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Caterpillar buys and restarts former Crown Casting Industries foundry

Caterpillar Inc. has acquired the closed Crown Casting Industries foundry in Hodges, SC, and will invest in improvements to restart the ferrous casting operation early next year. The announcement was made by the South Carolina Dept. of Commerce. 

The state’s announcement indicate that Caterpillar will produce specialty castings for its engines and transmissions, supplement the production of castings produced elsewhere.

The 103,000-sq.-ft building was acquired by Caterpillar for a reported $1.8 million. It committed to invest $13.5 million, according to the state agency, and its manufacturing plan would create 85 jobs at the foundry.

Caterpillar will begin hiring workers for the plant immediately, the state noted.

Crown Casting Industries closed at the end of September 2016, eliminating 28 jobs. It operated as an air-set jobbing foundry for short- to mid-run production of gray iron, ductile iron, and bronze castings weighing less than 300 lbs. It operated two five-ton coreless induction furnaces for iron melting, and three one-ton furnaces for bronze melting. It’s not known what production equipment may be reactivated there.

“We are excited to have the Hodges facility join our global manufacturing footprint. Hodges will provide Caterpillar with a cost-effective source for supply for many of our specialty iron castings,” according to Caterpillar Large Power Systems Div. vice president Tana Utley, in a statement supplied by the agency. We want to thank Greenwood County community leaders and representatives from the state of South Carolina for their support throughout our evaluation of this opportunity. We look forward to our continued partnership.”