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Pace, one of the larger diecasters

in the world, is doing this because they’re going towards larger-machine and larger-tonnage work. Te eventual completion of the project would also be a milestone for the company. “Historically, we’re in the 400-ton

and below-type work up there. We’re in the process right now of getting two 600-tons in place,” Taylor said. “We also feel like we can get into the 850/900-ton machines up there. Tat’s what this expansion is really about. Expanding our capabilities into the larger-tonnage magnesium.” Tat’s driving the vision for the

project. “As light-weighting goes on in the

automotive world we’re going to see more and more opportunities in the magnesium arena to do some of that mid-tonnage,” Taylor said. Beyond expansion into new mar-

kets, Pace will pick up other benefits from the project. For one, the Maple Lake facility will be organized differ- ently and more efficiently. “As facilities grow and start to

become full, things kind of get shoved into places that they probably shouldn’t be shoved into, but you’re trying to maximize the output of the facility and maximize the utilization of floorspace,” Taylor said. “It kind of gets to where it’s not set up from a flow

standpoint. One of the big attributes that we’re going to gain from this is a better flow of material, a more structured flow of material which we believe drives quality and productivity. “We think those are key as we sup- ply to the automotive industry.”

KSM Castings In March, KSM Castings USA announced it will be expanding its operations in Shelby, North Carolina. Te $80 million investment from KSM will bring the hire of production workers, machine operators, pourers and other employees. Te new build- ing is planned to be 50,000 sq. ft. and will contain counter-pressure casting machines. With the construction phase expected to be finished in March 2017 and slightly ahead of schedule, KSM is still facing challenges in its latest expansion. “Tere have been scheduling

conflicts with various logistical issues, coordinating operation of an existing plant alongside of a new plant,” said Keith Weaver, EHS director, KSM Castings USA.” One of the challenges with the construction of the facility is the current construction demands in the Carolinas. Tere’s a lot of con- struction going on right now, so that makes resources challenging.”

Because of the amount of construc-

tion happening in the region, avail- ability of construction crews has been stretched, and as Weaver pointed out, “supply and demand increases costs. Tose factors, however, haven’t hurt

the process. “Tere’s been good weather. Tat’s

one big factor. We’ve had a consistent project team. Tis is many of the same players that were utilized previously for design, construction and imple- mentation. A lot of the same team members have done this before.” As Weaver alluded to, construction has been a major part of life in Shelby for the last few years. Te plant was first built in 2013, completed in 2014 and more machines were added in 2015. But this construction, Weaver said, doesn’t impact production much. “It’s on the same site but it’s a sepa-

rate manufacturing area,” Weaver said. “It’s partially connected with some of the facility services—water, gas, that sort of thing—but so far no major impact has been made to the current production at this site.” Weaver does have some advice for

any company looking to expand. It’s simple but valuable. “Put a team together, develop

a good plan and work your plan,” Weaver said. “Tat’s what’s happened here with the new construction.”

In a $6.3 million project, Pace is adding 60,000 sq. ft. to the plant in Maple Lake and also making adjustments to an existing structure. 32 | MODERN CASTING October 2016

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