New committee focuses on metalcasting process and systems improvement


ox281287806237065814The American Foundry Society (AFS) launched a new committee within its Engineering Division to equip metalcasting facilities with an understanding of quality, business and manufacturing principles to help them improve and optimize business practices. The Process and Systems Improvement Committee (1Y) started in 2013 to address engineering and management topics that run across all alloys and casting processes. The ultimate goal is to inform and provide the metalcasting industry with best operation engineering practices in areas such as lean manufacturing, data tracking and analysis, process flow, ergonomics, benchmarking, inspection methods, succession plans, and quoting practices. The group is open to new members and will be of particular interest to industrial and quality engineers and process and operations managers.

The next Process and Systems Improvement Committee meeting will be held March 11 at Sivyer Steel in Bettendorf, Iowa. The meeting will include a plant tour of Sivyer Steel and management, manufacturing and quality presentations:

  • Implementation of a Successful Internship Program, presented by Mackenzie Meekhof, AC Foundry, Battle Creek, Mich., and Frank Peters, Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Dept., Iowa State Univ., Ames, Iowa.
  •     Data Collection and Utilization at Sivyer Steel Corp., Brent Halquist and Tonya Burgess, Sivyer Steel.
  •     Anomaly Mapping Sofware, AJ Menefee, Eagle Precision, Muskegon, Mich.

The new committee was formed as part of the AFS Engineering Division’s restructuring from five committees into three. Besides the Process and Systems Improvement Committee, the Engineering Division’s new structure includes the Design and Development Committee and Energy, Facilities and Operations Committee. “By sharing knowledge and experiences in a manner that transcends process, alloy, and occupational categorizations, we feel it will be possible for members to obtain new ideas related to optimizing quality, manufacturing, and management/business practices that may not have been considered in the past,” said Roy Stevenson, committee chairman and ferrous applications manager at Magma Foundry Technologies.
This past year, AFS Division Council challenged each of the divisions to self-evaluate using a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats (SWOT) analysis.
It was a way for each of these groups to focus an organized introspection before considering if changes should be considered,” said Tom Prucha, AFS vice president of technology. “As a result, many of our committees are challenging the way they have been organized and conducting meetings.”

The Process and Systems Improvement Committee meeting at Sivyer Steel is the group’s second meeting and plant tour.  To attend the meeting or for more information on the committee, contact Stevenson at 847-558-5606,