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Another Year of Investments

Shannon Wetzel

As I walked through the brand new Charlotte Pipe foundry during it’s grand opening last month, I thought to myself this was a great way to cap off the year. In my 18 years covering the industry, I’ve visited so many great foundries, but a brand new one is very rare. 

After the tour, I sat with a few of the local leaders from the area’s economic development teams, and I was reminded of my very early days covering the city beat for a small town newspaper. I began to look at this huge investment from Charlotte Pipe into Oakboro, North Carolina, (population 2,162) through their eyes. Charlotte Pipe’s new facility is not just a feat accomplished by the single company. It was an achievement for local leaders at the city and county level who worked with Charlotte Pipe to ensure the necessary utilities and infrastructure were there to support such a large plant.

The foundry is also a triumph for the equipment suppliers who built and installed the machinery as well as trained Charlotte Pipe personnel on their operations and maintenance. 

The visit drove home the extended economic impact that investment in manufacturing has on the nation. As we pulled together the sampling of news stories for our Industry Year in Review on page 28, we were happy to be reminded of all the expansions, upgraded equipment, and new capabilities added this year. These advancements will be good both for the metalcasting supply chain, as well as the economies in every community involved.