Foundry Industry 4.0 Conference

Digital Manufacturing in the Metalcasting Industry

June 7 - 10, 2021


What do metalcasting leaders need to know now about Industry 4.0 in order to make smart investments and gain a lasting business advantage for your foundry? How connected is your foundry today? Industry 4.0 is no longer just about the future. Smart, proactive manufacturers are using innovation and 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.  

The designation ‘‘4.0’’ is often used in reference to the next phase of the Industrial Revolution (the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”) and generally expresses the impact of smart manufacturing and the implementation of technology in manufacturing. 

This conference will focus on how digital manufacturing is affecting all areas of the casting  process today, and how this will change the foundry of the future. Key seminar topics are data collection and management, data-driven decision-making, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality, wearable technology, robotics, automation, and cyber security, as well as the related issues of workforce development, recruiting, and training. The conference will include foundry case studies demonstrating how implementation of data collection, automation, and digital technologies have changed and improved operations today.


  • June 7 - 10, 2021


Keynote: The Future of Work and the Worker: Challenges and Opportunities for Manufacturing and Foundry Industries
Diran Apelian
Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Irvine

Diran Apelian is Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at University of California, Irvine.  He heads the advanced material processing activities of IDMI and is Director of the Advanced Casting Research Center. Prior to joining UCI, Apelian was the Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Engineering and Founding Director of the Metal Processing Institute (MPI) at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). From 1990-1997, he served as WPI’s Provost.

Prof. Apelian is a Fellow of TMS, ASM, and APMI, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), National Academy of Inventors (NAI), European Academy of Sciences, and the Armenian Academy of Sciences. Apelian was TMS President and Chair of the ASM Educational Foundation Board. He is a co-founder of Solvus Global LLC, Battery Resourcers Inc., Kinetic Batteries LLC, and Melt Cognition LLC. For more information, visit




Keynote: Current Trends in Manufacturing 4.0
David Vasko
Director of Advanced Technology, Rockwell Automation

Dave Vasko is Director of Advanced Technology at Rockwell Automation, where he oversees applied R&D and global product standards and regulations. He is responsible for developing and managing technology to enable the future of industrial automation, including augmented reality, artificial intelligence, digital twins, digital transformation, IoT, and collaborative robotics.

Vasko is a member of the National Institute of Standards and Technology VCAT (Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology) and serves on the board of the 5 Lakes Institute. He is a member of the Wisconsin Technical Council, the MForesight Leadership Council, and the U.S National Committee of the International Electrotechnical Commission, where he serves on technical advisory groups. Vasko also serves on the Connect Systems Institute Steering Committee, the Marquette University Advisory Board, and the WEF Data Sharing Taskforce. He is a senior member of both the IEEE and ISA.  

In 2005, Vasko was recognized as Rockwell Automation’s Engineer of the Year for his contribution to the development of a CIP Safety Communication Protocol. He holds 75 granted U.S. patents.

Keynote: Digital Twins: Cyber Security and Digital Manufacturing for the Metalcasting Industry
Federico Sciammarella
President & CTO, MxD

As President and CTO of MxD, Federico Sciammarella is in charge of developing and implementing the technology vision for this Chicago-based institute.

Sciammarella previously was an associate professor at Northern Illinois University. At NIU, he directed Advanced Research in Materials and Manufacturing for more than 10 years, which generated over $2.5 million in funding and created a launch pad for many students and technologies in advanced manufacturing. He has a long list of publications and patents for applications in laser assisted machining and additive manufacturing. Sciammarella's experience is in creating research which is focused on applications for industry.

Journey of Digital Transformation and “Culturizing” The Smart Process
Hicham Wazni
Global Director, Continuous Improvement and Smart Manufacturing, Howmet Aerospace

Smart Manufacturing or Industry 4.0 is not a plug-and-play approach.  While the technology is available in different forms and platforms, the approach and the people element are the key enablers for the successful implementation and sustainable culture of Industry 4.0.  This session focuses on the methodology to get started, the approach to accelerate it, and the social system to turn the implementation into a Smart Culture of Industry 4.0.

Hicham Wazni is Global Director of Continuous Improvement and Smart Manufacturing at Howmet Aerospace. Hicham has 24 years of collective experience in Manufacturing Operations, Continuous Improvement, Smart Manufacturing/Industry 4.0, and Business and P&L Management.

In addition to his full-time job at Howmet Aerospace, Hicham has been an Adjunct Faculty at Cuyahoga Community College since August 2013, where he has been teaching courses in Statistical Quality Engineering and Additive Manufacturing New Product Development.

Hicham has a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and a MBA from the University of Georgia.

Working With Data to Improve Casting Quality
Adam Kopper
Technical Specialist, Mercury Marine

Adam Kopper has been in the metalcasting industry for 24 years. He is the immediate past chair of the AFS Aluminum and Light Metals Division. Kopper is currently working toward a PhD at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where his research is focused on the application of data science in materials processing.

How a Permanent Mold Foundry is Taking the 4.0 Turn Towards Data-Driven Melt Quality and Casting Process Decision-Making
Yohan Tremblay
Co-Founder, Foundry Solutions & Metallurgical Services

Since obtaining his degree in metallurgical engineering at University Laval, Québec City in 2001, Yohan Tremblay has focused on foundry process quality control.

He worked for three years in Europe before returning to Canada, having fun with ductile iron, white iron, and ADI;  more recently, in 2016, he dove into light casting alloys. He launched Foundry Solutions as a personal business in 2013. In January 2015, Tremblay co-founded Foundry Solutions & Metallurgical Services Inc., supporting costumers from around the world with proprietary and partner solutions.

Artificial Intelligence
David Wang
CEO, BEET Analytics Technology

David Wang is CEO of BEET Analytics Technology, an industry 4.o solution provider focused on digitizing machine performance. BEET creates products and solutions that help companies be more proactive, more accountable, and more efficient than ever before. 

Wang has an MBA from University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business, and a Bachelor of Engineering in electrical and electronics engineering from Wayne State University.

Dr. David U. Furrer
Senior Fellow Discipline Lead, Pratt & Whitney

Dr. David Furrer is Senior Fellow Discipline Lead for the Materials and Processes Engineering organization at Pratt & Whitney, East Hartford, Connecticut.

Furrer leads the Pratt & Whitney Materials Discipline Chiefs and Materials Fellows in the development of technical strategies and engineering standards and procedures. He supports the development, design, and deployment of new materials and associated manufacturing processes. He is responsible for manufacturing technologies development and maturation, including computational tools and methods to support legacy and emerging manufacturing process application and design for manufacture. Furrer is involved in additive manufacturing process development along with other emerging manufacturing processes.

Lockheed Martin’s Future Vision for Foundries
Heather Woodworth
Dynamic Systems Materials Engineer, Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company

Heather Woodworth is Dynamic Systems Materials Engineer at Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, Hartford, Connecticut. She has worked at Sikorsky for 12 years in materials and engineering. Woodworth has a Bachelor of Science in Material Science and Engineering and an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York.

Exoskeletons for Ergonomics
Cayla Zielinski
Wearable Robotics Specialist, Comau LLC

Operators in the manufacturing industry are increasingly incurring work-place-related musculoskeletal disorders due to repetitive manual tasks and awkward postures. Companies are looking to new innovative technologies such as exoskeletons to help reduce the risk of injuries and retain talent for years to come.

Presenter Cayla Zielinski, Wearable Robotics Specialist at Comau LLC, is responsible for the MATE exoskeleton product for Comau North America. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Science in biology.

Wearable Biometrics to Monitor Employees for Heat Stress and Fatigue
Melissa Glossup
CEO and Co-Founder, KOSTechnology

Melissa Glossup is a business success authority, innovator, and visionary. She is the CEO and co-founder of KOSTechnology, an emerging revolutionary safety technology that is set to transform the global modern workforce and enhance industrial safety.

Through the years, Glossup has mastered and developed winning strategies to mitigate risk, build strategic partnerships, assemble dynamic teams, and mastermind products from concept to launch and market share. KOSTechnology is transforming the modern workforce through connected wearable technology and artificial intelligence analytics. Their mission is to create safer and smarter industries and prevent fatigue-related accidents.

Case Study: Eye Tracking Glasses for Training Metal-Pourers
Mike Bartels
Director of Research, Tobii Pro

Mike Bartels is the Director of Research at Tobii Pro in North America. He has over 15 years of experience studying human visual attention across a variety of different contexts, including training, performance, usability, and design. Bartels has a master's degree in experimental psychology and has written extensively on eye tracking technology.

Flexible Casting Cleaning in a Robotic Cell | The Foundry in a Starship: Melting and Pouring in a Zero Gravity Atmosphere
David Weiss
Vice President of Engineering and R&D, Eck Industries

David Weiss is Vice President of Engineering and R&D for Eck Industries, Inc. He is responsible for development and application of high-performance alloys and casting concepts for the foundry and their customers.

Weiss has authored over 70 papers on the processing and application of aluminum, metal matrix composite and magnesium castings. He has won numerous industry awards including the John A. Penton Gold Medal from the American Foundry Society for pioneering work in the premium aluminum casting industry.

Augmented Reality for Equipment Maintenance and Training
Peter Reich
Director, Laempe Reich

Peter Reich is Director of Laempe Reich and Immediate Past President of the American Foundry Society.

The Reich family success story began 82 years ago, when Harry H. Reich, a young patternmaker-molder, headed south and arrived in Alabama, raised a family, and started his company selling foundry equipment and supplies. Son Harry C. Reich grew the company, and eventually partnered with Joachim Laempe. And Laempe Reich was born. Now, David and Peter Reich, with their talented team, continue that tradition of cores and support. In 2010, they created a full-service coreshop called The CoreRoom.

Using Industry 4.0 in the No-Bake Foundry
Wil Tinker
President, Tinker Omega Sinto

A complete smart factory may be out of the reach for most foundries, but taking small steps now will help foundries get the most out of new technologies when they emerge.

Wil Tinker has spent 40 years in the no-bake industry, and has been President of Tinker Omega Sinto for the last 20 years. He has served on the CMI board and is past president of the Foundry Educational Foundation. He graduated from Kent Sate University in 1981,

Case Story: Cutting Scrap in Green Sand Foundries With Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence
Dr. Dennis Janitza
Senior Vice President, Norican Digital Lab, DISA

Digitally transforming casting quality doesn’t have to be complicated or slow. You can start small by applying Industry 4.0 tools to centralize all your foundry data, and then accelerate your digital journey with artificial intelligence (AI) to consistently cut scrap. Proven applications at various foundries show at least a 40% scrap reduction (and in some cases even a complete elimination of scrap), as AI-driven recommendations identify process optimization across the entire casting process. 

With a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Munich, Dr. Dennis Janitza has been looking after all things digital at Norican Group since 2017.  He heads up the Norican Digital Lab to develop and deliver meaningful digital solutions and help foundries accelerate their digital journeys, all in close partnership with experts from the four Norican brands: DISA, Italpresse Gauss, StrikoWestofen and Wheelabrator. He previously was CEO of StrikoWestofen America. 

Four Steps to Success in a Data-Driven World
Andy Moore
President, CADDIS Systems

With an educational background in physics, engineering, and business, Andy Moore is conditioned to solve problems when they are encountered. Having spent over 15 years working in manufacturing with roles ranging from plant floor operations to senior leadership, he has made a name for himself by solving complex problems with straightforward solutions. 

In this presentation, Moore will highlight how to position your company for success by embracing machine data and effectively respond to the key metrics that lead to increased profitability and long-term machine health.

Breakout Session: Q&A with Cybersecurity Expert Jonathan Tomek
Jonathan Tomek

How safe is your manufacturing data and network? How about your engineering drawings and customer files?  Bring your questions to Jonathan Tomek and come prepared for a lively interactive session to help us better understand how to manage the risk as we move toward more digitally integrated manufacturing.  

Laser Scanning and BIM for Complex Industrial Installations
Dr. Ziad Salameh
Principal In Charge, ZS Architectural Engineering, LLC

Dr. Ziad Salameh brings more than 35 years of professional experience related to building structural designs, building enclosure consulting, laser scanning to BIM, BIM to facility management consulting, historic structures restoration, and structural failure investigations.

In addition to his consulting experience, Salameh serves as a board member with Milwaukee Preservation Alliance and Landmarks Illinois. He is also a past chair of the executive committee of the ASCE Forensic Engineering Division (FED) and is a founding member of the City of Milwaukee Façade Examination Ordinance Committee. Additionally, he served as an adjunct associate professor of building’s structural systems at the School of Architecture and Urban Planning (SARUP) as well as the School of Engineering at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.


Capturing Unknown Variables Using AI for Better Process Control
Jiten Shah
President, Product Development & Analysis (PDA) LLC

Jiten Shah has more than 30 years of experience in casting design and manufacturing. He has been involved in various research projects by key manufacturing innovation institutes over the last six years, among them, MxD (formerly Digital Mfg. and Design Innovation Institute - DMDII), LIFT and America Makes.

In this presentation, Shah will explore improvements to process control and scrap reduction through artificial intelligence techniques.


Registration Fees

Early Registration (Through May 14): $600/AFS Members, $900/Non-members

Standard Registration (After May 14): $700/AFS Members, $1,000/Non-members

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.