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Quality and productivity remain key issues for foundries.

As foundries worldwide race into the future, they are confronted with rapid and radical change: new technologies, new materials, new demands. Despite the struggle to adapt and compete on a global level, the key elements of the success equation remain those of quality and productivity. So it was more than appropriate that the theme of the 58th World Foundry Congress, held on September 15-19 in Krakow, Poland was simply Quality and Productivity. "

Sponsored by the international Committee of Foundry Technical Associations (CIATF) and hosted by the Polish Foundrymen's Technical Assn., the conference attracted nearly 600 metalcasters from 33 countries. More than three dozen technical presentations were the highlight of the congress.

Kicking off this year's congress, Great Britain's Robert Jordan, president, set the tone for the week-long meeting by stressing the importance of foundry quality and productivity: "The quality of your products determines your commercial future. Go for anything less than the best, and you put a question mark over that future. Quality-you must live it. You must breathe it. Above all, you must achieve it."

On productivity Jordan said, "It would not be a very satisfactory state of affairs if we regard [productivity] as the means to achieve the highest volume at the lowest cost. That might please some accountants, but it would be a very short-sighted policy. Nor is it acceptable if productivity were to be regarded as the sole route to improved wages and conditions. Productivity must mean maximizing production, but only to a rate consistent with the quality you must achieve to stay in business. The best way to increase productivity is to get it right the first time."

Along with quality and productivity, Jordan added that a third factor in future success is technology. "It is the undisputed route to progress," he said. "Without technology, you stagnate. Without technology, you haven't got one chance in a thousand, ten thousand or a million. Technology is our lifeblood. If you haven't got it today, make sure you get it. Buy it, borrow it, beg for it. Get it any way you can."

Binder Developments

One of the highlights each year of the World Foundry Congress is the Technical Forum. The forum is a series of presentations in which several industry experts explore a specific area of foundry technology. This year's session concentrated on "Binders and the Environment."

In introducing the session, Jordan posed several questions that are being asked by foundrymen worldwide: "Do we use binders which give us excellent strengths and productivity but are environmentally questionable and require expensive engineering as a solution? Do we use binders that are low cost and environmentally friendly but which are labor intensive when it comes to knockout? Or do we use binders that are good in every respect except for the care they require in handling?

These are some of the questions the expert panel attempted to answer during the day-long session.

The papers making up the forum included: History and Present State of Foundry Binder Systems, K. Rusin (Czechoslovakia); Foundry Sand Binders.- Incidence on Working Conditions and the Enuironment, M. Noel (France); Recommendations for the Integrated Evaluation of Foundry Binders and Moulding Processes, H. Wolff (Germany); The Environment: A Primary Motivator for Product Development (Great Britain); Productivity and Ecology Considerations of Nobake Binder Systems, J. Archibald (USA); AirHardened Sand Mixtures-Polcor and Syncor I, W. Moniowski (Poland);

The Use of Coatings with Environment and Workplace Friendly Resin Binder Systems, D. Bartsch (Germany). The complete proceedings of the Technical Forum will be available from CIATF and other foundry technical associations in early 1992.

Computer Technology

Some of the most advanced foundry technology presented during this year's World Foundry Congress came from the official exchange paper from the U.S. prepared by P. Naysmith, T. Prucha and G. Ruff of CMI international, Southfield, Michigan. Titled Use of Computer-aided Engineering Technologies to Improve Manufacturability, Quality and Productivity, the paper explored the role of computer-aided engineering (CAE) in a variety of foundry operations.

According to the authors, "As U.S. foundries direct their efforts toward providing continuous improvements in the areas of weight, quality and performance, these changes must be accomplished in a cost-effective and timely manner. As a result, any technologies being contemplated for use must address multiple requirements." Among those offered by the CMI authors are: optimization of design and weight; improved quality.- advanced performance; minimum implementation and validation time; and lowest possible cost.

"The use of CAE technologies offers a positive means of achieving all of these," say the authors, "and is actively being applied in many areas." A variety of analytical applications was described using CAE. For example, it is being used to analyze mechanical stress, heat transfer, thermal stress, fluid flow, fatigue and solidification.

CIATF Business

In addition to the technical program, the annual meeting of the CIATF is held during the World Foundry Congress. Representatives of the 33 member countries voted this year to readmit both Mexico and Romania as official members of the association.

New officers for 1991-92 were also elected during the annual meeting. K. Rusin, Czechoslovakia, was elected president; Y. Zhou, China, vice president. New representatives of the member associations include: S. Commissariat, India; I. Ohnaka, Japan; L. Koslov, U.S.S.R.; W. Kuhlgatz, Germany; and J. Suchy, Poland. Also elected as representatives of the Past President's Council were G. Booth, U.S.A.; A.C.T. Alves, Brazil; and R. Jordan, Great Britain.

The final business conducted was deciding the dates and locations of upcoming World Foundry Congresses: * 59th WFC 1992 in Sao Paulo, Brazil - September 20-25; * 60th WFC 1993 in The Hague, Netherlands-September

26-30; * No WFC in 1994 because of GIFA in

Dusseldorf; * 61st WFC 1995 in Beijing, China - September; * 62nd WFC 1996 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-April.

Metalcasting in Poland

The dramatic changes sweeping all of Eastern Europe are evident in Poland. And Polish foundries have not been immune from the sweeping transformation that is shaping the region. For more than four decades under Soviet control, Polish foundries had built in, controlled markets for their castings. As their artificial markets disappear, some 600 Polish foundries, which in 1989 produced nearly 1.8 million tons of castings, must relearn how to seek out and serve new customers.

Since the end of World War 11, Krakow, site of the 58th World Foundry Congress, has been the center of the Polish foundry industry. According to Zbigniew Gorny, director of the Foundry Research Institute, Krakow developed into the foundry capital because, unlike Warsaw, it was not destroyed during the war. Today, nearly all major foundry organizations are located in Krakow. Among these are the Foundry Department of the Academy of Mining and Metallurgy, the Foundry Research Institute and the Polish Foundrymen's Technical Association.

Obtaining modern technology is the major focus today of most Polish foundries. As Gorny explains, under Soviet control, the development foundry practice in Poland took place in isolation and did not have the benefit of exposure to the new technologies developed in the West.
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:Special Report: International Metalcasting Trends; 58th World Foundry Congress report
Author:Kanicki, David P.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Dec 1, 1991
Previous Article:Managing technology in the 1990s.
Next Article:Using artificial intelligence in the foundry.

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