Didion: See How One brass foundry reclaimed $321,867 in three months.

Modern Casting

Gain Full Value From Your Interns

Do you have a relationship with a metalcasting university program? During a recent tour of metalcasting facilities in Michigan, we saw one facility reaping the benefits of its proximity to Western Michigan Univ. (WMU), Kalamazoo, Mich. At AC Foundry in Battle Creek, Mich., interns aren’t relegated to a dusty desk , tucked away in a forgotten office. Students and recent graduates have taken key roles in the aluminum green sand and permanent mold company as it is transforming itself from a simple part maker to a complex engineering metalcaster.

“It’s a tremendous advantage to get young aggressive students and interns to want to come in and really do something,” said Brian Schaughnessy, AC Foundry’s general manager. “The training [WMU] has given them is second to none, and they come out ready.”

AC Foundry’s current intern has been helping the company redevelop and redesign the coreroom for improved efficiency, as well as working with OSHA to achieve better ergonomics in the permanent mold casting facility.

The company’s engineering manager, Shane Sovia, started with the company as an intern from WMU in 2007. Last year’s intern won a competitive internship with GM this summer.

“It’s a badge of honor to help develop the interns,” Shaugnessy said. “We’ll continue to intern others. [With a relationship with Western Michigan Univ.] we get to pick the cream of the crop and that has been significant to helping us achieve [our turnaround.]”

Metalcasting programs at colleges and universities might be shrinking, but several learning institutions continue to run established programs. The Foundry Education Foundation (FEF) offers a list of certified and affiliated FEF schools on its website at www.fefoffice.org.

Stay tuned for a full foundry profile on AC Foundry in MODERN CASTING in early 2012.


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