Manufacturing Capital

Manufacturing Capital: Assets, Quality & CSI, and Supply Chain

L.B. Foster Company is a global solutions provider of engineered, manufactured products and services that builds and supports infrastructure. The Company’s innovative engineering and product development solutions address the safety, reliability, and performance needs of its customers’ most challenging requirements.

Our organization activities can be found in various Standard Industry Classification (SIC) such as Manufacturing (31-33), Concrete (3273), Steel Manufacturing from Purchased Steel (3312), Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (332), Metal Coating (332812), Fabricated Pipe and Pipe Fitting Manufacturing (332996) or Railroad Rolling Stock Manufacturing (3365).

Manufacturing Footprint

Our footprint has operational control of approximately fifteen production facilities forming more than 313 total acres. We have an added fifteen support facilities including warehouses, yard space and sales offices. These are foundational assets that deliver the value of products and services to the customers and markets we serve. A summary of our assets includes:



LB Foster Production 

Market & Customers 

Hillsboro, TX 

Nampa, ID 

Waverly, WV 




Mixture design for various reinforced precast products 

Federal, State and Local governments supporting infrastructure projects. 

Bedford, PA 


Fabricate bridge components (forms, grid decking, rails) 

Federal, State and Local governments supporting infrastructure projects 

Birmingham, AL 

Willis, TX 

Steel pipe 


Apply protective coating to steel products 

Energy and water extraction and distribution 

Willis, TX 

Steel pipe 



Fabricate energy measuring and metering systems 

Midstream energy distribution 

Magnolia, TX 

Steel pipe 

Cut, weld and thread steel pipes 

Water extraction and/or distribution for agricultural, municipal, and industrial  

Columbia City, IN 

Steel rail stock 

Distribution and/or fabrication of stock rail 

Transit authorities and industrial plants 

Niles, OH 

Pueblo, CO 

Steel rail 


Fabricate insulated rail joints and friction management application systems 

Freight operators and transit authorities 

Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, QC (divested 2022)


Fabricate rail spikes, anchors, fasteners, caps, joint bars

Freight operators and transit authorities

Burnaby, BC 


Hardware equipment 

Assemble friction management application systems 

Freight operators and transit authorities 

Spokane, WA 




Mixture design for reinforced precast concrete rail ties 

Freight operators and transit authorities 

Sheffield, UK 



Chemicals Aggregates 

Fabricate rail & track products and friction management applications systems 

Rail and Transit Authorities 

Quality and Continuous Sustainable Improvement (CSI)

At L.B. Foster, we take quality seriously for the purpose of creating value for our customers and meeting their expectations. Our quality management system (QMS) is designed around the needs of the customer and ensures they remain satisfied with the products and services we provide. Our system encompasses all processes and personnel. The QMS covers the design of our products, order reviews, supplier quality, production, inspection, shipping, and post-delivery support.

All LBF manufacturing locations have Quality Management Systems that are certified to ISO9001 and/or industry-specific quality standards such as PCI, NPCA, AAR M-1003, and AISC 207. 

Over the last two years, LBF quality department has focused on improving customer response time when customer quality issues are presented. Since 2020, response time has improved by 32%. This metric encompasses the days it takes to thoroughly investigate issues, find root causes, and implement actions to prevent recurrence. 

Customer Response Time FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021
Days 67.5 26.0 20.0

We check the success of our quality program by tracking the Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ). We started baselining these costs across all manufacturing locations throughout 2020-2021. The costs include, but are not limited to: 

  • Scrap and rework 
  • Repair costs
  • Re-inspection / Retesting of rework
  • Downgrading 
  • Added freight costs (returns, replace, expediting)
  • 3rd party costs / penalties
  • Added field service costs
  • Complaint investigation/resolution costs 

In 2020 and 2021, we estimated these costs to be ~0.48% of COGS while pursuing a future target.

Cost of Poor Quality FY 2019 FY 2020 FY 2021
% of Cost of Goods Sold n/a 0.48 0.48

As well, our facilities also have an impact on value creation, and therefore we engage continual improvement of our manufacturing facilities, production, and processes to optimize our assets. We use leading methods to ensure continuing and sustainable process improvement, and in 2021 we had various CI efforts in the form of 5S training, 5S audits and general CI information. 

Continuous Improvement FY 2021
Training session at 18 separate locations
5S Audits 698 audit events
Strategy 17 different meetings/information sessions to discuss various CI topics: TRACtion software, CI Strategy, CI support & coaching, and CI project mentorship.
Supply Chain Partners

L.B. Foster manages relationships with over 1,900 vendors and $240+ million spend and expects business to be conducted honestly and responsibly, with integrity and transparency. Our Global Vendor Code of Conduct applies to all suppliers, contractors, consultants, agents, and others that provide goods and services to our Company, subsidiaries, and affiliates. This Code has been developed to clarify our global expectations in the areas of business integrity, employee health and safety, environmental management, and labor practices. Vendors are responsible for compliance throughout their operations and entire supply chain.

Globally, we typically engage with half or appx. 1,000 partners and suppliers. We have dedicated supplier management teams that are responsible for maintaining a healthy, collaborative relationship focused on cost, quality, service levels, and continuous improvement of processes. We conduct supplier reviews based on risk assessments following our ISO requirements. Supply chain team members, with our Tier 1 & 2 vendors, have regular one-on-one meetings, corrective action incident reporting for non-conforming products or services, and take part in industry and trade shows to remain aware of technological advances.