American Foundry Society Opens Its Doors on Manufacturing Day

The American Foundry Society (AFS) highlighted metalcasting careers to students, teachers, and families during its Manufacturing Day Open House on Oct. 4, 2019.

The event is part of a coordinated annual national celebration by the manufacturing industry to show the public its importance to the economy and address common misconceptions 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.

“Manufacturing is essential to the American economy, and this is the one day each year that we open up the doors of manufacturing facilities and trade associations and let young people find out what the industry is all about,” said Doug Kurkul, CEO of AFS. “When they understand, that’s good for the future of our country.”

At AFS headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, about 150 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 3D printed molds donated by the University of Northern Iowa.

Representatives from area AFS Corporate Member companies, Hunter Foundry Machinery Corp. and Magma Foundry Technologies, discussed the science and engineering involved in metalcasting. Visitors also watched videos highlighting the metalcasting process, and even had the chance try on the personal protective gear required when pouring molten metal in a foundry.

“This gives (the students) a very unique opportunity to explore different manufacturing methods. Additive manufacturing, 3D printing – it’s not really something we have an opportunity to do in our classroom,” said Eric Dieterich, manufacturing teacher at John Hersey High School (Arlington Heights, Illinois). “It gives them an opportunity to experience it hands-on, as well as see there is a whole section of careers and jobs available for them through things like this. It’s a great opportunity for them to have fun, make stuff, as well as explore potential careers.”

A representative of the Illinois Department of Commerce presented a proclamation announcing October 2019 as Illinois Manufacturing Month. Coinciding with the event, AFS published and distributed the newest 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 of Melting Point can also be viewed here.

A photo gallery of the event is available here.

The American Foundry Society is a dynamic technical and advocacy organization that serves and represents the $33 billion metalcasting industry. AFS is the only association serving the entire industry, including all metals and processes, with a three-part focus on advocacy, education, and innovation. AFS also publishes Modern Casting and Metal Casting Design & Purchasing magazines and presents Metalcasting Congress and CastExpo, the largest metalcasting trade events in North America. Founded in 1896, the organization is based in Schaumburg, Illinois, with an advocacy office in Washington, D.C. More information is available at