Events and News

118th Metalcasting Congress: Nearly 2,200 Attend North America’s Largest Event in 2014

April 22, 2014

Schaumburg, Ill. 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 exhibitors 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 is also 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.

Another popular session was this year’s Hoyt Memorial Lecture − It’s All about Marketing, by Kathy Hayrynen, Applied Process Inc. This session discussed the importance of marketing and ways the metalcasting industry can market itself and the products it produces for its customers. 

AFS also gave out several industry awards during Congress. The 2014 Thomas W. Pangborn Gold Medal Award went to Eugene Muratore, 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, for contributions to the field of binders for cores and molds, specifically performance and productivity improvements to urethane coldbox and nobake binders, directly affecting the metalcasting industry by reducing casting defects and improving quality.
•Chantal Labrecque, manager, ferrous products research, Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium, for research and technical contributions to the production of ductile iron from thin wall castings to heavy sections.
•Randall Oehrlein, vice president engineering, Carley Foundry Inc., for demonstrating leadership within the metalcasting industry and his research to explore new technologies and approaches for aluminum casting applications. 

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, for dedication and outstanding service to the North Mexico chapter and the national AFS board of directors and for sharing his knowledge, talents and resources for the betterment of the metalcasting industry.
•Michael J. Czaplewski, retired, Milwaukee Chaplet, for outstanding service and dedication to the Wisconsin chapter and his efforts as an ambassador for the American Foundry Society and as a supplier to the metalcasting industry.
•Richard McMinn, CEO, Buck Co. Inc., for more than 50 years of dedicated service and support of AFS, the national board of directors, the Institute and the metalcasting industry.
•B. Lee Tuttle, professor of manufacturing engineering, Kettering Univ., for assisting industry advancements by performing critical research, educating future industry leaders, and providing guidance to both the local chapter and national technical committees.

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, WI
(Third Award)
•John Deere Foundry, Waterloo, IA
(Seventh Award)
•Neenah Foundry, Neenah, WI

•Grede II LLC-Biscoe, Biscoe, NC

•MetalTek International-Wisconsin Centrifugal Division, Waukesha, WI
(Third Award)
•Nemak USA, Dickson, TN
(Fourth Award)
•Breman Castings, Inc. Breman, IN
•ME Global, Inc. Tempe, AZ
(Achieved in 2012)

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