Potential Impediment of Foundry Capacity Relative to National Defense Needs.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC ENERGY AND MINERALS DIV
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Foundries, which produce castings by pouring molten metal into a mold, are one of the Nations most basic industries. As the fifth largest manufacturing industry, it produces 15 to 20 million tons of castings annually at a value of more than 21 billion. These castings provide critical components in aircraft, automotive, construction, energy, military equipment, and railroad industries and are found in 90 percent of U.S. manufactured items. Foundries, 97 percent of which are small businesses employing less than 250 people, employ more than 420,000 people and are located in all 50 States. Despite this key position, the number of foundries has declined by 1,479 since 1957 at a fairly steady rate, leaving the United States with 4,279 foundries in September 1980. Most of these were relatively small sized foundries however, within the past year a significant number of larger automotive and other foundries have closed. The effect of closures on domestic capacity and specifically surge capacity is a significant area of concern.
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