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AFS committees: worth their weight in gold.

AFS Committees: Worth Their Weight in Gold

Trying to get something done when a large number of people is involved can be a harrowing if not a disheartening experience. Maybe a plaque displayed on the desk by a former colleague of ours here at AFS said it best: "God so loved the world, he didn't send a committee."

Despite the knocks that committees have taken since time immemorial, and the difficulties that those lone wolves among us have in working within such a structure, when all is said and done a well organized and focused committee is worth its weight in gold. There's no better example of this than at AFS.

Currently, within the AFS technical organization, some 80 committees operate under 11 divisions. They're comprised of nearly 700 volunteers who represent the best minds in the foundry business. The mere fact that they are volunteers is a solid indication that they're also committed to this industry, and demonstrate it through active involvement.

So what exactly do AFS committees do? For one thing, they produce many of the books, technical reports and other information published by the Society. AFS is generally regarded as one of the largest, if not the largest, publisher of technical information for the foundry industry. Much of the credit must go to the AFS committees. In the last year alone, committees from the Molding Methods & Materials Division helped update the Mold & Core Test Handbook, which is now available to the industry.

A new publication that will be introduced at CASTEXPO in Detroit next month is called Solidification Characteristics of Aluminum Alloys: Volume 2, Foundry Alloys. While the work for the book wasn't performed by a committee, it was the people from our Aluminum Division who alerted us to the fact that some unique research was being done in Sweden on European alloys. They then followed up to help raise the funds and to procure AFS funding to carry the research through to include U.S. foundry alloys as well. The result is one of the most important new publications on aluminum alloys available today.

There are plenty of other examples as well, including the Aluminum Casting Handbook, Copper-Base Casting Handbook, Cupola Handbook and Health & Safety Guides, to name just a few of the books produced by AFS committees. In addition, they have also contributed some of the most practical, straightforward articles to appear in modern casting.

In most cases, it is the committees that propose and monitor AFS-sponsored research. For 17 years the AFS Water Quality and Waste Disposal Committee has worked with researchers at the University of Wisconsin/Madison to identify and test foundry solid wastes. Scores of other metalcasting research projects have been initiated and carried out under the watchful eyes of AFS technical committees.

More often than not, the variety of conferences and seminars offered through the Society occurs through the efforts of an AFS technical committee. Many individual committee members also contribute to the Cast Metals Institute by serving as instructors.

And one more thing. Next month when you attend the 94th AFS Casting Congress think of it as the ultimate in committee teamwork. The more than 120 individual presentations scheduled are the direct result of literally thousands of committee hours in soliciting, reviewing, organizing and, in many cases, preparing the papers that make up the Casting Congress program. And they have been doing it for 94 years.

The fact of the matter is technical committees are the lifeblood of the AFS technical and publishing services of AFS. We couldn't come any where close to offering the programs and services we do without their help. Everyone who has purchased an AFS publication produced by a committee or utilized other information or services in which a committee contributed, owes them a debt of gratitude. So to all of the individuals who contribute to AFS committee work and to their companies who support them, thank you.

David P. Kanicki Publisher/Editor
COPYRIGHT 1990 American Foundry Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1990, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:American Foundrymen's Society
Author:Kanicki, Dane
Publication:Modern Casting
Article Type:editorial
Date:Mar 1, 1990
Words:657
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