AFS Brings 115th Metalcasting Congress to Its Own Backyard

Feb. 17, 2011
... and puts focus on plant functionality in tough economic times

The 115th Metalcasting Congress, that will take place April 5-8 in Schaumburg, IL, still resembles the show that attendees remember from the past: networking opportunities, an exhibition of various new and improved products and services, and insightful technical sessions.

But, it is different from previous gatherings, too. First, in contrast to recent stagings, this congress is being hosted solely by the American Foundry Association. (The North American Die Casting Association will be hosting its own event later in the year — see sidebar.) And noticeably, there are more day-to-day, operation-based sessions on the agenda, with topics from employee management and environmental health and safety (EHS), along with an opportunity for foundries to display their metalcastings to buyers and designers.

What’s new?
As is standard procedure, the Metalcasting Congress has a full slate of technical presentations from industry leaders, on all facets of the metalcasting process and the materials used. However, AFS is touting four new additions to the program:

Cast in North America — Part of the exhibit floor will be dedicated to metalcasters in an effort to showcase their castings, network with buyers and designers, and market their casting ability.

Casting Buyer and Designer Education Tracks — In addition to Cast in North America, this session illustrates for attendees the basics of metalcasting, casting design and sourcing, quality rapid prototyping, simulation, and the latest technologies used to produce cast components.

Management Day — On the final day of the Congress, AFS has a program designed especially for business executives and managers who may not have had time to attend the entire three-day event. A mix of topics providing practical information to help manage effectively has been planned, discussing current human resources issues and an economic outlook for the coming year. (These workshops are also open to all registrants.)

Metalcasting Workshops — These six events are led by keynote speakers and are intended to “enhance your productivity and profitability.” Scheduled for April 6 and 7, they cover refractory coating basics, nonferrous and ferrous induction melting, problems with ductile iron castings, time and workload management, conflict management and resolution, and safety leadership. (Open to all registrants.)

Managing EHS, HR issues
The AFS has made a point to cover EHS and HR topics, with presenters who work in the foundries as well as U.S. EPA and OSHA officials. The scheduled topics include:

Safety in the Foundry — A panel discussion covering arc-flash safety and hazards, as well a melting safety;

Promoting Beneficial Use of Foundry Byproducts — A review from the EPA of its current evaluation of environmental benefits and risks, as well as information on the agency’s efforts to support the environmentally-safe use of foundry sand and other byproducts;

New Tools for Foundries Looking to Recycle Byproducts — An outline of the new AFS/FIRST website and its resources, focusing on the hands-on tools that were developed for metalcasters looking to beneficially use their byproducts;

EHS Hot Topics — Another panel discussion covering solid waste and wastewater issues, air issues, health and safety issues, and “what’s hot with OSHA.” A second session will cover combustible dust, greenhouse gas legislation, and “what’s hot with the EPA.” And:

Lean Manufacturing: Case Studies & Implementations — organizing, planning, and implementing lean manufacturing processes will be discussed, as well as presentations on several successful case studies in the foundry industry. A Q&A period will conclude the session.

International presentations
Andrew Turner of the World Foundry Organization will outline the current state global foundry production, highlighting the changes in the past decade from Western ‘developed’ countries to developing countries around the world. The WFO will also address the effects of the 2008 financial crisis on the industry and its continued influence on today’s market.

Michael Swartzlander of Cast Strategies LLC will present an update on the metalcasting market in India, which soon will surpass the United States as the world’s second largest castings producer.

Hoyt Memorial Lecture
FMT 2010 Hall of Honor inductee Dennis Dotson will present “Engage, Empower, and Align — The Core of Next Generation Manufacturing,” a look at surviving globalization and manufacturing for domestic foundries. He will focus on how leaders and workers need to be personally engaged and empowered as teams and to align around a strategy that revolutionizes the shop floor.

Visit for information, to register, or to view the technical program and exhibitors list.

NADCA Hosts Its Own Event In September
The North American Die Casting Association will host the 2011 Die Casting Congress & Tabletop September 19-21 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, OH.

Like AFS, touting its centrally located site, NADCA’s three-day session will include technical and management presentations by diecasting experts from around the world. In addition to the over 60 tabletop displays by exhibitors, the event will feature the International Die Casting Design Competition, a design luncheon, and an awards banquet.

According to NADCA president Daniel L. Twarog, the Association’s plan to host its own show was driven by financial considerations. “This decision was made by NADCA because our joint-venture partner requested a significant reduction in NADCA’s portion of these event proceeds. The level requested made it uneconomical for NADCA to move forward in the joint-venture agreement.”

Registration for the 2011 Die Casting Congress & Tabletop event is underway online at

In 2012 and 2015, presentations of the Die Casting Congress & Exposition are planned in Indianapolis during the first week of October.