Conference Call – Metalcasting Congress in Fort Worth


122nd AFS Metalcasting Congress in Fort Worth, by the numbers!


There are many great reasons to attend, participate and grow at this year’s AFS Metalcasting Congress.  To make sure it all adds up, we’ve run the numbers:

  • There are over 200 Exhibitors showing off the most recent innovations and advancements in the foundry industry. Don’t miss the free reception on the show floor on April 4th at 4:30pm.
  • 3 AFS Institute Courses will be presented on Virtual Casting Processes, Identifying the Correct Casting Defects, and Creating a Culture of Respect Through Feedback.
  • Network with some of the best in the industry. We’re anticipating a crowd of 2,000+ metalcasting professionals to join us this year!
  • 7 special events at Metalcasting Congress include:
    • Division Recognition Lunch
    • Copper Division Luncheon
    • Women in Metalcasting Breakfast
    • Annual Banquet
    • Future Leaders of Metalcasting meeting
    • Alumni Dinner
    • Presidents Luncheon & Annual Business Meeting
  • There will be 58 total Technical Sessions covering 8 educational tracks (Engineering & technology, Nonferrous, Molding, Ferrous, EHS, Casting Design, Business of Metalcasting, Professional Development).
  • 1 Foundry Tour will take place at Midland Manufacturing Co.
  • There will be 3 Keynote Presentations:
    • Disaster Recovery—Everyone’s Worst Nightmare by Jean Bye, Dotson Iron Castings, Mankato, MN. Sponsored by the AFS Cast Iron Division
      In the early morning hours of Sept. 23, Dotson Iron Castings experienced a fire that would destroy all of its molding capabilities, completely shut down its operation and require a recovery effort beyond what could ever have been detailed in a disaster recovery plan. Bye will talk about the many twists, turns, and lessons learned throughout the recovery process relating to disaster preparedness.
    • Changing Perceptions: The Need for an “Unbalanced Force” by Dan Oman
      Perceptions are a function of information received from many different sources. These perceptions become firmly held beliefs that rarely, if ever, change. Today, the typical perception of the metalcasting industry is that of a smokestack industry utilizing low technology and lacking in challenging career opportunities. This perception remains virtually unchanged since the 1970s. According to Newton’s First Law of Motion, an object moving in space continues to move in the same direction at a constant velocity in the absence of an unbalanced force. In the absence of an unbalanced force, perceptions also will not change. Over the past 40 years many individuals have acted as an unbalanced force to change perceptions. This presentation will examine the common aspects of these efforts so that each of us can have an impact on perceptions.
    • Economic and Political Update by Stephen Moore
      Serving as Keynote Speaker on the morning of April 5 will be respected economist Stephen Moore, who was Senior Economic Adviser to the Trump Campaign in 2016. The author or co-author of several books, Moore earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He holds a Master of Arts in economics from George Mason University. Moore’s commentary has often been featured on CNN, Fox News, and other news outlets.

For agenda details and registration information, visit or call 800/537-4237.

Silica Case Studies Needed on Technological Feasibility of New Standard

Issue:  AFS, NAM, and our legal team have a meeting scheduled on Aug 23 with OSHA on the silica rule.  WE NEED YOUR HELP! 

AFS is in need of brief case studies that highlight the difficulty of meeting OSHA’s new silica standard that we can utilize in our meeting.  The information needed centers on technological feasibility for several different foundry processes (See list below). 

These would be anonymous reports that would briefly summarize situations, root causes, control efforts, and results along with key demographic information (e.g. type of foundry, metals, casting  size, number of employees).   They might be only two or three paragraphs long.  Cost information would also be helpful.  The point is to show that it is often difficult to reach the PEL consistently, even with diligent control efforts.  Also note if you have agreements in place with OSHA that allows you to utilize respirators in these areas. (See attached examples)


 It would be extremely helpful to have information for each of these activities demonstrating:

  1. Engineering controls are being examined and there is still significant uncertainty as to whether the PEL can be met, or
  2. If the PEL can be met (or the companies can get close to the PEL), there is a significant cost to do so and it could involve major overhauls of how the work is performed. 

 Foundry Processes:  Molder, Coremaker, Furnace Operator, Shakeout Operator, Knockout Operator, and Cleaning/Finishing Operator

We would really appreciate your help on this important next step with DOL/OSHA. 




Stephanie Salmon l Vice President Government Affairs l American Foundry Society – Washington Office

25 Massachusetts Ave, NW - Suite 800 l Washington, D.C. 20001

Ofc:  202-452-7135

Example 1

Silica Compliance Case Study – Grinding


Foundry Information

Metal Cast: Ductile iron

Mold type: Green Sand

Size of Foundry: 200 Employees total

Size of operation: 10 employees

Process: Finishing (Grinding)

Employees pick up 5 to 20 pound iron castings from a conveyor and grind off undesired metal before dropping the finished casting into a chute to the floor below.  Castings have been precleaned in an abrasive blasting machine.  Grinding is performed on one of 12 stand grinder with 24 inch grinding wheels. 

Control Efforts and Results

Grinding wheels are enclosed and each grinder has good ventilation.  Grinding wheel enclosure has been improved to minimize open areas.  Exhaust has been improved to over 1200 CFM.  Grinding room is enclosed and ventilated.  Air supplied helmets are used by all grinders (for eye protection and cooling as well as respiratory protection).  Exposures outside the air supplied hood exceed the old silica PEL.  Exposures inside the hoods are not detectable or below the action level.  No additional controls are feasible and employees would refuse to give up the air supplied hoods anyway.   

Example 2

Silica Compliance Case Study - Knockoff

Issue:  Areas in foundries where most challenged in meeting current 100 µg/m3 PEL and new lower PEL of 50 µg/m3 with an action level of 25 µg/m3.

Foundry Information

Metal Cast: Ductile iron

Mold type: Green Sand

Number of Employees: 200

Process: De-spruing (knockout)

Employees (2-4) remove sprues from castings that have come out of shakeout and travel along a vibrating conveyor.  Employees use hammers and hydraulic spreaders to separate sprues, directing parts to one side of the conveyor and sprues to another.

Control Efforts and Results

Ventilation installed on the opposite side of the vibrating shaker and has been reworked several times to achieve maximum effectiveness.  Hydraulic spreaders were installed to reduce dust and improve ergonomics.  Makeup air directed from directly behind workers to the exhaust on the other side of the conveyor.  Makeup air reconfigured to create clean air islands at worker positions.  Electrostatic misters tried with poor dust control and even worse product and housekeeping issues.  After OSHA citation, Salt Lake City experts reviewed the process.  Exposures remain above the old PEL most of the time. Respirators accepted as abatement measure. Air supplied respirators are worn by the knockout operators.