This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
opportunities for a deeper dive into the engineering behind it.


Encouraging Industry Engagement


“We have cores that are made out of a plastic material, so they can handle the core, set the core in the mold and see how the whole thing goes together,” Hall explained. “And there’s a display showing the types of sand we use as well as pig iron and scrap, so they can see what type of raw materials we’re melting.” Chimes cast in a variety of met-


als demonstrate noise properties for design engineers. Television displays show solidification model- ing. And Benton’s expert staff offers learning opportunities for everyone from school children to college-level engineering students, to casting designers and buyers. Te facility also incorporates many


Benton-produced castings, ranging from streetlights to smaller samples that can be picked up and examined. “Once [customers] get in here, they


really want to see more. It whets their appetite,” Hall said. He noted that while this is the only museum-style casting discovery center in the country, right now, he’s talked with another metalcaster that is building one of its own.


Focused on the Future


Benton Foundry supplies gray, ductile and austempered ductile iron


The Discovery Center hosts visitors ranging from customers to school children, as well as engineering students on their way to joining the industry.


castings to a variety of industries. It has been on a growth trajectory since Hall took the reins in 1975. Until 1990, Benton could only pour 55 tons per day. Hall launched an aggressive capital expenditure program, taking a mass production approach to the intermediate volume market and reinvesting profits in the


equipment to survive and grow. Today, Benton Foundry is a modern


jobbing facility with approximately 400 customers, from small machine shops to Fortune 500 companies, none of which represents more than 10% of sales or tonnage. Order volumes vary from 50 to 10,000 molds per release and castings range in weight from 1 to 250 lbs. Seventy-five percent of the castings produced are cored. Benton pours approximately 175 tons of iron per day, and its total capacity can support up to 300 tons per day. In addition to ongoing equipment


upgrades, Benton has custom-devel- oped software for production planning and control. Te company is in the process of electronically integrating all of its production equipment. “A foundry is something people


Replicas of molds and castings provide an up-close look at how components are made.


aren’t very familiar with, and the first thing they think of is smoke- stacks and dirt,” Hall said. “We don’t have a smoke stack, and no discharged water. When they come here, it goes against everything they were taught about the metalcasting industry, and that’s what we want to bring them up to date on.”


February 2013 MODERN CASTING | 45


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68