At The C.A. Lawton Co. (Calco), we take pride in what sets us apart from other foundries and manufacturing companies. This includes our culture of flexibility and urgency, integrated offerings, dedicated customer advocates, and our focus on quality and on-time delivery. Through this series of blog posts, we have provided details that further reveal the “Lawton Difference” and the areas in which we excel. In this post, we’d like to highlight Calco’s culture of urgency.

Knowing that our customers’ needs can change daily, Calco looks to respond with urgency and flexibility to continually meet their expectations. This attribute was exemplified in December with a new Detroit-based customer. Calco proudly began work with this global-scale capital equipment OEM through shoe-leather prospecting efforts.

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The Challenge:


  • The OEM’s parent company in Germany provided all of the company’s castings before its partnership with Calco.
    • They were under the impression there were not quality castings available at competitive pricing or with reasonable lead times available in the United States.
  • The Detroit plant had a last-minute, customer-driven design change early in Q4 ’15 that compromised the ship date of a large system.
  • There was no pattern available for the parts required, and the castings required extensive machining, annealing, and painting operations to be completed, all of which added to the time required to produce the assembly-ready parts.
  • The shipping queue from Germany added more than three weeks due to the transfers and the crossing.
  • In addition to the obstacles above, production schedules were being affected by the holidays, and the OEM’s budget and schedule were blown out of the water.


The Solution:


  • Calco roughed out a very aggressive schedule and firm costs to produce the pattern and castings. The schedule provided for a three-week ship date from the time the order was received to the shipment of raw castings to the next machining operation. The Detroit OEM placed the order, and Calco beat the compressed ship date by two days.


The Results:


  • Calco’s new customer was able to get all of the final operations completed and got the final parts to final assembly mid-December. With immediate integration, this meant the new parts could be added inside of the parent schedule’s original time frame.
  • Calco’s castings and pattern base cost were competitive, and no unfunded costs in time or money were expended due to trans global freight.
  • The first-quality castings were delivered with no surprises or hassle.
  • The new customer showed to his parent that there are, indeed, responsive foundries producing quality castings in the United States, and they are taking a new look at their United States plant being allowed to purchase castings from a United States supplier.
    • Additionally, Calco has proven it is up to their demanding requirements.
  • The project was racked up as a big personal win for the OEM’s purchasing manager who made the connection with Calco. He is a transplant here from the main office in Germany.


Are you looking for a responsive U.S. foundry providing castings at competitive pricing and with reasonable lead times? Contact Calco online for more information or to request a quote