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FROM AFS


Increase Your Knowledge, Help Your Employer, Strengthen the Industry


ZAYNA CONNOR, AFS VICE PRESIDENT, TECHNICAL SERVICES A


FS offers many member ben- efits, one of which is commit- tee membership. Committees


are made of AFS member volunteers looking for ways to participate in research programs, address industry concerns, network and exchange ideas, and stay abreast of the latest develop- ments. One of the things that makes AFS unique is the open discussion and sharing that takes place in the techni- cal and management committees and task groups. Within these groups, foundries and suppliers that may be strong competitors in the marketplace come together and work alongside each other to help build and strength- en the metalcasting industry. A key benefit for the individual mem- ber is the opportunity for professional growth and development. Members get a chance to visit other metalcasting operations and benchmark practices and equipment, network with indus- try experts and talk with others who face the same challenges and who can become a resource for problem solving and improvement. Committee members are often the first to know about latest technologies and innovations. Individual members have commented that they have grown professionally and their met- alcasting facility has directly benefited by AFS committee involvement. Te primary purposes of the AFS


working committees are to review industry needs, address relevant technological and management issues and provide transfer of technology and information to AFS membership. Te committees provide significant value to AFS members in each of the three primary AFS focus areas—education, advocacy and innovation. • INNOVATION. Te committees are the primary source for metalcasting research and development projects. Meetings focus on identifying industry needs and developing research to ad- dress those needs. Individual members help monitor those R&D projects to ensure industry relevance. Individual facilities are involved in casting tri-


46 | MODERN CASTING February 2017


als to validate new research findings. Trough this process, new products, tests and process are developed to meet pressing industry needs. For example, AFS is currently looking at alternatives to silica sand due to the concern over the new silica rule. Te AFS Research Board evaluates proposals for funding and provides feedback to the sponsor- ing technical committees.


• EDUCATION. A key value the groups provide is transfer of technology and information to the industry. Te committees de- velop the program for the annual AFS Metalcasting Congress and develop and implement seminars, workshops and conferences on a variety of topics. For example, in the past year, the committees have pro- duced conferences on the new silica standard, iron melting, aluminum casting production, environmental health and safety issues, human resources and marketing. Working groups also have developed new sand testing procedures and SDS sheets for various metals, as well as articles for Modern Casting and as- sistance with AFS Institute classes.


• ADVOCACY. The Government Affairs committee helps shape AFS’ public policy agenda and advocacy efforts at the federal level. It also plans the association’s annual industry Government Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. AFS’ Washington office and its members advocate before the legislative and executive branch. AFS assists with our advocacy efforts by becoming a technical resource on key legislative proposals, guidance documents and rulemakings. AFS committee members, for example, have provided technical input to EPA and OSHA on various issues that directly impact the metalcasting in- dustry, such as to the silica regulations, interpretation of various standards, and use of copper alloy casting use in potable water applications. Te AFS committee structure is organized to provide focused atten-


tion to spe- cific industry segments. Te groups cover a wide spectrum of issues including individual cast metals, different casting pro- cesses, plant management issues (such as engineering, environmental and safety issues, human resources), industry marketing, and advocacy. Each of these broad categories (called divisions) is further broken down into sub-groups (committees) to narrow the focus onto critical issues facing each industry segment. Currently, the full structure includes 12 divisions and 33 committees. Working groups are focused on most areas of foundry production, management and indus- try advocacy. • Metals: aluminum, copper alloy, cast iron, ferrous melting, steel.


Zayna Connor


• Casting processes: sand casting and cores, investment casting, lost foam.


• Plant operations and management: environmental health and safety, human resources, engineering.


• Industry advocacy and marketing: Government affairs, industry mar- keting.


• New Technologies: additive manu- facturing.


• Research: AFS Research Board Participation in the committee


structure is open to all AFS members. Some of the management committees have a fixed number of seats. For more information or to attend an upcoming meeting, call the Technical Depart- ment at 800-537-4237 x246 or con- tact AFS Technical Assistant Laura Kasch at lkasch@afsinc.org. Be sure to look for the featured committee in each new issue of Modern Casting. AFS committees are a great resource for you and your company. Don’t leave this resource untapped.


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