Didion: See How One brass foundry reclaimed $321,867 in three months.

The Metalcaster Poet

Artistic tendencies abound in metalcasting. After all, who hasn't heard people in the industry refer to their manufacturing process as both an art and a science?

But for the most part, the artistic talents one finds in metalcasting facilities tend toward the visual arts. The ability to imagine solid metal pieces solidified of molten material is one that lends itself to the creation of sculpture, paintings and other decorative pieces.

Sam Ramrattan—if he'll excuse the use of one of his own puns—breaks the mold. The industrial and manufacturing engineering professor in the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Western Michigan Univ., Kalamazoo, Mich., is a part-time poet. At the 113th Metalcasting Congress in Las Vegas, Ramrattan took the opportunity of receiving an AFS Award of Scientific Merit to regale the audience with a poem he penned for the occasion. Following is the metalcaster poet's work; be on the lookout for a number of clever industry puns like the one above:

by Sam Ramrattan

A spell was cast using fire and ore.
Giants walked among men.
A profession since the sands of time;
A Foundry Society bonded with inclusions of art and science.

From Ages of Bronze and Iron, through an Industrial Revolution;
Plows, cannons, bells and engines; shaped by Masters.
Malleable minds molded in their image; we tap their reservoirs.
The die was cast; Foundrymen made of the same mold.

Safe: The noise our music;
The sparks our fireworks;
The danger our excitement;
Man of steel: Superman or Foundryman?

Arising from out of a crucible.
Ancient process, modern methods;
An industry in continual flux,
The Foundryman a catalyst for change.

Pegged as polluters, what a drag!
Hardened by Standards we cope.
Tempered with the fact that we are our civilization's first recyclers.
Cladded with the materials of a possible future;
The Foundryman's love etched in my mind.

Clinkenbeard Is All A-Twitter

If you still haven’t heard about Twitter, not only do you live under a rock, it’s one of the world’s few remaining rocks without internet access.

While we at MODERN CASTING haven’t started posting our happenings on the newest social media site, we can’t get through a day without some new guru coming to us claiming to be the first to “know how to get the most out of Twitter.” You, too, have probably been bombarded with information about Twittering, Tweeting, micro-blogging, and all the rest.

But alas, the metalcasting industry lags behind. Try plugging “metalcasting” or “foundry” into the Twitter search bar. You won’t find much that is relevant to or representative of our industry.

Enter the innovators. Concurrently with their attendance of this year’s Paris Air Show, rapid prototyping gurus Clinkenbeard, Rockford, Ill., have launched both a new blog and a Twitter page. The company says it will use the outlets to “communicate with customers, prospects, the Rockford business community, and the media.”

“We are encouraging our customers and prospects to participate and hope that other Rockford companies and organizations, as well as the media, will join the conversation,” said Ron (Reg) Gustafson Jr., a project manager for the company, in a press release about the launches.

Twitter may not be for your company, but online communication offers innumerable opportunities to connect with your customers. So get that rock you’re under wired for access, and start sending out your message.

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