Taking Innovative Casting Technology To Your Bottom Line
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Monthly archive for April 2010

Interzinc Goes to Texas

Thanks to Doug Rourke of the International Zinc Association for his feedback from Texas:

Interzinc, the zinc casting market development organization (www.interzinc.org), made a swing through Texas with seminars in Dallas, Austin and Houston. The seminars received enthusiastic response from attendees who learned how zinc castings can produce lower cost and better performing parts due to the excellent mechanical properties of zinc alloys and the efficient casting processes

Doug Rourke – International Zinc Association

Social Media Efforts For Industrial Companies Can Go Global

“Geoff Forester photograph, courtesy of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund”.

I recently heard from a contact in Europe about an opportunity for ZA12 castings. One of our customers in the United States suggested to an affiliated European company  to look into ZA12 castings for some of their component needs. Through a nationwide search effort for a supplier, my contact saw the inquiry and quickly directed the European company’s buyer to our website and our videos on YouTube. Interest is growing and there may be opportunities for both Graphicast and my contact to supply this need.

Having content about Graphicast on various sites on the web is one of the benefits of using social media outlets. Through the many networks of contacts you can establish, and a little  dedication to keeping those networks updated, a company can achieve a global presence through social media.

Economic Feedback from India – They’re Seeing a Manufacturing Recovery Similar to the US

“Geoff Forester photograph, courtesy of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund”.

I had a phone conversation this morning with a friend of mine who started a fairly large manufacturing company in India.  He indicated his customers are expanding, but are also cautious about the sustainability of the activity. It appears a broad swath of both the US and Indian manufacturing sectors are seeing the same type of slow, cautious recovery. This is certainly Graphicast’s experience.

Graphicast Featured in Casting Tutorial in the April Issue of Product Design and Development

“Geoff Forester photograph, courtesy of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund”.

 Product Design and Development  features Graphicast in its tutorial, “Casting 101”, in the April issue of the magazine. Several casting suppliers offer their guidance on what to think about when considering casting as a manufacturing process.  This is not the first time Product Design and Development has recognized our graphite permanent mold process. Over the past five years, the magazine has featured us five other times, highlighting the many attributes of the process that designers should consider when looking for lower cost, higher performance manufacturing methods.

Monadnock Area Manufacturers to Network on April 23, 2010

“Geoff Forester photograph, courtesy of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund”.

The New Hampshire MEP is sponsoring a forum from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM on April 23, 2010 for Monadnock area manufacturers to discuss topics of mutual interest. The host company for the forum will be Smith Medical of Keene. The MEP has conducted several forums this year in other areas of the state. The purpose behind these regional meetings is the realization that there are regional differences and regional problems that are best addressed by those company’s affected by them. You can register on-line at http://www.nhmep.org/events.html.

New Hampshire’s Manchester School of Technology on CNN April 15, 2010

“Geoff Forester photograph, courtesy of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund”.

This must be the week for good news about education. Besides my always uplifting experience speaking with Dartmouth graduate students, I heard today that the Manchester (NH) School of Technology will be featured on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 on Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 11:30 PM. According to MST principal Karen White, ” It is about how the state of NH has done better than other states in the country on dropout prevention and we were chosen by the Dept of Ed to showcase our efforts. One of the highlights is that technical education is what is attracting students and keeping them in”.

I’ve been working with MST as part of a advisory group that has helped them institute a manufacturing technology program for their students. This is a comprehensive program that provides hands-on education in all aspects of technologies involved in manufacturing.  The program features a well equipped training area and an experienced teacher focused on this curriculum. Part of the training includes introductions to lean manufacturing, statistical techniques, and the many people skills required for a successful career. Students come out of the program ready to go to work, or to enter a more in-depth continuation of the training at Manchester Community College. Either way, manufacturers are getting new workers ready for successful careers in industry.

Dartmouth Engineering Graduate Students are Getting Ready for the Real World

“Geoff Forester photograph, courtesy of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund”.

I just finished my fourth yearly visit to Dartmouth College to speak to their Master of Engineering Management students about running a manufacturing company. These students are in a great program that prepares them for real world situations. All students go through certification for Six Sigma Black Belt and are well versed in principles of Lean Manufacturing and Theory of Constraints. We had the pleasure of working with two of their students on research projects here at Graphicast. They helped us solve a recurring quality issue in casting and developed a method for reducing set up times in CNC machining. I always enjoy my time at Dartmouth and hope we can work with their students on other projects in the future.

Recovery? I’m about to vote yes.

“Geoff Forester photograph, courtesy of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund”.

We’ve just closed the books on the first quarter. Orders were up 48% over the same period a year ago. However, not all orders were for immediate shipment. Some orders have shipments stretched out over the next six months. This increased the depth and breadth of our backlog, but didn’t result in our first quarter shipments equalling our first quarter bookings. If the bookings trend continues through the 2nd quarter, the shipments will eventually rise to meet them and we will be back at a pre-recession level. So, is this a recovery? It sure feels like it. Being cautious, I’ll call it “recovery spring”. Things are beginning to blossom, but we could still have some cold snaps before we get to “recovery summer”. I hope we’ll have a long growing season. We could all use some green.

Taking Innovative Casting Technology to Your Bottom Line™

Graphicast Inc.

PO Box 430 36 Knight Street,
Jaffrey, NH 03452
phone: 603-532-4481
fax: 603-532-4261