$125-million project will keep Michigan operation "competitive" for global supplier of municipal and infrastructure castings.
EJ —a global organization that produces and distributes ductile iron castings for municipal and infrastructure programs — staged a groundbreaking event for a greenfield foundry it is building in Elmira, MI, about 20 miles east of its current and original location in Warner Township, in northern Michigan. The $125-million project will result in a new foundry to be operating by the fall of 2018.
Michigan Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley and other elected officials, along with numerous members of the Malpass family, descendants of the founders and including current executives and directors of the company, joined in the groundbreaking event in late July.
Long known as East Jordan Iron Works, and rebranded as EJ in 2011, the foundry was established in 1883 to supply cast iron products to the logging industry. Today, it casts parts for agricultural, forestry, marine and railroad equipment, with a particular focus in supplying castings for water, sewer, and drainage systems, and telecom and utility networks. It has a second U.S. plant in Ardmore, OK, and a network of foundries in Australia, Canada, France, and Ireland.
The current East Jordan operation includes a cupola melting shop for ductile iron, three molding lines — automated green-sand molding, no-bake molding, and HWS molding for parts up to 76x60 in. That location also has automated finish machining, coating, and assembly and testing for fire hydrants and valves.
The new foundry in Michigan will expand casting capabilities and "allow EJ … to remain competitive, grow the business, and retain 340 jobs in Northern Michigan,” according to a company statement.
Specific details about the melting and casting operation have not been released. The corporate headquarters, pattern shop, product development group, water products and regional sales office will remain in East Jordan.
“The official start of construction of the new foundry is an exciting time for our company,” stated Tracy Malpass, EJ president and a board member. “This project is an important milestone in the life of our family business, our community, and our employees. A project like this requires the support of many individuals and groups.”
(Like The Hill and Griffith Company, EJ takes being an environmentally friendly foundry seriously. Here's a page from their site.)
Environmentally and socially responsible.
We are proactive in the following:
- Educating our employees about environmental responsibility.
- Creating partnerships with the communities in which we operate.
- Using best in class environmental abatement technologies to contain and reduce our emissions.
- Having our facilities use processes and controls that minimize our impact on the environment.
- Continuously improving efficiencies and reducing internal waste streams.
- Encouraging the use of castings in their natural state without coatings or paint; knowing that over time iron gains a natural patina that resists rust and corrosion.
- Designing innovative products that use less material, yet still maintain the structure integrity and load rating.
We take great pride in the fact that each day we recycle hundreds of tons of post-consumer material into new useful products. Many of our worldwide facilities operate environmental management systems that are certified to the standards set down in the international standard ISO14001.
As a global enterprise we are able to control and manage the life cycle of our products from cradle to grave. This lifecycle management gives us a unique advantage of being able to address environmental concerns at every step of development. Our products have an enduring service life, and typically require little to no maintenance once they are installed in the field.
EJ is determined to improve upon the environmental legacy that has guided it throughout its storied history. Our customers demand that we continue to be good stewards of the environment and be good partners in the community. EJ proudly accepts this responsibility and is committed to delivering the unparalleled environmental leadership they deserve.
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