You know the saying, "a penny for your thoughts." Well you may not be thinking about it, but that penny traces back to Vermont.
Welcome to Hazelett Strip-Casting Corporation. "We build continuous casting machines for the metals industry," said the company's David Hazelett.
They're the beginning of the supply chain. This 100 thousand square-foot Colchester business makes machines that turn molten metal into solid strips. They're like massive ice trays that cool down aluminum, lead, copper and zinc. "It moves the molten metal through a cavity which has steel belts on two sides and belts and solidifies molten metal into a continuous strip," Hazelett. Said.
Hazelett sends those strip-making machines all over the world to manufacturers that make countless products that we use daily. From cans of sun block and aluminum foil, to the battery in your car, and third of the world's copper rod -- they all start with these metal strips made on Hazelett machines.
Hazelett is the 3rd generation family member to run the business. His son will be the 4th. "My grandfather began working in continuous casting around 1920 and the technology today really stems from that work," Hazelett said.
The machines are large, powerful, and expensive. A Hazelett machine starts at $2 million and goes up to $25 million. It's sold 90 machines to 27 companies around the globe. "One machine can weigh 100 tons," Hazelett said. Ninety may not sound like a lot, but the money is in the parts that constantly need replacing, like rods that cost $20,000 each. Some businesses replace them weekly.
Hazelett says the Green Mountains isn't the most convenient place to have this international business, but the company values the quality of life it provides its 150 employees. "We probably ship out of Vermont the largest product of any company," He said.
Hazelett is focusing on the future, developing technology to be used in the auto industry, like cars that are starting to be built with aluminum bodies. Meanwhile Hazelett's old technology is still worth some coin. "When you go to the store and you put your penny in the take one leave one, you're probably swearing at Hazelett for having produced these silly things," he said.
A continuous casting machine that will continue to be Made in Vermont.
PO Box 4508