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Discussions emphasize practical information.

Eight sessions and 24 individual presentations organized by the AFS Engineering Division featured a myriad of engineering-oriented topics ranging from sand reclamation to ergonomics. Panel discussions on these subjects offered attendees practical information that could be used immediately.

Two individual panel presentations dealt with different methods of sand reclamation. One addressed pneumatic and attrition reclamation systems (91-154), while the second described thermal reclamation of foundry sands (91-169). The growing importance of reclaiming foundry sands was brought home by F.M. Degner, Brillion Iron Works, who introduced the first panel session.

"The odds are quite high that you are going to be reclaiming some or all of your molding and core sand in the future," he said. "The EPA and our legislators are going to make these odds even higher in favor of reclamation in the future. Existing regulations and pending legislation, in my opinion, may very well give you only two options-reclaim or refrain.

The approach to reclamation in the foundry must begin by identifying all the sources of spent sand in the foundry and determining the quantity and characteristics of those sources," according to G.E. Good, Casting Div./Ford Motor Co. "The next step is to determine what is the least processing that can be done to each of those sources to render them usable somewhere in the foundry."

In addition, he explained, "In this total system approach to sand reclamation, full consideration must be given to the waste streams generated by reclamation processes and what ramifications there might be in disposing of these waste streams as well."

Ergonomics, the study or process of designing jobs within the capabilities and limitations of the human operator, is being called the safety issue of the 1990s. According to T.W. Merritt, University of Alabama-Tuscaloosa,

At the present, the emphasis is on cumulative trauma disorders, or musculoskeletal illnesses, developed as a result of exposure to repeated forces and body movement. [These] include illnesses such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow. OSHA has already issued voluntary ergonomic guidelines for the meatpacking industry, and will soon follow with general industry guidelines." Merritt served on a panel with T. Rafalski, Grede Foundries, and C. Kuenemann, Tyler Pipe industries, which addressed the subject of ergonomics in the foundry (91164).

Kuenemann, reporting on medical costs associated with poor ergonomic practices, said there is very little published information on this subject. He pointed to a 1989 study by the National Safety Council that said total costs associated with poorly designed jobs amounted to 47 billion in 1989 alone. In nearly 80% of all cases where these types of injuries occurred, they resulted from sprains and strains, and inflammation and irritation of joints and elbows.

The ultimate goal of ergonomics, Rafalski said, is to "Make the job fit the person. To improve ergonomics is to improve productivity." He offered a list of "do's and don'ts" for improving workplace ergonomics. Among the "do's" were: "Plan to relieve the hands of all work that can be done more advantageously with the feet, power tools or holding devices. And plan, whenever practical, to apply the part to the tool rather than tool to the part."
COPYRIGHT 1991 American Foundry Society, Inc.
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:95th AFS Casting Congress, May 5-9, 1991 - Birmingham, Alabama; A Technical Review: Engineering Division
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Jun 1, 1991
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