Brillion Iron Works to close

Move by new owner Metaldyne impacts 342 workers

Brillion-based iron foundry Brillion Iron Works, which last week was acquired by Southfield, Michigan-based Metaldyne Performance Group Inc., will be shut down.

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Just 10 days after it completed the $14 million acquisition of Brillion Iron Works from Accuride Corp., Metaldyne announced Monday it will cease Brillion’s molding and melt operations in the fourth quarter. That work will be sent to Metaldyne’s casting plants in Browntown and Reedsburg, Wisconsin; St. Cloud, Minnesota; Iron Mountain, Michigan; and New Castle, Indiana.

Brillion’s 293 hourly and 49 salaried employees may be able to transfer to other jobs within Metaldyne if opportunities exist. A company spokesperson said the company is reviewing exactly how many job openings are available.

Brillion specializes in casting design and production of gray, ductile and austempered ductile iron castings. Its parts are used in light and commercial vehicles, as well as agricultural, construction, oil and gas and mining equipment. Its capabilities range from highly-cored, heavy-sectioned castings to intricate, thin-walled castings.

Metaldyne manufactures lightweight components used in powertrain and suspension applications in the global light, commercial and industrial vehicle markets. Among its capabilities are aluminum die casting, forging, iron casting and powder metal forming. With a network of 12,000 employees at 60 facilities in 13 countries, MPG supplies vehicle OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers.

The company attributed the closure to adverse economic conditions.

“A severe downturn in the heavy truck, mining, agriculture and industrial markets is forcing the foundry industry to consolidate production into fewer facilities,” said Doug Grimm, president and chief operating officer of MPG. “This was a difficult decision that impacts Brillion’s dedicated and skilled workforce. Where feasible, we hope to relocate as many employees as possible to other MPG locations.”

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.