World Foundry Congress highlights computer applications.
"It has taken more than a decade for the computer to progress from a basic foundry research device for a few specialized users to where computers are an indispensable production tool used at all levels of foundry manufacturing.
"It's difficult to imagine the metallurgical and processing advances that have taken place in the metalcasting industry without factoring in the amazing versatility the computer allows."
These were the words of Citation Corp.'s R. Conner Warren, a delegate to the 60th annual World Foundry Congress of the International Committee of Foundry Technical Associations (CIATF) held in September at The Hague, Netherlands. Computer technology has become so dominant that more than one-third of the 48 technical papers presented at the Congress related to using the computer to invent, improve or verify metalcasting processes.
More than 400 delegates and guests from 38 countries attended the 60th World Foundry Congress. There were 13 attending from the U.S., including four former AFS presidents: George Booth, Ford Motor Co. casting division general manager and a past president of CIATF, Warren, executive vice president, Citation Corp., and now a director elect of CIATF, Charles Fausel, chairman, president and CEO of Lester B. Knight Cast Metals, Inc., and Anton (Tony) Dorfmueller, Ashland Chemical Co. (ret). Fausel and Booth were two of the 11 principal panel speakers.
Robert Pehlke, professor of material science and metallurgy at the University of Michigan, told attendees at the packed computer simulations forum that a chief area for future computerization gains lies in foundry engineering.
He said many advances in metalcasting manufacturing in the last decade are the direct result of the innovative uses of current computer-aided engineering (CAE) technologies. CAE processes have already led to broad reductions in the excessive costs and labor that disadvantaged metalcasters in the world marketplace while adding substantially to higher quality and quicker response to customer inquiries.
"From its tentative beginnings, the computer earned its place as a reliable production tool," Pehlke said. "It's right up there with all the rest of the equipment and process gains that make a modern foundry tick.
"But computers also have played a salient role in the drive to make metalcasting measurably more profitable by helping to optimize casting design, tooling, melting and molding quality and minimizing casting prototype development and validation times. CAE has been a leader in lowering casting costs across the board."
Fausel moderated a panel that explored a product management concept that defines the requirements and potential benefits of organizing the customer/supplier relationship. In his remarks, he said such a relationship is the key to improved casting design processes by identifying and using the best resources of each party.
His panel observed that such a relationship, while simple in concept, requires strong management leadership to arbitrate fairly product delivery and acceptance parameters.
The 61st World Foundry Congress will be held in Beijing, China, in September, 1995, and the 62nd Congress in April, 1996, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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|Author:||Kanicki, David P.|
|Date:||Dec 1, 1993|
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