Ellwood Group Inc.
Ellwood Group Inc. is forming a new business unit, comprised of Ellwood Texas Forge Houston and Ellwood Texas Forge Navasota, and the new operation, Ellwood Advanced Components LLC.

Ellwood Buying Leistritz Forger, Eyes Expansion

Aug. 17, 2012
New operating division: Ellwood Advanced Components LLC Plant has screw presses, precision machining capability Expansion would add more heating, new trim presses, heat-treating

Ellwood Group Inc. has acquired the assets of Leistritz Advanced Turbine Components in Rural Hall, NC. It will reestablish the operation as a new subsidiary called Ellwood Advanced Components LLC. The buyer said the purchase adds screw presses to its lineup of forging equipment, which already includes open- and closed-die forging operations. Ellwood Group also produces specialty steel ingots and castings, and manufactures crankshafts.

The price of the purchase was not reported. LATC is a division of Leistritz Corp., which is a unit of Leistritz AG, a manufacturer of turbine blades, pumps, machine tools, and extrusions.

A critical detail of the acquisition is an effort to secure state and local incentives to purchase land and buildings that presently are leased by LATC from Siemens Energy. If those incentives are gained, Ellwood Advanced Components would proceed with plans to add more forge heating capability and new trim presses and heat-treating equipment. “These additional investments are required to enable EAC to more effectively produce other types of closed-die forgings beyond turbine blades weighing up to 1,000 lb.,” according to a company release.

No estimate was provided for the cost of the expansion program.

LATC has about 170 employees and produces closed-die forgings in stainless steel and chromium-, nickel-, and titanium alloys. The products are used to manufacture steam and industrial gas turbines. The plant’s current manufacturing equipment includes three screw presses (8,000 ton, 12,000 ton, and 16,000 ton) and a 50-meter/ton counterblow-forging hammer.

The machining operation there includes CNC rigid airfoil machining centers; high-speed spindle and multi-pocket machines; four-axis machine centers; CNC creep-feed root grinding capability; airfoil probing with adaptive edge milling; and robotic polishing systems for blade and vane airfoils. The finishing capabilities also include induction erosion shield brazing.

The LATC operation will be managed together with Ellwood’s other closed-die operations as the Ellwood Closed Die Group (ECDG.) The other operations in the group are Ellwood Texas Forge Houston (ETFH) and Ellwood Texas Forge Navasota (ETFN). “Each plant will retain its individual profit and loss responsibility but be organized externally to its markets as one closed-die solution,” Ellwood Group announced.

Richard Allender, president of ECDG will be responsible for all three plants.  LATC president Michael Grauel will join Ellwood as the vice president and general manager of EAC. Dale Gantt, vice president of Sales and Marketing will be responsible for coordinating the group’s sales, marketing, and business development activities.