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the year with the connector industry because when it snows, power lines go down and need to be replaced,” Digrazio said. “Te boating industry has come back. Housing has been down for a while, but we continue to make a lot of check valves in that world. We work to create relation- ships with our customer, and I think that is why I see more of the growth for us.”


Opportunities in Brain Power


Richmond Industries’ two green sand molding lines in the 40,000-sq.- ft. facility have plenty of open capacity to fill. Te metalcasting facility oper- ates in one shift with enough capacity for more growth in the coming years. According to DiGrazio, the bottleneck at the facility was in what he calls mental capacity. “When I say mental capacity, I mean people who think better and different than me,” he said. “For mental capacity, I would say we were at 100%; everyone was doing as much as they could do.” Te hiring of Lewis as CFO


was part of the equation to open up more mental capacity at Richmond Industries. Tis July, the company will be welcoming another portion of mental capacity in the form of quality engineer Amanda Meshanki, fresh off graduation from Penn State University. “I told our plant manager we


needed someone else downstairs to help him check quality,” DiGrazio said. “Because we were growing, he was getting caught up in loading a lot of parts, maintaining the infrastructure and working with our B&L [enter- prise resource planning] software. We needed someone watching quality all the time.”


Meshanki is an industrial engi-


neering major who is president of the university’s AFS student chapter. She wanted a job in a foundry in New Jersey, and Richmond Industries fit the bill. She spent a week during a break from school to test her mettle at the metalcasting facility and even took some work back with her to Penn State to work on using the school’s simulation software. Meshanki will be tasked with updating and improving


March 2014 MODERN CASTING | 37


Richmond Industries’ quality systems to better serve customers’ requirements and improve existing internal report- ing systems. “She’s someone who has knowledge


coming out of school about things like modeling software,” DiGrazio said. “I’m very excited about that.” To DiGrazio, the investment in the CFO and quality engineering posi-


tions is just as important as an invest- ment he could have made to the plant floor, and he expects to see profit grow as the business becomes more efficient. “Before, the goal was survival. Ten it was paying off debt during the survival years,” he said. “But we have continued to grow now for several years. It is time now to put the people in place to continue to grow.”


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