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Waupaca Foundry completes merger

Reorganization unifies casting, finishing operations

The merger of Waupaca Foundry Inc. with Hitachi Metals Automotive Components USA was finalized Friday, April 1.

Under the terms of the merger, Waupaca Foundry will assume the assets and liabilities of Hitachi Metals Automotive Components.

The merger is part of a larger reorganization within Hitachi Metals Foundry America designed to position the integrated organization for growth and meet customer demand.

“Waupaca Foundry has not typicaly sold directly to auto manufacturers or OEMs, while Hitachi has some more experience selling directly to manufacturers,” according to Joey Leonard, vice president of human resources.

Leonard said the merger will open opportunities to sell directly to OEMs with which Waupaca Foundry has not had a direct connection.

“For example, our newest facility Waupaca Foundry Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, has Honda as one of their largest customers. We have not sold directly to Honda in the past,” Leonard said.

The merger brings together two companies that have production capabilities that compliment each other.

Waupaca Foundry focuses on metal castings, while HMAC machines and finishes cast metal products.

“This reorganization further unites Hitachi Metals’ product design engineering expertise and materials development with Waupaca Foundry’s manufacturing excellence,” said HMFA President and CEO Eddie Nakano. “The merger will unite an experienced leadership team that is focused on delivering the most innovative products and technology to a growing base of global customers.”

Waupaca Foundry produces gray iron, ductile iron and austempered ductile iron castings. The company is North America’s leading supplier of casting components to the automotive, commercial vehicle, agriculture, construction, and industrial markets.

The iron castings supplier employs more than 3,900 people at six manufacturing facilities, including three in Waupaca and one each in Marinette, Wisconsin, Tell City, Indiana, and Etowah, Tennessee.

Hitachi Metals Automotive Components produces cast, machined and assembled ductile iron suspension and exhaust components for global automotive manufacturers and employs 485 people across all locations.

As a condition of the merger, the Hitachi Metals Automotive Components companies will do business as Waupaca Foundry.

Its machine and assembly plants and foundry will operate as Waupaca Foundry Effingham (Illinois); Waupaca Foundry Wellsboro (Pennsylvania); and Waupaca Foundry Lawrenceville (Pennsylvania).

The Lawrenceville ductile iron foundry and Effingham machining and assembly operations will continue to produce and market Hitachi Metals’ brand portfolio of high grade metals including HNM series high-strength ductile and Hercunite series of heat-resistant cast components.

Combined with computer aided engineering and design expertise (CAE and CAD), Waupaca Foundry provides full-service solutions to Tier 1 and OEM customers who continually need lighter weight and higher performance solutions to reduce CO2 emissions and increase fuel efficiency.

According to corporate leaders, these strategic changes will position Waupaca Foundry for continued growth and leadership in the metalcasting industry.

“Aligning our operations will provide customers the most cost-effective production while guaranteeing continued high-quality cast, machined and assembled components. This merger leverages the best of both organizations to deliver continued excellence for customers,” said Mike Nikolai, HMAC president and COO.

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