PIER FOUNDRY POSITIONS THEMSELVES FOR GROWTH
October 16, 2023-
One of the longest existing foundries in the twin cities, sits right on the banks of the Mississippi River, across from downtown St. Paul, Minnesota. Named after wooden piers in the river from a long-gone bridge project, Pier Foundry has evolved from a small grate foundry in 1889 to a highly automated molding, electric melting and material handling operation. “We are an ISO9001 certified producer of grey and ductile iron castings. Our top industries are heavy duty truck, agriculture, pump and valve and construction.” –John Dulaney, Sales and Operations Manager Pier Foundry.
Over the last several years, Pier Foundry has implemented several capital projects to ensure sustainability and position themselves for growth. Specifically, Pier has been working with Sinto since 2010 on improving quality, speed, and production. In 2020, Pier replaced their manual cope and drag line and installed a Sinto 20×24 FBO Mold Handling Line, with Sinto Smart Foundry®.
“We selected Sinto for dependable technical and service support and optimization through Sinto Smart Foundry®”, stated Matt Grilz, President/COO.
Since installing the new FBO molding line, Pier has been able to increase production in that floor space by 10 times and increase overall production by 18%. “Going from 10 molds/hour to 100 molds/hour in that floor space has been a game changer for us.” Brandon Gilbert, Mold and Melt Supervisor Pier Foundry. In addition to increased production, Pier saw increased consistently, quality, and lead times with the FBOIII. “Having this new equipment installed has increased our capacity and helped balance our lead-time across all other lines and iron types.” –John Dulaney
Feedback provided by Sinto Smart Foundry®, allows Pier to manage maintenance and other issues to prevent downtime. When asked about the new equipment and integrating Sinto Smart Foundry® John Dulaney, Pier Foundry Sales and Operations Manager, stated “We are excited for the new molding equipment and having Sinto Smart Foundry helps ensure the system continues to operate as designed.” This system helps Pier Foundry identify and address potential problems in advance of failures, allowing Pier Foundry to proactively predict maintenance to effectively support customer demand.
“The FBOIII has remote sensors, so we are able to track the individual movements of basically every piece of the machine, and because we are able to do that, we you are able to identify where there is issues taking place. This allows us to be able to correct them before they come a major issue leading to machine downtime.”-Justin Fread, EHS and Facilities Manager Pier Foundry
Sinto also helps Pier monitor air quality and improve employee safety. “Sinto is not just helping us with mold machines at this time, they are helping us with dust collection monitoring and remote monitoring of our bearings and gear boxes throughout the facility.” -Justin Fread. “I think it has been a noticeable difference in air quality since installing the new equipment. Previously, the cope and drag was not covered so you had all those gases and smoke in the air.” Brandon Gilbert
In 2022, Pier Foundry received the AFS Safety Innovation and Insight Award.
“This new system, the pouring line and weight and jacket are all automated. It has greatly reduced back strain injuries on that pouring area, which has been very important to employee safety.”- Justin Fread.
“I would say one of the best things we have going with Sinto, we are able to run over 300,000 molds without a major repair, and I don’t see a major repair in our future as long as we do part in taking care of their equipment.”-Justin Fread
“Sinto has a lot of resources that Pier Foundry leans on. They have been a great partner for Pier Foundry. They have a lot of other foundry services we are communicating with them on and really looking towards the future and how we can continue to partner with them.”-John
Sinto is proud of Pier Foundry’s confidence in the equipment and is looking forward to continuing to teaming with Pier on future projects and supporting them throughout the process.