Saskatchewan native Al Hunter was foundry industry pioneer
- November 2, 2011
William Allen, president of Hunter Automated, Schaumberg, IL, and a pioneer in the machine foundry industry, has died.
The 89-year-old Wilkie, SK, native invented a matchplate moulding and mould handling system, a machine now used worldwide in the foundry industry. He had a passion for invention and at the time of his death, held more than 80 patents.
At the age of 18, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force. After his release from military service, he moved to Toronto to attend university and worked part time as a floor moulder at John T. Hepburn Foundry to pay for his part time education.
In 1957, now married with four children, he and his family moved to Chicago for his new position as chief engineer for Beardsley & Piper, a manufacturing of machinery for metal casting. He left the company in 1963 and founded Hunter Automated Machinery Corp. one year later to work on his concept for an automatic matchplate moulding system.
During his years at the helm of his company, he developed many concepts used every day in foundry operations, including the multi-level mould handling systems and automatic core-setters.