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“We are fortunate to already


have this game


changer in place. Now we have to maximize our


efficiencies and sell it.”


—Vik Sahni, General Manager of Operations


A&B’s plan to move into high tech markets will depend on its proficiency in inspection, metallurgical analysis and testing, as well as the ability to achieve the necessary certifications.


facility. He points to scrap reports for A&B that have gone from more than 15% internal scrap in 2010-11 to 9% in January and 4.78% in July. Tis is fol- lowed by revenue growth of more than 30% in 2011 and 86% in the first six months of 2012. For a firm that had $4 million in sales in 2005, the $10 million in sales in 2012 is just a stepping stone to a projected goal of $15 million with a two shift operation by 2014.


Developing a New Niche


As A&B leans out its facility to enhance production efficiencies, it also is leaning out its customer base to fur- ther define its niche. Te plant always has been focused in the large alumi- num casting arena, but it has dabbled in a variety of markets throughout its history. With its V-process molding capabilities as well as nobake molding for castings up to 5,000 lbs., A&B sees


TIMELINE TO REINVENT A&B


The transition to the new A&B Foundry & Machining, Franklin, Ohio, began in 2005 when Vin Sahni purchased the plant to complement his San Francisco-based machining business. Sahni, CEO, and his son Vik, General Manager of Operations, pushed the business to ISO 9001:200 certification in 2006 and then invested more than $1 million into the facility from 2008-09. “We needed to rebuild the foundation of the casting business,” Vin Sahni said. “This included investments in sand preparation and reclamation, melt, shakeout, heat treat and patternmaking.”


In 2011, A&B joined forces with Texas-based Select Manufacturing Group to expand the reach of its manufacturing and quality to include engineering, assembly and testing services. This is when Shawn Ingram (formerly of Dension Industries, Denison, Texas) became involved and was later appointed president. This year, the firm initially focused on leaning out production to improve process flow and housekeeping. Looking to the future, A&B has set aside approximately $1 million for capital improvement projects that include a new thermal sand reclamation system, additional heat treat capacity, and new equipment to maximize throughput and efficiency. “To remain competitive and stay current with new technology in our industry, we must reinvest,” Ingram said.


34 | MODERN CASTING December 2012


its skills as a difference maker in high- tech markets for aluminum castings, including cryogenic pumps and the military, aerospace and medical fields. The facility pours traditional


and more unique alloys in both the aluminum (200, 300, 500 and 700 series) and copper-base (905, 922, 954 and 955) side of the business. But the key to the more specialized markets will be its proficiency in inspection, metallurgical analysis and testing, as well as the ability to achieve the necessary certifica- tions. This year, in addition to maintaining its ISO 9001:2008 and Bureau Veritas certifications, A&B obtained its Lloyds Register and the AS9100:Rev C Certifications. “Tese new markets are a giant


step forward for A&B,” Ingram said. “While we have had some demon- strated success with new customers, many of the potential customers we are targeting want to see repeated suc- cess before they commit.” One of the keys for A&B in


demonstrating this success is its R&D team. A&B has laid out its produc- tion process so that its R&D team works on second shift, giving it more freedom and access to the production environment. On this second shift, it focuses on current, new and potential jobs by testing out patterns and mold-


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