Metalcasting Congress Draws Crowd to Illinois

Close to 2,220 members of the metalcasting industry convened in April to visit with peers, attend thoughtful and lively technical presentations and meet with exhibitors on the sold-out exhibit floor.

A Modern Casting Staff Report

(Click here to see the story as it appears in May's Modern Casting.)

The American Foundry Society’s 118th Metalcasting Congress was one of the most attended in recent history. This year’s show was held in Schaumburg, Ill., from April 8-11 and featured technical sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions and more than 250 exhibits on a sold-out exhibit floor. Over the course of four days, nearly 2,200 people from across the globe converged on the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center for the largest metalcasting event of the year. 

The annual show held every spring features the latest advancements in metalcasting technology and services. This year also marked the 5th Cast in North America Exhibition, where 31 metalcasters showcased their capabilities to casting buyers. The show floor was bustling with exhibitors presenting the best their businesses have to offer.

“Every year, Congress shows us the great potential of the metalcasting industry,” said AFS CEO Jerry Call. “We look at Congress as the permanent assembly point of the metalcasting supply chain and we are excited every year to be the only event of this magnitude which helps metalcasters network, grow their businesses and expand their knowledge of the industry.”

To help businesses succeed and grow, Metalcasting Congress offers multiple in-depth technical sessions, covering topics from marketing to engineering to design and purchasing. The goal of these sessions is to help metalcasters hone their skills and ultimately improve their bottom line.

Congress also is a time to pass the torch as AFS welcomed the new 2014-2015 AFS Board of Directors. Newly installed officers President Christopher Norch, Denison Industries; Vice President Bruce Dienst, Simpson Technologies; and Second Vice President, Jeff Cook, Eagle Alloy, were welcomed at the AFS President’s Brunch on April 11. Dennis Dotson, Dotson Iron Castings, will now serve as immediate past president.

On April 10, Dotson led this year’s President’s Session on safety. The panel discussion featured metalcasting facility operators talking about the importance of safety in metalcasting facilities. Each of the panel members shared stories about accidents in their facilities, how they impacted the company’s workforce, and what can be done to prevent them from happening again in the future.

AFS also gave out several industry awards during Congress. The 2014 Thomas W. Pangborn Gold Medal Award went to Eugene Muratore, retired, Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium America. This prestigious award was given to Muratore for his work educating and promoting the fundamentals of cast iron melting and processing to the engineering community as well as for service to AFS in both Division 8 (Melting) and Division 5 (Iron).

The Michael J. Trzecinski CMI Award went to David V. Neff for his exceptional contributions to the Institute as an instructor and member of its faculty.

The AFS Awards of Scientific Merit are presented for outstanding technical papers, meritorious technical contributions or services, and/or the development of a new process, production method or engineering advancement having “future possibilities.”  This year’s recipients were:

                •             Robert A. Laitar, technical manager, HA International LLC.

                •             Chantal Labrecque, manager, ferrous products research, Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium.

                •             Randall Oehrlein, vice president engineering, Carley Foundry Inc.

The AFS Service Citation Awards are presented annually to individuals who show outstanding general service to AFS, its chapters and the metalcasting industry. This year’s recipients were:

                •             Patricio Gil, CEO, Blackhawk de Mexico.

                •             Michael J. Czaplewski, retired, Milwaukee Chaplet.

                •             Richard McMinn, CEO, Buck Co. Inc.

                •             B. Lee Tuttle, professor of manufacturing engineering, Kettering Univ.

The AFS Millionaires Safety Award was given to the following AFS Corporate members for achieving a million man-hours or more worked without incurring a lost time injury or illness during the calendar year 2013:

                •             Grede LLC-Reedsburg, Reedsburg, Wis., for three million man hours (third award).

                •             John Deere Foundry, Waterloo, Iowa, for three million man hours (seventh award).

                •             Neenah Foundry, Neenah, Wis., for three million man hours.

                •             Grede II LLC-Biscoe, Biscoe, N.C., for two million man hours.

                •             MetalTek International-Wisconsin Centrifugal Division, Waukesha, Wis., for one million man hours (third award).

                •             Nemak USA, Dickson, Tenn., for one million man hours (fourth award).

                •             Bremen Castings, Inc. Bremen, Ind., for one million man hours.

                •             ME Global, Inc., Tempe, Ariz., for one million man hours (achieved in 2012).

Hoyt Lecture: It’s All About Marketing

Kathy Hayrynen, Applied Process Inc., delivered this year’s Hoyt Memorial Lecture, “It’s All About Marketing.” This session discussed the importance of marketing and ways the metalcasting industry can market itself and the products it produces for its customers. 

Cast Iron Honorary Lecture

The Cast Iron Honorary Lecture, “Rules of Thumb, Invention and Life Cycles of Business,” was given by Douglas White, Elkem Materials Inc., on Wednesday, April 9. The lecture touched on the importance of invention and innovation in the metalcasting business.

Molding Methods & Materials Silver Anniversary Paper

Victor LaFay, S&B Industrial Minerals, presented the Molding Methods & Materials Silver Anniversary Paper, "Testing of Green Sand With Core Sand Dilution and Other Additives" on April 9. The lecture reviewed testing protocols that have been introduced since 1988.

Applied Research Award

The AFS Applied Research award was presented to James Wiczer, Sensor Synergy, and foundry partners North Vernon Industry and The CA Lawton Co. for the AFS research project “Identifying, Implementing and Sustaining Energy Savings.” The emphasis of the Applied Research award is on practical research that directly addresses pressing technical problems faced by metalcasting facilities. The award was presented at the Recognition Luncheon on April 9.

Taylor Award

Also presented at the Recognition Luncheon was the Howard F. Taylor Award to David Weiss, Eck Industries; Gerald Gegel, Material & Process Consultancy; and Kumar Sudayappan, CanmetMATERIALS, for the paper “Development of Cast Al Alloys for Elevated Temperature (250C) Service (11-017).”

The 119th Metalcasting Congress will return to Columbus, Ohio, April 21-23, 2015, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.  

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