WMU partnership with Japanese corporation forged more than two decades ago


Dr. Sam Ramrattan (second from left) and Dr. Steve Butt (second from right) with senior management at Sintokogio.

Western Michigan University is celebrating a more than 20-year partnership with the Japanese company Sinto Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of foundry equipment and a leader in foundry technologies.

Dr. Sam Ramrattan has a longtime working relationship with top leadership at the company’s Sintokogio division. He and Dr. Steve Butt, WMU department chair of engineering design, manufacturing and management systems, visited the company’s manufacturing facilities and forged stronger research ties with the company. They also met with Sintokogio president Atchi Nagai, spoke with company engineers and presented research at the 2016 World Foundry Congress held in Nagoya, Japan.

With the long partnership with Sinto – and its American subsidiary Roberts Sinto in Lansing, Mich. – WMU has received ongoing research and development commitments in metal casting and benefited from additional investment in the college’s metal casting facilities. Roberts Sinto also has hired several WMU engineers after graduation.

 “Our students in the metal casting curriculum enjoy 100 percent placement,” Butt said.  “With continuing support from Sintokogio, we’ll be upgrading our metal casting facility and be able to accommodate even more students.”

WMU offers a unique metal casting lab equipped with machinery, tooling, hardware and software to help students design, produce and test a wide range of cast metals and cast metal matrix composites.

“This has been a very collaborative effort with our colleagues at Sinto,” Ramrattan said. “We really appreciate working with the Sinto Group and are looking forward to continuing and strengthening our affiliation with them.”

Dr. Hiroyasu Makino, from Sintokogio, said collaborating with WMU, sharing technical information and gaining connections to others in the U.S. metal casting industry has been very beneficial to the company as well.