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

A Change for Our Readership

The MODERN CASTING readership is a literate bunch, and we are changing the format of our semi-monthly “Novel Solutions” book review column to suit them.

It shouldn’t come as too big a surprise that you all like to read; the one thing we know for sure is that you read our magazine. But even given that fact, we found it surprising that more than half of those who participated in our November online poll (55.4%) read more than two business improvement books per year.

It’s probably a safe bet that most people read no more than a couple books of any type in a calendar year. Our readership finds time to read at least two books in order to be a better metalcaster every 12 months.

“Novel Solutions” dissects a current, popular business book in order to help you decide whether you’d like to read it. From now on, the column will include two regular features that will help you make that determination at a moment’s glance: the Casting Scale and Metalcaster’s Translation.

The Casting Scale will rate each reviewed book in four areas on a scale of one to five castings: 1) its relevance to metalcasting, 2) how technical it gets, 3) how much self-help fluff is included and 4) its bottom line worth. The Metalcaster’s Translation will look at a relevant passage from the selected book and convert it into language that relates directly to the metalcaster.

Check out the updated “Novel Solutions” column in the January issue of MODERN CASTING, and make sure to choose wisely when you select books in 2009.

Marketing Genius

And the award for excellence in marketing by a metalcaster goes to…U.S. Aluminum Castings!

Okay, so that’s not a real award. But check out this video on YouTube and ask yourself why your plant hasn’t made one like it. (And while you’re on YouTube, check out the MODERN CASTING channel at www.youtube.com/MODERNCASTING.)

The video is a simple, straightforward walk through the aluminum job shop’s facilities. With only a touch fanfare, it highlights the company’s capabilities, which include the green sand, lost foam, permanent mold and nobake processes. The video production isn’t fancy and there are no special effects, but the clip does exactly what so many metalcasting plants fail to do—it makes U.S. Aluminum Castings known to the world.

It also bears mentioning that U.S. Aluminum Castings stays in touch with the trade press as well as any company in the industry. Hardly a pin drops around the metalcasting facility without someone sending out a press release on it. Your plant could do the same and receive just as much play.

U.S. Aluminum Castings hasn’t won an award for marketing. It has won considerable media coverage and greater exposure to potential customers. Copy the company’s strategy, and you will see results.

Correcting the Environmental Mistakes of Others

Tired of hearing about the green movement? Metalcaster John Patrick isn’t, according to an article from the Kansas City Star. The newspaper indicates that Patrick’s employer, Clay & Bailey Manufacturing Co., Kansas City, Mo., has gotten involved in a project to clean up the neighboring Blue River.

The story begins: “John R. Patrick envisions a new Blue River flowing past his metal-casting plant, with clear water and shady hiking trails. That takes a lot of imagination for the comptroller of the 95-year-old Clay & Bailey Manufacturing Co., one of the few survivors in Kansas City from the steel and iron works heyday, an era that decimated the river.”

What role (if any) the metalcasting industry might have played in the original pollution of the river is unclear. So the fact that Clay & Bailey is helping correct the problem is all the more impressive. It’s a proactive move when it’s easier to be reactive, and it deserves commendation.

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