After 3 1/2 days of full-scale exhibits, cutting-edge technology demos, packed aisles, exciting new equipment, innovative sessions and a show floor full of energy, CastExpo said goodbye until 2022 in Columbus, Ohio.
“CastExpo 2019 was very well-received by all of our various audiences, and we were thrilled to have more than 5,000 guests from 32 countries in attendance,” AFS CEO Doug Kurkul said. “There is so much new technology that is available for foundries to evaluate and upgrade their plants. It was on display here. Then, with the technical and management sessions, a wealth of knowledge has been shared. We’ve received tremendous feedback from the attendees that this was a very worthwhile 3 1/2 days in Atlanta.”
AFS cuts ribbon to open CastExpo
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was the official opening of the show, which welcomed attendees from 32 nations. This year’s event, held at the Georgia World Congress Center, featured over 400 exhibitors, cutting-edge technology and informative sessions while bringing together all parts of the metalcasting supply chain.
“Imagine being a foundry, and we have 430 vendors here, and you asked them to come to your foundry, you’d be busy for a year,” new AFS President Peter Reich said during his speech. “You get to do this in a day, or two. It’s just an amazing event.”
Along with Reich and incumbent AFS President Jean Bye, other participants in the event included AFS CEO Doug Kurkul, past president Patricio Gil, and AFS board members Mike Lenahan, and Jim Frost.
Founder of the Outthinker Roundtables, Kaihan Krippendorff delivered the keynote address, “Outthink the Competition”, on the event's opening day. During his presentation, Krippendorff spoke about thriving in today’s era of fast-paced technological change.
“I want (the audience) to get that when you’re in an industry that’s been around for a long time, it creates great opportunities to think differently and open up possibilities,” Krippendorff said.
On Monday, Frank Abagnale Jr., who frequently delivers speeches about forgery, embezzlement, and secure documents, gave his keynote address at CastExpo focused on his life story, which was made into a blockbuster hit movie by Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio.
Abagnale knows people are fascinated by what he did 50 years ago, and how he pulled off his schemes. But instead of just ending there, a contrite Abagnale uses that tale to capture the imagination and attention of his audience, eventually bringing them full-circle to his core message: the importance of family and being there for your closest loved ones.
Passing the Rammer
AFS president Jean Bye (Dotson Iron Castings) was honored during Sunday night’s banquet. The first woman to serve as AFS president, Bye was presented with a trophy by Dotson’s Denny Dotson, an honorary life membership, and reflected on her year in that role.
“I appreciate the support of management and the board,” Bye said during her speech. “I know the support you provided me will also be provided to the new officers.”
Bye and incoming president Peter Reich (Laempe Reich) took part in the ceremonial passing of The Rammer. During his remarks, Reich reflected on his family, the history of the Laempe Reich business, and what the AFS volunteers do for the Society and industry as a whole.
“It’s an honor to be hanging out with you all, to serve you,” Reich said. “This is all about serving.”
Richards Presented Gold Medal
At the Annual Banquet, Von L. Richards was presented the 2019 Thomas W. Pangborn Gold Medal, the highest honor awarded by AFS. A professor emeritus of materials science at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, Missouri), Richards received the medal for his outstanding contributions in education, sharing knowledge broadly within the industry, and attracting new people to metalcasting.
“The award is very significant to me. It indicates a capstone to a worthwhile life of helping young people to develop into their careers, something I always wanted to do,” Richards said. “I’m one of the fortunate people who actually got to do what they wanted to do, and I thank the foundry industry for that.”
The final formal event of CastExpo was Tuesday’s President’s Luncheon and 123rd Annual Business Meeting. At the luncheon, John M. Tartaglia was presented an AFS Award of Scientific Merit “for outstanding technical papers and presentations, as well as meritorious technical contributions in the areas of material property information and fatigue strain analysis of cast metals.”
There were also three AFS Service Citations handed out.
George B. Kokos was honored “for his important work in advancing the technical understanding of iron casting and support of advanced research, as well as his extensive service to the Cast Iron Division and the regional AFS chapter.”
Peter Satre was cited “for his steady leadership of AFS technical programs, outstanding service to the Melting Methods & Materials Division, and service to the industry as a rich source of technical information.”
Brian V. Smith was recognized “for his relentless focus on attracting youth to the metalcasting industry through Foundry in a Box and other outreach activities, as well as his longtime service to AFS regional chapters.”
Other honorees included the 2019 Casting of the Year (Neenah Foundry), AFS Corporate Contribution Award (Carley Foundry, Elkem), and AFS Millionaires Safety Award (Oil City Iron Works, Charlotte Pipe and Foundry, Denison Industries, LeSueur Inc., Neenah Foundry).
The 124th Metalcasting Congress will be held April 21-23, 2020, in Cleveland. The 125th Congress is heading to Milwaukee from April 13-15, 2021. CastExpo 2022 and the 126th Metalcasting Congress is slated for April 23-26, 2022, in Columbus.
Source: Brian Sandalow, Associate Editor AFS