January 22, 2012 at 9:47 am
“It may be people that have the skills are wary of the automotive industry,” Hessel said. “But the bottom line, production volumes are picking up. And we are a very financially stable company.”
The company also makes water pumps and transmission-related components.
The new contract meant the plant had to expand, with a recently completed 32,000-square-foot addition that houses huge heat-treat furnaces, where extreme temperatures harden the parts. Each of the three main furnaces is about the size of a semi-trailer.
The upgrade saves General Aluminum the cost of shipping parts out to another company for heat-treating.
“This is a huge cost savings,” Hessel said. “This plant is going to be the most efficient foundry in North America.”
The addition also houses a facility where parts are sprayed with an oil-based dye — called Zyglo — and examined under a black light to detect cracks or imperfections.
Company officials say auto manufacturers require high levels of testing for the “safety critical parts” made in the plant.
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