Photo Du JourWindsor

End of an era

After 73 years of serivce, Albert Kahn’s massive foundry is permanently closed as part of “The Way Forward”. As if Windsor’s economy isn’t in the toilet enough, toss another 450 people on to the rolls of the unemployed.

The sure don’t build factories like this anymore.

Even a little brick would be nice 🙂

By the time I took this photo today, production had already ceased. A sad day for Windsor. Apparently there is supposed to be an “Open House” at the casting plant for the General Public this Sunday, June 3rd, does anyone have any details?

From the official Ford Press Release


* During the last 73 years, the Windsor Casting Plant has produced more than 50 million cylinder block castings and crankshafts for Ford engines.
* Windsor Casting Plant employees have demonstrated leadership in their dedication to quality, environmental stewardship and their commitment to the community.
* Ford is moving away from in-house casting operations due to the competitive realities of today’s auto industry and the need to focus on the core business.

WINDSOR, Ontario, May 29, 2007 – Production at the 73-year-old Windsor Casting Plant ended today as Ford Motor Company continues to transform its North American automotive operations into a profitable and sustainable business.

“It is a tribute to the employees at the Windsor Casting Plant that they have achieved outstanding productivity levels with consistently high quality throughout this year, right down to the last engine block produced,” said AdrianVido, Windsor site manager, Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited. ” The company’s decision to move away from in-house casting operations is based on a thorough analysis of our business and a need to focus on our core operations. While difficult, these are the right actions for Ford’s future.”

The company also recently announced that it will end casting production at the Ford facility in Cleveland, Ohio.

The Windsor Casting Plant opened in 1934 and most recently employed 500 people. It produces cylinder block castings for 4.2-litre V6 engines and crankshafts for 4.2-litre V6, 5.4-litre V8, 3.0-litre V6, 4.6-litre V8 and 2.3-litre engines. The plant is also one of the largest recyclers of iron and steel in Southern Ontario. All the steel used in the cylinder blocks and crankshafts is recycled material.

“For decades, workers at the Windsor Casting Plant have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to quality workmanship and pride in a job well done. They leave the plant today with their heads held high,” said Mike Vince, president, Canadian Auto Workers Local 200.

Working with the CAW, Ford of Canada has offered financial assistance packages worth up to $100,000 to help employees in Windsor retire, or move their careers in new directions. The company has also partnered with the Ontario government to open an employment counseling and training centre specifically for Ford employees impacted by the restructuring. Programs and services for these workers include: job-search assistance, training information, vocational and educational counseling, personal support in dealing with the stress of job loss, financial counseling and information about starting a small business.

“A key priority is to help our employees, their families and the community through this difficult transition,” said Tom McWilliams, manufacturing manager and a 24-year Ford veteran, including 17 years at Windsor Casting. “It’s simply the right thing to do in a tough situation.”


* Opened November 9, 1934

* Size: 500,000 square feet (46,450 m 2) on 22-acre (nine-hectare) site

* Employees: 400 Hourly; 50 Salaried

* Current Products: Cylinder blocks – 4.2-litre V6

Crankshafts – 4.2-litre V6, 5.4-litre V8, 3.0-litre V6, 4.6-litre V8, 2.3-litre

* Production:
o 91,000 tonnes of molten metal poured/year
o Produces about 500,000 engine blocks/year
o Two million crankshafts produced each year for seven models, ranging from 22-pound to 38-pound crankshafts for everything from small inline four-cylinder engines to V-8s
o Largest recycler of iron and steel in Southern Ontario. All the steel used in cylinder blocks and crankshafts produced is recycled.

* Past Products: Cast iron cylinder heads, master cylinder for braking system, cylinder blocks and crankshafts

* Industry Awards:
o 1989 Windsor Casting Plant wins Ford’s Q-1 award for meeting the company’s highest quality standards audited by world headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan.
o 1998 Windsor Casting Plant certified to the ISO 14001 environmental management standard.
o 1999 The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment awards Windsor Casting Plant its Pollution Prevention Award for Large Business for 1998.
o 1999 Windsor Casting Plant is the recipient of the 1999 Powertrain Division Most Improved Award for Safety Performance for Casting and Forging Operations.


1934 – Ground broken for new Foundry (Windsor Casting Plant).

1935 – Production at new Electric Furnace Foundry starts. First product is crankshafts.

1941 – Automotive casting work ceases to make parts for Universal and Windsor carriers produced for World War II.

1946 – Windsor Casting shifts back to civilian automotive production.

1970 – Name of plant changed from Windsor Iron Foundry to Windsor Casting Plant.

1970 – Waste water treatment plant opens at Windsor Casting.

1980 – Windsor Casting Plant shut down because of decreased demand.

1981 – Windsor Casting Plant reopened.

1989 – WCP wins Ford’s Q-1 award. Q-1 winners are rated by the plants they supply for product quality, delivery performance and service levels. The company’s highest standards must be met and a plant’s performance is audited by world headquarters in Dearborn before the award is given.

1998 – Windsor Casting Plant uses the scrap steel from the demolished Windsor Engine #1 in production of 175,000 cast iron cylinder blocks.

1998 – WCP receives ISO 14001 certification for having implemented the highest standards of environmental conservation and preservation for the manufacture of cast iron cylinder blocks and crankshafts.

1999 – The Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment awards WCP its Pollution Prevention Award for Large Business for 1998.

1999 – WCP is the recipient of the 1999 Powertrain Division Most Improved Award for Safety Performance for Casting and Forging Operations.

2003 – Scrap steel from the old office building in Oakville is cut up and shipped to WCP for recycling. Scraps were melted down, purified and turned into crankshafts and engine blocks for V-6 engines.

2006 – Ford Motor Company announces its Way Forward plan to return its North American operations to profitability. The plan includes aligning customer demand with capacity, and Windsor Casting Plant is identified as one of nine manufacturing plants to be idled by 2008.

2007 – Windsor Casting Plant ceases production.

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