2021 Practical Cupola Workshop

Cupola Operation & Design. Operational Control. Refractories. Safety.

Holiday Inn Rockford
September 28-29, 2021


The 2021 Practical Cupola Workshop explores the fundamentals of foundry cupola operation. Presented by the AFS Cupola Technical Committee, topics reflect the expertise and experience of its industry-leading presenters, who are cupola operators and suppliers.

This workshop covers cupola basics as well as some moderately technical information. It is ideal for new operators, engineers, and operation supervisors.

The 2021 Practical Cupola Workshop also includes a tour of Gunite Corporation at 9 a.m. on Sept. 28. A second foundry tour will be held by Gunite at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 30. People not able to attend the first tour may be allowed to take the second tour. Immediately following this tour, the Cupola Technical Committee will hold its fall committee meeting at the Holiday Inn at approximately 10 a.m. All workshop attendees are welcome to come as guests and “check out” the committee meeting. Please register for the tour when you sign up for the workshop.

Norman P. Lillybeck Scholarship:

The AFS Cupola Committee has established the Norman P. Lillybeck Endowment Fund, which since 2019 has provided annual scholarships to 2 or more FEF students to help fund their educational expenses. Norman placed a high value on identifying technical solutions, and also assisting the next generation of metalcasters. This fund honors his memory by continuing his support of educational excellence. Please consider a generous contribution to support the future of our industry.

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 when you register online.

Click Here for the Practical Cupola Workshop Brochure.


  • Holiday Inn Rockford
  • Rockford, IL
  • September 28-29, 2021
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Hotel Information

  • Holiday Inn Rockford
  • Rockford, IL

7550 E. State Street  Rockford, IL 61108

Conference Agenda

Tuesday, September 28, 2021
9 – 11 a.m.
Tour of Gunite Facility
Registration Opens
1 p.m.
Workshop Begins
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 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 & Beverages
Wednesday, September 29, 2021
8 – 9 a.m.
Safety Discussion

Alex Croll
Waupaca Foundry Plant 6, 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 Plant 1, Waupaca, WI

1:30 – 1:45 p.m.
1:45 – 3:15 p.m.

Gene Ritchie
Ritchie Melt Consulting, Greenwood, IN 

Charley Graf
Danville, IL

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

AFS Members: $450 through Aug. 24/$500 after Aug. 24

Non-members: $675 through Aug. 24/$725 after Aug. 24

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.