OK Foundry, Iron Castings Since 1912
O. K. Foundry Company, Incorporated was founded by James N. O’Neil Sr. in 1912 to supply Richmond’s railroad, industrial and agricultural equipment companies with made to order cast iron. OK Foundry was incorporated in 1956 as a Commonwealth of Virginia Corporation and is wholly owned and operated by the O’Neil family today.
James N. O’Neil Jr., Jimmy, built the current foundry at 1005 Commerce Rd. in 1947. That foundry was built with the most advanced foundry process and equipment at the time and since then OK Foundry has upgraded every process when a better more advanced method was available for short run gray and ductile iron castings.
In 1974 OK Foundry installed a 700kw Inductotherm power supply and two 2,000 lb. furnaces. The use of high frequency power for small batch melting was a new configuration for the industry and remains the cleanest and most efficient method for melting iron. Newer power supplies have some benefits, but they are essentially the same design and technology as the one installed in 1974. Our 1,000 hz 2,000 lb. furnace can bring a cold charge to full melt in less than an hour. Aggressive stirring action by the frequency matched furnace ensures that chemistry is consistent throughout the tap and the most powerful Thermal Analysis machine from Heraeus is used to measure Carbon and Silicon. In melt Carbon and Silicon measurement is the most accurate and fastest method to control chemistry for Gray and Ductile Iron.
In 1981, OK Foundry built a No-Bake cope and drag molding loop complete with sand reclamation, silo, 600 lb. continuous mixer and rollover draw. This molding line has used several binders as they became available and currently uses a Phenolic Urethane No-Bake (PUNB) binder. PUNB binders provide consistently hard molds for any size casting and the sand can be 100% recycled without thermal reclamation.
In 1988, just a few years after the introduction of the IBM AT computer, OK Foundry completely computerized its pattern records, order handling, job scheduling and invoicing. OK Foundry is still completely automated for all administration with the leanest most cost effective software running in the cloud. For casting, pattern, and 3D printed mold design, OK Foundry operates the latest Solidworks 3D CAD software on powerful engineering workstations. FeatureCAM is used for complete 3D CAM support of CNC milled foundry patterns for a completely 3D CAD/CAM workflow.
ExOne introduced the S-Max 3D foundry sand printer in 2010. OK Foundry purchased its first 3D printed sand molds for prototype off road construction castings from ExOne in 2012. OK Foundry has followed every incremental improvement in cost and quality of 3D printed molds and currently sources 3D printed molds and cores from Hoosier Pattern, Inc., the leading 3D foundry sand printer in the U. S.
OK Foundry has a long memory for what works, and what doesn’t as do most old foundries, but there are few short run foundries that are as sophisticated in their use of computer technology for administration, process control, casting design, pattern fabrication, and 3D printed mold design.