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EDITORIAL Good News Is Good News “W

atts Water Technologies Inc. cut the rib- bon on its new metalcasting facility in Franklin, N.H., June 21. Te $20 million,

30,000-sq.-ft. expansion to its campus has been designed from the ground up to produce lead-free valves and other plumbing products exclusively.”

Tis lead sentence from our Industry News story

is significant to North American metalcasting in many ways. Te obvious significance is that a new metalcast-

ing facility has been built from the ground up utilizing some of the latest technology. Te plant will produce lead-free copper- base castings for many of Watts’ plumbing products, such as backflow prevention systems and pressure regulators. Tis new

“Te birth of this

one that may be the biggest development for the North American casting industry, was that the birth of this new facility signaled the return of casting work Watts had been receiving from offshore.

“We could have expanded

new facility signaled the return of casting work that Watts had been receiving from offshore.”

facility was built in response to the Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act that goes into effect on January 4, 2014. It is a complement to an existing 45,000-sq.-ft. casting facility on the same manu- facturing campus that produces similar components that aren’t required to be lead-free (as they aren’t used in potable water applications). Te Franklin, N.H., manufacturing campus is now the largest for Watts, which has 6,000 people employed at 70 facilities around the world. Watts’ new metalcasting facility also is significant

from an environmental perspective. Te plant is melting and pouring entirely lead-free alloys (this means the wetted surface of the lead-free products made with these alloys contacted by consumable water contains less than 0.25% of lead by weight), and it has been built to meet all local, state and federal environmental standards Watts decided to maintain the two facilities (one for lead and one for no-lead) to ensure no cross-contamination in its end-products. Another milestone with the new facility, and the

elsewhere at a lower operat- ing cost but ultimately we wanted to eliminate any cross contamination risk involved. Here in Franklin we will have created a parallel manufac- turing process — a leaded foundry and a lead-free foundry.” —David Coghlan, president and CEO of Watts Water Technologies at the metalcasting facility ground- breaking in March 2012.

Metalcasters in the plumbing

market were hit hard by the migra- tion of casting orders to low-cost sources across the globe in the last 25 years. Recent estimates had imports supplying more than 25% of the

U.S. demand for these castings. This plumbing products manufacturer has decided to reinvest domestically to ensure quality and delivery are to the standards it requires. Positive news surrounds the opening of this met-

alcasting facility in New Hampshire. Tree cheers to Watts Water Technologies for reconsidering earlier business decisions and investing in the future.

Alfred T. Spada, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

If you have any comments about this editorial or any other item that appears in MODERN CASTING, email me at

July 2013 MODERN CASTING | 7

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