MPI Refurbishment Program – A Bright Spot During the Dark Days of COVID-19

Posted on May 17, 2022 at 3:18 pm

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A Bright Spot During the Dark Days of COVID-19

by Shellcast

None of us would have believed it if we were told a few years ago that the global economy would be disrupted by a virus. Business forecasts would be completely derailed and some companies would not survive the unprecedented downturn. We all hunkered down and hoped that an end to the dark days would come quickly and while we waited for the market to come back, we got another lesson in labor issues. Without exception we all saw far more difficulty in finding and retaining employees and the potential gains of process improvements and automation became key to future business security. With that in mind, Shellcast began the search to implement a more automated approach and quickly realized that the wax room should be the first choice for equipment upgrades. In late 2018 the company bought two 20-ton MPI wax presses that were in a state of disrepair. The plan was to keep these in reserve and rebuild them when business volume increased. In 2021 it became obvious that those machines were the answer to wax injection gains. Also obvious was that the scale of the task was beyond what the company was capable of and a conversation with Buntrock Industries and MPI’s refurbishment group began.

Quickly a teamwork arrangement developed allowing each to benefit in the slow days of Covid and both machines were shipped back to the MPI factory in Poughkeepsie, NY. Shellcast saw savings by doing both machines at once while MPI gained more total content with an open-ended schedule for completion. Before and after photos show the stunning transformation that factory rebuilds brought. Beyond aesthetics, the capability of the equipment delivers state of the art performance to Shellcast’s wax injection operation.

As the worldwide leader in wax room equipment, MPI has been building, installing, and servicing machines around the world for over 50 years—machines built so well, they continue to perform and maintain their value more than 30 and 40+ years later. But even the best machines eventually need more than traditional maintenance to perform at the highest levels.

To help our customers, MPI introduced a refurbishment program that brings these machines back to their original performance specifications. The MPI Refurbishment Center was created to restore legacy MPI equipment so that each piece performs the way it did when it was first purchased, or even better with several optional upgrades. Two years ago, MPI expanded this program to include refurbishment of TempCraft, Jahnke, and now any brand injector. This program is not only ideal for underperforming machines but also for nonfunctioning machines that don’t currently generate revenue. Some highlights of the program:

• Return equipment to original performance specifications or better
• Full controls upgrade available
• Non-functioning machines can generate revenue again
• Cost-effective alternative for limited budgets
• Free preliminary quote with picture and serial number
• Fully tested and MPI certified
Chris Boylan, Director of Sales & Marketing for MPI stated, “Working on these machines for Shellcast was an exciting opportunity for MPI. We know their team, starting from Bob down, are knowledgeable and experienced, and it would take a lot to impress them. Our goal all along was not to just rebuild a machine, but to remanufacture it…making it even better than when it was new. Our regular communication and collaboration allowed us to add to the machines some improvements and capabilities that were not even available when the machine was first built.
We are grateful for this first project with Shellcast and look forward to more. We’re proud that Shellcast is pleased with our work. If we haven’t delighted our customer, then we have not met our own goal. Thank you, Bob Johnson and the Shellcast team!”
Shellcast 24-year wax veteran, Sheri Canniff is quoted as saying: “I never thought that we would ever have machines like these. The capability, ease of use, and their appearance is beyond anything that I would have imagined. The folks at MPI really took charge and the results are spectacular. Thank you MPI”.
Bob Johnson stated, “I can’t say enough about what Buntrock and the MPI refurbishment team managed to do here. Communication was frequent during the process and drove several upgrades from our initial baseline plan. Enhanced control systems and vacuum loaders allow us to reduce labor content and bring a new standard of excellence.
This is a cost-effective approach that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s so easy to disregard equipment related inefficiency that we don’t consider that an upgrade could pay for itself. No matter how bad the candidate equipment might be, a rebuild by MPI brings stunning results.
Shared with permission from the Investment Casting Institute