Events and News

Metalcasting Industry Gathers for CastExpo’16

April 22, 2016

AFS hosted CastExpo’16 at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, April 16-19. The four-day event featured more than 460 exhibitors on the show floor, keynote speeches, technical presentations and AFS institute courses.

"There was an exceptionally positive vibe on the show floor,” said incoming AFS CEO Doug Kurkul. “We have received very strong feedback about the show, the Hub, the educational and technical sessions, and the awards programs."

Sponsored solely by AFS and held every three years, CastExpo is the largest trade show and exposition for metalcasting in the Americas and offers metalcasters, suppliers, and casting buyers and designers the opportunity to connect and educate themselves on the latest and greatest metalcasting has to offer. More than 6,000 metalcasters attended this year's show. 

For 2016, CastExpo expanded its offerings with an array of added features and programming to its show lineup.

Each day, keynote speakers engaged attendees on various topics for personal and professional development. Opening the show on April 16, Haydn Shaw delivered a keynote on generational differences in the workplace and how to bridge the understanding between them. On April 17, author Christine Cashen spoke on how to better handle conflict in the workplace and gave tips on problem solving. Seth Mattison addressed workforce trends and generational dynamics taking place in manufacturing on April 18. This year’s Hoyt Memorial Lecture, delivered by Richard Gundlach, senior metallurgical engineer, Element Materials Technology, discussed advances in casting technology and testing on April 19. The Hoyt Memorial Lecture is presented each year to provide an opportunity for leading metalcasting experts to express their thoughts on a topic of their choosing. The lecture is intended to represent the many diverse voices in the metalcasting industry.

Another inaugural feature, the Hub, offered a public area on the show floor for meetups, foundry in a box demonstrations, a photographer for professional headshots, and presentations by exhibiting AFS Corporate Members showcasing technology and innovations. This area was sponsored by Magma and Hoosier Pattern and also included virtual reality and 3D printing demonstrations.

Also new this year, the AFS Institute conducted short-format courses. These courses included Identifying the Correct Casting Defect, Introduction to Alloys, Introduction to Coreless Induction Furnace Operation, Casting Material Properties, and Virtual Casting Process.

“We were very excited to offer short-format courses at CastExpo for the first time,” said retiring AFS CEO Jerry Call. “The AFS Institute offers great learning opportunities and we’re very pleased to see attendees take advantage of that.”

During CastExpo, AFS presented its top industry awards for the year  ̶  the Gold Medal, Award of Scientific Merit and Service Citation Award. Frank C. Headington, corporate vice president-technology, Neenah Enterprises Inc., Neenah, Wisconsin, and Douglas M. Trinowski, vice president R&D, HA International LLC, Westmont, Illinois, were given the industry’s highest honor—the AFS Gold Medal, during the Annual Banquet on April 17.

Awards of Scientific Merit were given to Dr. Simon Lekakh, research professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and Raymond Monroe, executive vice president, Steel Founders’ Society of America, during the President’s Luncheon and Annual Business Meeting on April 19.

AFS Service Citations were awarded to Robert L. Beard, advanced development director, Sloan Valve Co.; Robert Bigge, technical director, Iron Casting Research Institute; Peter Gravunder, quality technical assurance, Badger Mining Co.; and Kenneth Wayne Murphy, manufacturing engineer–melting department, AMERICAN Cast Iron Pipe Co.

Eleven AFS Corporate Members received the AFS Millionaires Safety Award for achieving increments of a million man-hours or more worked without incurring a lost time injury or illness during the 2015 calendar year:

  • Neenah Enterprises Inc., Meadville, Pennsylvania, for 1 million man-hours.
  • Fairmount Santrol-Wedron Silica, Wedron, Illinois, for 1 million man-hours.
  • Grede-Brewton, Brewton, Alabama, for 1 million man-hours.
  • Grede-Iron Mountain, Iron Mountain, Michigan, for two million man hours (third award).
  • Harrison Steel Castings Co., Attica, Indiana, for 1 million man hours.
  • Lee Brass, Anniston, Alabama, for 1 million man-hours.
  • McWane Ductile-Ohio, Coshocton, Ohio, for 1 million man-hours (second award).
  • Neenah Foundry, Neenah, Wisconsin, for 3 million man hours (second award).
  • Oil City Iron Works Inc., Corsicana, Texas, for 1 million man hours.
  • US Pipe, Bessemer, Alabama, for 1 million man hours.
  • US Pipe/Griffin Pipe Products Co., Lynchburg, Virginia, for 1 million man hours.

CastExpo also marks the transition to a new AFS President. Jeff Cook, vice president of sales and marketing, Eagle Alloy, assumed the role of AFS President from Immediate Past President Bruce Dienst, president and CEO, Simpson Technologies. Patricio Gil, CEO, Blackhawk de Mexico, assumed the position of AFS Vice President, and Jean Bye, president and CEO, Dotson Iron Castings, assumed the role of AFS 2nd Vice President.

The 121st Metalcasting Congress will be held April 24-27, 2017, in Milwaukee; the next CastExpo will take place in Atlanta April 27-30, 2019.