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Looking Forward for Metalcasters R

egardless of the results of the upcoming Presidential, Senate, and House elections, the next several years will bring signifi cant

changes to the metalcasting industry. T e Ameri- can Foundry Society (AFS)—led by President Jeff Cook of Eagle Alloy and an engaged Board of Directors, and ably supported by more than 800 volunteers and an excellent professional staff —is working aggressively to lead the industry through the changes. Ours is a $28 billion industry, built mostly around

small and mid-size businesses (both foundries and suppliers). T e regulatory environment is unfriendly, as OSHA, EPA and other agencies continue to generate unnecessarily burdensome new regulations. T at makes policy advocacy even more important. As an industry, we employ more than 200,000 peo- ple in the U.S., and many more across North America. Many longtime metalcasting workers from the baby boomer generation will soon be retiring, taking with them vast amounts of knowledge and experience. T at makes talent acquisition and development even more important. Metalcasters are experts at making complex metal

components and off ering them at reasonable prices. In a dynamic marketplace, customer expectations in terms of light-weighting of metals, casting design and performance, and pricing continue to evolve. T at means innovation and technical advances are even more important. T ose three priorities—advocacy, education, and

innovation—form the three pillars of the AFS vision. In the area of advocacy,

AFS has a Washington offi ce fi ghting for your interests on more than 25 policy issues. Not the least of those issues is OSHA’s scientifi cally unsound silica rule. AFS has taken OSHA to court, and hopes, at the least, to win changes in the rule. En- forcement is slated to begin in June 2018. A court deci- sion is not expected until mid-2017, so in the interim, AFS is helping metalcasters understand their obliga- tions. A recent silica webinar set a new AFS record for participation, and a two-day compliance workshop is slated for Nov. 9-10 in Schaumburg, Illinois. AFS is also advocating for the industry by helping

purchasers and designers realize the value of castings. T e Metal Casting Supply Chain Summit in February and the Metal Casting Design and Purchasing magazine are channels for this work. AFS is helping educa- tors and students understand the industry through

8 | MODERN CASTING October 2016

Foundry-in-a-Box and the new Melting Point magazine

oundry-in-a-Box and the ne magazine.

In the area of education and orkforce de elopment, the AFS Institute has introduced 38 newly designed classroo courses. AFS also now off ers unlimited access to a gr wing curriculum of metalcasting-relat- ed e-learning modules at special oductory rates.

urther a highly informativ

Human Resources and Labor Relations Con- ference is planned for Feb. 1-3 in Clearwa- ter Beach, Florlorida.ida. To foster innova-

o foster innova-

tion, AFS is working to bolster the impact of its research endeavors, boost participation in technical committees, build on the suc- cess of the Casting Connection engagement commu- nity, provide the best technical publications, and consult with metalcasting businesses on technical issues. Some owners and managers tell me they view to-

tion, AFS is working

Advocacy, education, and innovation form the three pillars of the AFS vision.

day’s challenges as opportunities to shape a better future and be ready when the market for castings becomes uniformly stronger. I have been pleased to see the level of determination to persevere on the part of many in- dustry leaders. T is was evident at the Foundry Execu- tive Conference in Utah, where attendance was up 25% and the Environmental, Health and Safety Conference in Milwaukee, where atten- dance also increased. T at determination

to achieve success is also evident each month in the pages of Modern Casting, where readers are exposed to stories about metalcast- ers achieving success in a changing marketplace. I trust you will enjoy this

month’s issue, and I welcome your suggestions regard- ing Modern Casting and AFS.

In the area of education and workforce development, the AFS Institute has introduced 38 newly designed classroom courses. AFS also now off ers unlimited access to a growing curriculum of metalcasting-relat- ed e-learning modules at special intrintroductory rates. Further, a highly informative Human Resources and abor Relations Con- erence is planned for eb 1-3 in Clearwa- ter Bea h,

Doug Kurkul, AFS CEO

If you have any comments about this editorial or any other item that appears in Modern Casting, email Shannon Wetzel at

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