We really do change as we age. Our opinions evolve. Our tastes develop. Our interests change.
One example from my life is the role of sports. In my teens and early 20s, I was an avid watcher of college and professional sports, spending entire days consumed by the action on the screen or on the field in front of me. Today, while I still watch my teams and follow the news, I prefer to be an active participant by coaching my daughters and practicing with them (usually missing the games that were once can’t miss).
The reason this discussion is pertinent to manufacturing are the two pictures you see at the bottom of this Editorial. The photo on the left is a metal casting that connects the chain for a swing to the horizontal support bar on a swing set. The photo on the right is an arm that supports the kettle where popcorn cooks in a carnival-style popcorn maker. These are photos I took of metal castings just because it was cool to see castings-in-action that I have never seen before.
During a presentation I give on the current state of the metalcasting industry, I often say that when you stand in the middle of an average American city, you are never more than 10 feet from a metal casting. The reason I state this is to emphasize the importance of manufacturing and metalcasting in our everyday lives, even if we don’t see it. While I have made that statement hundreds of times, it is hard to hide my excitement when it comes true before my eyes.
Eighteen years ago, I didn’t care about manufacturing. Today, I take pictures of manufactured components because I am excited to see them.
To this end, we have set up a Facebook contest for casting buyers and designers as well as metalcasters. Post your photos of castings you encounter in use in everyday life (outside of your work) to the American Foundry Society (AFS) Facebook page. All photos entered by January 31 will be judged to determine the most unique casting-in-action and the best casting spotter.
We all know manufacturing is part of our professional lives. But for many of you, your interests have evolved to a point that manufacturing is a passion in your personal lives as well. Now is the time to let the industry see it.