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From the past comes the future.

When we reported on the state of AFS in modem casting in 1986, I wrote'as the industry goes, so goes AFS.'That sentiment is as true today as it was then. For the foundry industry, the decade of the'80s was marked by rapid, continuous change, and AFS rode right along with the industry through every twist and turn. Along with the foundries, AFS was prepared to act and do what it had to do, not only to survive, but to prosper through those trying times.

In similar fashion we are ready to meet the challenges of the 1990s head on. In that same report five years ago, we laid out our long-range plans and discussed the hard look we needed to take in order to meet our member needs and to grow as an organization.

One change that was announced at that time was the plan to shorten the annual Casting Congress program from its traditional five-day format to help members attending cut costs. This change alone has proven significant.

In 1990, we took it a step further by opening CastExpo, which Saturday and closing on a Tuesday. The result was a huge success as 13,595 attended. Many more plant people were able to attend; some who have been in the business 20 years or more were able to see an AFS show for the first time because of the weekend format. Management was especially complimentary toward the new format, as were the exhibitors themselves.

We also announced back then that we were opening the laboratories of the Cast Metals Institute (CMI) for use by the industry to perform research and testing of their own. Today, more companies and individuals, foundries and manufacturers alike, are utilizing the facilities on a regular basis. In addition, CMI has had the opportunity, on several industry research projects, to act as a subcontractor, bringing in additional income to help defray the costs of operating the lab. Also on the subject of the Cast Metals Institute, the huge success of the Campaign for the Future' speaks volumes for the support the industry provides toward education. in 1986, we announced plans to conduct new market studies and programs designed specifically to develop an education growth fund. An extensive market study was conducted among members and nonmembers alike. The Society, and specifically its education program conducted by CMI, was rated very highly by both members and nonmembers. On those results, the Campaign for the Future" the AFS Past President George Booth of Ford Motor Co's. Casting Division, with a goal of $5,000,000. To date, the Institute has received pledges totaling more than $4,600,000 from over 400 companies and individuals. The Society is most grateful to all those who are participating. There is no question that our goal can be realized.

Another point of emphasis in that report five years ago was our effort to improve and concentrate our strengthened industry research. A strategic research plan to assist and improve the competitiveness of the foundry industry has begun. The basis of the plan is rooted in the 78 technical committees of the Society, representing a cross-section of North American foundries, suppliers and casting users. Environmental issues and concerns brought about by recent legislation and regulations place research in these areas as the number one need for economical technology development.

The development of techniques for producing and delivering consistently clean metal to the casting cavity has also been identified as one of the key objectives for maintaining a competitive edge over foreign competitors and for opening new markets for casting applications. Yield optimization, energy efficiency, dimensional control and quality improvement are among the other areas being addressed by AFS research. Today, AFS research projects that are now in the planning stages represent a commitment through 1993 of over $8 million in funding.

Probably the most significant statement made in 1986 was that we would strive to improve the liaison between other industry groups and related organizations. On November 12, 1990, the members of AFS, a technical, educational and research-oriented organization founded in 1896, ratified a merger of a national trade association and AFS. One of the major benefits of this was the development of a unified industry voice on governmental and legislative matters. It is fitting that AFS is the surviving corporation due to its many strengths over the years such as being leaders of change and having the ability to change; the diversification of its members; a strong chapter organization; its committee structure; its continuing education program; and the overwhelming support of the industry.

Our mission statement now reads that AFS 'as the leading metalcasting association of North America, shall provide leadership in government relations and also provide the membership with education and information on technology, marketing, management, human resources and research."

The goals of the organization are to assist member companies and individuals to:

* effectively and efficiently manage all production

operations,

* profitably market their products and services,

* equitably manage all their employees,

* promote the interests of the foundry industry before

legislative and executive branches of the federal

government,

* engage in any and all activities that will enhance

the economic progress of the metalcasting industry.

This special report was developed to bring you up to date on all of the programs and services of the "New" AFS. Please take a few minutes to review how your Society is changing to meet your needs.

We believe the "New" AFS has much to offer the industry. We on staff look forward to the many new challenges.
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:American Foundrymen's Society Executive Vice President's Message
Author:Jones, Charles H.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Words:921
Previous Article:Evolution of the AFS logo.
Next Article:AFS Services: Management Division.
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