Events and News

AFS Hosts Hundreds for Manufacturing Day 2017, Looks Forward to Manufacturing Day 2018

October 20, 2017

The American Foundry Society (AFS) brought home the message of careers in metalcasting to students, teaches, and public officials during its open house Manufacturing Day event on October 6, 2017.

The event was part of a coordinated national celebration of the manufacturing industry to connect with the public about its impact on the economy and address common misperceptions about manufacturing. Companies are encouraged to open their doors to their communities and show what they make, the technologies they use, and the promising career paths available.

“The metalcasting industry offers wonderful career opportunities we want students to learn about so they can see why we’re excited about the future of the industry,” said Doug Kurkul, CEO of AFS. “AFS offers guidance for training and development at all career stages, and some of our accomplished members decided to enter metalcasting after an experience like the one students had with us on Manufacturing Day.”

At the AFS headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, busloads of students came for hands-on demonstrations in which they made and poured their own castings. Students had the choice to make sand molds with a flask and pattern or scratch out their own design into 3-D printed molds donated by the University of Northern Iowa.

Representatives from local AFS Corporate Member companies, Hunter Foundry Machinery Corp. and Magma Foundry Technologies, discussed the science and engineering involved in metalcasting and the types of careers available in the industry. Visitors also had the chance to view alloy microstructure, watch a video highlighting the metalcasting process, and even try on the personal protective gear required when pouring molten metal in a foundry. 

IL Dept. of Commerce rep. Joe McKeown (right) presents AFS CEO Doug Kurkul (left) with a proclamation announcing October 2017 as Illinois Manufacturing Month.

Illinois State Senator Laura Murphy and Illinois State Representative Michelle Mussman visited to make their own castings and learn more about the industry. The superintendent of the local school district Dr. Dan Cates also stopped by, as did a representative from the Illinois Governor’s office to present a proclamation announcing October 2017 as Illinois Manufacturing Month.

Coinciding with the event, AFS published and distributed its fifth issue of Melting Point magazine, a publication focused on providing resources to teachers and students who seek more information about the industry, career options, colleges, and scholarships. The newest issue can also be viewed at

AFS is a not-for-profit organization formed in 1896. With its headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, AFS provides members and consumers with information and services to promote and strengthen the metalcasting industry.

Rep. Michelle Mussman pours tin during a Foundry in a Box demonstration on Manufacturing Day.

Rep. Michelle Mussman pours tin into a scratch mold on Manufacturing Day. 

State Sen. Laura Murphy removes her finished casting from a sand mold on Manufacturing Day.