111th Metalcasting Congress Heading For Houston

March 21, 2007
AFS and NADCA expect their concurrent technical conference and exhibition to draw more than 1700 metalcasters from across North America, as well as from Europe and Asia.

The Hilton AmericasHouston Hotel offers 92,000 ft2 of technologically advanced function space including 30 meeting rooms, two free ballrooms: the 40,000-ft2 Lanier Grand Ballroom and the 26,000ft2 Ballroom of the Americas. Photo credit: Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The American Foundry Society and North American Die Casting Association will cohost the 111th Metalcasting Congress May 15-18, 2007, in Houston, at the Hilton Americas - Houston. The Congress, and the concurent "tabletop" exhibition is expected to draw more than 1,700 metalcasters.

Over the Congress's four-day schedule, more than 140 technical and management presentations will be given by experts from around the world, exposing attendees to the latest developments in technology, ongoing research, and successful management tools.

Just 15 minutes from Hobby Airport and 30 minutes from George Bush International Airport, the Hilton Americas Houston is situated steps from the Toyota Center (Houston Rockets) arena and the Park Shops Mall, two blocks from Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros) and minutes from the downtown Houston's wealth of dining, entertainment, cultural, and nightlife attractions.

The contemporary, state-of-the-art, 24-story convention hotel boasts 1,200 uniquely appointed guest rooms, five food and beverage outlets, a full service spa, as well as a health club with an indoor lap pool, whirlpool, dry sauna, and steam room, in addition to outstanding meeting facilities.

As America's fourth-largest city, Houston is a leader in business, entertainment, the arts, and more. With a lively downtown, there has never been a better time to visit. The downtown area is so compact that getting around is easy whether walking, riding the free trolley buses, or the new light rail system.

Houston is also centrally located in the U.S., so flights from east and west are short — and direct flights from 149 cities — making it easily accessible for everyone attending the "the metalcasting event" for 2007.

B&L Information Systems
What will you be emphasizing in your exhibit at the Metalcasting Congress?
Matt Gacek, sales and marketing manager at B&L, the Bridgman, MI, developer of management software solutions, reports the group "will emphasize our client list — the largest for any software provider in North America— as well as our foundryspecific ERP solution, Odyssey."

Are you working on any new equipment/products/processes?
New enhancements to Odyssey including Heat Planner, Forecasting, and Container Inventory (capabilities.)

How do you plan to make the most of your exhibit?
We will have a PC and monitor onsite to demonstrate Management Overviews.

How much preparation goes into the show for you, the exhibitor?
Three to four days of booth preparation, brochures, software, etc. … This show is larger than the regional, though obviously not as big as the CastExpo, so we have an opportunity to meet with many of our customers.

What sort of attendees do you hope to meet?
Managers, owners, and customers!

Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics
What will be the emphasis of your exhibit at the Metalcasting Congress? Graham Wilson, sales manager for Flow-Rite Foundry Filters, manufactured by Saint-Gobain Advanced Ceramics, tells us that several months of preparation have gone into the group's plans for its Houston presentation, which will emphasize "the art of ‘state-of-the-art.'"

Flow-Rite filters are mullite-based ceramic products unites "with a dense network of perfectly round cells to withstand thermal shock and extreme pouring temperatures. The cellular design also provides an engineered balance between flow rate and strength."

How do you plan to make the most of your time and presence at the show?
Various meetings have been arranged with world-wide distributors and agents, as well as with major customers.

What sort of attendees do you hope to meet?
Major customers, decision makers, potential customers, distributors and agents, and others involved in the industry.

Therm-Tech of Waukesha
According to Jason Kupkovits, ThermTech of Waukesha will be making its first appearance at a metalcasting industry exhibition, and plans to use the opportunity for its metallurgy and sales staff to sit with potential customers and discuss technical matters (and play some poker.)

Therm-Tech of Waukesha is a ISO9001:2000-certified commercial heat treater, and a subsidiary of B�hler-Uddeholm. It is an approved heat-treater for the Ford AMTDDC2010 and GM DC-9999-1 specifications, with two large furnaces capable of quenching up to 15 bars of pressure.

We are also interested in discussing Austempered Ductile Iron with any OEM's or Foundry's that are using ADI in their products. Finally, Vacuum Carburizing is a new process for us, and one we wish to grow.

"We will be emphasizing vacuum hardening of diecast dies, austempering of ductile iron, and vacuum carburizing," Kupkovits continues. "Vacuum carburizing is a new process for us, and we are very interested in discussing this process with companies already doing this procedure."

Mark Marshall explains that ChemTrend, a manufacturer of release agents, will be emphasizing its products' "higher-performance die lubricants, plunger lubricants, and ancillary products."

Chem-Trend emphasizes that its Safety-Lube brand die lubricants are globally recognized for their performance in high-pressure diecasting operations. Its Power-Lube plunger lubricants offer reliability for faster cycle times, and ancillary process products include quench compounds, trim lubes, ladle coats, anti-solder wax, and start up oils.

Other Chem-Trend die lubricant include the Duofix, Klubertec, and Tungstesyn brands. Chem-Trend also offers Wolfrakote and Metalstar brand process aids and specialty process lubricants.

Marshall indicates that the group is "always" working on developing new products, though at the Houston event their planning has been preparing "to answer technical questions, meet with current customers both on the floor and after hours."

FedMet Refractories
FedMet manufactures custom-engineered refractories, emphasizing safety, performance, and "problemsolving." Frank Koklas calls his organization a "comprehensive supplier of refractories to the foundry industry, and relates that they will be showcasing flow-control and shrouding systems at the Metalcasting Congress, its first appearance at the event.

The supplier's range of flow-control products includes wellblocks, upper and collector nozzles, slidegate mechanisms and plate bricks, ladle shrouds, and stopper rods, to name a few.

Fedmet offers alumina-graphite and fused-silica ladle shrouds. "The alumina-graphite shrouds are isostatically pressed with zirconia wear bands and argon channels, as necessary for the particular casting and cleanliness requirements of a shop," the group details. All AG shrouds are X-rayed for flaws and imperfections prior to shipment. Fedmet's fused-silica shrouds are designed primarily for cost savings, to supplement AG shrouds for shorter casting sequences or as a lower-cost alternative to AG for shops that run non-aggressive tundish practices.

CMI Novacast
Ed Lichner, vice president of CMI Novacast, reports that the designer/ manufacturer of electromagnetic molten-metal pumps will exhibit its typical applications, as well as some new developments — emphasizing "controlled, metered transfer of molten aluminum and zinc."

CMI Novacast develops, manufactures, and supplies pumps, launders, preheat ovens, filtration systems, and control systems for molten aluminum, magnesium, and zinc, and their alloys.

Hunter Automated Machinery Corp.
Hunter Automated always attends the Metalcasting Congress events, as well as the AFS regional exhibitions, so the upcoming gathering in Houston will be no different, according to Mike Hughes of Hunter, which has not missed one of these events since the company was founded over 40 years ago.

According to Hughes, Hunter expects that good attendance — "as many foundrymen as possible" — will make all its preparation and expertise pay off.

"We will be emphasizing our newly redesigned XL Series molding machine and mold handling systems," Hughs details.

Are you working on any new equipment/products/processes?
"Yes," he confirms. "Hunter Automated Machinery always looks toward the future for advancements in molding and mold handling equipment, for today's foundries and for the future of metal casting."

What sorts of customer contacts are you expecting in Houston?
"We hope to meet owners and operators of foundries to display what Hunter has to offer to them to make their business profitable and state-ofthe-art in foundry mold making and mold handling," Hughes replies.

Describe your exhibit at the Metalcasting Congress? What will you be emphasizing? Didion International will be featuring its new Mark 5 Series Rotary Media Drum, along with some Conveyor Dynamics Vibratory Equipment. In addition to the machinery on display, installation videos will be shown on the Didion Rotary Lump Crusher / Sand Reclaimer; Rotary Blending / Cooling Drums; Rotary Separators / Sprue Cleaners; Rotary Thimble Cleaners and Sand Screeners.

Conveyors Dynamics Corp., an affiliate company, will demonstrate Furnace Charging Systems, Mold Dump Conveyors, Shot Blast Indexing Feeders, and Casting Sorting Conveyors.

Are you working on any new equipment/products/processes?
"Didion has developed a new contoured, internal lining system that doubles the liner life and increases the sand throughput by 12%. The speed control is now electronic with variablefrequency drives. The new base frames have split pillow-block endtrucks, with quick-change bearing inserts for easy and fast maintenance."

Didion's new processes put "great emphasis" on processing delicate castings, including brass and aluminum, with several successful installations.

What plans do you have to maximize Didion's impact on visitors to the Metalcasting Congress? We are having all our representatives from around the globe attending the show as we launch our latest developments. We will have operating production equipment that we'll ship to our customer in Russia after the show.

How much preparation goes into the show for you, the exhibitor?
We start planning for trade shows 18 months in advance of the show dates. Preparations include new literature for the new equipment. New and different graphics … designed to get customers as they're walking by, (showing) there is something new.

Diecasting equipment designer/ builder BuhlerPrince reports its exhibits will highlight two different product lines — Buhler and BuhlerPrince — in addition to its range of customer services and process optimization support. "Our emphasis for this show will be our new combined company, BuhlerPrince, and the expanded sales, service and support we can now offer the North American market," according to Marlene Roulliard.

Are you planning to unveil any new equipment/products/processes?
We are working on a few things which aren't ready to be released yet. However, by show time we may be able to provide a few details.

Describe the preparation involved for your group attending an event like the Metalcasting Congress.
We have spent the last six months preparing for debuting our new combined company, and our new combined company name.

We participate in many shows, all of different sizes and all of which have a uniqueness of their own.

The preparation for this show has been more than usual due to all the things we have to change … we'll spend approximately one to two months preparing these items and getting ready for the show.

Describe the sorts of individual you hope to contact there.
Those attendees who are actively seeking new information or have new programs or projects to discuss.

How will you evaluate your group's success at the Congress?
Our goal is to make as many connections as possible and to make sure the industry understands what our company's focus and direction will be for the future.

Finite Solutions
According to David Schmidt, Finite Solutions will have a live display with two demonstration stations. We will be showing how SOLIDCast, FLOWCast, and OPTICast can help to rig castings effectively, with maximum speed and minimum effort. Attendees will be able to see the software in action, as we will be doing live simulations as well as showing completed results. They will be able to take back case studies and examples of parts similar to the pieces they make themselves.

Will you be introducing any new products?
The software is under continuous development, and has been for over 20 years now. We will be showing the latest version, 7.0, which is the first version to include calculations for the filling of centrifugally cast parts.

Describe the preparation for this event for your company, as an exhibitor?
We exhibit at many events, from AFS Regional Conferences to GIFA, and many places in between. The Metalcasting Congress draws the largest group in the U.S., so it is very important to us. … (It) covers a broad range of alloys and processes.

We spend quite a lot of time to make sure we have an attractive display, new and relevant materials, as well as a host of new software functions, to make sure that both new prospects and existing customers have plenty of new things to see.

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact there.
We are interested in all levels, from those who are curious about what simulation can do for them, to those who are ready to make a purchase decision. If a company will bring a CAD file along with them, we will demonstrate to them the capabilities of the software using their own part.

Onsite Machining Inc.
Mark Lambeth, owner/operator of Onsite Machining, tells us he plans to emphasize "information" and "personal contact" during the Metalcasting Congress. The Alma, MI, company specializes in on-site machining of diecasting machine platens and shotbore modifications, but also has experience service a wide range of machinery.

FARO Technologies
According to Linda Massie, with Faro Technologies, says the company will be emphasizing its ‘See, Hear, Explore' campaign.

"See the different products," she elaborates; "hear the countless benefits; explore the endless solutions." She estimates that planning and preparation will take about three months of work.

Faro designs, develops, manufactures, markets and supports portable, software-based, three-dimensional (3D) measurement systems, and its exhibit will be feature its ScanArm, Arm, and Gage technologies, as well as its new CAM 2 Modular software.

How do you intend to make an impact at the Metalcasting Congress?
The See, Hear, Explore campaign. We have advertisements, premium giveaways at the booth (a GPS system), and promotion of the products.

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact there.
Metal fabricators, production managers, quality control managers, and design engineers.

Posi-flate designs and manufactures butterfly valves that use an inflatable seat to seal with air pressure, rather than friction. This means it requires less torque and a smaller actuator, resulting in lower overall valve cost, and the seat compensates for wear automatically , extending valve life.

What will you be emphasizing at your Metalcasting Congress exhibit?
Posi-flate's exhibit will include the Series 485 inflatable seated butterfly valves that compensates for wear providing, longer valve life. These valves are designed to mount onto the inlet of core machines, molding machines, and transport vessels. These valves can also mount on the outlet of dust collectors and storage silos."

Will you be introducing any new products?
Posi-flate is continually improving our inflatable seated valves with new seat and disc materials for abrasive applications.

As an exhibitor, what do you expect to achieve at the Metalcasting Congress?
Posi-flate has exhibited at the CastExpo event several times in the past 10 years. This show is more intimate and allows the attendees to spend more time discussing their particular applications without feeling rushed to see the rest of show. Most attendees have a limited timeframe to walk around the show and see all the exhibitors.

We hope to connect with production personnel, maintenance personnel, and upper management attendees, and other exhibitors, that currently experience problems with other valves and recognize Posi-flate inflatable seated butterfly valves as a solution.

Harrison Machine Co. LLC
Harrison Machine Co. manufactures shell and cold-box core and automatic molding machines, and offers accessories and selection of rebuilt equipment.

According to Pat Farner, the company will be exhibiting its core and molding machine technologies, with "interesting displays emphasizing new technology advancements that provide increased payback and efficiency."

Kirk & Blum
Kirk & Blum designs, engineers, fabricates, and installs industrial air systems, and Mike Meyer reports that its Metalcasting Congress exhibit will emphasize the company's 100-year history and its range of capabilities in the field of dust collection/air quality. Meyer adds that the AFS/NADCA event is a particular opportunity for his group, because "this show focuses very narrowly on the metalcasting industry."

Verichek Technical Services Inc.
Chad Gabersek with this supplier of spectrometer and positive metal identification services, reports its exhibit "will be showcasing our mobile/laboratory equipment, and striving for increased product and service recognition within the industry high-end products, superior service."

Are you working on any new equipment/products/processes?
Yes, the Foundry Master and the Foundry-Master Compact. Foundry Master is a laboratory spectrometer for qualitative and quantitative metallic element analysis using OES, and designed for stationary use as a bench-top unit.

Foundry Master Compact is a cost-effective instrument for precise elemental analysis of nonferrous metals in the laboratory.

How do you intend to make an impact at the Metalcasting Congress?
Market target areas with advertisements and mailings. Create broader contact list by capitalizing on contacts derived from the show.

Are you working on any new equipment/products/processes?
New custom-designed dust collector technology as well as our past proven turnkey systems.

How do you intend to make an impact at the Metalcasting Congress?
Focus on turnkey dust collection solutions, qualifying those clients that value engineered systems, and utilize our contacts to generate opportunities for us and customers to work together.

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact there.
Plant engineers, operators, maintenance technicians.

Heraeus Electro-Nite
Kristy McMullin with this specialist in measuring, monitoring, and controlling molten metal processes, confirms that the Heraeus exhibit will emphasize its newest instrument — the ENtouch hand-held pyrometer. It will also be promoting other sensors and samplers, such as the Contitherm lite for temperature profiling in iron and steelmaking.

The upcoming Congress will be the continuation of Heraeus's long association with the annual event, running more than 25 years according to McMullin, and it will have a group of knowledgeable salesman and product managers on hand to offer insights and solutions.

How do you intend to make an impact at the Metalcasting Congress?
Display the benefits and the value of the time-tested Heraeus Electro-Nite product line

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact there.
Decision makers in the metalcasting industry who are embracing new technology

Carrier Vibrating Equipment
Chuck Mitchell with Carrier explains that builder of casting cleaning systems "will be emphasizing shakeout technology and low-maintenance equipment."

Are you working on any new equipment/products/processes?
We have developed new style/process for shakeout — Delta Phase Shakeout, which has been available for about 1.5 years.

Carrier Vibrating Equipment is a perennial exhibitor at AFS events, including regional expos and FundioExpo, but Mitchell observes that occasions like the Metalcasting Congress seem to draw better attendance/

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact there.
Customers and OEMs.

D&E Foundry Ladles
Denny Rach, assistant sales manager for D&E Foundry Ladles, explains that the firm will be exhibiting its line of standard and custom ladles for metalcasting.

The Minnesota company has been an exhibitor at AFS events for the past 10 years, he reports, and while the company's products are targeted squarely at the market it appears to be an effective strategy. "This is the only foundry show we attend," according to Rach.

Are you working on any new equipment/products/processes?
Hydraulic lifts for ladles, hydraulically operated ladles.

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact there.
Middle to upper management.

AFC-Holcroft, which develops a wide range of thermal processing equipment and technology, will be exhibiting "an aluminum solution heat-treat system that is fully automated and eliminates carriers, thereby providing a large savings in fuel and operating costs," according to Dick Walker.
"We will also be available to discuss other processes that are utilized by the foundry industry, such as austempering ductile iron, malleabilizing, annealing, normalizing, stress relief, hardening, quench and tempering," he reports.

Are you developing on any new equipment or processes?
We are constantly looking at ways to decrease operating costs in furnaces utilized in the foundry industry, especially batch and continuous furnaces for the aluminum foundries to replace drop bottom systems.

How do you intend to make an impact at the Metalcasting Congress? AFC-Holcroft will have a highly experienced sales and technical staff available to answer queries and respond to specific heat-treat equipment requirements as they apply to the foundry industry.

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact there.
Decision-makers from potential customers.

CARBO Ceramics Inc.
Deb Hildebrandt, media director for Carbo Ceramics Inc., explains that the company's exhibit at the Metalcasting Congress will emphasize its ceramic media products "CARBOAccucast's ceramic casting media possesses properties to provide increased media life, casting accuracy, and reduced production costs in metal casting applications," says Hildebrandt.

"Manufactured from readily available raw materials, these products offer opportunities for foundries and manufacturers to increase their bottom line. Whatever the application, CARBOAccucast is a timely and competitive alternative."

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact there.
We are looking forward to meeting foundry purchasing agents, production and plant managers, manufacturing process engineers, students.

Martin McLaughlin, a project manager for software developer EKK, explains that the company will exhibit "practical demonstrations of the results of our simulation software.

"In our presentation," McLaughlin details, "we will be emphasizing dynamic aspects of the different casting processes, such as moving shot sleeve simulations for die casters and actual tilt-pour motion simulation for permanent mold casters.

Are you working on any new processes?
Currently we are developing porosity prediction software that is practical for die casters. We are also developing methods for all casters to predict and hopefully avoid hot tearing.

How do you prepare for an event like this one?
We've been attending these expositions for many years. A month before the show we'll review our display boards and decide if any need updating. We'll then spend some time a week before the show to organize all our literature and software demonstrations.

We try to identify potential customers who will be going to the show and then coordinate with them so that we can give them a live, personalized demonstration of our software capabilities at the show.

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact at the Metalcasting Congress.
We hope to meet casters who need their simulation software to act as a proper engineering tool. We also hope to meet smaller-foundry personnel who have been slow to get into the casting simulation market, because of prohibitive costs. We hope to convince them that purchasing accurate and efficient casting simulation software doesn't need to break their budget.

Foseco Metallurgical Inc.
Annie Karim, Foseco's new marketing communications coordinator, says the molten-metal specialists will be emphasizing "Great Performance." "As a pioneer and global leader in innovative feeding, filtration, coating, and refractory technologies, Foseco works with casting suppliers to promote high-tech cast components that deliver superior quality, yield, and performance," Karim details.

Foseco is a perennial presence at AFS and other metalcasting industry events, and will be active as an exhibitor and in technical presentations at the Metalcasting Congress. Karim tells us the group expects to have 3540 of its staff in attendance.

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact at the Metalcasting Congress.
Industry decision makers

Carpenter Bros. Inc.
Nick Gerritts of Carpenter Brothers Inc. reports that the noted supplier of a wide range of foundry equipment and supplies will use its exhibit at the Metalcasting Congress to emphasize its achievements and capabilities over 90 years in business. It will have a large contingent of its staff on hand, including the top management.

How do you intend to make an impact at the Metalcasting Congress?
Networking with customers and principal suppliers in attendance.

We exhibit at the Wisconsin Regional, and two environmental conferences. This show gives us exposure to the national foundry market through attendance, and publication that is related to the show for those who chose not to attend.

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact at the Metalcasting Congress.
Foundry customers outside our main midwest region.

Guardian Software Systems
Jenny Gladczak, sales and marketing director with Guardian Software Systems, explains that the "will be showcasing our foundry specific windows based ERP software solution."

Gladczak describes the Guardian Foundry System as a "timely, accurate information is a necessity in this fastpaced highly competitive marketplace. The Guardian Foundry System was designed to consolidate all aspects of a foundry operation into a single solution. By integrated all departments, from Estimating and Quoting to Manufacturing to Financials, companies are better able to track their business from start to finish.

Describe the new products you're developing?
We constantly are improving our software with specific solutions to meet the needs of foundries. When enhancements are made to our product they reflect the needs of the metal casting industry.

Scheduling has now become a focal point because foundries today are finding themselves busier than they ever have been. Guardian Software Systems understands that foundries have unique requirements when it comes to scheduling and has incorporated the following functionality into our system: The ability to view next available date on all work centers; The ability to view load by hours, molds, pounds and/or dollars for a work center; The ability to define constraints for each work center; The ability to select in real time an alternate work center; The ability to use graphing tools for visual management of the schedule; The ability to dynamically view load for each work order. Guardian Software Systems has also begun working on the following modules: Customized Report Generator; Integrated Quality Module; Integrated Alert System; and Centrifugal Module

How do you intend to make an impact at the Metalcasting Congress?
We will be giving away a "computer" related gift to one lucky attendee. Watch for our email campaign prior to the show with more details on how you can improve your chances of winning.

How much preparation goes into planning your exhibit?
Guardian has exhibited at the Metalcasting Congress for the last six years.

Planning for shows is an evolving activity. From each show you attend you learn something new from the experience. This year we have purchased a sleek new booth and plan to update our visual presentation that runs in our booth.

Besides exhibiting at the Metalcasting Congress, Guardian exhibits at our local AFS regional show and the ICI Technical Conference and Expo. Guardian also enjoys speaking at regional AFS chapter meetings.

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact at the Metalcasting Congress.
Our product is geared for the needs of Upper Management. Our best contact is that of the CFO or the IT Manager.

General Kinematics Corporation
Claude Hutchens, director - Foundry Market for General Kinematics, reports the casting cleaning equipment builder will be exhibiting at the Metalcasting Congress — as it has done at least 30 times before.

While the group has new equipment in development, details have not been made available for discussion.

Hutchens said that his group hopes to meet "people interested in advancing their foundry processes, hopefully with budgets to do so."

Kuttner LLC
Kuttner's Kurt Janssen reports that the melt shop equipment supplier "will emphasize our expertise in melt-center design and gas-cleaning systems." Janssen says he is looking forward to making contact with engineers, consultants, plant operators, and managers at the Metalcasting Congress.

Rimrock Corp.
Megan Zimpfer, marketing coordinator, explains that Rimrock will be featuring "the light-weight 032 nozzles now available on a 410 bar manifold. In addition, attendees will be able to view our videos of various automation systems available including de-coring, finishing, and ladling.

Is Rimrock developing any new equipment, products, or processes?
Rimrock continues to expand our expertise in designing and manufacturing flexible robot systems, which allow our customers to run multiple die configurations in the same cell. This is accomplished through the use of vision systems and robot programming.

What is different about the Metalcasting Congress, versus other trade shows?
Rimrock also exhibits at shows for the forging industry. The main difference is that exhibits are closed during technical presentations. While this helps promote attendance of the presentations, it takes away from exhibitor time with customers considering the money spent to have booth space.

Describe the sorts of individuals you hope to contact at the Metalcasting Congress.
Rimrock would like to meet attendees who are looking to add automation to their current process. In addition, Rimrock intends to increase our share of well established customers by continuing to add Japanese transplants Nissan, Honda, Toyota, etc. to our customer base.

Capital Refractories

Capital gas diffuser in-situ inside an induction furnace.

Capital Refractories is one of the U.K.'s largest independent refractory suppliers, and the company's Naomi Swain supplies that its patent-pending gas diffuser will be one of the main items on its exhibit.

"These purging plugs work in conjunction with Capital's linings, and have been proven in sites across the States. Foundries using a Capital gas diffuser have been found to reduce their scrap rates, manufacture superior castings and remove inclusions," she continues. "Capital's U.S.-manufactured dry vibration linings, rammables, plastics and castables will also be on show, as will the superb Unibore system.

"Unibore is a unique two-piece nozzle system which consists of a reuseable outer nozzle and a second inner nozzle. Unibore enables the user to change the bore size after each casting by replacing the inner nozzle only, thus minimizing downtime, labour and consumables costs, and providing a more stable flow.

Are you developing any new refractories or products?
Capital is constantly working on developing new products and improving the operations of foundries world-wide. We continue to develop the gas diffuser, as its success grows and we receive feedback from customers. Additional benefits have been achieved by customers using the gas diffusers — ones for which it was not originally intended. For example, many report that there is a huge increase in the life of their linings when a plug is operated in their induction furnace.

What specific plans does your comat the Metalcasting Congress?
From previous world-wide exhibitions, we have learnt that customers want to see products in action. We will have numerous movie clips of products in action in foundries, and also models and samples of the products. The U.S. national sales manager will be on hand, as will representatives from the U.K. head office, who also have hands-on experience from which visitors can draw.

How much preparation goes into preparing Capital's exhibit?
A great deal – there is no point investing in the show only to not prepare for it. We have investigated the types of visitors who will be attending, and will make sure that they are able to address their needs. They are designing new artwork specifically for the event, and are currently organizing samples of U.S.-manufactured Capital material to be on hand.

Wanted: "Decision Makers"
To research and prepare our 2007 Metalcasting Congress preview, we sent a questionnaire to exhibitors, seeking their impressions and expectations of the event, and what they hoped to accomplish during their time in Houston. No surprise that the majority of the responses to the questions "What sort of attendees do you hope to meet" included the words ‘decision makers'.

Summarized on these pages are the responses we received. We're thankful for your participation and we hope that our readers will respond to the information that you've provided, making the most of this opportunity.