Strohwig and Stainless Prove Supplier Partnerships Are a Two-Way Street

Strohwig Industries has been an approved supplier for Stainless Foundry & Engineering for years, but in the past three, our relationship has expanded into a preferred partnership. Strohwig specializes in complex, high-quality molds, dies, and precision parts. They can accommodate any size part, from one-inch-long to hundreds of feet long, which makes them flexible and knowledgeable where we need it most. And you can always count on Strohwig to invest in the newest, smartest, and advanced equipment.

Approved suppliers for SF&E are typically selected because they can serve as an extension of our in-house team by supplementing service offerings and handling overflow. They need to be available, reliable, and hold the same standards to quality and lead times that we hold to ourselves.

When SF&E conducted a quality audit, we couldn’t help but be impressed by Strohwig’s 220,000 square-foot facility in nearby Richfield, Wisconsin. It features 90 high-tech machines, massive lifting capacities, 3D design services, and process efficiencies that guarantee competitive lead times. It’s the machine shop of the future, as Strohwig says. SF&E quickly saw that Strohwig didn’t just have the skills to help us with existing work, but their industry-leading capabilities could be leveraged with ours to gain new work.

Photo courtesy of Strohwig Industries

Entering New Markets

“Strohwig helps us strategically get into markets we could not enter without them, particularly due to their size capabilities,” said Jim Stachowiak, President & CEO for SF&E. “Utilizing their state-of-the-art machining equipment gives us a solution to be the individual source for customers requiring turn-key castings. With many of our nuclear and Department of Defense customers requesting at least rough machined castings, using Strohwig can help SF&E’s customer get to market faster.”

Earlier this year, SF&E poured the largest nuclear impeller in its history. We melted and cast 6,700 pounds of CA6NM martensitic stainless steel. The large impeller was poured using an argon oxygen decarburization (AOD) process to minimize oxidation of precious metals, serve as a protective, and prevent corrosion.

Without a precision machining partner, this part would have been delivered to the customer with rough machining they would need to finish themselves. Instead, we were able to fully machine the impeller at Strohwig and deliver. This helped us complete the project on a high note and retain the customer moving forward.


Split Case Pump

Another milestone project for SF&E this year was the production of a 12-stage split case pump for a nuclear application. A split case pump is made up of three different castings: upper casing, impeller, and a lower pump casing. The parts are cast in CA6NM martensitic stainless steel, which provides mechanical strength and superior corrosion resistance to endure the conditions of the nuclear environment.

The split case is a very difficult casting to produce and machine. Strohwig was able to use a multi-access machine to finish multiple sides of the part in one setup and hold the tight tolerances required for this application.

Strohwig works with a broad variety of domestic and international manufacturers in the oil and gas, automotive, agriculture, defense, aerospace, mining, and shipping industries. This industry alignment, plus SF&E’s ability to produce high-quality castings within competitive lead times, is a benefit to Strohwig as well.

One-Stop Customer Shop

“Partnering with SF&E gives us the opportunity to work in sectors we currently aren’t in because we don’t provide castings,” said David Glass, Sales Manager for Strohwig.

Photo courtesy of Strohwig Industries

Having a foundry partner in their back pocket has helped Strohwig win new business, in particular for smaller componentry and parts. And if a manufacturer comes to Strohwig looking for a custom part, they can offer to cast it instead of machining from solid block if it better serves the need.

“Our combined value to the customer relationship is strong and we are both looking to grow in size and in the types of skillsets we can offer,” said Glass. “It’s the ultimate partnership – we can tell customers we can streamline the process from order to delivery of parts. SF&E casts, we machine, and finished parts are sent straight to the customer’s hands to drive satisfaction.”

Photo courtesy of Strohwig Industries

Whether the customer has their own machine shop or not, the value-added service of finishing parts can be a game-changer for a foundry. And the combined ownership SF&E and Strohwig have over the part production allows both companies to live their missions of being exceptional, innovative, and solution-oriented. If there are production delays, we figure out how to overcome them and ensure parts are delivered on time and to quality expectations.

“The industry is headed toward using fewer resources,” said Mitch McCaffery, Director of Sales & Marketing for SF&E. “There is no longer a need for our customers to have to manage casting defects and machining errors and being stuck in the middle. The convenience and accessibility for our customers to source everything with SF&E gives us the competitive advantage.”

If you’re interested in cast and machined products, reach out to Let us work harder for you!

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