Web Site: www.bentonfoundry.com
A PUBLICATION BY BENTON FOUNDRY, INC.
Above: The manual molding process which ended in 2014.
Below: Current automatic molding set-up.
hen Fritz and Butch Hall took over Benton Foundry in January of 1975, there were 21 Squeeze molders, one part-time Rotolift and two 16×20 Beardsley and Piper molding machines. The manual molders filled up their molding floor early by setting a stockpile of molds. Then the automatic lines would fire up and run with the manual lines from 10:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. This would allow the cupola to run as efficiently as possible at about 6.5 tons per hour for around 6 hours. The manual molders received their sand by pay-loader. The molds were compressed with the same shovel handle that was used to shovel sand off of the floor. The consistency of the mold hardness didn’t compare to the automatic molding machines of today.
In 2013 the decision was made to eliminate the strenuous manual molding and move to 100% automatic molding, utilizing six molding machines. All work that could be converted from manual molding to the automatics was. A small amount of manual molding was shed to other foundries with these capabilities.
With our upcoming expansion, Benton will be better represented in the 250 and 1000 mold quantities, plus respecting our 50 mold orders that got us where we are today. “You need to know where you came from in order to understand where you are going.”
Upon completion of doubling our core room and increasing our Auto-Grind and finishing room capacity, including a new cleaning machine fleet, this will be our 9th Five-Year Plan to be completed.
Stay tuned …
Great Job to Walt Lutcavage for his efforts in ensuring that the respiratory protection and forklift certification programs are maintained and that all testing is up-to-date. Thank you
Thank you to Lori Nafus, Sherry Steele & Lori McAndrew for picking up some of the communication responsibilities.
The Melt Department continues to have a strong production year setting production and productivity records through the first three quarters of our fiscal year. This is especially noteworthy, given the fact that we were short-handed at times.
Auto-grinders set production and productivity records during the fourth quarter of 2019. Auto-grinding represented 59% of the total tonnage ground.
Harry Miller – Thank you for helping out in the Quality Department during the past few weeks.
Outstanding Individual Production Performance During the Fourth Quarter of 2019:
- Luis Cruz Luquis
- David Straub
- Beth Litwhiler
- Ana Ponce Contreras
- (1st Shift Grinding)
- (2nd Shift Molding)
- (1st Shift Core Room)
- (1st Shift Core Assembly)
Benton Foundry, in conjunction with Pennsylvania State University, has been awarded a grant under the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program entitled “Multiple Core Assembly Production Improvement and Enhancement” from the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). This will provide a grad student an opportunity in the “masters” program at Penn State University.
Benton Foundry’s Scholarship Program through Pennsylvania College of Technology awarded three scholarships for the 2019/2020 academic year. Scholarships were awarded to Brittan Kittle (son of Molding Supervisor Matt Kittle and grandson of retired molder Marv Kittle), Eric Malcein (Pattern Shop) and Michael McAndrew (Maintenance), son of Lori McAndrew in Order Entry.
Brittan’s field of study is Plastics & Polymer Engineering Technology.
Eric is studying Automated Manufacturing Technology with a 4.0 GPA.
Mike’s field of study is Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology. He currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Lock Haven University.
The following proverb has numerous variations over several centuries, reminding us that seemingly unimportant acts or omissions can have grave and unforeseen consequences. Many associate this proverb with Benjamin Franklin, but the actual origin seems to date back to Freidank, a German poet (circa 1230).
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the knight was lost.
For want of a knight the battle was lost.
So the kingdom was lost – all for want of a horseshoe nail.
Metaphorically, Benton Foundry is a nail maker. We (and our customers) wish to thank all of those employed by Benton Foundry for your efforts as we face the current pandemic.
* Note: Under Taxable Income Add 000’S
Note: This information was before the pandemic.
- Taxing those with income over $10 million at 70%, as proposed to fund expansion of benefits, would only raise $166 billion. This would not even put a dent in the current deficit.
- Even Taxing 100% of this income (if possible or likely) would only raise an additional $288 billion dollars
- Even Taxing all Incomes over $1 million at 70% would only cut the current deficit by 1/2, someone has to pay the other half or spend a lot less.
- The smart thing is to spend less and live within the government’s means.
ata overages from your wireless carrier can add up quickly. Here’s how to keep your bill under control. When I signed my family up for our cellphone plan, I thought it contained more than enough data for us. How could any person possibly go over 5 gigabytes in one month? Then I got a notification saying one of our lines was over the limit, and I would need to purchase an extra gigabyte for $10 to keep going. I shrugged it off, bought it and went on with my life… until two days later, when I got the same notification again.
It turns out, my wife had disconnected from our house’s Wi-Fi without realizing it, and racked up a surprising amount of data watching Instagram stories — not something you would consider an obvious culprit, but it’s actually quite the data muncher. If this story sounds all too familiar and you’re dead set against shelling out for an unlimited plan, your phone offers a few tools to help you cut back.
First: Connect to Wi-Fi Whenever Possible
Let’s start with the most obvious, but most important tip: connect to Wi-Fi, especially when you’re at home.
OK, that may sound too painfully obvious to put in this article, but look at your phone right now: Are you connected to Wi-Fi? I’m shocked by how often I ask this simple question to friends and family only to find that they weren’t actually connected, even at their own home. (They’re often equally shocked.) Make sure that little Wi-Fi icon shows up at the top of your phone whenever you’re near a network. By connecting to Wi-Fi at home and work, you can eliminate a huge amount of data usage without changing your behavior at all. Just remember that free, public Wi-Fi isn’t as secure as the Wi-Fi at home, so check out these tips to stay safe while you’re out and about.
See Which Apps Are Using the Most Data
Next, it’s time to drill down and see where that data is going. Sometimes, it’s obvious: if you just spent three days in bed bingeing Netflix on your phone, you can bet money that’s your culprit. In other cases, you may not know where all those gigabytes went, and you’ll need to hunt down the biggest data hogs. If you’re using an iPhone, open the Settings app and head to the Cellular section. Scroll down, and you’ll see how much data it has used in the “current period.”
Here’s where things get confusing: Your “current period” isn’tyour current billing period. Instead, it is reporting all the data you’ve used since you last reset these settings. So if you haven’t manually reset them in a while (or ever), there is a good chance you aren’t getting useful information here. Scroll down to the very bottom, tap Reset Statistics and go about your life for another few days. Then you can come back to this screen and see which app is using the most data. (Note: If you see a large amount of data under the Wi-Fi Assist option on this page, you may want to turn it off – this feature is designed to fall back on cellular data when WiFi is weak, but can backfire in rare instances when you are connected to Wi-Fi.)
If you’re using a phone with Google’s Android software, open the Settings app and head to Network & Internet > Mobile Network > App Data Usage. (This location may vary depending on your phone – on Samsung devices, for example, you will find it under Settings > Connections > Data Usage > Mobile Data Usage.) You will see a graph of your data usage over the last month, along with the apps that have used the most data. If your billing cycle ends on a different day of the month (mine, for example, ends on the fifth), you can tap the gear icon to adjust the cycle date. You can also set an alert after a certain amount of data usage, so you aren’t caught off guard.
Tweak Your Apps’ Settings
Once you have an idea of the worst offenders, figure out ways to
dial back their data usage. Here are some common culprits and
how you can curb their appetite.
Dropbox, Google Photos and iCloud Photos:
If you take a lot of photos and videos, some apps allow you to automatically back those photos up as you go. By default, they shouldnt back up your photos unless you’re on Wi-Fi, but if you have changed these settings in the past, they may be eating up your data (remember, uploading counts against your data too). Check the app’s settings and turn off uploads while on cellular.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
Many social networking apps have the ability to auto-play videos as you scroll through your feed, which can use data quickly. If you find this happening in your favorite social app, head to the app’s settings and look for the auto-playing video option – set it to Wi-Fi only, or turn it off altogether.
YouTube, Netflix and other video players:
You probably already know watching videos can blow through your data, but you don’t have to cut yourself off cold turkey. For a compromise, look through your binge watching app of choice for an option to lower the video quality. If you can stand to watch videos in standard definition (480 pixels or below) instead of HD (720 pixels and above), you’ll use less data.
Spotify, Podcasts and other audio apps:
While audio doesn’t use up nearly as much data as video, you can still chug through your allotment if you jam from sunup to sundown. Streaming apps like Spotify allow you to download playlists at home for offline listening. Use these features as much as possible: Next time you’re on Wi-Fi, download your favorite playlists and grab podcast episodes before you leave home.
It’s a good idea to keep your apps up-to date, but letting automatic updates run wild on cellular data isn’t really necessary. On the iPhone, head to Settings > Your Name > iTunes & App Stores, and turn Automatic Downloads off under Cellular Data. On Android, open the Google Play Store, tap the three lines in the upper left corner, and head to Settings > Auto-Update Apps and choose Over Wi-Fi Only.
If the app in question doesn’t have a setting that does what you want, you may be able to limit it at the operating system level. On the iPhone, head to Settings, scroll down to the app in question and turn off Background App Refresh, which will limit it from using data in the background. Or, from that Settings > Cellular screen, you can toggle the switch next to any given app to prevent it from using cellular data at all, allowing it to work only over Wi-Fi.
Android users can tap on an app from the Mobile Data Usage screen to turn off background data.
Get a Better Deal on Your Data
If all else fails, it may be worth looking into a better data plan for you and your family. Unlimited plans have made a comeback in recent years, but if they are too expensive for you, see what other carriers have to offer for the same price. In fact, if you are still with one of the big four—Verizon, AT&T, TMobile and Sprint, you might be able to get better bang for your buck by switching to a mobile virtual network operator or MVNO, like Cricket Wireless, Mint Mobile or Metro. They use the same networks as their bigger competitors, but with lower prices. If you can get a bigger data plan for the same amount of money you are currently paying (while eschewing expensive features you don’t use), you won’t have to ration your internet usage like it’s 1993 dial-up.
The New York Times
March 9, 2020
tarting October 1, 2021, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.
REAL IDs are now available to Pennsylvanians who want them. The best thing you can do to prepare for getting your Real ID is to gather your documents and review them against the checklist provided by the PA Department of Transportation. Also, get up early to beat the lines the day you go.
Proof of Identity – You will need to provide ONE document proving your identity and your lawful status in the United States when applying for a REAL ID. The most common documents you can use to prove your identity are:
If you are a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, acceptable documents include:
- Certified copy of a birth certificate filed with the State Office of Vital Statistics with a raised/embossed seal
- A valid, unexpired, U.S. Passport or Passport Card
- Certificate of U.S., Citizenship (USCIS Form N-560 or Form N-561)
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State, Form FS-240, DS-Form1350 or FS-Form 545
- Certificate of Naturalization issued by DHS; Form N-550 or N-570
- Unexpired Employment Authorization Card, (EAD) issued by DHS; Forms I-766 or Form 1-688B
- Valid, Unexpired Permanent Resident Card I-551 (Green Card) Issued by DHS or INS
- Unexpired foreign passport with a valid unexpired US visa affixed, accompanied by the approved I-94 indicating temporary evidence of Permanent Residence
Some non-US Citizens may be required to provide additional documentation.
Proof of Social Security Number
You must present your social security card when applying for a REAL ID. Your card must be original.
- Social Security Card
Proof of your Pennsylvania Residency
You will need to provide TWO documents to prove your Pennsylvania residency when applying for a REAL ID. Select which residency documents you will bring to the Driver License Center.
- Current, unexpired PA driver’s license or photo ID card
- PA vehicle registration card
- Auto insurance card
- A computer-generated utility bill showing your name and address (cellphone, cable, electric, gas)
- Post-marked mail/package labels through USPS, UPS, FedEx etc.
- A W-2 form/pay stub
- Lease agreements or mortgage documents
Proof of Legal Name, Date of Birth and/or Gender Designation Change (if applicable)
If your current legal name, date of birth or gender designation is different from the information on your birth certificate or legal status document, you must show legal proof of the change. Please note: If you are using a passport as your proof of identity and your passport reflects your current name, YOU DO NOT NEED TO SHOW PROOF OF NAME CHANGE.
For a name or date of birth change, acceptable documents include:
- Certified marriage certificate(s), for each marriage to track name changes, issued by the county court (Clerk of Orphans Court, Register of Wills etc.) in which the license was issued
- Court order(s) approving a change of legal name or date of birth
- Original or certified copy of an amended birth certificate showing a change of name
For a gender designation change, acceptable documents include:
- A certified, amended birth certificate with a raised seal
- A completed DL-32 form (PDF)
he National Lipid Association has released a comprehensive scientific review of the effects of low-carb and very low-carb diets on blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, body weight and other cardio-metabolic risk factors such as blood sugar control and blood pressure. These diets, often called “ketogenic diets” dramatically restrict intake of carbohydrates, with or without restrictions on protein and fat intake. In a 2018 survey of Americans between 18 and 80 years old, 16% reported following some type of low-carb eating pattern in the past year.
In reviewing all current evidence, the researchers found that low-carb or very-low-carb diets appear to increase energy expenditure (calories burned) and that people following these diets reported lower appetite and hunger. They concluded that following a low or very-low-carb diet for six months or less may result in greater weight loss than a high-carb, low-fat diet.
Longer term, the effects of these two diets appear more similar (perhaps in part because low-carb diets are difficult to maintain).
Low-carb diets may improve triglyceride levels and help with glycemic control in people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, but can also increase LDL (bad) cholesterol in some individuals and may severely restrict nutrient-dense foods associated with cardiovascula benefits. No clear advantages were seen for other cardio-metabolic risk markers.
The authors recommend talking to one’s doctor about risks and benefits of various weight loss options and choosing healthpromoting dietary changes that fit with personal preferences and lifestyle and that can be maintained long-term.
Health & Nutrition Letter
Tufts University (December 2019)
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule. Get up at the same time every day, even on weekends or during vacations.
- Set a bedtime that is early enough for you to get at least 7 hours of sleep.
- If you don’t fall asleep after 20 minutes, get out of bed.
- Don’t nap too long or too late in the day.
- Establish a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Make your bedroom quiet and relaxing. Keep the room at a comfortable, cool temperature.
- Limit exposure to bright light in the evenings, including screens. Bright light at night can confuse the brain and prevent the ramping up of melatonin.
- Turn off electronic devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Don’t eat a large meal before bedtime. If you are hungry at night, eat a light, healthy snack.
- Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy diet.
- Avoid consuming caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
- Don’t consume much alcohol at bedtime. While alcohol can make you sleepy, it is known to interfere with quality of sleep. Allow enough time for your blood alcohol level to drop before bed.
- Reduce your fluid intake before bedtime.
- Don’t check the clock. If the alarm has not gone off…go back to sleep!
Health & Nutrition Letter
Tufts University (February 2020)
Congratulations to Greg Woodside (above), Benton Foundry’s 1st shift Employee of the Quarter. Greg works in our Grinding Department as a Stationary Grinder. He has been employed since 2012. Greg lives in Benton with his wife Mary. He enjoys spending time with his family when he isn’t working.
Congratulations to Billy Green (below), Benton Foundry’s 2nd shift Employee of the Quarter. Billy has been employed at the Foundry since 2015. He works in our Melt Department as an Iron Pourer. Billy lives in Benton and is one of the many members of the Green family that have worked for generations here, starting with his grandfather, Roy Green. His father, Robert Green retired in 2011. Billy enjoys riding 4-Wheelers, snowmobiles and working on small engines in his spare time.
here is a current issue in Pennsylvania about carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The biggest source is electrical production. Keep in mind Pennsylvania exports approximately 15% of its electricity to New York, New Jersey and others. Electricity is also much lower in price in Pennsylvania than areas like Long Island, New York City and Northern New Jersey. The nuclear plants have been sold by the old controlled utilities that built them. Thus, the Berwick Susquehanna Unit’s 1 & 2 were built by PPL but sold to Talen, a Texas for profit company. Talen was a willing buyer and PPL was a willing seller. Susquehanna remains profitable for Talen. In fact, Three Mile Island in the Harrisburg area was one of only two unprofitable nuclear plants in Pennsylvania. The other is Beaver Valley in Western Pennsylvania (shown in the picture above), both are closing.
Nuclear Energy Plant owners are trying to espouse the idea that Nuclear is Green Energy. They are trying to say Natural Gas is a more polluting form of energy (there have been a number of new gas-fired electrical plants). Locally three have been built within an hour of Benton. Also, UGI’s electrical plant outside of Wilkes-Barre has switched from Culm Bank Coal to Natural Gas. The following is from a report called “The Market and Financial Position of Nuclear Resources in Pennsylvania” by Paul Sotkiewicz. On page 33 of the report, it says the following about new Gas Electric Generating Plants:
“These new combined cycle gas units have heat rates as low as 6,200 BTU/KWH (6.2 MMBTU/MWH) which implies a CO2 emissions rate of 0.363 TONS OF CO2/MWH OR ABOUT TWO THIRDS LOWER THAN A TYPICAL COAL UNIT. And these new resources are being built regardless of CO2 policy or price; and consequently emissions reductions from new gas units displacing higher emitting resources happen at no additional cost. In the language of environmental economics of the market, the marginal cost of abatement is zero.”
The marginal CO2 emissions for the PJM grid for 2017 was 0.687 tons/MWH. Thus, the existing emissions of 0.687 compared to the new sources of 0.363 equals a reduction of 0.324 TONS of CO2/MWH, or a 47% reduction. Thus, the CO2 is cut almost in half with the new combined cycle gas units. Also, you must consider the big picture. If Beaver Valley were to close in addition to the recently closed, old, inefficient Three Mile Island and they are replaced by Natural Gas, there would be a net 14.94-million-ton reduction of CO2 tons at a much lower cost to you and us.
Also of note, when electrical deregulation came about, we, the rate payers paid BILLIONS OF DOLLARS to the utilities to make them competitive. It was called a transition charge on your electric bill for years.
The bottom line is profitable nuclear plants want you to guarantee that they make more money by having you pay more under the guise of CO2 reduction. We do need to long term reduce CO2 but not this way. Benton Foundry would not be here with high priced electricity. We need more solar and wind energy, along with energy conservation.
enton Foundry has completed 3,167 E-learning modules offered through the American Foundry Society. Currently Mike Modla and Ethan Fritz are in the top-5 students participating.
Note: These online modules are available, if you are interested, please contact the office.
Benton Foundry has been a member of the American Foundry Society for 25 years.
A Special Thank you to Annette Brown and Sherry Steelefor their tireless effort in processing the ramp-up in personnel during the past two years. The processing of applicants and all of the associated paperwork (health care, training, wage attachments, etc.) requires a tremendous amount of work.
Thank you for all that you do.
Good Job To All During These Exceptionally Difficult Times
Pennsylvania “Do Not Call” List Now Permanent
Legislation providing for a permanent “Do Not Call” List has been signed into law as Act 73 of 2019. Additional provisions require a telemarketer using robocalls to provide an opt-out process for the called party within the first few seconds of each call and to include a toll-free call back number that directly connects a person to the opt-out process, if a message is left. Telemarketing calls are also now prohibited on legal holidays. The “Do Not Call” List is administered and maintained by the Office of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
According to the Office of the Attorney General, all consumers previously registered are permanently enrolled and not required to re-register. You may enroll, verify your number or register and/or submit a complaint on the websites listed below.
“Do Not Call” List: https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/protect-yourself/do-notcall-list/
Irving Wolfe, Sr.
Bill Ferguson, Jr.
red Hittle is retiring after a 31-year career with Benton Foundry. Fred works in our grinding room as a bench grinder. He and his wife, Robin live outside of Orangeville. They have a son, Fred Jr. Fred is looking forward to spending more time with his family and getting outdoors this spring. He enjoys mowing grass and fishing. We want to thank Fred for his dedicated, loyal service and we wish him a happy, healthy and long retirement. Fred did an admirable job grinding sample castings and instructing new bench grinders.
What is the most popular drink in the world, that does not contain alcohol?
Answer will be in 2nd Quarter 2020
Answer from the 4th Quarter Question:
“Nothing is a waste of time, if you use the experience wisely”
~ Auguste Rodin