The Author

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Terry Lutz
The man behind the Signicast vision

Walter (Terry) Lutz, Jr. grew up in Haddonfield, N.J. and earned a Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering from Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. Terry as he is known,
spent 13 years at the Haynes Stellite Division of Union Carbide in Kokomo Indiana starting in the Wrought Alloy Plant before moving to the Technology Center and then the Investment Casting Division. He went from Process Engineer to Manager of Process Quality Control to Manufacturing Manager and finally Engineering Manager.

In 1974 he moved to Cedarberg Wisconsin and joined Signicast Corporation as General Manager. The plant, a small investment caster, was located in Brown Deer Wisconsin. He moved up rapidly to Vice President and then in 1978 he was named President. After purchasing Signicast in 1981, he led the company into high technology and sustained growth.

After a total of 9 additions, the Brown Deer Plant at 98,504 square feet was landlocked. At this point Terry Lutz developed the concept of continuous flow manufacturing and applied it to his vision of a complex of automated manufacturing plants in Hartford Wisconsin. The first plant, called Module 1, was opened in 1993 and resulted in a dramatic reduction of lead times while reducing costs and improving quality. Over the next 12 years the Hartford Manufacturing complex expanded to six separate building totaling 437,879 square feet, all connected by glass enclosed corridors on a 38 acre campus.Thus Signicast was transformed from a small job shop to the largest and most automated investment caster in the USA.

Reluctantly in 2008, he sold Signicast to The Pritzker Group but stayed on as president until retiring in 2012. He led Signicast from sales of $1 million and 30 employees in 1974 to $149 million in sales and 690 employees at retirement in mid 2012, With 50 years of investment casting experience, this entrepreneur is a recognized expert in the investment casting process, manufacturing automation, and continuous flow manufacturing.