Almost every year, the May issue of Modern Casting ranks as one of my favorites. By showcasing the winners of the annual AFS Casting Competition plus coverage of the Metalcasting Congress, this issue highlights industry achievement.
This year’s winner of the Casting Competition is Aristo-Cast Inc. (Almont, Michigan) for a unique lattice-designed seat frame for aerospace applications. The investment caster used its established best practices to bring to life a new way of looking at part design, and the result is encouraging for future applications.
Competition is close every year, and this was no exception. It’s not surprising because the diversity of the metalcasting industry means designers have a lot of different ways of achieving their goals in fantastic ways. This year, the best-in-class and honorable mention winners are prime examples of reducing weight (sometimes even by switching from aluminum to iron), simplifying logistics, improving quality, cutting cost, and turning customer’s dreams and wish lists into reality.
The Casting of the Year winners were on display on the exhibit show floor at Metalcasting Congress in Milwaukee last month. It’s the perfect spot to recognize the achievement—in the middle of the rest of the supply chain showcasing their own best capabilities and products and in tandem with many other top industry awards that are presented, most of which we share on in our post-show coverage starting on page 40.
When achievement and awards are brought up, the misconception can be that the award is the achievement. On the contrary—awards recognize achievement. We should strive for the achievement, not the awards.
So, what has the industry achieved in the last year?
• Advances in additive manufacturing and rapid manufacturing.
• Significant plant safety milestones.
• Advocacy to the next generation of metalcasters and customers.
• Advocacy to our city, state and national leaders.
• Alloy developments in magnesium, copper, aluminum, iron and steel.
• Molding process developments, from wax and lost foam patterns to sand mold filling.
• Improved simulation and prediction tools.
• New tools for employee training and education.
This list doesn’t even start to touch everything. What the individuals of the industry accomplish together when they are working toward the same goals is something to be proud of, and these achievements should be recognized. They elevate the entire industry. Congratulations not just to this year’s winners, but also to all the other members of this industry who have collaborated toward a goal and met it this year.
Click here to see this story as it appears in the May 2017 issue of Modern Casting