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Global competition provides new insights.

Global Competition Provides New Insights

Right from the welcoming by Dan Torzewski, Navistar International Transportation Corp, program chairman, one could feel the anticipation of the Midwest Regional Conference audience to hear what the assembled speakers would have to say. First, there were the warm remarks of Indianapolis Mayor, William H. Hudnut III, followed by Susan Bayh, wife of the youthful Governor of Indiana, Evan Bayh, who spoke earnestly of the need to educate our children and retrain adults in marketable skills.

Anton "Tony" Dorfmueller, retired vice president of Ashland Chemical Co, told the assemblage that 1989 is drawing to a close on a remarkably upbeat market; gray iron shipments are expected to reach 12 million tons, nonferrous production topping two million tons. However, he noted that losses will show up in ingot molds and stools, both expected to peak at 3.5 million tons. Iron castings should remain fairly stable, showing little or no growth.

Dorfmueller spoke briefly on the monolithic European market about to emerge, discussing how U.S. foundries can compete and outlining some of the problems Americans will have. He cited different cultures, short-term management thinking and goal setting, increasing government regulations and econological concerns, higher labor costs and lower productivity as burdens that must be faced honestly.

Doing business with Honda gave attendees a chance for an inside look at a what a successful foreign-owned manufacturer expects from domestic suppliers. Mike Kreglow, Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc, said his priority is building a strong domestic supplier base that can provide quality parts on time at a reasonable cost. Everyone expects this; Honda demands and gets it, he said.

Dr. Lane Birkel, Ball State Univ, spoke of the cultural considerations Americans must understand in attempting to do business overseas, and his remarks were reinforced by those of W. Baker Lupton, deputy director of Indiana's international trade department.

Lupton told of the necessity for global trade expansion, and explained the coalition that must exist between foundry management and its state government's export initiatives before an international trade initiative can succeed.

Alvin H. Singleton, AFS president and president and COO of Lynchburg Foundry/Intermet Corp, reiterated his call for the foundry industry to prepare for its future through a reinforced commitment to education at all levels of the industry. He stressed that the 1990s will be a time of rebuilding U.S. foundry manufacturing skills and capacity with people working together in research, development and education through organizations like AFS and CMI.

The technical aspects of the industry included presentations from Richard Robinson, Robinson Industries, on foam pattern casting; William J. Dulik, Casting Div/Ford Motor Co, on impact molding; and Michael Robinson, PCC Airfoils, on the use of computers and foundry software.

Human resources were covered by Murv Enders, Chrysler Corp, who described Chrysler's Indianapolis foundry contract with the UAW as a model of good management/labor relations. Neil A. Springer, president and CEO of Navistar International Transportation Corp, concluded the conference by explaining what it takes to be a global winner, stating that it includes satisfying the customer, staying ahead of the competition and always being prepared to fix the system when things go wrong, and not blaming the people who use it.

PHOTO : In keeping with the global competition theme, Neil Springer explained what it takes to be

PHOTO : a global winner.

PHOTO : AFS president Al Singleton (l), shown here with Dan Torzewski, Midwest Regional program

PHOTO : chairman, pointed out some things U.S. foundries can do to compete in the monolithic

PHOTO : European market about to emerge.

PHOTO : Murv Enders (top) described good management/labor relations and Rick Robinson (bottom)

PHOTO : provided a technical look at foam pattern casting.
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Title Annotation:American Foundrymen's Society Midwest Regional Conference
Author:Kanicki, David P.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Dec 1, 1989
Previous Article:Testing and inspection: the final step in assuring casting quality.
Next Article:Conference combines broad mix of interests.

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