General Kinematics

Sparking Creation Through Castings

Continuing Education/Training, Metalcaster

In an industry that is constantly conscious of its reputation, it’s nice to see when events in metalcasting appear in national, large-scale news outlets. Even nicer when the event involves the younger generation sparking interest as future casters. The icing on the cake: an AFS Chapter picking up on that spark and working to keep it going.

Recently, Calera High School Engineering Academy pre-engineering teacher Brian Copes was chosen by PEOPLE Magazine as one of five teachers of the year, for the spark he’s ignited among his students. In the classroom, Copes inspires his students to create. Under his direction, they created prosthetic legs from used car parts and even traveled to Honduras to fit amputees with the legs. Another trip is in the works for this summer. Check out PEOPLE Magazine’s article and video on Brian Copes! (begins at 3:24).

The AFS Birmingham Chapter also recently donated a metalcasting kit (Foundry-in-a-Box) to Calera High School, providing students with everything from safety equipment and melting units to crucibles and patterns. Working with local metalcasting facilities, these students have already designed and produced their own castings. With their Foundry-in-a-Box, students can work through each part of the metalcasting process in the comfort of their own classroom.

A big pat on the back to Brian Copes and the AFS Birmingham Chapter for rising above and helping to mold the future generation of metalcasters.



Aces for Missouri S&T

Casting Buyer, Metalcaster, Supplier to Metalcasters

The Metallurgical Lab at Missouri University of Science & Technology, Rolla, Mo., is staffed with qualified, knowledgeable Missouri S&T graduate students as trainers and mentors.  They ensure safe, continued operation of the lab facility, which enhances the hands-on education of those pursuing degrees in Metallurgical Engineering.  

The St. Louis Chapter of the American Foundry Society recently donated $10,000 to the Robert Wolf Foundry Account at Missouri S&T, to support the lab’s continued staffing and operation.  The funds were raised through private donations and supplements from the AFS treasury.  In addition, AFS member organizations contributed by sponsoring holes at the First Annual AFS/Rolla Alumni Golf Tournament held June 1.

“The St. Louis AFS Chapter is pleased to make this contribution to ensure the future talent of our industry personnel, and looks forward to future opportunities to support the endeavors of Missouri University of Science & Technology,” said Tom Rhoads, chairman.

The chapter presented the donation at a joint meeting with Missouri S&T on September 20.  Pictured (l. to r.):  Doug Imrie, Southern Cast; Von Richards, Missouri S&T; Tom Rhoads, American Railcar; Barry Craig, MetalTek; Bill Howells, St. Louis AFS board member.


Made in Bodine

Metalcaster

2012 Toyota Camry

Reading St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s article on Bodine Aluminum’s 100th anniversary reminded me of my visit to the aluminum casting facility in Troy, Mo., a few years ago.

Like the story highlights, one of the biggest impressions the plant left me with was its open, organized and informed culture on the shop floor. The place was clean and uncluttered. Plant statistics and performance charts were prominently displayed and updated.  It was my first real look at a true, lean metalcasting facility, thanks largely to its connection with Toyota. And I was impressed.

The visit also drove home a point many consumers still miss. Toyota is a Japanese company, but many of its cars on the road in the U.S. were produced domestically. Cars.com’s list of the 10 most America-made cars includes three Toyota models (the Camry, Sienna, and Tundra) and two Honda models (the Accord and Pilot), along with the Ford F-150, Chevy Traverse, Jeep Liberty, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave.

While the argument can be made that foreign-based companies should lose a few “made-in-America” points since their headquarters and many R&D establishments are not based in the U.S., many of the manufacturing and casting jobs are based here and that puts a lot of Americans to work.

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