Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 16, 2018

Alcast Midwest Works

Forty jobs saved after company buys FALCO assets
By Justin Webster, Ledger sports editor | Aug 03, 2018
Long time employee Kenny Farmer pours molten metal at Alcast Midwest Works recently.

Many area residents were able to keep their jobs last September, although most people assume they still work for FALCO. In fact, longtime dedicated employees such as Bob Luke, Dave Ballew, Bob Stephens, Kenny Johnson and Kenny Farmer are now working for Alcast Midwest Works out of Peoria, Illinois that purchased only the physical tooling assets and the building from the previous owners sale. The company name and the customers were not obtained, although Vice President of Operations Scott Kelsey said that, “while we’re not claiming the customers, we are betting that we will be able to fill the need of the previous owners.”

Kelsey said they do three different processes at the facility: green sand, permanent mold and no bake and they cater to a widespread industry that includes agriculture, automotive and heavy equiptment manufacturers mostly.

“You’ll never see a lot of our parts,” explained Kelsey. “Most of the stuff we make is under the hood and is the meat and potatoes of the vehicle.”

Kelsey knows the business, coming from the parent company in Peoria 10 months ago after previously working at another foundry and his brother is the co-owner.

“My wife Marsha finally moved here two weeks ago and we love the community. I really want to get involved,” added Kelsey who was active in the Peoria scene.

Alcast has 39 employees who live locally and another 10 in Missouri.

“We carried on the jobs that would have been potentially lost,” Kelsey said proudly. “We also buy parts in the community first which isn’t always possible, but we do what we can.”

The company makes all sorts of products, ranging from a front end part to a large John Deere sprayer to radiator tops for Catepillar.

“We make a lot of after market automotive parts like valve covers and blowers for Ford Mustangs,” added Kelsey.

The company is working on becoming more efficient so they can expand and increase their workforce.

“I recently shutdown second shift because we were so efficient,” explained Kelsey. “We want to grow the business and that’s why we invested a lot of money since taking over last September. We made a lot of process changes to improve both the quality and efficiency of the company.”

The $7 million dollar business is bustling with some employees working four 12-hour shifts from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. while others get off at 3:30 p.m. and work four 10’s.

The company is looking to increase it’s business into the $10 million range, and wants to replace the older machines once they do. Until then, they are looking to restore two old heat treaters that could be restored and used locally to save travel costs to Missouri.

“We’re trying to stay focused on producing quality castings with delivery on time while being competitive with pricing,” said Kelsey. “If we can do that, we will continue to grow this business and our next step would be to add a brand new molding maching that could increase productivity.”

When asked if it would ever become an empty building with him turning on the lights and pressing one button, Kelsey replied with confidence.

“If you are looking at it from a business aspect, you want to keep your employees as low as you can and as efficient as possible without injuries, but you can only automate so much and we’re about as effienct as possible. If anything we are ready to add people now that we are more efficient. I like interacting with our employees and it won’t ever be just me pressing a button.”

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