REGARDING COVID-19: Hoosier Pattern has decided to limit face to face meetings with customers and visitors and will be heavily utilizing the use of teleconferencing and web meetings with customers until further notice. It is our goal to not only keep our employees safe but to keep visitors safe by limiting contact.
General News

Hoosier Pattern at Rapid+TCT 2021

 

Hoosier Pattern is heading to their first trade show in over a year and a half! The RAPID + TCT show will take place in Chicago from September 13th through 15th, and we will be at booth 7843. We are so excited to interact and network with current and future customers again. While at the event, we will be adhering to the COVID protocols and making sure we stay germ-free and healthy in our booth.

Celebrating its 30th year in 2021, RAPID + TCT has defined the crucial role of additive manufacturing and empowered the establishment of an industry that continues to conceive, test, improve and manufacture new products at a faster, more cost-efficient pace. 

Known worldwide as North America’s most important and largest additive manufacturing event, RAPID + TCT provides everything you need to know about the latest 3D technologies, all under one roof. It is where you will witness groundbreaking product announcements, experience 200+ hands-on exhibits, learn real-world additive manufacturing solutions from the industry’s most respected experts, and network with thousands of industry peers. At the RAPID + TCT conference, over 100 industry leaders go beyond the hype to bring you real-world solutions to advance manufacturing processes.

It’s been a long year and a half without trade shows, and we are excited to see you again!

Discovering the Intelligent Solution — 3D Sand Printing, Foundry Tooling, or Hybrid

Discovering the Intelligent Solution — 3D Sand Printing, Foundry Tooling, or Hybrid

When it comes to having your castings produced, which method is the most intelligent approach, whether it be 3D sand printing, foundry tooling, or perhaps a mixture of both? Good question. The best and most responsible answer is “it depends.”

Yes, we realize in this complicated world wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a single solution, an approach that you can always rely on to give you the results you deserve. But those who have been in the industry long enough know, depending on a single or uniform solution can sometimes produce production issues leading to missed deadlines equating to higher project costs.

At Hoosier Pattern, we believe innovation drives productivity. When it comes to delivering your products on time every time, choosing the right approach is key to our success. Below is a brief synopsis that will provide your project with the best results.

Please keep in mind, we cannot possibly cover every scenario. This article aims to provide an overview of the processes we use to meet your requirements. If you have a project in mind, then please get in touch with Dave Rittmeyer, our Customer Care & Additive Manufacturing Manager, to help answer any questions you might have on this subject.

3D Sand Printing

With our 3D sand printing technology, we can develop accurate, uniform cores and molds that rapidly and significantly reduce lead time. Click here to learn more about our 3D sand printing process.

3D sand printing is ideal for situations where these molds and cores have complex geometries. In addition, from the CAD design to the completed product, this streamlined process can deliver molds in shorter turnaround times than other more traditional methods. Prototyping complex molds and cores with 3D sand printing deliver the highest return from a production and financial perspective.

Now the limitations to 3D sand printing are based on volume and scalability. For larger projects requiring higher production runs, 3D sand printing may not be the most effective choice unless your project has complicated or multiple cores that must be assembled together. At this point, we might turn to foundry tooling or even a hybrid option to provide you with the best possible results. We understand you might be thinking wouldn’t it be awesome to never need tooling again? But let’s face it, a completely tooling-less plan is very unlikely for the overwhelming majority of foundries.  

Foundry Tooling

In 1997, Hoosier Pattern began its pattern shop based on foundry tooling, and since our humble beginnings, quality and innovation have always remained one of our highest priorities. With our expertly trained and highly detailed employees, along with our extensive knowledge, we can proudly say that foundry tooling is our specialty. Click here to learn more about how we can serve your foundry tooling needs.

Foundry tooling, also known as hard tooling, is typically a better fit for higher production runs than 3D sand printing. Tooling can produce thousands of final products, along with the precision and quality you expect. Although some obstacles with hard tooling have to do with the setup process being more extensive, alterations or modifications can lead to production issues and delays.

But what if we can create a mold with some elements of foundry tooling that integrate into 3D sand printing? Perhaps that process can give us the results we want to achieve.

Hybrid

The hybrid option is merging foundry tooling with 3D sand printing. From prototyping to developing scalable projects, the hybrid option can reduce lead times and production costs. In many cases, this process requires ingenuity and knowledge to develop solutions that maximize the desired results for these molds and cores.

Higher production runs that require complex geometry and patterns may be well-suited for this type of technology. Since hybrid options offer such a wide array of possibilities, it can be challenging to determine whether this process is the best choice for your project.

Just as with all things in life, your production decision — in many cases — boils down to time and money. As discussed, these three approaches are not the end-all and be-all to your decision-making. We want to make sure there is never just one approach for every job — it’s not one size fits all. That makes no sense.

When you contact Hoosier Pattern, we will discuss the intricate details behind your project to help you decide which approach is the best fit for your particular project. Partnering with Hoosier Pattern allows us to provide you the highest quality tooling or molds and cores to fit your next project’s needs.

Students Get Hands-On Experience Using Some Hoosier Pattern Molds

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.

  

A New Doosan Machining Center to Kick off Summer at HPI

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. 

Hoosier Pattern Partners with Evolution Art Studio to Help Veterans

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.

Norwell student job shadows at Hoosier Pattern

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 alyssa@hoosierpattern.com. She will contact the appropriate personal and supervisors for the position you are interested in.

Happy Retirement, Linda!

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!

A New Machine to Kick off 2021!

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.

Waupaca Foundry Helps Preserve History in the Waupaca Community

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.”

Hoosier Pattern Celebrates 23 Years in Business!

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. 

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