducts, and small structural castings for GE jet engines. The capitalization value and other details of the new company – known as Montana Precision Products – were not announced, but the partners indicated its products would improve GE Aviation’s sourcing of critical components as it increases production of commercial jet engines.

SeaCast has about 350 employees at four foundries, in Marysville and Seattle, WA, East Greenwich RI, and in Butte, MT, where a new titanium foundry was started up in 2010. The operation supplies investment castings to Unison Industries LLC, a GE subsidiary, for the GE90 and GEnx jet engines.

Reportedly, both SeaCast and GE Aviation will invest to expand production capacity at the Montana foundry as volumes grow over the next four years.

According to a statement by a GE executive, the expansion will involve welding and fabricating of aerospace parts.

“We are excited by the manufacturing expertise at the Butte operation, including critical skills in welding and fabrication,” stated GE Aviation Supply Chain Div. vice president and general manager Colleen Athans. “We are very fortunate to have a strong order book, and this joint venture will provide much needed additional capacity to meet our commitments.'

Employment at the Montana plant is expected to rise from the current total of 70.

“We are thrilled to have our Butte facility team up with GE Aviation,” stated Bert Robins, SeaCast vice president and co-owner. “Our combined core competencies create a truly unique partnership that ensures the shop's growth and provides Montana with strong, sustainable job opportunities.”