LOS ANGELES A
large forging press thats been a "headwind" for Precision
Castparts Corp. (PCC) for more than a year is due back
on-stream after an extended outage.
Mark Donegan, the
Portland, Ore.-based companys chairman and chief
executive officer, told securities analysts at a recent
Citigroup Inc. conference in New York that a program to
refurbish a 29,000-ton press in Houston last year is "on plan"
for completion in the current quarter with "no surprises."
When asked this past
week if work on the press was complete, a PCC spokesman said
the company has only disclosed that the maintenance shutdown
would take eight weeks in the quarter ended Sept. 30 and is "on
PCC first revealed the
Houston press was contributing to "significant headwinds" for
the investment castings, forgings and airframe products
producer last year upon releasing its fiscal second-quarter
earnings results (
amm.com, Oct. 25).
Components of the
29,000-ton press that were expected to last 20 years instead
lasted only five years.
The company had
temporarily "de-rated" the press back to its original
25,000-ton rating and "offloaded" work that required a
29,000-ton press to the 35,000-ton press at its Wyman-Gordon
forging unit in Grafton, Mass.
Donegan earlier this
year said "inefficiencies" at the press still hadnt been
remedied, adding that it probably wouldnt be back to
normal until the "back half" of the companys fiscal year,
which ends March 31, 2014 (
amm.com, May 9).
Donegan told Citigroup
conference attendees that the press was "migrated" from 25,000
to 29,000 tons before it was acquired by PCC, but the upgrade
wasnt done properly and the press columns and
sleeves eventually failed. This quarters work on the
press should be "the last step" in bringing it to a legitimate
quarters outage on the Houston press, combined with
PCCs normal annual forge press maintenance outages, will
have a $20-million impact on PCC, Donegan told analysts in