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AFS Services: CMI/Education.

Foundry managers have long expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of competent technical and nontechnical workers. In all too many cases, our workers or associates lack a knowledge of the basics in their respective areas. Without this knowledge, it is very difficult to build an understanding of higher level information and to improve the quality of our employees at all levels.

In a recent article, an executive of Motorola stated: "The '80s was the decade of improving quality, and the 90s will be the decade of improving the quality of our workers.' This is the challenge that the foundry industry and AF'S face.

This same situation existed in 1956. At that time, leaders of the foundry industry decided to do something about the problem of the lack of a workforce knowledgeable in foundry technology. It was in that year that they founded the AFS Training and Research institute, now called the Cast Metals Institute (CMI).

The objective of CMI has not changed since 1956. It remains to assist foundry management in training and educating their workforce in the basics, as well as in higher-level foundry technology. Today, CMI is also educating workers in nontechnical areas.

Since its inception, CMI has helped over 50,000 foundry men and women improve their knowledge of foundry technology and nontechnical subjects.

The Institute currently conducts more than 100 courses and seminars annually. The vast majority of these are on technical subjects, but CM) programs are expanding into supervisory and managerial areas. As new programs are developed, they will be added to the curriculum of over 60 specialized topics of interest to metalcasters, their suppliers, casting buyers and design engineers.

There are five main types of programs conducted b the Institute. Lecture courses are held at the CMI educational facilities in Des Plaines, Illinois. Lecture courses provide basic classroom instruction on technical and supervisory subjects. Laboratory co include demonstrations and hands-on activities to reinforce ideas brought out in the lecture area. Chapter cosponsored programs are organized at the request of AFS chapters. These programs are presented in the chapter area (location determined by the chapter) and provide economical training for the chapter's local foundries without the extra expense of transportation to the Des Plaines facility. in addition, chapters can supplement their educational resources through a chapter rebate program that returns a portion of the tuition fees back to the cosponsoring chapter.

* Seminars provide a medium for special interest and more advanced topics. These programs are not held on a repeating basis, but are conducted as an extension to the regular course offerings.

* In-plant training can also be provided in the foundry when a company has several employees requiring information on the same subject. In-plants are available on most topics and are held as a technical service of AFS. Fees are reduced if the company is a corporate member of the Society. Many foundries, large and small, have taken advantage of CMI in-plant training.

Facilities

CMI has at its disposal two laboratory facilities. The first, the Frank S. Ryan Memorial Laboratory, was dedicated in 1977. The second facility, dedicated in 1983, is the H.H. Harris Laboratories. Both of these facilities give CMI the unique capability of teaching not only theoretical foundry technology, but also the practical application of this information in many areas.

The intent in using these facilities is to compliment the classroom instruction. However, today and in the future, these facilities are also being used to help augment CMI's income and cover the expenses of operation. This cannot be done on course tuitions alone.

The Ryan Lab houses a classroom, an operating sand foundry and an investment casting laboratory. The sand foundry is capable of producing green sand molds, shell cores and molds, nobake molds and cores, and expendable pattern casting components.

A new, up-to-date induction melting unit was recently installed. This unit consists of 300-lb and 500-lb coreless induction furnaces and a twin lift coil crucible induction melting unit. Cleaning of castings can be done in two shotblast cabinets and a sandblaster unit. Various metallurgical testing equipment, for both ferrous and nonferrous alloys, is also available.

The H.H. Harris Laboratories provide CMI with more classroom and laboratory space. The laboratories include complete metallography capabilities, spectrometer, scanning electron microscope, image analyzer, sand testing, nondestructive testing and tilt-pour permanent molding. A new 500-lb aluminum electric resistance furnace is part of the lab along with the tilt-pour permanent mold machine.

CMI is now entering a new era in making use of its labs. Foundries and suppliers can use these labs as a technical service such as an aid in defect analysis, sand testing and metallurgical analysis. Now and in the future, CMI offers the industry a well-equipped facility to carry out short-term research projects.

In the decade of the '90s, CMI will continue to offer assistance in the areas of continuing education programs, technical support and research services. Currently, CMI is working on the development of a continuous improvement program. All of these activities are geared toward helping AFS members and the entire foundry industry remain strong and competitive worldwide.
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:Cast Metals Institute; American Foundrymen's Society
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Sep 1, 1991
Words:845
Previous Article:AFS President's message.
Next Article:AFS Services: other services.
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