Dotson Iron Castings in Mankato, MN, is an iron foundry that melts and pours over 100 tons/day of ductile iron castings, using 20X24 horizontal, high-pressure, green sand molding machines. Its products include over 3,000 different castings for more than 300 customers producing medical and recreational equipment and machines for transportation, agriculture, and construction. The raw casting weights range from 2 to 50 lb., and typical production quantities range from 25pieces to several thousand.
Dotson is proud of its engineering capabilities, and aims to provide customers a higher total value with castings designed and produced in a highly automated, quick response foundry and machining operation.
Operating as a foundry for more than 130 years, and Dotson credits its success to satisfying customer needs by managing, and exceeding, their expectations. The goal is to providecustomers with quality products in a fast, flexible, cost-effective manner. One of Dotson’s “best practices” is to include its employees in all major decisions that will impact individuals’ jobs as well as thewhole foundry.
Dotson’s “$10,000 Project” program involves a decision-making process prior to any purchase of $10,000 or more is done, a detailed process involving the employees who will be most affected by the purchase of the product or equipment being considered.
Any product or project that costs over $10,000 must have a cross-functional group examine all viable options. Members of the group choose what they consider the best product or equipment to help them accomplish their goals. Then, they visit locations, make comparisons and do cost justifications. With the information they have gathered, they make multiple presentations to the group explaining the “what” and the “why” of the product, equipment or service they are considering.
Dotson Iron Castings owner Denny Dotson and president and CEO Jean Bye wanted to expand their capabilities in terms of serving customers with solidification solutions, MAGMASOFT, provided by MAGMAFoundry Technologies was one of the many software packages they considered.
“We certainly are a foundry that differentiates ourselves on our engineering services and to do that you must have the right tools,” Jean Bye explained. “We researched and explored our options for a few years before making the decision to purchase simulation software for the foundry,” Denny Dotson added.