2020 Practical Cupola Workshop

Holiday Inn Rockford
September 29-30, 2020


The Practical Cupola Workshop presents a wide variety of cupola topics, including fundamental cupola operation and design, troubleshooting, operational control, refractories and cupola safety.

The workshop is presented by the AFS Cupola Technical Committee.  Course materials reflect the expertise and experience of industry-leading course instructors, who are cupola operators and suppliers of the Cupola Committee.  It covers cupola basics as well as some moderately technical information.  This workshop is ideal for new operators, engineers and operation supervisors.

Attendees are invited to stay over and attend the Cupola Committee Meeting which will begin at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 14th.


norman p. lillybeck scholarship:                      

The AFS Cupola Committee is assisting the Foundry Education Foundation (FEF) in the creation of the Norman Lillybeck Scholarship. Norman was an AFS Gold Medalist, long-time member of the AFS Cupola Committee, and a teacher and mentor for many in the cupola community. 

With your generous gift, you’ll be:
Investing in creative and technically-trained students who are passionate about metalcasting
Sustaining world-class academic programs led by Key Professors knowledgeable and skilled in metalcasting
Encouraging graduates who will blaze a trail of innovation and leadership for our industry

You can donate by either using the check box on the Practical Cupola Registration form or by going online to www.afsinc.org/LillybeckScholarship.

A special thanks to our organizing members!

  • David Kasun, Kuttner LLC (Port Washington, WI)
  • Pete Satre, Allied Minerals Products Inc. (Columbus, OH)
  • Brian Johnson, Hickman, Williams & Co. (Palos Heights, IL)

Speaker List

Alex Croll
Waupaca Foundry Inc.

Charlie Hardin
Reno Refractories, Inc.

Steve Hay
Hay Melting Solutions

Lyle Heberling
Iron Casting Research Institute

Steve Heger
Waupaca Foundry Inc.

Brian Johnson
Hickman Williams

David Kasun
Kuttner, LLC

Gene Ritchie
Ritchie Melt Consulting

Pete Satre
Allied Mineral Products Inc.

Dan Weiskopf
Neenah Foundry Co.

Jim Wright
McWane Ductile


  • Holiday Inn Rockford
  • Rockford, IL
  • September 29-30, 2020
Get Directions

Hotel Information

holiday inn
  • Holiday Inn Rockford

7550 E. State Street

Rockford, IL 61108

Conference Agenda

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
9 - 11 a.m.
Plant Tour - Gunite Corp. - An Accuride Co.
Noon - 5 p.m.
1 - 2:30 p.m.
Cupola Introduction/Basic Principles of Operation

David Kasun, Kuttner LLC, Port Washington, WI

2:30 - 2:45 p.m.
2:45 - 3:30 p.m.
Cupola Introduction/Basic Principles of Operation (continued)

David Kasun, Kuttner LLC, Port Washington, WI

3:30 - 3:45 p.m.
3:45 - 5:30 p.m.
Charge Materials: Questions & Open Discussion


Dan Weiskopf, Neenah Foundry Co., Neenah, WI

Foundry Coke: 

Steve Hay, Hay Melting Solutions, South Lyon, MI  

Alloys and Fluxes:

Brian Johnson, Hickman Williams & Co., Palos Heights, IL

5:30 p.m.
Networking Reception

Appetizers and beverages will be served.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020
8 - 9 a.m.
Safety Discussion

Alex Croll, Waupaca Foundry Inc., Athens, TN

9 - 9:15 a.m.
9:15 - 10:15 a.m.
Preparing the Cupola for Startup

Jim Wright, McWane Ductile, Coshocton, OH

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Cupola Operation

Lyle Heberling, Iron Casting Research Institute, Columbus, OH

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
Tapping out Cupola, Banking, Shutting Down

Steve Heger, Waupaca Foundry Inc., Waupaca, WI  

1:30 - 1:45 p.m.
1:45 - 3:15 p.m.

Gene Ritchie, Ritchie Melt Consulting, Greenwood, IN

3:15 - 3:30 p.m.
3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Cupola Refractory Systems: Material & Installation

Charlie Hardin, Reno Refractories Inc., Morris, AL

Pete Satre, Allied Mineral Products Inc., Columbus, OH  

4:30 - 5 p.m.
Questions, Evaluations, Open Discussion
5 p.m.
Event Concludes


Registration Fees

 $450 member, $675 non-member

Cancellations & Substitutions

Substitutions will be accepted anytime. However, cancellations of confirmed registrants with full refund of fees will not be accepted unless received at least two weeks prior to the conference date. In the unlikely event the conference is cancelled for any reason, AFS liability is limited to the return of the registration fee.