Sure Cast Foundry expands with new building, equipment
Sure Cast Foundry Inc., an AFS Corporate Member in Blaine, Minnesota, has relocated into its newly constructed 19,000-s.f.-facility across the street from its former plant. The additional 5,000 s.f. provides storage and office space not previously available to staff and includes a conference room for hosting customers. Designed with the future in mind, the new facility is ready for further expansion of 10,000 s.f. off a rear wall––the foundry’s goal is to vertically integrate with its own machine shop in the near term.
Sure Cast, owned by Nordstern Group in Winnipeg, Canada, is primarily a green sand molding operation with some nobake sand casting. Employing approximately 20 people, the company also produces its own cores in-house and offers heat treating, cleaning, and grinding.
“We definitely want to grow and have a bigger offering for our customers,” said Sure Cast General Manager Andrea Lindquist. “And from a staffing perspective, it’s extraordinarily challenging these days––right now, everybody’s having issues with labor. The ownership team in Canada felt strongly about putting our best foot forward to have a comfortable facility for our employees, as well as for customers. We have an opportunity to bring in additional talent going forward because we have such a nice facility.”
New equipment added to the team’s excitement as move-in drew to completion at the end of April. Chief among its capital investments is the newly installed Sinto FDNX 16 x 20 automatic molding machine that replaced old jolt/squeeze molding equipment. Sure Cast also added a fully automatic, customized sand return system from Green Sand Controls, which has been installed indoors due to severe Northern temperature fluctuations. Additionally, new conveyor systems within the new floorplan will facilitate improved mold handling. The move-in, which included the foundry’s nobake sand system with two large silos, was completed at the end of May.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity for a fresh start,” said Lindquist, “not only with a brand-new facility and a lot of brand new equipment, but the opportunity to really go deeper with lean manufacturing and continuous improvement principles that we haven’t had a chance to do before because of the way our facility was set up–– we were kind of boxed in at our previous space, which made it hard to change and make improvements. With this new space, we definitely will be able to do that.”