progressive foundry

Our Mission Statement

The goal of Progressive Foundry is to supply the highest quality gray and ductile iron castings to as broad a market as we can capably and ably serve. It is our pledge to operate within the parameters of Federal and Iowa statutes and to be unique in both the quality of our service and the quality of our product. It is important to us that through fairness and dedication we be respected by our employees, suppliers, competitors, customers, and perhaps most importantly, the community in which we live and work. With this in mind, we hope to create an environment in which our customers will be well-served, our employees can work safely and productively, and management can expect a fair return on investment.





Our History

Progressive Foundry, originally a supplier of cast iron washing machine parts, was started in the 1920's by Richard Tietjen. It all began in the basement of the At Last Washing Machine Factory where it continued until 1934 when the washing machine factory closed. From 1934 until the death of Richard Tietjen in 1941 it was operated by Tietjen with the help of his sons, Herman and Harold, and expanded both in plant size and equipment and ultimately employed forty workers. Herman became sole owner in 1944 when Harold was killed in action during World War II. By 1946 the plant had grown to cover an area of one-half square block and produced grey iron castings for manufacturers throughout the Midwest. From the early 1950's until 1966, the company changed owners several times passing from Harold Tietjen to Harold Schroeder to Larry Siemens and John Fisher in 1960, and finally to Safetran Systems of Louisville, Kentucky, in 1966. Safetran, a manufacturer of railroad traffic signals operated the foundry until it was purchased by Mike Hodges and Pete VanKirk in 1981. In 1985, VanKirk bought Hodges' share and has continued the foundry as a family business until the present. During the past fifteen years Progressive Foundry has grown from 35,000 to 100,000 square feet with state of the art molding and mold handling equipment. The grinding and shipping department has been moved and is now in a new building with conveyor belts to move castings to locations for final grinding and inspection. All patterns are stored off site in a fire-safe building for their safety. Our market has expanded in the Midwest and Southwest and on to the west coast. Progressive Foundry has become a high-production jobbing foundry for small and large orders in grey and ductile iron castings.

Meet our team

Meet our Professional Staff that excel in providing the best outcome inside their area of expertise. We are proud to mention that after years of service, our staff has raise the bar and excel day after day at Progressive Foundry. We are also thankful for the many men and women serving under their leadership. We couldn't ask for more. Thank you for your service.


Vice President

Vice President

Quality Control



Pete VanKirk


Darek VanKirk

Kirk VanKirk

Trent Fellom

Kathy Garber

Darwin Whipple

Foundry Departments

Progressive Foundry Departments Preview

Department equipment

Melting Furnaces Dept.

2 – 5 Metric Ton Inductotherm furnaces

2 – 5 Ton overhead Bridge Cranes

1 – 3 Ton Bridge Crane

Molding Dept.

Simpson Multimull continuous Muller w/ Hartley

sand tester in house Sand lab

3 – Hunter 20 x 24 Automatic Molding Machines

1 – Hunter 14 x 19 Automatic Molding Machine

4 – Hunter Automatic Mold Handling Systems

Core Dept.

2 – Laempe 20 Isocure Machines

1 – Gaylord Isocure Machine

1 – Redford SA Isocure Machines

4 – Redford 16 Automatic Shell Core Machines

1 – Redford 22 Automatic Shell Core Machines

2 – Dependable 42 Shell Core Machines

1 – Dependable 43 Shell Core Machine

1 – Air-set bench Isocure Operation

Continuous Flow Core Drying Oven

Cleaning Dept.

2 – 14 Cube Wheelabrators

1 – Wheelabrator Table Blast

7 – Fox 30 x 2 in Snag Grinders

5 – Secondary Grind Stations






Grey Iron Grades

Class 20

Class 25

Class 30

Class 31

Class 35

Class 40

Ductile Iron Classes






Lab Equipment

1. Spectrograph

2. Tinius Olsen Tensile Tester

3. Olympus GX51 Microscope with Software

4. 2 King Brinell Testers

5. 1 Stereo Scope

Value added

Water based Primer Coat Paint Line

(Red and Black)

Powder Coat

In-house Heat Treat Furnace

Normalize/annealing/stress relief /austempering

Machining services

ISO Certificate

Our ISO 9001:2008 certification specifies the requirements for a quality management system where we demonstrate our ability to consistently provide products that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

We aim to enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the system, including processes for continual improvement of the system and the assurance of conformity to customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.

COntact US

Feel free to fill out the contact form with your name and email and also a brief message. You can also give us a call or send us an email.

Progressive Foundry, Inc

1518 First Street

P.O. Box 338

Perry, Iowa 50220


Phone: (515)-465-5697

Fax:     (515)-465-3101




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