Since 1905, Coffeyville, Kansas, has been home to one of the leading foundries in the country. Originally called Coffeyville Foundry Company, Acme Foundry and Machine Company was purchased and renamed by E.L. Graham and group of investors in 1914. The original plant consisted of one foundry building and one machine shop with a total of 8,200 square feet of work space. The original foundry was operated by 40 employees.
In the beginning, Acme Foundry made and repaired parts for brick and tile manufacturers. A steady stream of business was created by more than 60 brick and tile plants located within a 50 mile radius of Coffeyville in the early 1900s.
Once oil was discovered south of Coffeyville, Acme began repairing and manufacturing machinery for oil companies. Becoming more diversified in the 1940s, Acme Foundry started making light poles to modernize Coffeyville’s downtown lighting. And during World War II, Acme did it’s part for the war effort by making cast iron practice bombs.
By the 1960s, Acme had grown to include more than 110,000 square feet of work space and more than 160 employees. These expansions were due mostly to the addition of the molding department and improvements to the laboratory and inspection departments.
Acme’s growth continued into the 1980s with the completion of a $6 million modernization program made possible by Industrial Revenue Bonds from the City of Coffeyville. This program included the installation of the Osborn line which automated the process of making gray iron castings.
The 1980s also brought a change of ownership. In 1986, 50 percent of the existing Acme shares were purchased by ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program) from Aileen Russell, John Brooks and Bob Graham. The following year, long-time Acme employee, Dick Tatman, became president. Dick first came to Acme Foundry in 1959 as foundry manager. Over the years, Dick would bring many Tatman family members to work at Acme Foundry. There are currently nine Tatmans working or serving on the board of directors at Acme Foundry.
In 1988, the Magic Circle Machine Shop, founded in 1951 by Jim and Ruth Miller, merged with Acme giving the foundry complete machining and tooling capabilities. It was also in this year that the remaining shares of Graham stock were purchased by the Tatman family.
By 1990 Acme Foundry had expanded its product line to include: machine tools, valve bodies, pump housings, oil field pumping units, road construction machinery parts, laundry machinery equipment and more.
In the last decade, Acme Foundry has experienced significant increases in production requiring multiple expansions of facilities, purchase of new equipment and hiring of additional employees. In addition to previous product lines, Acme now produces castings for diesel engines, hydraulic valves, industrial valves, petroleum production valves, gear boxes, lawn mower parts and energy machinery. These new products have created the need for more employees and additional space. The Acme workforce has grown to include more than 300 employees, and the plant now includes more than 212,000 square feet.
1990 – 2 New Blomatic Machines and New Snag Grinders Purchased
1991 – New Shell Core Facility Constructed
1992 – Pattern Shop Built, Relocated Pattern Storage Building
1993 – New Yard Crane, Storage Area Extended, Isocure Core Box Storage Added
1994 – Osborn Sand System Installed, Sand Core Silo Erected
1995 – Cupola Remodeled, Blomatic Sand System Installed
1996 – Ring-U-Rack Shell Core Storage Built, Coke Unloading & Delivery System Installed
1997 – Air Handlers Installed, Pattern Storage Constructed
1998 – New Cleaning Room Built
2000 – New Muller Drum & Shaker for Sinto Line Installed
2001 – 3 New Sinto Molding Machines Replaced Blomatic Machines
2003 – New Core Sand Mixer and Binder Pump Update for Isocure, New Microscope and Other Improvements to Testing Lab
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is Acme’s commitment to customers. Acme Foundry continues to be dedicated to prompt service and quality parts, just as the founders were back in 1914.
Statement of Purpose
Acme Foundry is a recognized world-wide leader in the production of grey iron castings. We are committed to continuous improvement of our products and services to meet our customers’ needs. To accomplish this, we will strive to continually increase training, and the use of statistical methods throughout the process.
Quality comes first. Customers are the focus of everything we do. Continuous improvement is essential to our continued success. Employee involvement is our way of life.
Much of Acme’s success over the years can be attributed to an innovative and responsible management team supported by a loyal and dedicated workforce. Acme has always believed in promotion from within as evidenced by the larger portion of the management staff having risen through the ranks. There are approximately 2,950 foundries in the United States. Only 6% of U.S. foundries employ more than 250 people. Acme Foundry employs more than 300 people, making it one of the largest foundries in country.
Our staff is not only large, but also capable. Many of our employees have worked at Acme Foundry for years. It’s not uncommon to find managers as well as general laborers who have worked at Acme for 10, 20, 30, 40, or even over 50 years of continuous service. Acme makes an investment in each employee hired by providing special training and offering educational opportunities. This investment results in satisfied employees and a stable, well-qualified workforce.
Products & Customers
At Acme Foundry we serve more than 70 customers across the country including small and large manufacturers involved in a diverse group of industries. In recent years, Acme Foundry produced up to 25,000 tons of casting per year.
Of all the parts produced at Acme Foundry, 65% are used in the fluid power industry, 10% in transmission machinery, 10% in petro-chemical industry and 15% in other industries.
Acme’s experienced staff works with customer’s engineering staff to design castings and tooling that meet the goals of high quality and low-cost manufacturability. The use of the latest computer software technology such as Pro-E, CAD, and solidification modeling are an integral part of this process.
Since the beginning, Acme Foundry has been highly committed to quality control. Our Quality Control Program ensures that all castings manufactured will meet all of our customers’ requirements. Each casting is produced according to customer specifications, drawings and patterns. Incoming pattern equipment is carefully reviewed to determine the compatibility of the equipment with Acme Foundry’s production practices.
During each stage of the production process – melting, molding, core, shakeout, final grinding and internal cleaning – a number of stringent controls are in place to assure the highest quality final product. Rigorous testing also occurs at critical stages of the production process. Test records and findings of the Quality Control Program are retained in the Quality Control Lab for a period of ten years.
The acceptance criterion for discrepancies is zero. No product shall be shipped to a customer that does not meet their specifications.
Additional quality control requirements can be established by an agreement between Acme Foundry and the customer to meet individual needs.
Packaging & Delivery
Once an order is completed and all parts pass quality control standards, the items will be packaged to prevent damage, deterioration and substitution during shipping. Customers may provide their own cartons, crates or other packaging for shipping. Adequate markings are made on the packaging, parts and as otherwise necessary for positive identification for the customer. To insure accuracy, a dock audit is performed before each order is shipped.