April 29, 2011—ThyssenKrupp Waupaca, Inc., the world’s largest noncaptive iron foundry, today announced it is reopening its Etowah, Tennessee facility in the first quarter of calendar year 2012. The company will also hire 250 hourly employees to restart production at the foundry.
The facility had been idled in January 2010 as a result of a significant downturn in the North American automotive and truck markets and subsequent decrease in order volume. By the end of 2010, order volume recovered to near pre-crisis levels as a result of increased market demand and structural capacity adjustments, and has continued to increase in 2011. The decision to reopen the Etowah facility represents ThyssenKrupp Waupaca’s commitment to meeting the longterm supply requirements of its customers and confidence in future growth prospects.
“The reopening of our Etowah foundry is good news for our customers and for the state of Tennessee, but also for the men and women we will be able to put back to work,” said Gary Gigante, President and CEO of ThyssenKrupp Waupaca, Inc. “Our facility is one of the most technologically advanced in the entire iron castings industry, and we are proud to once again be open for business in McMinn County.”
Hiring of qualified maintenance and production personnel will begin in August 2011 with rehiring former employees impacted by the 2010 idling. Applicants can contact the ThyssenKrupp Waupaca Human Resources department at (423) 263-6000. Résumés can be submitted in person at the Etowah foundry, located at 134 Waupaca Drive, or by mail to P.O. Box 510, Etowah, Tennessee 37331.
Start-up of the facility will occur in two phases. Production of gray iron, a low-tensile form of cast iron used for components castings for such products as disc brake rotors and brake drums, will begin in early first quarter of calendar year 2012 and will reach full capacity by mid- to late-third quarter of calendar year 2012. Ductile iron, a higher tensile, more elastic form of iron used for castings for such products as differential cases and crankshafts, will be produced beginning in second quarter of calendar year 2012 with full capacity expected by first quarter of calendar year 2013.
Beginning in third quarter of calendar year 2011, ThyssenKrupp Waupaca will begin installing new melt, core and mill room equipment in the Etowah foundry for ductile iron production. Approximately 20,000-square-feet of manufacturing space will be added to the 270,000-square foot facility to accommodate this new equipment.
Products manufactured at ThyssenKrupp Waupaca’s Etowah foundry are used by the passenger car and light truck, material handling, agriculture, construction, hydraulic and commercial vehicle segments. At full production, the foundry will be adding a total of 200,000 tons of gray and ductile iron capacity to the U.S. market.
The ThyssenKrupp Group, based in Essen, Germany, is a global materials and technology company which consists of eight business areas. In fiscal 2009/2010 the company had annual sales of € 42.6 billion ($58.3 billion) and employed over 177,000. On May 13, 2011, the Supervisory Board of ThyssenKrupp AG approved a package of measures for the further strategic development of the Group. The focusing of the global portfolio includes the sale of ThyssenKrupp Waupaca, Inc. as part of a best-owner solution.
ThyssenKrupp Waupaca, Inc., the largest independent iron foundry in the world, produces gray and ductile iron castings using state-of-the-art technology. Markets served include automotive, truck, agriculture, construction, hydraulics and commercial vehicles. With headquarters and three plants in Waupaca and one in Marinette, Wisconsin, as well as plants in Tell City, Indiana, and Etowah, Tennessee, the Foundry employs approximately 3,000.
ThyssenKrupp USA, Inc. and its subsidiaries account for approximately 17,500 employees and annual sales of USD$6.7 billion in fiscal year 2009/2010.