A Valley News Publication

Valley News video from 2014, by James M. Patterson:

Valley News article from this past weekend, by John Lippman, with James M. Patterson photos:

Not long ago, there used to be a lot of soot inside the Vermont Castings foundry, where workers would come off shifts coated in black, looking like they had just emerged from a coal mine.

 

But carbon particles don’t mix well with $450,000 Swedish-made robots, let alone people.

 

That’s one of the stark changes at the Randolph maker of wood-burning stoves, which has just completed a plant upgrade that converted what had resembled a Victorian-like era mill into a clean, energy-efficient manufacturing plant. It’s a factory where knowing how to program a computer-operated grinding and drilling machine is as critical a skill as safely pouring molten iron into sand molds.

 

“We’ve been through a lot of ups and downs,” Bill Corey, a drill and grind manager and 20-year company veteran, said about the corporate ownership changes Vermont Castings has experienced since its founding in 1975.

Click here to read the full article.

 

John Leppo, of ACT Robots, fine tunes the programming of a robotic arm recently installed at the Vermont Castings foundry in Randolph, Vt., on Thursday, June 14, 2018. The system will lift the heaviest stove pieces made at the foundry, drill holes and grind rough edges. “I’m trying to get to a point here when people don’t have to lift more than 25 pounds,” said Vice President and General Manager Jeffrey Nelb. Despite some increased automation, the 100-employee plant is looking for ten new hires. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.