Supreme Cores Empowers SF&E to Do What It Does Best

No matter how advanced a manufacturing facility is, there is always something a strong outside partner can bring to the table. Stainless Foundry & Engineering (SF&E) creates shapes using sand cores as the internal passageways of castings for the sand casting process. Some of these cores can be very intricate, and precision is vital for a successful pour.


Starting in 2023, SF&E has been working with Supreme Cores, another Milwaukee-based company, to provide the foundry with high quality sand cores. This 46-year-old company, that originally started in Janesville, WI by Warren Grossmann, now has three facilities across the Midwest and Southeast (WI, AL, SC).  Supreme Cores has always made it their mission to focus on core making, so that its other 175+ foundry customers throughout North America can focus on what they do best, pouring and machining castings.


According to SF&E President and CEO Jim Stachowiak, other advantages Supreme Cores provides include a willingness to add capacity and invest in its operation if needed. In addition, its facility is just a five-minute drive away, enabling the two companies to work out challenges and brainstorm process improvements in person quite easily.

Versatility is Vital

Versatility is vital to Supreme Cores’ ability to meet the needs of its large customer pool in terms of size, volume, and the variety of processes.

“We’ll make anything from a small pin core that can weigh less than a 1/10th of a pound to cores that are well over 100 pounds,” says Grey Pope, Plant Manager for Supreme Cores.


Supreme also has the capabilities to use several different sand types and grain sizes, from Silica to Zircon, to serve the customers’ needs. Many times, foundries have specific needs that Supreme can meet, whether that’s chilling sand or washing cores (a process of dipping cores in a solution to eliminate burn-on and improve surface finish).


Supreme Cores breadth of capability allows them to utilize different core making processes to make cores. Which is often dictated by the customer’s preference and/or the mold’s intricacy and size.  These processes include Shell, ISOset (SO2), ISOcure, Airset (Pepset), and Furan.


Since Supreme is only focused on core and mold making and offers an array of machines that can produce high-quality cores, they are often more efficient than most of their customers.


“We continue to invest in our equipment and processes to better serve our customers and our smart BATCH resin delivery system is a good example of that,” Pope said. 


This state-of-the-art system allows Supreme Cores to customize and automate the sand mixing process using a QR code to accelerate the mixing process and provide greater precision and scrap reduction.


Supreme Cores and SF&E Join Forces

Though Supreme Cores and SF&E thought working together made sense, they needed several passes to reach the kind of relationship that works well for both. SF&E Director of Engineering Javed Khokhar was the driver behind this collaboration.


“Our core room is limited in capacity to producing 10 to 20 molds per day, where Supreme Cores has flexible production capacity and many skilled coremakers ready to take on a project,” Khokhar said. “We knew we could benefit from their partnership.”.”


They started on a trial basis, with Supreme Cores working with a limited number of molds per week to assess quality and their ability to deliver on time. After three months, SF&E completed a performance and cost assessment. Once the evaluation was complete, SF&E transitioned sand core molds to Supreme Cores that were under 26-square-inches and developed a ramp up plan to slowly increase the number of molds per day that Supreme Cores would deliver.


To commence the process, SF&E invested in additional plates that could be used to transfer molds from Supreme to the foundry’s pouring lines. Supreme Cores invested in a dedicated molding line for SF&E, enabling production of up to 90 units a day, with the capability to pour more. The advantage of close proximity is the run schedule – Supreme Cores can deliver cores in one day, enabling SF&E to pour the next. The process is now a well-oiled machine.


“With every new mold, JK and the SF&E engineering team will come over to walk us through how to run the molds, what we need to look for, take pictures, and make process sheets to get started so there are no issues when SF&E pours,” Pope said. “There is a lot of back and forth, SF&E pours a lot of different alloys with the same patterns, so we send tooling back and forth every day for pattern changes and tooling updates.”

“The key to the successful working relationship is communication,” says Khokhar. “We are communicating all of the time.”


Set for the Future

The partnership is essential for each company to reach its business growth goals.


“Supreme Cores provides additional molding capacity at a more cost-effective price than adding staffing internally,” Stachowiak said. “We have increased flexibility to meet changing market demands and are more responsive to our customers. This strategy also allows Supreme to focus on what they are good at while SF&E can focus on what we do best.”


For Supreme Cores, SF&E provides a robust level of business. This relationship also encourages the sand core manufacturer to invest in equipment upgrades. They recently purchased a Laempe LL-10 CoreShooter for faster production and to handle high volume jobs. They are also considering bringing on a few larger machines to continue to improve current capabilities.


To learn how your company can benefit from the continual improvements taking place at SF&E as well as purchase cored sand castings, contact us at or 414-535-6089.


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