Founded in 1946, Wagstaff, Inc., a Spokane, Washington based manufacturer, provides machinery, technology, and service to enable aluminum producers to transform molten aluminum into solid shapes – “billets” (rounds) and “ingots” (slabs) using “direct chill” casting. The direct chill casting process uses water to chill molten aluminum in order to solidify it into desired shapes for further processing by sheet, plate, extrusion, rod, and forged part manufacturing. Around the world, aluminum producers look to Wagstaff for the know-how and equipment to safely cast aluminum.
Find locations served, office locations
- Business Type:
- Industry Type:
- Water and Wastewater
- Market Focus:
- Globally (various continents)
- Year Founded:
expansive engineering department and state-of-the-art manufacturing capabilities, Wagstaff provides innovative, comprehensive solutions to aluminum producers for maximum quality and productivity in the casthouse.
With regional offices around the world and a dedicated customer service team, Wagstaff is available and responsive to customer needs. Equipment installations around the world require a robust technical service team for after-sale commissioning and service. In addition to a core technical service team in Spokane, Wagstaff has representatives in Brazil, China, UK, The Netherlands, Australia, Croatia, Russia and Kentucky. These dedicated professionals regularly travel to customer locations around the world to provide on-site installation assistance, service, and training.
In addition to its core aluminum business, Wagstaff has expanded its efforts to the custom machining industry with the Wagstaff Applied Technologies group. They utilize Wagstaff innovation and craftsmanship to provide performance-driven solutions in machining, process automation, and project management. Wagstaff Applied Technologies has experience serving nuclear, defense, semi-conductor, and OEM sectors.
Locally, Wagstaff is a contributor to many social programs and community action efforts. As one of the largest manufacturing facilities and prominent employers in the area, Wagstaff has committed to keeping its headquarters and core manufacturing operations in the Pacific Northwest. This strategic contribution earned Wagstaff the International Trade Alliance Exporter of the Year Award in 2005.
Aluminum billets and ingots cast with genuine Wagstaff casting equipment symbolize the standard by which all others are measured. Quality finished products mean better profits to the producer, and the result is maximum return on investment. Wagstaff products provide the aluminum producer a value that can be realized year after year.
Wagstaff, Inc. is a family owned, American engineering/manufacturing leader in the global aluminum industry. Innovation, service, integrity, and quality are the foundational cornerstones underpinning 70 years of successful industry leadership.
It all started in 1946 in a pump-house behind George Wagstaff’s family home. That first year, George, a skilled machinist, used a war-surplus lathe he had traded work for to make sub-contracted parts for another machine shop. During the day he worked at the lathe and during the night he worked at the Kaiser Trentwood Aluminum plant. Over time his hard work paid off allowing him to purchase a second lathe and expand his machining business.
Today, Wagstaff, Inc. is the recognized leader in the design, development, supply, and service of the systems and equipment required to produce primary aluminum ingot and billet using direct chill (DC) casting methods in casthouses around the world.
The entry into the aluminum industry occurred when George’s oldest son, Bill, fresh with an engineering degree, joined the business in 1958. Kaiser Aluminum needed spray boxes built for their Mead, Washington plant. The spray boxes presented both engineering and manufacturing challenges, requiring some 7,000 precisely drilled water holes. Their ultimate success with the spray boxes set the direction of the company. Over the next several years, Wagstaff built more of these boxes, further refining the design and processes until they had produced an integral jacketed sheet ingot mold from a solid block of aluminum; creating the first direct chill ingot mold.
In 1968, Bill’s brother Frank, with a Ph.D. in ceramic engineering, joined the company. The two eventually purchased the company from their parents with the promise to build on the core belief that if they continue to build quality products and give exceptional service, the business would thrive.
It wasn’t long before they produced another industry changing breakthrough with the invention of the MaxiCast™ Hot Top Billet Casting System. This allowed casters to produce more billets per cast in their existing casting pits while requiring less time and fewer personnel. Within the space of another year, the Wagstaff AirSlip® Air Casting Technology was developed and patented. This became the industry standard mold for producing the highest quality billet, and remains so today.
Over the next several years, as the business and number of personnel grew, they expanded the range of casting technology products to include metal level control systems, the AutoCast™ automated casting control system, the Wagstaff ShurCast™ casting machine, and many more innovations to enhance casthouse maintenance and operations procedures.
In 1986, Wagstaff opened a brand new Research and Development (R&D) facility fully staffed with technicians, craftspeople, engineers, and metallurgists. The company invested heavily in a robust, globally dispersed Technical Service group to provide customers with technical assistance in troubleshooting, startup, maintenance, and alloy development. Product specific training was developed and tailored to meet a customer’s individual requirements, including supervision, installation, and commissioning of Wagstaff casting equipment.
A major investment in new facilities took place in 1992, when Wagstaff built a manufacturing, sales, and service facility in Hebron, Kentucky. This ideal location provided more efficient access to the many aluminum producers in the eastern U.S. and expanded the capabilities for refurbishment of molds, starting heads, and billet casting tables. Wagstaff also expanded further into foreign markets with the opening of a European office in Hamburg, Germany to provide better service for European customers.
Significant research and development continued on new and innovative ingot molds, producing the Wagstaff LHC™ Low Head Composite Mold for casting sheet ingot, followed closely by LHC™ with VariMold™ Adjustable Ingot Casting Technology, which gave LHC casters the flexibility of casting multiple ingot widths through one mold. The Epsilon™ Rolling Ingot Casting Technology mold was introduced as a flexible ingot casting platform that required a less demanding casting environment.
On the billet side, Wagstaff was keen to offer a more adaptable and economical alternative to the flagship AirSlip mold. The result was NuMax™, a serious upgrade from the original MaxiCast mold, but with a design and new features that provided billet casters with a mold capable of producing billets with minimal inputs compared to AirSlip Technology. Wagstaff’s AutoFlo™ Casting Gas Control System was introduced in 2007. This system provides precise gas mass flow management independently to each AirSlip billet mold throughout the entire casting sequence.
In the last decade, significant breakthroughs have been made in aerospace alloy applications. For advanced alloy aerospace applications and larger billet diameters, Wagstaff developed the ARC™ billet mold technology. These molds are capable of producing billets up to 48-in. in diameter, typically used for strong alloy forging applications. For aerospace applications in the rolling ingot arena, Wagstaff developed the Epsilon™ Ingot Casting System for Aerospace Alloys as an advanced, specialized system specifically to cast strong alloys for commercial, aerospace, and military applications.
Continuing its strong commitment to ongoing R&D efforts, Wagstaff recently completed a state-of-the-art, full scale research casthouse outfitted with a production-sized casting pit; 60k furnace; and advanced water quality, metal filtration, and automation systems. The center not only serves experimental casting research, but is also utilized for showcasing new technologies and training customers.
In 2015, Wagstaff hosted Casting Confidence Week, bringing together aluminum casters from around the world for a week of technical presentations, hands-on workshops, and interactions with industry peers. As with the many prior User’s Conferences and workshops that Wagstaff hosted over the years, this one provided an excellent source of current information, expertise, and industry networking opportunities.
In 2016, Wagstaff commemorated its 70th anniversary. Company leadership is now in the capable hands of Bill’s daughter, Barbara Wagstaff Parkes (President), and son, Michael Wagstaff (Chairman of the Board). Subsidiary facilities in multiple locations around the globe bolster the company’s worldwide presence. State-of-the-art R&D facilities ensure continued industry innovation and leadership. Recently expanded manufacturing and engineering capabilities promise continued quality, service, and customer satisfaction.
Our goal is to make the Wagstaff name synonymous with superior quality and customer satisfaction. We achieve this by satisfying applicable requirements and continually improving the Quality Management System. Wagstaff has been ISO 9001 certified since 1995, and continually seeks to improve and work towards our common quality and business goals.
Certifications and Qualifications
- ASME-NQA-1-2008 with 2009 Addenda
- 10 CFR 50 Appendix B
- 10 CFR 830.122
- 10 CFR 71, Subpart H
- ISO 9001:2008
- ASME Div. 1 'U' Stamp (view certificate)
- AWS D1.1, D1.6
Our staff includes trained and certified quality assurance professionals. Certified personnel include:
- Lead auditors certified to requirements of ASME NQA-1
- Non destructive test personnel certified to the requirements of ASNT SNT-TC-1A
- In-house NDE: Visual, magnetic particle, liquid penetrant, and leak testing
- Contracted NDE services: Radiographic, ultrasonic, and electromagnetic
- Weld inspectors certified in accordance with the requirements of the American Welding Society
Wagstaff maintains state-of-the-art measuring and test equipment in order to meet the stringent requirements of the nuclear and hydropower industries.
- 11' x 7' Coordinate Measuring Machine housed in a climate controlled room
- FARO Platinum Series
- FARO Edge
- FARO Laser Tracker
- Optical Comparator
- Electronic Profilometer
- Rockwell Hardness Tester