2022 Foundry Industry 4.0 Conference

Digital Manufacturing in the Metalcasting Industry

Eaglewood Resort & Spa
July 26 - 27, 2022


What do metalcasting owners, CEOs, COOs and Foundry Managers need to know now about Industry 4.0 in order to make smart investments and gain a lasting business advantage for your foundry? Industry 4.0 is no longer just about the future. Smart, proactive manufacturers are using technology today to improve productivity, profitability and worker safety. Evaluating and implementing technology today is the key to remaining competitive and sustainable into your tomorrow.  Join us at the Eaglewood Resort in Itasca, Illinois, convenient to O’Hare Airport, for an array of expert speakers and superb business networking. 

Please note: This event also includes an optional outing at Eaglewood Golf Course on July 25.

4.0 Map
Click here for current floor map.

Exhibits and Sponsorships

For information about exhibiting at the event, please contact Kim Farrugia at kfarrugia@afsinc.org or click here for an exhibits registration form.

For information about sponsorship opportunities at the event, please contact Kim Farrugia at kfarrugia@afsinc.org or click here.



  • Eaglewood Resort & Spa
  • Itasca, IL
  • July 26 - 27, 2022
Get Directions

Hotel Information

Eaglewood Resort & Spa
  • Eaglewood Resort & Spa
  • Itasca, IL
  • $174.00 per night

Eaglewood Resort & Spa is conveniently located near O'Hare International Airport. To reserve your room, call (630) 773-1400 and request the AFS 2022 Foundry Conference room block or use the reservation link below. To register online, go to www.afsinc.org/2022Foundry4.0hotel.

Eaglewood Resort & Spa is offering an optional golf outing on July 25 (self-pay, approximately $40). To reserve a tee time, please indicate your interest to AFS when you register for the conference.  AFS will contact you for your preferences of time, groups, etc., upon completion of registration.


Diran Apelian
Professor of MSE, Samueli School of Engineering

Diran Apelian is a distinguished professor of MSE at the University of California, Irvine, and director of the Advanced Casting Research Center. He is Provost Emeritus and Founding Director of the Metal Processing Institute at WPI in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Apelian received his bachelor’s degree in metallurgical engineering from Drexel University in 1968. He later received his doctorate in materials science and engineering from MIT in 1972. He was a student of Mert Flemings at MIT, and it was an FEF scholarship during his time as undergrad that got him excited about metal casting and solidification. Apelian is a Fellow of TMS, ASM, and APMI. He is inducted into five national academies around the globe including the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

David Blondheim
Technical Advisor: Advanced Manufacturing Engineering and Analytics, Mercury Marine

David Blondheim, Jr. graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. He began his engineering career at a CNC machine job shop. While working full time, Blondheim became a Professional Engineer (PE), completed his Master of Business Administration from UW-Oshkosh in 2008, and obtained his master’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University in 2012. After nine years of progressive experience in engineering for machining, he entered the die cast industry with Mercury Marine in 2013, where he serves as the Engineering Manager within the aluminum foundry. In addition to the foundry, in 2017 he led Mercury’s IIoT/Connected Operations. The initiatives helped connect, collect, and analyze data from manufacturing equipment throughout global operations. In 2021, Blondheim completed his doctorate degree in systems engineering with a dissertation titled “System Understanding of High Pressure Die Casting Process and Data With Machine Learning Applications.”

Philippe Dubuc
President and CEO, Fusium Inc.

21 years ago, Philippe Dubuc joined the Saguenay Foundry team starting at the bottom and working his way up to presidency. He is following in his father’s footsteps, who is the founding father of this company.

As an automation engineer, he is now President and main owner of the original iron foundry operating since 1965 and for another aluminum and magnesium foundry called TMA, operating since 2005. Both foundries are divisions of Fusium.

Dubuc strives with passion to combine the longevity of his father’s foundry industry and the 21st century, with innovative new ways of doing business.

John Dyck, CESMII
Chief Executive Officer, The Smart Manufacturing Institute

John Dyck was appointed CEO of CESMII - The Smart Manufacturing Institute, in June of 2018. CESMII is a Manufacturing USA Institute chartered with transforming the U.S. manufacturing market and increasing global competitiveness through the democratization of smart manufacturing technologies, knowledge, and business practices.

Dyck brings a highly pragmatic perspective to CESMII, and a crisp focus on outcomes that will benefit the nation’s energy and economic security by sharing existing resources and co-investing to accelerate development and commercial deployment of innovative technologies. He was recognized by the Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME) in 2020 as one of “30 Leaders Transforming Manufacturing in the USA.”

Prior to joining CESMII, Dyck held senior leadership positions in large corporations like GE and Rockwell Automation and was effective in raising VC funding and building a successful software startup called Activplant.

Laura Élan, P.E., RAC
Sr. Director of Cybersecurity, MxD

Laura Élan is the Senior Director of Cybersecurity for MxD Cyber: The National Center for Cybersecurity in Manufacturing. In her role, she supports MxD’s cybersecurity projects and initiatives in support of the annual Strategic Investment Plan and will lead MxD’s Cybersecurity Steering Committee.

Prior to joining MxD in 2021, Élan was responsible for Baxter Healthcare’s regulatory strategy for medical software, cybersecurity, interoperability, and AI/ML enabled software. Prior to joining Baxter, she led CSA Group Cybersecurity Certification business and served as the Cybersecurity Practice Lead for Underwriters Laboratories Digital Health business. Her experience is grounded in several decades of senior leadership roles for software, consumer, commercial and medical device product development, manufacturing, and compliance.

Élan completed her undergraduate work in Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois – Urbana. She holds a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Computer Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois. She is a licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Illinois and holds the RAC credential from the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.

Jerry Klooster
Facility Engineering Manager, EJ, USA, Inc.

Jerry Klooster grew up on a farm, graduated from high school with a class of 18 students, and attended college for process control engineering. He has been employed with EJ since June 1977, working including: Licensed Electrician, Electrical & Maintenance Manager, Plant Engineering Controls Engineer,  and current role of Facility Engineering and Maintenance Services Manager. Klooster was on the engineering team focused on the design and building of two greenfield foundries, one in Ardmore, Oklahoma in 2001 and the other in Elmira, Michigan in 2018. He received the Norris B Luther Distinguished Service Award for the AFS Engineering Division in 2011.

Chris Krampitz
Senior Director of Technology Strategy, MxD

Chris Krampitz is the Senior Director of Technology Strategy at MxD. He is responsible for the digital manufacturing technology vision and innovation strategy that supports the strengthening of the U.S. industrial sector.

He has over 25 years of experience developing and commercializing new manufacturing and supply chain technologies. He has provided strategy, engineering, and supply chain management support to accelerate manufacturers’ readiness for deploying emergent technologies. He has supported manufacturing companies in developing and executing business strategies and models that harness these new manufacturing technologies, as well as in achieving production readiness quickly to meet regulations, standards, and specifications.

Prior to MxD, Krampitz served in leadership roles in strategy, R&D, engineering, and supply chain for Fortune’s Global 500 companies and leading global consulting firms. He has led the development and commercialization of new technologies for industry leaders in complex electronics and medical instruments, in transportation and industrial machinery, and in process industries. He is a frequent speaker on advanced manufacturing technologies and author of over 40 publications.

Krampitz earned an MBA in strategic management and asset pricing from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, where he researched mechanisms by which information on emergent technologies is incorporated into financial asset prices.

Krampitz also earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University, where he researched advanced materials and processes to purify weapons-grade plutonium for civilian nuclear fuel.

Krampitz is a licensed and registered professional engineer in the states of Minnesota, Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan, and Oregon. He also holds the Chartered Engineer (CEng.) distinction in the United Kingdom and the European Engineer (Eur. Ing.) distinction in the European Union.

Lizeth Medina-Balliet
Senior Manager - Continuous Improvement, Automated Production & Data Science, Neenah Enterprises, Inc.

Lizeth Medina-Balliet’s experience encompasses quality, metallurgy, process development, operations and management. She earned her B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Saltillo Tech and a master’s in Engineering Management from Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education. Medina-Balliet has been active in AFS, FEF and DIS, and has participated as a speaker in multiple congresses and symposiums covering a wide range of industry topics.

Jack Palmer
President, Palmer Manufacturing & Supply Inc.

For more than 40 years, Jack Palmer continues to be the president of Palmer Manufacturing & Supply Inc., a globally recognized supplier of metalcasting equipment, known for innovative, solution-driven engineering, and high-quality workmanship.

Jiten Shah
President, Product Development & Analysis (PDA) LLC

Located in Naperville, Illinois, since 1993, PDA brings over 35 years of experience in the design of casting and rigging in various alloys and processes, digital manufacturing and contract research; utilizing state of the art virtual simulation tools such as CAD, FEA, CFD, 3D scanning, casting process simulation, rapid prototyping, and additive manufacturing.

Jiten Shah has been a PI and has managed contract research programs for various agencies including DARPA, ARDEC, DOD-RDECOM, SOCOM, DOE, DLA and NASA. Shah is a member with active projects at three manufacturing innovation Institutes - DMDII (Digital Manufacturing Design Innovation Institute), LIFT (Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow) and America Makes.

Prior to founding PDA LLC, Shah worked for Rockwell International - Off-Highway Division and Foseco. Shah has a master’s degree in foundry technology from the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur. He also attended a graduate program at the University of Southern California and has a Master of Science in mechanical and aerospace from the Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago.

William Sobel
Chief Architect, MTConnect Institute

William Sobel is a standards cultivator, entrepreneur, and software architect. His 30+ year career has pushed boundaries and led technical innovation. In the 1990s, he architected the first distributed analytics platform for capital markets risk analytics. Following the sale of his company, he led the architecture of the first SaaS application for buy-side financial risk. 

After leaving finance, Sobel authored the MTConnect Standard, one of the first semantic IIoT standards for manufacturing. Following on the initial success of MTConnect, he co-founded VIMANA that won the Gartner Cool Vendors of the year for “Digitalization Through Industrie 4.0” in 2018, a leading platform in industrial AI. In addition, Sobel is the chair of the Architecture Working Group of the Industrial Ontologies Foundry and chair of the Model-Based Standards Development Working Group of ASME Model-Based Enterprise Standards Committee.

Sobel’s latest venture, Metalogi, focuses on a secure standards-based edge technology to reduce the time to value for IIoT systems. His recent research areas are choreography interaction models for automation and geometric reasoning.

Eric Stockman
Group Manager - Smart Automation and Visualization, Automation Solutions of America

Eric Stockman earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis in Controls and Digital Electronics from University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Stockman has 21 years of experience in automation with a vast background in electrical engineering and control systems including PLC programming, embedded microcontrollers, and hardware design. As IIoT gained traction, ASA began to see increased customer interest in data collection and smart factory systems. To meet this need, the Smart Automation and Visualization Group was formed. With Stockman at the helm, the group specializes in determining smart automation needs and developing a strategic plan to transition traditional factories into smart factories. From extracting data from the factory floor and transforming it into useful, easy to understand information, to common communication protocols, data storage, network architectures, and system scalability, The Smart Automation group has a proven track record of helping customers with various control systems (ranging from legacy equipment to present-day systems) achieve manufacturing savings through smart factory solutions.

Nic Tarzwell
Chief Technical Officer, Eagle Alloy, Inc.

Nic Tarzwell is the Chief Technical Officer at Eagle Alloy, Inc., where he is responsible for the Engineering, Quality, and IT departments.  He graduated from Michigan Technological University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineer and an emphasis in business. Tarzwell has 15 years’ experience in the foundry industry and is currently seeking his Professional Engineering License. He serves as the President of the Foundry Association of Michigan (FAM), and is on several committees for the Steel Founder’s Society of America. He has previously served on the local American Foundry Society chapter.

Luis Trueba Jr.
Assistant Professor, Texas State University

Luis Trueba Jr. received a B.S. in metallurgical engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1993 and Ph.D. in metallurgical engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly the University of Missouri-Rolla) in 2003. He is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and associate doctoral faculty of the Materials Science, Engineering, and Commercialization Program at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. His industrial experience includes process improvement in the aluminum and steel industries, semiconductor equipment manufacturing, and failure analysis. His research interests include processing of metal castings for property enhancement and integration of digital technologies to achieve Foundry 4.0 objectives.

Jim Wenson
Engineering and Technical Consultant, Sinto America

Jim Wenson has been in engineering and technical consulting his entire career. This includes areas of engineering design, multi-body dynamic simulations, managing engineering teams and software development projects with domestic and international customers across multiple industries, including automotive, off-highway, defense, and consumer products.

Before joining Sinto, Wenson was Technical Director of FunctionSIM, a simulation and analysis consulting group and Technical Manager for ITK Engineering, an engineering consulting firm. Wenson is now leading Sinto America’s Industry 4.0 initiatives and, more importantly, supporting its customers reaching their maintenance and production goals through digital adaptation.

Adam Westerland
Manager, Digital & Information Technology, Inductotherm

Adam Westerland is the Manager of Digital & Information Technology at Inductotherm. Inductotherm (Rancocas, New Jersey) is a leading manufacturer of induction metal melting systems for metal producers today.

Westerland leads Inductotherm’s research and development department on digital and information technology, including embedded systems, software and Industry 4.0/IoT technologies. He has a Bachelor of Science in Electrical & Computer Engineering from Rowan University.

Conference Agenda

Monday, July 25, 2022
Registration & Golfing at Eaglewood Golf Course
4 p.m.
Golf tee times available

Contact AFS for available times: 1 - (847) 824 - 0181

5 - 7 p.m.
Conference Pre-Registration
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
6:30 - 8 a.m.
Registration Opens/Breakfast
8 - 8:15 a.m.
Conference Starts/Introductions

Doug Kurkul, Brian Began
AFS, Schaumburg, IL

8:15 - 9:30 a.m.
Keynote Presentation: Connect Operations: The Cultural and Technical Journey of Making Manufacturing Smart





David Blondheim
Mercury Marine, Fond Du Lac, WI

Industry 4.0, Smart Manufacturing, and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are prevalent in today’s manufacturing world. The definitions of these terms are often understood and the benefits are well advertised. However, the actual application and implementation of this technology is not as “plug-and-play” as needed to easily implement. Companies are impacted from a technical and cultural standpoint when they look to implement data collection and analysis from production equipment. Success requires finding skillsets that can bridge technical areas of operations, controls, IT, and data analysis. Data collection techniques do not necessarily require large financial investments. Instead, commitments of resources, time, and clearly defined purpose are needed to collect, analyze, and learn from data within a foundry.

Discussed is the journey Mercury Marine has undertaken in implementing “Connected Operations” across its manufacturing plants, including die casting, lost foam, and investment casting foundries. Insights and lessons learned on cultural and technical aspects will be shared to assist the foundry industry in practically implementing these connected concepts to collect data and improve results.

Session 1: IoT Applications
Session Chair:

Zach Meadows
Electric Controls & Systems Inc., Birmingham, AL

9:30 - 10 a.m.
The Internet of Things (IoT) and Your Digital Melt Shop

Adam Westerland




Adam Westerland
Inductotherm Corp., Rancocas, NJ

The future of the industry lies in the rapidly growing Industrial Internet of Things and big data, which generate a new drive to provide connectivity with more data access and information than ever before. This drive is causing an evolution of foundry technology and the difference between standard control technology, and information technology is blurring as older technology evolves and new communications and sensors are integrated. This blurring or convergence of technology innovation comes with many productivity benefits for foundries as they utilize IOT, Big Data and AI technologies. Each of these technologies helps foundries evolve into a completely digital melt shop. At Inductotherm, we are working towards providing customers with these modern technologies to increase productivity and pave the way for the future. We see the value of the data collected now will only rise in the future as artificial intelligence (AI)-powered analytics improve.

10 - 10:30 a.m.
Data Collection Software Fundamentals

Eric Stockman




Eric Stockman
Automation Solutions of America, Beloit, WI

The manufacturing floor has ample amounts of data that, if used properly, can give us insight into quality, scheduling, planning, resource allocation, overall equipment effectiveness, and much more. Bringing a plant online with Industry 4.0 has some hurdles when considering that not all equipment can easily connect to a data collection server. The discussion will begin with how we get data into the software and the most common communication protocols. We will look at what can be done with the data and where it is stored, server sizing and capacity and what hardware requirements you can expect, network architectures and their scalability, and some examples of projects we have executed for customers which showcase the capabilities of the software.

10:30 - 10:45 a.m.
10:45 - 11:15 a.m.
A Foundry's Experience: Transitioning their Maintenance Team from Reactive to Proactive





Jim Wenson
Sinto America, Grand Ledge, MI

For foundries, Industry 4.0 has introduced many new technologies and exciting ways to harness existing technologies. Their challenge was how to incorporate these advances into their daily operational procedures to increase uptime and keep production flowing. Having the correct information, easily accessible, and often automatically sent to their team, was essential for transitioning from a reactive culture to a proactive culture. A foundry used I4.0 platforms to provide the data needed to take the guess work out of maintaining complex machines for both experienced and novice maintenance departments.

11:15 - 11:45 a.m.
Direct Park Marking to Improve the Traceability of Metal Castings

Luis Trueba




Luis Trueba
Texas State University San Marcos, San Marcos, TX

The traceability of castings is a critical component of the implementation of Foundry 4.0 principles. An easily automated system to directly mark castings with a unique code and read the codes at various points through the production process and to the end-user will allow data collected in the foundry to be used meaningfully to track and manage quality and efficiency. However, there are challenges that must be overcome to implement a successful foundry traceability system. Among the challenges are the high process temperatures encountered by castings during production and processing, the need to provide a small marking that will not detract from the castings’ aesthetics or functionality, and the unique dimensional and surface finish capabilities of each casting process, which may vary with casting location (e.g. cope vs. drag surfaces).

Researchers at Texas State University are investigating a method for the direct part marking (DPM) of sand castings using additive-manufactured, two-dimensional mold inserts. These mold inserts use Dot Code, a robust, common, two-dimensional bar code methodology intended for high speed, and individualized direct part marking. Dot Code can be read with simple barcode scanners and mobile phone apps. The legibility of Dot Code is not reliant on precise dot spacing or size. Tags for DPM having a variety of configurations and dimensions were made using commonly available additive manufacturing processes. The tags were used to mark aluminum and brass sand castings having a variety of surface conditions. The effectiveness of the system for marking and identifying castings will be presented. Lessons learned and the potential for future work will be presented.

11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
12:45 - 1:15 p.m.
Special Presentation: Ghost in the Machine: Technologies that Will Shape Industry, Society and Beyond

Mike Lakas
American Foundry Society, Schaumburg, IL

We are going through a period of exponential change. Technology is pushing the boundaries of many industries and disrupting businesses across the world. This talk will serve as a primer on technology trends driving the future of the manufacturing industry and society at large. Weary of the buzzwords and the “next big thing” that never seems to materialize into reality? Thought leader Mike Lakas will take you through a thought-provoking journey on the state of new and emerging technologies. We will cut through the hype and separate fad from future.


1:15 - 1:45 p.m.
Digital Twins at the Design Stage

Chris Krampitz




Chris Krampitz
MxD, Chicago, IL

MxD, the leading digital manufacturing innovation center in the U.S., will highlight the efforts underway within its organization as it continues to support the awareness and growth of digital twins. In addition, MxD will highlight some uses cases by organizations that are leveraging the capabilities of digital twins to support in areas from design to preventative maintenance.

1:45 - 2:15 p.m.
Break with Exhibitors
Session 2: Automation and Robotics in the Foundry
Session Chair: Greg Bray
2:15 - 2:45 p.m.
Robotic Grinding in a Job-Shop Steel Foundry

Nic Tarzwell




Nic Tarzwell
Eagle Alloy, Inc., Muskegon, MI

This presentation describes a learned journey on how a foundry tested different concepts of robotic cutting and grinding for steel and stainless gating removal, and where the speaker’s foundry ultimately settled on a design that has turned into several productive robotic cells.

2:45 - 3:15 p.m.
Automation Application in Foundries

Sunny Kullar
Automation Systems & Design, Dayton, OH

The foundry can be a difficult environment to work in. Castings are hot and can be heavy and ergonomically difficult to handle. This type of work makes it challenging to find labor, especially in the shortage the industry is currently experiences. Automation in manufacturing is a solution to help address the physicality of the work and the labor shortage the industry is experiencing. One option for automation is material removal to finish castings. Automating this process provides consistency and helps with safety and ergonomics. Even with a large initial investment needed with automation, justification can be achieved through reduced labor costs, improved quality and consistency, and reduced safety. This presentation will review example automation installations in foundries, highlight the benefits of automation, and provide lessons learned during implementation.

3:15 - 4:30 p.m.
EJ Control Systems

Jerry Klooster




Jerry Klooster
EJ, Elmira, MI

Increased interconnectedness of OT devices causes the design of a foundry control system to become simultaneously more complex yet streamlined. With more opportunities to collect useful data plantwide, there must be a system to process and present information to employees in clear and meaningful ways. Connectedness also increases the number of inroads for potential attackers to infiltrate an OT environment, requiring an emphasis on security from all employees to make these paths difficult or impossible for an unauthorized user to traverse.

4:30 - 5 p.m.
Q&A Wrap Up
6 - 8 p.m.
Networking reception: Exhibits and Demonstrations
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
8 - 8:45 a.m.
Keynote Presentation: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Manufacturing - Lead or Follow





Diran Apelian
Advanced Research Center, Samueli School of Engineering, Irvine, CA

Change is the universal constant. It is startling when one reflects on the developments and changes in the last 50 years alone. Who today uses an IBM electric typewriter to get text on paper? Who uses the yellow pages (or do you even know what that is)? And who sells a car by placing an ad in the Sunday paper? Similarly, 50 years from now, we will look back and wonder how we managed to manufacture with the technologies we use today. The transformations that are taking place are significant as they not only affect the manufacturing process itself, but also the whole manufacturing ecosystem. Planning for manufacture, control of the supply chain logistics, control of inventory, and cognition of market needs and demands, as well as anticipating needs even before your customer know their needs are huge and transformational changes. In this keynote presentation, the basic principles of AI will be reviewed, and the opportunities at the nexus of AI and manufacturing will be illustrated with case studies. The presentation will end with specific recommendations; identify a path forward not only for individual manufacturers but the foundry industry as a whole.

Session 3: Data Science and Machine Learning
Session Chair:

Marshall Miller
Tesserract4D, Rock Spring, GA

8:45 - 9:45 a.m.
Requirements for the Next Leap Forward with Industry 4.0





William Sobel
MTConnect Institute, Oakland, CA

Smart Manufacturing provides closed-loop solutions that answer the question, “Why did something happen, and how can I make it better?” This talk addresses the technology required to curate data from equipment and associate it with the design and processes to connect with the observations and enable decision-making. It will focus on open-standards-based approaches, including MT Connect and concrete examples to illustrate how to extract value from each technological step.

9:45 - 10:15 a.m.
Data Science Including Uncertainty Quantification for Intelligent Casting Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Relevance





Jiten Shah
PDA, LLC, Naperville, IL

The presentation will cover the methodology, framework and predictive technology to solve complex casting manufacturing problems inherent with uncertainty in a production environment. The framework consisting of data mining, AI and Machine learning, UQ (Uncertainty Quantification) and ICME driven tools together with traditional design of experiments to generate required missing data to minimize the sporadic shrinkage and maximize the yield strength in a complex sand cast high strength ductile iron structural part will be discussed. The proposed step-by-step methodology driven by the knowledge and historical data is applicable to solve any multi variant complex problems with any casting alloy and process in a digital Industry 4.0 environment. The author will also give an overview of various Industry 4.0 technologies evolving in the data science field.

10:15 - 10:30 a.m.
10:30 - 11 a.m.
Anomaly Detection in Production Time-Series Data Using K-Means Clustering and Autoencoders





David Blondheim
Mercury Marine, Fond Du Lac, WI

The foundry environment produces large volumes of time-series data. Temperature, humidity, pressure, flow rates, and amp draw are some of the time-series data in manufacturing environments. Time-series data is traditionally simplified to descriptive statistics, such as averages and standard deviations. This simplification loses important information about the process and data collected. Additionally, humans cannot process the volume of data generated within many foundry environments. New analytical approaches need to be applied within the industry. K-means clustering and autoencoders are two machine learning algorithms that can combine to efficiently process time-series data to detect anomalies within the data. This machine learning process will be demonstrated using production die casting time-series data. The goal is to demonstrate the application of these types of algorithms is not complicated.

11 - 11:30 a.m.
Fusium Path to Success in Information Management by Industry 4.0

Philippe Dubuc




Philippe Dubuc
Fusium, Chicoutimi, Quebec

Saguenay Foundry, a division of Fusium, has a long history of engaging with new technologies. This small-batch iron sand casting foundry has used tools such as ERP and CAD since 1998, and Industry 4.0 has given the facility more information management efficiency. Today, Saguenay uses sensor networks, automated dashboards, interconnected databases, and results-oriented communications. This presentation will describe Saguenay’s path to success, sharing the types of tools they use and their advice for other metalcasters.

11:30 a.m. - Noon
A Practical Exercise in Machine Learning for a Small Dataset





Adam Kopper
Mercury Marine, Fond Du Lac, WI

Process simulation software has become an important tool for the modern foundry. During serial production, process improvement designs of experiment require immediate knowledge on which direction to adjust the process to minimize lost production and wasted machine capacity. This need requires information faster than many software packages can provide. Machine learning may hold the key to accelerating the knowledge generation from which decisions regarding the best parameters to run are made. In this work, machine learning algorithms are trained on process simulation data and evaluated on new datasets within and outside the original training parameters. The predictions made by the algorithms are evaluated against the outputs of the simulation software. Machine learning is an effective way to explore different parameters within a process window for rapid knowledge generation to drive designs of experiment on the plant floor.

Noon - 1 p.m.
Session 4: Data Integration and Implementation
Session Chair:

Jiten Shah

1 - 2 p.m.
Digital Transformation - The Promise of Industry 4.0 Remains Out of Reach for Most - That's About to Change





John Dyck
CESMII - The Smart Manufacturing Institute, Los Angeles, CA

The 3rd Industrial Revolution (1970 – 2010) was characterized by the advent of electronics and information technology that enabled the automation of production facilities at a scale that was unprecedented. This paved the way for a wave of productivity that played a significant role in the growth of our economy over that timeframe and created an entire ecosystem of manufacturing automation/IT vendors, implementers, and practitioners to bring these innovative new capabilities into production. But as with all eras, this one too has reached its plateau, and the implications for our manufacturing competitiveness are significant.

It is well understood that manufacturing productivity and innovation has been a significant source of growth and prosperity here in the U.S. Yet as we see, the past decade has revealed an unprecedented flattening, and even decline in our manufacturing productivity (by worker). The reasons why are complex, but among others, it’s clear that the flattening value/productivity curve of Industry 3.0 has not yet made way for the promised value/productivity curve of Industry 4.0. The 4th Industrial Revolution has been hailed by many as the silver bullet that will usher in this new era of productivity and value creation. While in principle this is a reachable premise, what gets lost in translation is that the transition of the manufacturing ecosystem from one era to the next has historically been disruptive and messy. Old behaviors and business models must make way for new behaviors and business models, and those that refuse to make that transition will be remembered on the “ash heap of history.”

CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute is investing $140 million to accelerate industry-wide adoption of Smart Manufacturing here in the U.S., focusing on both the cultural and technology transformation that’s essential on this journey.

2 - 2:30 p.m.
Cloud-Based Database - Are Foundries Ready for This?

lizeth Medina balliet




Lizeth Medina-Balliet
Neenah Foundry, Neenah, WI

2:30 - 3 p.m.
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Tags at the Sand Mixer and Coremaker





Jack Palmer
Palmer MFG with ExCal (Mike Baures)

Adjusting coremaker and sand mixer settings, recalling recipes, and documentation of recipe changes all require costly human intervention. Any time the worker is allowed to manually change recipes the conditions of the molds and cores can be expected to change. For example, excessive amine catalyst material can weaken a core after metal is poured. RFID is an automatic identification system that relies on storing and retrieving data using radio-frequency identification tags. RFID identification uses ‘tags’ – small electronic devices that are fastened to the mould or core box and “readers” which are devices that communicate wirelessly with the RFID tags and to the data for that tag. Data includes mixer run time, resin percentage, resin ratio, catalyst percentage, dry additive percentage, compaction table vibration intensity and duration, and can be incorporated seamlessly into a company-wide Ethernet. Excal Inc. is one of North America’s premier brass and bronze foundries, producing over 2,000 different patterns for cores of different sizes and shapes. The company found this the ideal place to implement the new RFID technology. On labor savings alone, the payback on this unit was 15 months. Productivity has increased 65% versus the prior system. Getting accurate data helps to better manage production and raw materials inventory. RFID users have the ability to expand automation a little at a time, making this ideal for both small and large foundries.

3 - 3:30 p.m.
Cybersecurity How's and Why's

Laura Elan




Laura Robb Elan
MxD, Chicago, IL

In this presentation, MxD, a digital manufacturing and cybersecurity institute, will provide some key insights into what you can do to secure your operations and learn the latest about the CMMC 2.0 requirements through their Cyber Marketplace, which will directly benefit your cybersecurity posture. In addition, MxD will highlight some use cases by organizations that specialize in metalcasting design, virtual simulations and are part of the critical manufacturing supply chain that demonstrates the effectiveness of these tools and approaches.

3:30 - 4 p.m.
Data Acquisition

Vincent Coker
Electric Controls & Systems Inc., Birmingham, AL

In this presentation, Vincent Coker will explain how network and IOT devices interface with plant networks and describe their role when analyzing data, including data prioritization and segregation based on relational and time-series databases.

4 - 4:45 p.m.
Panel Discussion

DavidPhilippe Dubuclizeth Medina ballietjohn Dyck




David Blondheim
Mercury Marine, Fond Du Lac, WI

Phillippe Dubuc
Fusium, Chicoutimi, Quebec

Lizeth Medina Balliet
Neenah Foundry, Neenah, WI

John Dyck
CESMII - The Smart Manufacturing Institute, Los Angeles, CA

4:45 p.m.
Conference Concludes


Registration Fees

Member $850.00 | Non- Member $1,225.00

Cancellations & Substitutions

AFS presents a variety of technical and management conferences (in both in-person and virtual formats). The refund policy for AFS conferences is as follows: 1) Substitutions are accepted at no charge at any time up until the start of the conference; 2) Full refunds are offered if AFS is notified in writing of cancellation at least 30 days in advance of the conference. No refunds or credits are available for less than 30 days written notice.