Scottish Branch - January Technical Meeting
The first lecture of the Scottish Branch in 2012 was opened by Branch President George Beattie, who welcomed our speaker, Mr Ian Young OBE MA, BCom, FICME, National Vice President of the Institute. Ian is the Managing Director of the Archibald Young group, his paper entitled: 50 Years of a Foundry Family, was well received by a large appreciative audience.
Ian started his talk on the history of the group by saying that he was born and brought up in Kirkintilloch, a “Foundry Town” just outside Glasgow, and of a “Foundry Family” as one might expect coming from such a community, he is the 5th generation of foundrymen, his forebears started off as labourers, foundry foremen and then as a foundry supervisor each generation progressing. Ian listed the foundries that used to be in Kirkintilloch, these gradually closing over the years with the last shutting in the 1980’s, Leaving Archibald Young’s.
The Archibald Young (Brassfounders) Ltd story started with Ian’s Dad who was working for the Forth Clyde Steel Foundry saw that the foundry was not growing, there was no investment and that other foundries in the town were closing. In 1959 he decided to start on his own, so he formed Archibald Young (Brassfounders) Ltd, initially it had 2 employees, he and his wife, Ian’s mother, the turnover in the 1st year was £5,600 6 shillings and sixpence, the Archibald Young Group of companies now has a turnover of £8m employing 120 people which has been achieved through organic growth and acquisition.
When Ian joined his dad there were 6 employees in leased premises, in 1972 they invested in the purchase of 1 ¾ acres of land on the outskirts of the town and erected the current foundry. The moulding process at that time was greensand; one of the main castings produced was the doors for telephone kiosks which had been produced in their hundreds by the Lion Foundry. As he was relating the growth of the Company Ian was illustrating the various developments, layouts and examples of castings made with slides. 1982 saw the introduction of CO2 as an additional moulding process.1985 an induction furnace was purchased which allowed iron to be melted and cast and generally greater flexibility overall, Young’s at this time expanded the production of castings for the pump and valve industries. The company also is involved in producing decorative and art castings ranging in size and weight. This expansion, Ian explained was all paid for from retained profit, no bank borrowing also investment in traditional skills , the Company has maintained its level of apprentices at 10% of the work force. Perth Foundry & G S Thomson were purchased in 1992, the Perth foundry was badly affected by the Floods of 1994, it was then closed and the work transferred to Kirkintilloch and Thomson’s in Motherwell. Design Alloys which was based in Falkirk was bought in 2000, Young’s at this time were planning to build an extension to the Kirkintilloch foundry to allow the transfer of the Design Alloys, work when fortuitously the company (a machineshop) adjacent to GS Thomson in Motherwell went into liquidation, Ian bought the premises together with the equipment, expanded Thomsons’s into these premises at a considerable saving over the cost of the proposed extension.
Ian ventured south of the border when he bought out one of the partners in Premier Castings of Oldham; this allowed a greater range of irons to be produced by the Group. With investment in additional furnace and sand mixing capacity the foundry has increased the weight of casting able to be poured together with an increase in the annual tonnage and turnover.
The latest addition to the Group has been Peel Jones which was added in 2009. Peel Jones specializes in high conductivity copper castings for blast furnace tuyeres, tapping boxes, launders and various panels used in furnace applications. Slides were shown of the foundry layout, moulds prior to casting and some finished castings. Ian related the high standards of inspection to which the castings were subjected. All the castings produced are exported.
The Archibald Young Group of companies tries to be a one stop shop for its customers casting most commonly used alloys with the exception of steel. It has remained true to the beliefs of its founder, Ian’s Dad, in that they continue to invest in traditional skills, training apprentices, reinvesting profits earned. The plant, premises and acquisitions being paid for from retained profits, the Company having never borrowed.
There followed a lively question and answer session with the vote of thanks being given my Mr Steve Waring.
The Teas and coffees were courtesy of the Scottish Branch the ICME.