Web Site: www.bentonfoundry.com
A PUBLICATION BY BENTON FOUNDRY, INC.
n 1975 when Fritz and Butch Hall took over the operations at Benton Foundry, payroll and accounts payable checks were all hand-written. The payroll cards had to be tallied each quarter to do payroll tax returns. Everyone in the office pitched in to help. Year End W-2’s were hand-typed. In the late 1970’s a calculator came along with a memory long enough to handle a payroll program. The checks were still handwritten. The next step was to buy a $6,000 personal computer, which today costs about $400. This worked for completing payroll for a period of time, until we moved into the new offices in 1984. (Reference photograph to the right.) At that point, there were actual provisions for a computer room and printer.
This event was followed by the IBM System 34 that used (RPG) Report Program Generator as the language. Some of the pro-grams written then are still in use at Benton Foundry today. The System 36 followed when the system 34 could not keep up with Benton’s computing demand. During the time of the System 34 and 36, a file organizational plan was developed. This incorporated the whole Benton enterprise into one system. This was a very novel approach at the time. This process integrated accounts payable, cost accounting, accounts receivable, production scheduling and scrap reporting. The core principal adhered to was strict file management which eliminated a lot of the extraneous information seen in other foundries.
This led to the present workhorse computer called the AS400. This computer works tirelessly. This is opposed to computer networks which are good tools, but do not have the ease of use as the AS400 Network. The world, and to a certain extent
Benton Foundry currently uses roughly 5,000 tons of cores per year. We anticipate breaking ground on our new core room in the spring of 2021. The new core room will be able to produce up to 10,000 tons of core per year. The new system will also offer tighter process control and more flexibility with respect to different sand mixes and additives. The new core room will be a nicer work environment than the present. It will have more room, will be cleaner, climate controlled and more conducive to modern manufacturing methods.
Benton Foundry, are moving in this direction. We have incorporated some of our production equipment on the network. The best example is the Robotic Foxall Grinders where the machines are continuously evaluated. Aaron McHenry, Production Control Manager can sit in the production office and see what is running on all six robotic grinders. There are also plans to put all the core and molding machines on the network. The network already controls air compressors, lights in various parts of the foundry, plus constantly monitors the dust collectors.
There are six IT closets in the long-term plan of Benton Foundry which is where the network is administered from. In addition, this network is being wired in both directions so in case of an event, the foundry can continue to run. This is called redundancy. The foundry is also working on comprehensive foundry video and monitoring system of the premises. These systems have reduced workman’s compensation accidents, prevented horseplay and provide a layer of security of vehicles in the parking lots. In addition, the foundry continues to build on its use of computers in quality control with its Data Suite applications that monitor metal chemistry, sand properties and other relevant production metrics. The scrap reporting is also something novel in its ability to record a lot of information on scrap reviews. This information gives a complete and comprehensive history of a job showing all changes and the effectiveness from the time a job arrives.
The end result is that Benton Foundry has come a long way from the 1970’s when it comes to Information Technology (IT). With a staff of five full-time IT professionals, Benton foundry displays a significant commitment to technology. So next time you see a PLC (Program Logic Controller) on a piece of foundry equipment, realize this is part of a bigger picture network. We data harvest at every opportunity!
he World’s Fair originated in Paris, France in 1844 as an industrial exhibition. The industrialization theme continued through multiple expositions around the World focusing on trade and displaying technological advances and inventions up through 1938. In 1939-1940, the World’s Fair was in New York and took a different approach with a theme of “Building the World for Tomorrow”. This marked the beginning of the World’s Fair being more of a “Cultural Exchange”. The 1939 World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, New York, covered 1,202 acres and had 44 million attendees. At this fair, one of the main events was the introduction to the black and white television at the RCA Pavilion.
When the fair ended in 1940, many of the structures were demolished or removed, although some of the buildings were retained for the 1964-1965 New York’s World’s Fair at the same site. The structural steel that was removed was sold to local businesses, one of which was Harrington Foundry (currently Benton Foundry). The Harrington’s purchased the discounted steel to be used to expand their molding room in Benton, PA. Unfortunately, the steel was not designed for this structure or this purpose. The resultant structure was not square, plumb nor true. Column lines were not evenly spaced, but for the time, the steel served its purpose.
In 1958, the Hall family took ownership of the former Harrington Foundry and renamed the facility as Benton Foundry. Since that time, there have been many capital projects and expansions, several of which were mating against the original structure. Today, none of the World’s Fair steel remains in our structure. However, construction projects today, 80 years later, still are faced with some effects of the Harrington’s purchase of steel in 1940. For example, as part of our next expansion, our architectural firm used a 3D scanner to determine the existing column sizes and positions. Their findings were remarkable and included floor elevations that varied by 2-3” and a column line that is 2 degrees off from being parallel to the balance of the structure.
Determining a common work point is critical to all projects, especially in situations such as this where things are not as they might appear. Nonetheless, this is the world in which we live. Who would have thought that the 1939 World’s Fair “Building the World for Tomorrow” would impact us today?
ompetition is growing. That’s giving you more choices and a chance to save money.
Americans have slashed spending on restaurants, travel and live entertainment; however, we are spending more on subscription services, especially video streaming subscriptions. A recent survey on digital media trends by Deloitte, the tax and business consulting firm, found that not only have more consumers signed up for video-streaming services since the COVID shutdowns began, but the average streamer pays for more services than ever.
“In the early days of the coronavirus, there was a significant shift in viewership in all kinds of TV,” says Bruce Leichtman, of Leichtman Research Group, which surveys TV-consumer behavior. With 80% of Americans owning internet-capable TVs, the vast majority have both a pay TV service (meaning cable or satellite TV, or live TV streaming over the internet) and a streaming video-on-demand service (such as Netflix or Hulu), according to Leichtman.
Since the pandemic hit the U.S., nearly 10% of consumers have both added and canceled at least one paid video-streaming service, according to the Deloitte survey, suggesting that more churn is in store as consumers seek more value. As more media providers join the fray—including Disney, Apple TV and HBO Max—competition is growing and putting pressure on providers to expand content and reduce prices.
How to save on Streaming
With so many streaming choices, it’s tempting to load up on subscriptions, but the cost can quickly add up. If you already have a few streaming services, consider canceling the ones that you use the least. You can always re-subscribe when a service releases new content or adds a feature that makes it more worthwhile. With the pandemic pressing pause on many sports, you may not need to subscribe to a live TV service if you originally signed up primarily to watch games. A digital antenna may be all you need for access to local channels.
Sharing subscriptions is another way to save. Some services make this easier than others – the Nexflix premium plan (which allows four simultaneous log-ons) and Hulu (with the $9.99 per month unlimited screens add-on) are particularly family and friends friendly.
If you want access to a single show, you may be better off paying per view than subscribing to a service. For example, an HBO Max subscription costs $14.99 per month, but one episode of Game of Thrones on Amazon’s Prime Video costs $3.99 or $24.99 for the entire season.
Bundling services is another way to trim costs and the savings are even greater if you are willing to put up with some ads. The ad-free Hulu, Disney and ESPN bundle goes for $18.99 per month, but you can also do the same bundle with the ad-supported Hulu version for a monthly charge of $12.99.
Take advantage of free viewing, such as Peacock TV’s standard plan, as well as free trials. Netflix offers a 30-day trail, and most other services let you sign up free for a week. You can find longer free trials with certain services if you download them from a particular devise or if you also subscribe to another related service.
With AT&T Now, for instance, you can get a free trial of HBO Max for 30 days, rather than the standard seven days. You can get a free year-long subscription to Apple TV+ with the purchase of an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV or Mac. Sprint includes Netflix subscriptions with some of its cell phone plans.
Video on Demand
Streaming services have expanded, especially with the introduction of newcomers HBO Max and Disney+. With all of the available choices, it’s tougher to figure out what gives you the most bang for your buck. Look at the options and piece together what works best for you based on the content you value most, your budget and what you can get for free, suggests Dan Rayburn, a streaming-media expert.
While there are many options, the following streaming services are the major players: Amazon Video, Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max, Hulu and Netflix.
Live TV Streaming Services
Internet live TV streaming services, a subcategory of pay TV, offer an alternative to consumers who want to forgo expensive cable or satellite TV but still want access to live content, such as sports, news and local channels. Sometimes referred to as “skinny TV,” live TV streaming services generally offer fewer channels than traditional pay TV but at lower prices and with-out locking you into a contract.
Subscribers to traditional pay TV pay upward of $100 a month, on average, according to a survey by Leichtman Research Group. Internet live TV streaming services typically cost from $30 to $64 a month (with no installation fees).
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
ue to the diligence of Mary Ellen Freed and Amanda Hartman, the new core oven is performing better than predicted. The old core oven used more expensive and dirtier fuel oil and the new oven has much better controls and propane.
|For the Year||Fuel Oil||Propane Used Initially New Oven||Propane used after Amanda Hartman and Mary Ellen Freed’s tweaks:|
|Number of Gallons||7848||6623||4531|
|Price per Gallon||$1.65||0.86||0.86|
|CO2 – Tons||88||41||28|
In addition it is easier to load and unload. The air flow is better and handling equipment takes some of the heavy lifting out of this operation. On the green side, there is a 68% reduction in CO2 tons emitted. One gallon of fuel oil emits 22.3 lbs. of CO2 vs. pro-pane which emits 12.5 lbs. of CO2 per gallon. Great job!
new law took effect in early 2020 that all of Pennsylvania’s landowners and everyone who spends time outdoors should know about.
Commonly called the “Purple Paint Law,” this legislation (House Bill 1772) allows landowners to post their property against trespassing using simple purple stripes painted on trees or fence posts. Also in the law are updates that clarify the act of “criminal trespass.”
While “No Trespassing” signs and fences still remain legal methods to post a property as well, the use of purple paint stripes offers several advantages. Most importantly, the stripes are cheaper and easier to maintain, and they are not as prone to damage, decay or malicious removal. The use of purple paint has also become a popular method to post a property in more than 10 other states, making it understandable to many non-resident visitors as well. This method is now legal in all Pennsylvania counties, except Allegheny and Philadelphia.
The law is very specific about the dimensions of the purple stripes and how they must be positioned on trees or fence posts. First, they must be painted vertically, in other words, up and down stripes. The painting of a stripe around a tree in a ring or some other fashion is not admissible. Further, the stripes must be at least 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. They need to be positioned high enough for all to see. The law specifically re-quires that the “bottom of the mark is not less than three feet from the ground nor more than five feet from the ground.”
Lastly, painted stripes are required to not be more than 100 feet apart, though common sense would imply they should be closer in brushy areas or where visibility is blocked. Painting the purple stripes so that they are clearly visible by people entering the property is recommended in the law. The use of latex or tree marking paint is also advisable, as oil-based paints can slowly seep through tree bark and harm or even kill trees. For further information about the law, search “PA House Bill 1772”.
Congratulations to Sherry Steele, Benton Foundry’s 1st shift Employee of the Year. Sherry has diligently worked in our payroll department for 28 years, ensuring that weekly payroll checks are completed on-time and accurately. She performs many additional duties each week, in the same manner. Sherry enjoys spending time with her family, helping in the communi-ty and at her church, when she is not busy working. Amazing Job!
Congratulations to Billy Green (below), Benton Foundry’s 2nd shift Employee of the Year. Billy has been employed at the Foundry since 2015. He works in our Melt Department as an Iron Pourer. Billy lives in Benton and he enjoys riding 4-Wheelers, snowmobiles and working on small engines in his spare time. Good Job!
hese popular drinks can be dangerous-perhaps even more so for older adults. The latest market data show a continued rise in demand for energy drinks – beverages that promise things like increased energy, improved mood, and sharper mental acuity.
Medical records show adverse events related to these drinks are on the rise as well.
Typical Ingredients: Most energy drinks contain multiple stimulants. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t define the term “energy drink,” which means manufacturers must abide by the FDA’s safety limits for ingredients like caffeine. Dietary supplements are not regulated, so there are essentially no safety guidelines.
Some common ingredients of energy drinks include:
Caffeine – The main energy-boosting ingredient in many energy drinks is caffeine. A 16-ounce can may contain anywhere from 160 to 240 milligrams. (For comparison, an 8-ounce cup of coffee contains roughly between 100 and 200 milligrams). The FDA recommends no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day.
Guarana – An extra boost of caffeine comes from this ingredi-ent. The berries of this tropical plant contain more caffeine than coffee beans.
Taurine – This amino acid is produced naturally in our bodies. It is also found in foods like meat, fish, and dairy. There is no indication that we need more than our bodies produce.
Glucuronolactone – Despite claims, there is no evidence this molecule commonly found in energy drinks actually boosts energy.
Niacin, folic acid, and vitamin B12 – These vitamins are often promoted as energy producers, but unless there’s a defi-ciency, this isn’t the case. Health concerns have been raised with regard to very high supplemental doses of these vitamins.
L-Carnitine – Created naturally by the liver and kidneys, L-Carnitine is critical to cellular energy production. The body pro-duces sufficient amounts without supplementation.
Sugar – As simple carbohydrates, sugars are used by the body to produce energy. Too much dietary intake of added sugar has been linked to health problems. One energy drink can have more than 60 grams of added sugar.
This is much higher than the American Heart Association’s recommended daily maximum intake of 25 grams of added sugar for women and 37 grams for men.
Health Risks: While limited studies support claims that energy drinks actually boost energy, many studies raise questions as to their safety. Emergency room visits involving consumption of energy drinks has increased significantly over the years. Serious, life-threatening events, hospitalization, and death have been reported. Reported cases include cardiovascular, central nervous, and gastrointestinal symptoms, such as tachycardia, agitation, nausea, dizziness, seizure, coma, and renal failure. A study published in the May 2019 Journal of the American Heart Association showed that caffeinated energy drinks significantly in-crease heart rate and can raise blood pressure. It’s unclear whether this is due to one ingredient in particular, or a combination of energy drink ingredients.
The bottom line is energy drinks are not a healthy, effective, or safe way to boost energy. Keep your energy up naturally by eating well, staying hydrated, keep physically active and getting plenty of sleep. When you need a pick-me-up, grab a glass of water and a piece of fruit, try a cup of coffee or tea, or take a ten-minute power nap or a brisk walk.
Take Charge! Follow these tips to energize safely:
-Avoid energy drinks. There is little evidence to back energy claims, and thousands of people have had adverse energy drink experiences, from headaches, to hospital visits, to death.
–Be skeptical. Energy drinks are not all regulated by the FDA, leaving labels up to manufacturer discretion.
–Get enough sleep. At least seven hours of quality sleep a night is recommended.
–Hydrate. Fatigue can be caused by dehydration. While there is no universal fluid intake recommendation, aiming for the equivalent of eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day is a quick benchmark.
–Move! A stretch break or a brisk walk can be energizing.
Health & Nutrition
January 10, 2020
Congratulations to Luis Cruz (above), Benton Foundry’s 1st shift Employee of the Quarter. Luis works in our Grinding Room as a Foxall Operator. He has been employed since June of 2019. Luis lives in Berwick with his Uncle and he enjoys playing football when he is not at work.
Congratulations to Andy Spencer (below), Benton Foundry’s 2nd shift Employee of the Quarter. Andy has worked for over twenty years in both our Molding Department and our Pattern Shop. He is a machine operator. Andy and his wife Amy live in Shickshinny with their three children. Andy enjoys racing, fishing and spending time with his family when he isn’t working.
Homer Chapin retired after almost 2 years with Benton Foundry. Homer worked here previously, during the 1980’s for several years in our grinding room and shipping department. He returned in 2018 operating a forklift in our shipping department. Homer, known for his precise work and disciplined approach, lives on a meticulously cared-for property outside of Benton with his wife, Janice. We wish Homer a happy and healthy retirement.
Thank you to all our employees that have worked through this crazy and complex year!
Benton Foundry has made it through a year of both challenges and accomplishments. Our company’s success is built on the hard work and dedication of our talented employees. We are fortunate to have a team who prides themselves on professionalism and on making a difference in the company and community.
Regardless of the obstacles that we have faced and of those possibly yet to come, we have confidence that – together – we will get through these unprecedented times. Benton Foundry wishes all of our employees a heart-felt, healthy New Year.
The Consumer Reports Buying Guide is available for review in the Human Resource Department, see Annette Brown.
ecember 16th and 17th saw the most snowfall for the month of December, smashing decades-old records for the Northeast. Most of Pennsylvania had snow accumulations in the double digits. “Williamsport Regional Airport made history,” the National Weather Service in State College said, reporting 24.7 inches of snow. Forecasters said that was the most snow from a single storm on record, breaking the previous record of 24.1 inches set there in January 1964. A few places in northern PA and New York saw totals in the 30-40 inches. We haven’t seen a two-day storm of this size since March of 2017.
Benton Foundry would like to thank those employees who made it to work on the evening of the 16th and those that made it to work on the 17th.
- Congratulations to Colton Young. He is among the top five e-learning students. Colton works in our maintenance department.
- Good Job to Caroline Woodhead and Don Copeland on completing Polyworks training.
- Congratulations to Cody Snyder, Steve Mingey and Amanda Hartman on their completion of supervisory training. Way to Go!
- Maintenance training continues with completion of NFPA 70E ARC Flash training by the following: Jacob Underkoffler, Robert Swigart, Ruth Dawson, James White, John Hospodar, Mike Mengine and Colton Young. Good Job!
- Cristian Magliocca completed a week session in Michigan at ABB for Robot Programming.
- A thank you goes out to Walt Lutcavage, Robbie Bowman, Mike McAndrew, Don Copeland, Teo Grigas, Amanda Hartman and Annette Brown for their efforts covering the thermal imaging program.
Benton Foundry hosted BSA Troop #51 on November 17th. Ron Steward from our Quality Department serves as their Scoutmaster.
Save the Date: August 14, 2021
ixty-two percent of the class of 2019 graduated with student debt. Among these grads the average outstanding debt was $28,950. The average amount owed by U.S. house-holds that have student debt is $47,671. Private student loans make up 7.9% of the total outstanding U.S. student loans.
A TIAA-MIT AgeLab study finds student loan debt significantly affects retirement savings longevity planning and family relationships. One-quarter of these not saving for retirement cite student loans as to why. Parents and grandparents who borrow for loved ones are the hardest hit, according to the study. U.S. student loan borrowers owed a collective $1.67 trillion in federal and private student loan debt as of this June, according to the Federal Reserve.
Mary Alice Green
What or who is the Ford Mustang named after?
Answer will be in 1st Quarter 2021
Answer from the 3rd Quarter Question:
“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.”