Waupaca Foundry to close

Waupaca Foundry in Lawrenceville is set to close in early August.

Waupaca Foundry will close its ductile iron foundry in Lawrenceville in early August. The closure is an alignment of manufacturing operations in the United States and is a result of capacity that exceeds demand in the supply chain.

The Lawrenceville plant produces automotive suspension components including steering knuckles, control arms, and brackets for OEMs. Parts produced at the Lawrenceville foundry will move to other Waupaca Foundry plants, and will continue to be machined and assembled at the Effingham, Ill. location.

“It’s critical that we stay in front of changing market conditions and customer demand for long-term sustainability,” Waupaca Foundry President, COO and CEO Mike Nikolai said. “Our ability to remain flexible in an evolving marketplace will continue to create opportunity for our employees and customers,” he said.

Both salaried and production team members were notified on May 27. Nearly 150 hourly and 50 salaried positions will be eliminated. Team members willing to relocate, are encouraged to consider open positions at Waupaca Foundry, Ward, and other Hitachi Metals group companies. These conversations are currently taking place.

“Waupaca Foundry explored multiple alternatives to closing the plant—none of which were viable,” said Vice President of Operations Rick Sutton. “The global pandemic heightened the need to find solutions to better serve our customers.”

At this time, there are no plans to repurpose the building or to sell it. Instead, it will remain intact but will be shuttered.

Waupaca Foundry is a supplier of cast and machined iron components for the automotive, off-highway, commercial vehicle and other industrial markets. Waupaca operates seven iron foundries as well as three machining and casting finishing operations in the United States.