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Is the foundry industry a dying art?

Nick Knotts, Industrial Engineer for the Lawton Standard Co. has been with the company for 2 1/2 years and spent most of his time working on-site at Temperform as both an industrial engineer and a quality engineer. He came from a sister company from the same owners that were involved in automation. He was really looking forward to utilizing his education to help the other sites and has since transitioned to a more industrial engineer-focused role at the Lawton Standard.

Throughout his time at Temperform, Nick had been pursuing his Bachelor of Science in Engineering. Although he had originally planned to go into mechanical engineering, he later realized that his true passion was in industrial engineering. “I made the switch from mechanical engineering in my freshman year and kind of just continued that path all along and really became interested in the manufacturing side of things the further I got along in my education. There are some aspects of industrial engineering that can be more abstract like supply chain and things like that, but I’ve always been more interested in manufacturing,” he said. Recently, Nick graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. This was a big accomplishment for Nick, and we are all very proud of him.

He is already thinking about going back to school to pursue his master’s degree and would like to achieve this goal within five years. “I’m also hoping to kind of climb the ladder professionally within the company as well as continue my involvement with the American Foundry Society and hopefully get more involved with the Steel Founders Society of America as well,” Nick explained. One of his main goals is to advance the foundry industry in the United States because he believes that it’s currently a dying art (to some extent at least). “…anything I can do to advance it and bring it into the future would be a success for me,” Nick stated proudly.

Nick is on a handful of committees for the American Foundry Society, including the Engineering and Smart Manufacturing committee, and the Industry 4.0 committee. He is currently peer-reviewing papers as well as pitching project ideas to the committee chair. “I have not been directly involved with any projects yet, but I hope to be involved soon,” Nick said. In his current role with the Lawton Standard, Nick is working primarily on throughput improvements and cost reduction projects. “We’re looking for ways to get more products out the door at a lower cost overall, as well as improvements in other areas such as quality, and things like that,” Nick said. These types of projects often take many different forms because they tend to overlap with one another.

We are extremely lucky to have Nick as a part of our team and look forward to seeing the positive impact he will have on the foundry industry.