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Leadership, technology: keys to success.

"Knowledge: The Key to Success" was the theme of the 54th Annual AFS Wisconsin Regional Conference, which drew more than 750 to Milwaukee on February 14-15. More than 30 speakers covered a variety of topics ranging from basic technology to new developments in metalcasting and management.

Management leadership was the topic of this year's keynote address, which was presented by AFS Chairman Jerry Agin, vice president of sales/marketing, The Hill & Griffith Co. "It's a subject that is not only vital to the health and future of our industry, but to our country as well. Its implications include our long-term economic survival," he said.

Agin defined effective leadership as "leadership that produces movement in the long-term best interests of the group, " adding that "people are led, not managed. Some say that leaders are born, not made, and that leadership potential can be based on inborn traits such as high energy levels, then built on in early childhood, in college and through practical experience. A lot of people have the potential, but too often business does not permit the potential to develop to its fullest. Companies are often inadequate in attracting, keeping and motivating talented leaders.

"When you look at our industrial history, you realize that our industries were built by leaders, men of vision, conviction, determination and sometimes those who were just plain lucky. Ultimately, these leaders were replaced by managers."

The major traits of a leader, according to Agin, include vision, charisma, innovation, listening, communicating, concern, trust and tolerance. "Not all of us can be leaders," he said, "but those who can will enable us to proceed onward and upward in our industry and in providing economic growth for both our firms and our country."

A variety of new developments in sand and core technologies was described during the two-day Milwaukee conference. Aresin/CO, binder for cores and molds, for example, was discussed by Thomas Penko, Foseco, Inc.

The new binder is a water-soluble alkaline phenolic resin binder hardened by CO, gas. According to Penko, this binder contains no sulfur or phosphorus and essentially no nitrogen. Both the binder and curing gas are free from isocyanates, peroxides and heavy metal additives. Free phenol/formaldehyde levels are low, both in the resin as supplied and in the mixed sand.

Raja Lyer, Acme/Borden, inc., discussed the issues confronting new binder development and offered a critical look at phenolic-ester technology. Among the matters discussed was the need for these systems to conform to the industry's demand for improved productivity and quality as well as occupational safety and environmental issues.

The subject of sand reclamation continues to receive much attention from U.S. foundries, due almost entirely to the growing difficulty and cost of disposing core and molding sands. Roger Hayes, Dependable Foundry Equipment Co., described a system that has been designed to reclaim clay-bonded sands to purity levels sufficient for producing chemically bonded sand cores.

In covering what should be expected of an efficient reclamation system, Hayes included the following considerations: the system must remove all tramp metal from the sand and break up lumps. It should also further disintegrate lumps and agglomerates into grain size and remove the maximum amount of residual binder and/or carbonaceous material from each grain without fracture.

The system should be able to screen small metallic and nonmetallic particles that may contaminate the sand, and cool it to a temperature where the sand can be used immediately in the continuous mixer. Finally, it should be able to classify the sand as close to the original grain size as possible.

Sand cooling is another area that is attracting the interest of foundries trying to improve process control and casting quality. Denis O'Shaughnessy, Simplicity Engineering, reported on a different approach to sand cooling which, in addition to providing low-temperature sands, also premixes and controls the permeability and moisture content of the sand before discharging it from the cooler.

He described it as a vertical fluidizing green sand cooler that can be designed to fit into a new system, on top of shakeout sand storage bins or in an existing system without requiring much space. According to O'Shaughnessy, one such system installed two years ago has a capacity of 300 ton/hr and is capable of cooling hot sand (more than 300F) to about 115F while providing a constant moisture of 1.8%.

While new developments in sand, mold and core technology were emphasized during this meeting, Dick Green, AIMCOR, provided a look at the basics of sand control by zeroing in on water as an additive. He pointed out that water affects every physical property of mold sand, and that the amount of water is determined by the amount of clay used and the sand fineness.

However, Green emphasized the need to control water content in molding sands by pointing out that excessive water can result in a wide range of problems, including oxidation, increased levels of gas and lack of sand flowability.
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Copyright 1991, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:AFS Wisconsin Regional Conference
Author:Thomas, Susan P.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Apr 1, 1991
Previous Article:Strategies for '90s headline Virginia meeting.
Next Article:AFS chairman's welcome: the legacy of leadership.

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