Earlier this year, Hoosier Pattern participated in the Metalcasting Congress conference. We had a virtual booth full of pictures and information for potential visitors to better understand what we do. During this event, a high school teacher named Christopher Gallagher found us and thought of a great hands-on opportunity for his students.
Mr. Gallagher is the manufacturing instructor at Granite Falls High School, located in Granite Falls, Washington. He reached out to Hoosier Pattern for some sample molds for his introductory class on manufacturing. This class consists of students from 14 to 17 years old, and Mr. Gallagher’s goal for all of his students was to get a real-life foundry experience.
After speaking with Mr. Gallagher, Hoosier Pattern sent sample pouring men molds to his class. Next, these students applied bronze powder coats donated by a local Granite Falls powder coater to these molds.
After Mr. Gallagher and another experienced student poured all the molds, students got to deburr, and sandblast their castings and were very excited to see the whole process from start to finish. Comments by the students included “Wow! These are so cool!” and “This is the most fun I have had all year!”
Below are pictures of the Granite Fall students provided by Mr. Gallagher.
Thank you, Mr. Gallagher, for reaching out to us to participate in your class project! Hoosier Pattern enjoys any opportunity to help educate students and give them a taste of the foundry experience. We believe that skilled trades are essential to our economy, workforce, and communities. It is inspiring to see these careers taught at such a young age.
Last month we added a new Doosan machining center to the shop floor. Lead CAM supervisor, Tony Uhrick, commented on the new machine saying:
"This is our third Doosan DNM5700. We have found this machine to fit our shop well for its size both inside and out. It has a rather small footprint and that helps on shop floor space. As for travel, we are able to use the large table and the travel size (X41" x Y22.25") to machine a lot to the parts and tools our customers' request.
We have grown very fond of the quality we receive from our Doosan machining centers in accuracy, speed, and surface quality. All of this together helps us give our customers the high-quality tools they expect in shorter lead times."
Everything we do at Hoosier Pattern is always done with our customers in mind and this new addition is no different. We will continue to lead the way within the industry by constantly growing and adding new technologies to help better serve our customers and take their projects to the next level.
Our Facility Now Has Multiple Machining Centers Including:
Vertical Machining Up to 60" x 100"
Horizontal Machining Up to 49" x 40" x 34"
(2) CNC Lathes
A Brand-New 5-Axis Mill
Plate Saws Up to 36" x 60" x 120"
(4) 3D Sand Printers In-House for Sand Molds and Cores
Click here to learn about all of our capabilities.
Evolution Art Studio is owned and operated by Jay Elias, a former United States Marine who served during the Gulf War. Jay’s passion is to make art accessible to everyone. Jay reached out to Hoosier Pattern for a project involving a manhole cover that was to be part of the renovation at the 17th District Court in Redford Township, Michigan. The new manhole cover will be front and center of the walkway entrance to the court. You can read about that project here.
As of lately, Jay is working on non-profit mental health awareness/therapy programs for Veterans and they are so close to achieving their first-round crowdfunding goal of 15k to help fund this project. The funds from this will be used to purchase foundry patterns for the production of weightlifting equipment – more specifically, a full line of custom kettlebells, dumbbells, and Olympic-style plates, as well as custom “ruck plates” for veterans and fitness enthusiasts alike.
Hoosier Pattern has worked alongside Jay for part of this project and seeing it all come together has been very exciting. We support this project and are excited to see how this helps Veterans! To help Jay and Evolution Arts Studio reach their crowdfunding goal, go here.
Hoosier Pattern is a strong advocate for offering students the opportunity to have a skilled trade education because both our students and our company win. Hoosier Pattern’s success relies on our employees and Journeyman Patternmakers to be appropriately trained and skilled at what they do in order to deliver premium products to our customers. We are a founding member of The Adams Wells Manufacturing Alliance. This local organization goes into local schools to help educate students, parents, and staff on the benefits of skilled trade jobs and open local positions.
Due to the pandemic last year, we unable to have any open houses or high school classes come in for shop tours, which was a disappointment for us and students interested in these skilled fields. Luckily, we’ve reached the stage to allow visitors to come in while taking the proper safety precautions. With these procedures in place, we have asked a local student to job shadow with us earlier this month!
Zander Huss is a Junior at Norwell High School and is interested in a career in industrial maintenance after he graduates from high school. Zander job shadowed with Hoosier Pattern’s John Reed for the day, and here is what Zander had to say about his experience:
What do you plan to do after graduation?
Get a 2-year degree in applied mechanics or industrial maintenance.
What drew you to job shadowing at Hoosier Pattern? Have you been here before?
My shop teacher, Jerod Dailey, suggested this was an excellent place to shadow for the day. I’ve never been to Hoosier Pattern until yesterday.
What did you expect Hoosier Pattern to be like? Was it different than you expected? What surprised you?
I expected it to be a machine shop, with several facets of an operation, because that’s what most shops are like. It was what I expected, but every shop has its own taste. I liked how the supervisors and “bosses” worked with their employees.
What were some of the interesting things you saw or did?
Assisting John Reed in replacing vacuum pipes was interesting because my last job shadow never let me get hands-on.
Why did this career path interest you?
I get the satisfaction of working a different job every day and knowing how to do many tasks.
Have you in the past, or are you currently taking any classes to further your career path?
Yes, Jerod Dailey’s Precision Machining Class at South Adams HS
Hoosier Pattern would like to thank Zander for spending his day here and Jerod Dailey for working alongside us to continue promoting skilled trade careers to our local students.
If you or someone you know is interested in job shadowing at Hoosier Pattern – please contact Alyssa Corral at email@example.com. She will contact the appropriate personal and supervisors for the position you are interested in.
Our group at Hoosier Pattern has always valued gathering. We love having group lunches, we do multiple carry-ins a year and we choose to spend our time outside of work together a couple of times every year for large group gatherings with our families. 2020 put a halt to all of that but today, for the first time in over a year, we were able to finally gather as a group (safely, and still distanced of course) and enjoy some great food and celebrate a little bit. 800 Degrees Wood Fired Pizza brought their mobile pizza oven to Decatur to make some fresh wood-fired pizza for us which was phenomenal! Employee, Bob Chavarria’s daughter, Jessica, made some gorgeous cupcakes for the event as well.
The first order of business was recognizing milestone anniversaries. Mark Bodnar celebrated 15 years, Phillip Conner celebrated 10 years, and Troy Howe and Linda Wilson both celebrated 5 years at Hoosier Pattern.
Above: Mark Bodnar, Troy Howe, and Linda Wilson being recognized for their milestone anniversaries. Not pictured: Phil Conner
After anniversaries were recognized, we had a special celebration of an employee, Linda Wilson. After 5 years at Hoosier Pattern, Linda is retiring. Linda started in 2015 and has been one of the voices you will hear answering phones and one of the friendly faces that greets you in the lobby if you are visiting. Linda has done various types of office work at Hoosier Pattern and it is bittersweet to see her retiring! Since Linda has been at Hoosier Pattern, we have watched her become a grandma for the first and second time!
Above: Linda in her retirement sash, being presented with a gift from Hoosier Pattern and Linda with her son, Spencer who also works at Hoosier Pattern
Linda, it has been a joy to work alongside you and we wish you the most relaxing retirement! We know you will be enjoying it spoiling your grandbabies and getting to the beach whenever you can. Happy Retirement Day, you’ve earned it!
It’s a new year. At Hoosier Pattern, big things are already happening, and yes, we mean BIG. On Wednesday, January 6th, we were prepared for the arrival of a new Doosan NHP 8000, and even though it is the largest machine in the NHP line, many of our employees were still shocked by the size of this large delivery.
Above: The tool changer for the Doosan NHP 8000 arrives at Hoosier Pattern
Later in the morning, the rest of the machine arrived in one of the largest crates we have ever unloaded on our loading dock. This crate took extra-large forklifts, and a team of trained individuals that knew how to properly move these types of large machines began offloading our newest addition.
Left: a forklift finishes unloading the second crate containing the tool changer for the Doosan NHP 8000. Right: the machine arrives in a very large crate. This delivery was so large that it could only be on the road during daylight hours to keep other drivers safe.
The Doosan NHP 8000 has X travel 55”, Y travel 47”, and Z travel 53”. This machine is now our largest horizontal machining center in the shop. Hoosier Pattern made this purchase to upgrade an older horizontal machine that served us well over the years. The new Doosan will give us more options to machine foundry plates and 3D machining of foundry tooling.
Left: taking the walls from the crate surrounded by the Doosan machine requires multiple people and a lift to unscrew the bolts at the top of the crate. Right: the old machine being moved out of the shop to make room for the new addition
The Doosan NHP 8000 will be kept in a temporary location while its new concrete foundation is poured and cured. We are also adding a Renshaw inspection package that will allow us to inspect parts before removal to mitigate extra-unneeded setups, helping to improve our bottom line.
Above: the new Doosan NHP 8000 unwrapped and ready to be moved into Hoosier Pattern
Hoosier Pattern prides itself on continually being on the cutting edge of technology, and the addition of the Doosan NHP 8000 is no exception. We are very excited about this new addition to our shop floor. We project this machine will be ready to take jobs in February of 2021.
This article was provided by Waupaca Foundry and written by Allysan Melby. Read the original article here.
During the summer of 2018, a large storm whipped through the Waupaca, Wisconsin community, causing a couple of trees to fall, including some near the Hutchinson House and onto a historical bell residing there.
The Hutchinson House was built in 1854 and is a preserved home that resides in the Waupaca community, holding many treasures and artifacts from the Victorian era with many objects coming from Waupaca’s earliest settlers. One such artifact was an old school bell from Sunny View School, a one-room schoolhouse built in 1910 that operated as a place of learning until 1958. While the bell, dated to be from the late 1800’s remained intact, the storm had broken the over 100-year-old frame that held it upright.
The Waupaca Historical Society, not knowing what to do with the framework’s needed repairs, placed it into storage.
A few years later, Tracy Behrendt, the Waupaca Historical Society’s director, called upon one of the Society’s life members and special projects organizer, Lane Streck, to aid in fixing the bell’s framework.
Lane Streck, a hobbyist welder, began a plan of welding the pieces together. However, understanding the scope of the project and wanting future generations that visited the Hutchinson House to be able to ring the bell, he recommended that the Historical Society utilize Waupaca Foundry’s capabilities to create a long-lasting piece.
The Waupaca Historical Society then reached out to Waupaca Foundry to reconstruct the broken iron castings. The Plant 2/3 location’s layout department utilized its 3D scanning technology to scan the broken castings and reassemble the parts in a virtual 3D setting. Next, the new casting was reverse-engineered from the 3D scans to physical casting models. Tooling engineers utilized the scans to create 3D models and then gating systems to pour and then feed the castings.
Waupaca Historical Society volunteers (left to right) Jeff Weasner, Lane Streck, and Mike Kirk assemble and install the liberty bell using the new casting frame.
Waupaca Foundry then partnered with Hoosier Pattern to create a 3D sand printing of the mold for Waupaca
Foundry to utilize in its melt department. Once the mold was sent to Waupaca Foundry, the melt team utilized a small hand ladle to fill the molds with molten gray iron, allowing to cool for 30 minutes. The millroom then broke off the gating system surrounding the casting and shot-blasted the parts to get them clean. By utilizing gray iron for the bell’s framework, it increased the durability, strength and the component’s longevity.
Waupaca Foundry employees (left to right) Jacob Fell, Jon Huebner, and Nick Meyer hand-pour molten metal into the mold. The pattern was donated by Hoosier Pattern.
The new bell frame was then sent to Lane Streck where he painted the component black and reassembled it. This fall, the bell was placed again in the Hutchinson House’s backyard.
Since seeing the bell’s new frame Behrendt says, “It's just beautiful, and it looks perfect,” adding, “[Waupaca Foundry] used the same text on one of the sides that was on the old pieces, and then put the Foundry’s name on the back, which is wonderful that we'll be able to have a little bit of both histories — about the current history of that frame being built and mold being built, and then what it was before.”
When looking back on the project, it could have been easy enough to keep the bell in storage. However, the preservation of its history is an important part of what makes up the Waupaca community.
“History is so important, not only for us to just have an appreciation for those who came before us and to understand where the community came from but also so that we can learn and apply that to our future.” Behrendt says, “We have such a fascinating history. It’s so important to keep that going, and that's what [the Historical Society is] here for, and we feel like that we've been successful at it especially in the last five years or so, really trying to get the community involved in our history. This is just one of those ways, by having a project that another business or organization can help us preserve that history. Now, the foundry is part of [the bell’s] history. While they weren't connected with it in the past, they are now.”
2020 has definitely had its ups and downs. Although there is one silver lining worth celebrating, Hoosier Pattern is turning 23 years old! Despite these obstacles we faced, Hoosier Pattern remained a crucial part of the supply chain and adjusted to new policies and procedures during a global pandemic. We’ve expanded the shop and added new technology. We had to lean on each other and give each of us encouragement during hard times.
Being an essential business during a global pandemic has been nothing short of a challenge. After February, the COVID outbreak halted every in-person trade show. All of our company outings were canceled, and life inside the shop had to be immediately adjusted.
Face-to-face meetings, tours, and customer visits were wiped off the calendar. Overnight we began heavily utilizing the use of web conferences. We implemented temperature stations as well as extra sanitizing and cleaning procedures.
Today, we’re cautiously starting to open our doors to a few visitors and have resumed some face-to-face meetings. However, we’re still continuing to take every necessary precaution to ensure that everyone remains safe. In the future, we’re looking forward to further opening our doors for students and customers to tour our facility while staying connected with our patrons through our tradeshow events.
Looking back at 2020, the inside of the shop has continued to evolve. In January, we finalized the installation of our fourth 3D sand printer inside the shop, and we’re grateful for the extra capacity it has given us to take on more jobs. We added a new Doosan DNM 6700 to our CNC shop floor, and we developed a 360 virtual tour on our website.
Over the years, Hoosier Pattern’s success or secret sauce relies on our expertly-trained team that consistently serves our customer’s needs despite the difficult times they face. Our employees overcame adversity this year. They dealt with new protocols, changes in shifts and hours, limited contact with each other, canceled employee outings, and grieved the unexpected loss of a co-worker together.
Our employees dealt with all of those curveballs, but we never let our guard down. When it came to the quality of work or relationships with our customers, every team member rose to the occasion
In retrospect, 2020 has been filled with highs and lows. It was a year full of learning and challenging ourselves to think outside the box like never before. We are thankful to celebrate another anniversary and look forward to what the future has in store for us.
There are good days at work and there are bad days at work.
On occasion, there are days that just don't make sense.
The Hoosier Pattern family experienced one of those days that don't make sense when we unexpectedly lost one of our own last week. Cindy Wyss worked part-time and had just celebrated her two year anniversary at Hoosier Pattern. She was one half of our shop maintenance team and was part of the reason visitors always said "it's so clean in here!" when they toured our facility. Navigating being an essential part of the supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult to say the least. We doubled, if not tripled, our sanitizing and cleaning procedures. Cindy had no problem coming in for some extra hours every week to help with the increase in cleaning the facility. She never once complained about wiping down the same surface multiple times a day to ensure that we stayed as germ-free as possible.
Cindy's memory will always be honored by the Hoosier Pattern family as well as within our facility. Cindy worked part-time at another local business, Ritter's Flower Shop, for over 40 years. She's made hundreds of crafts and floral arrangements throughout the years for this community. One of Cindy's final crafts at the flower shop was a wreath that just so happened to have flowers with Hoosier Pattern's signature colors - blue and green. We knew right away that this special wreath belonged on our wall in memory of Cindy and as a way for employees to always remember her and her giving spirit. Hoosier Pattern will also be donating every year to a charity in memory of Cindy. This year we will be donating to Woodcrest Retirement Community as a way to honor Cindy's love for helping the elderly. Cindy also worked a third part-time job with home health care. She truly was one of the hardest working people in our building and she will be greatly missed.
Cindy was not only a hard worker, but she was also a friend to many people here. She was a loyal wife, mother, daughter, sister, and aunt. Cindy worked three part-time jobs to support her family and because of that, she did not have life insurance. Hoosier Pattern believes in leaning on each other in times of grief and sorrow as well as being a helping hand whenever and wherever you can.
We know that you would not be a fan of us talking about how great you are and would insist that we didn't gather as a group for lunch today to remember you. Some of us even think that the flood that happened in our break room this morning was a sign from you telling us that we aren't allowed to have the group lunch... or that our floors aren't clean enough. Either way, the thoughts of you gave us a small laugh and made us feel like you are still with us. We are positive that you would want us to push forward and keep living a life with a kind heart that serves others - and so that's what we will do. You will be greatly missed but we know heaven gained one of the good ones.
Your Hoosier Pattern Family
Click here to donate to the GoFundMe account to help Cindy's family with her funeral expenses.
At Hoosier Pattern, we take pride in our trade show booths. Whether it’s the 10x20 booth, the 10x10 booth, or the massive 20x20 booth, we have always spent many hours figuring out which specific items will go into our booths. Typically, we set up booths anywhere from four to five times a year all over the country. After setting up at each show, we wonder how we can make our booths even better and more appealing for our customers.
This pandemic has disrupted our 2020 trade show plans by canceling all our shows after the COVID outbreak hit the U.S. But these unforeseen events haven’t thrown a wrench in our trade show booth plans. With our 360 Virtual Tour’s success found on our website: HoosierPattern.com/tour, we wanted to find a way to bring the tour with us to shows.
This got us thinking, “what if we purchase a kiosk that allows customers to explore Hoosier Pattern’s shop from their fingertips using our virtual tour?”
To make this project a reality, Hoosier Pattern reached out to “GoToKiosk,” located in Monroe, Indiana. After visiting their offices and looking through various kiosks, we ultimately decided to design our own kiosk with the GoToKiosk team’s help. After a couple of months of production, the Hoosier Pattern 360 Virtual Tour kiosk was delivered to our front door!
Our new kiosk will be an exciting feature to our trade booths. Users will be able to see the wide variety of areas, including our collection of CNC machines, all four of our 3D sand printers, and the sand printing cleaning area.
We look forward to the 2021 trade show season, where we will be bringing this exciting piece of technology to every show with us!