Lawton Standard launches a new era of casting excellence through acquisitions and collective expertise

Specializing in high alloy and complicated metallurgical castings, whether made of iron or steel, The Lawton Standard Co. (Lawton Standard) is closing the generational gap in foundries by bringing manufacturing back onshore and positively impacting communities. Since its establishment, Lawton’s core objective has been to transition from encompassing a handful of foundries to becoming an integrated supplier of castings driven by the same management characteristics, policies, mission, and vision. In line with its vision of raising quality standards in foundries, the company continually invests in technology and systems to make its work even safer, cleaner, and more efficient. Alex Lawton, CEO, explains the idea behind the creation of Lawton and how the company came to be where it is today. 

“Officially founded in 2019, Lawton Standard is the result of the merger between two companies: The C.A. Lawton Co. and Temperform, LLC. Based in Wisconsin,Cast iron cylinders with yellow ends C.A. Lawton was established in 1879, of which I’m the fifth-generation owner. C.A. Lawton primarily focuses on large iron and ductile iron castings. Temperform is in Michigan and specializes in heat, corrosion, and abrasion-resistant steel and stainless-steel castings. Despite these differences, they share a similar foundation as casting- or foundry-based businesses with machining operations, pattern shops, and value-added services throughout the casting production process. Furthermore, each company’s ownership shares a related market outlook and vision for the future. Therefore, we decided to join forces to grow together in the industry by leveraging our common outlook, type of operations, and customer approach. Ever since forming Lawton Standard and merging the two companies, we have experienced tremendous growth, marked by a series of acquisitions and internal improvements aimed at enhancing our operations and broadening our product offerings,” Alex remarked. 

Strategic partnerships 

With both companies’ capabilities gathered under the Lawton name, the company now offers a wide range of complex services. “If a client is interested in our offerings, they can utilize our Foundry Capability Tool, which provides a comprehensive overview of various attributes such as size, material type, and complexity. Additionally, it highlights our different locations as well as their capacity and capabilities, hence depicting on a single screen where Lawton can best serve a specific customer or market. We have dedicated several years to building and refining our capability tool with the ultimate goal of encouraging repeat business. By providing exceptional customer service, technical expertise, high-quality parts, and reliability, we cultivate long-term relationships with our customers and target market segments. Indeed, having already catered to the specific needs of these customers, we have implemented the appropriate infrastructure to effectively fulfill an even wider range of their requirements in the future,” continues Alex. 

“Lawton achieves this through its various in-house manufacturing operations and services group, including distribution-based businesses with brokerage and representation offerings. These services match an external company’s capacity and capabilities with our customers’ requirements. Since we work with engineered components, this endeavor can be challenging, involving significant collaboration and know-how. Thus, we have incorporated our ability to procure parts from other companies directly into our capability tool. This allows us to focus on our core specialization while leveraging the expertise of businesses that excel in producing specific components. Additionally, at a centralized level, we strive to streamline the process, making the back-and-forth interactions more efficient for customers and ensuring that the right component is sourced from the appropriate supplier, at the correct price point, and with the desired quality level,” he adds. 

Recently, Lawton successfully partnered with another business, Renaissance Manufacturing Group (RMG), thereby boosting its abilities further. “We initially discussed forming a partnership with RMG approximately 18 months ago. We assessed our respective specializations, considering how RMG could potentially enhance our sales or how we could assist their customers with our products. As we connected exceptionally well, we joined forces. To that end, we needed to centralize our sales and services, cohesively enter the market, and develop the necessary infrastructure to support customers beyond manufacturing alone. Consequently, we decided to consolidate these operations under the leadership of RMG, with individuals from both Lawton and RMG contributing to the management. This allowed us to broaden our capabilities, as RMG’s Alabama foundry produces components with slightly smaller part sizes and higher production volumes compared to Lawton’s previous offerings. Likewise, RMG possesses a separate machine shop, elevating our technical expertise and presenting additional capabilities. Lastly, as it boasts refined processes that have been diligently executed for a long time, RMG has provided us with a stronger team and increased support, both in terms of sales and problem-solving,” Alex elaborates. 

As we reach the end of our conversation, Alex highlights his ambitions for Lawton’s future. “I envision the next era as a period of strategic growth investments with fewer acquisitions. Our goal is to continue increasing our output and revenue capacity. To achieve this, Lawton will shift its investments towards capital expenditures in robotics, software, and more modern mechanical equipment. In addition, we will intensify our research and development efforts to align with our sustainability targets and develop high-quality solutions that remain affordable for our customers,” he ends. 

By committing to strategic partnerships and acquisitions, Lawton is empowered to relentlessly enhance the quality and innovation for which it is renowned.