American Foundry Society
The American Foundry Society (AFS) has a three-part mission of advocacy, education and innovation in the $33 billion metalcasting industry. It serves all metalcasting industry producers, suppliers, and end users, including all metals and all processes. The organization traces its roots to 1896 when the American Foundrymen's Association was formed. The Association was subsequently named The American Foundrymen's Society, and later the name was adjusted to the American Foundry Society, or AFS. The society is considered an international organization consisting of 7,500 members across 48 countries, organized into more than 40 regional chapters and 34 student chapters in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The AFS promotes the interests of the foundry industry to the federal government and consists of a professional staff and volunteer committee structure. The six major areas of focus are: Member Success and Sustainability; Industry Stewardship; Policy Advocacy; Promotion of Castings; Workforce Development; and Technical Innovation. AFS develops and funds research to address metalcasting technical needs. The organization also maintains a Washington DC office and advocates for public policies conducive to a strong metalcasting industry. The AFS Institute, formerly Cast Metals Institute, provides education on metalcasting processes, materials and disciplines, and launched an e-learning initiative on July 1, 2016. AFS is based in Schaumburg, Illinois. Doug Kurkul joined AFS as CEO in January, 2016.
For a number of years prior to the founding of the Society many local bodies of foundrymen met for mutual protection in regards to labor, prices and interchange of technical information. The attendance was usually strong in these organizations in times of prosperity but waned when economic conditions slowed. Early in 1896 the Philadelphia Foundrymen's Society through discussion with its members conceived that a more general, larger benefit might be gained through organizing a wider group of foundrymen. They invited foundrymen from around the country to Philadelphia for a meeting. The response was spontaneous and well received. On May 12, 1896, the American Foundrymen's Association was formed.
The Society has approximately 870 business members and 7,000 individual members. There are more than 40 regional chapters, as well as 38 student chapters at colleges and universities. AFS is organized into 13 Divisions with committees under each division:
- Engineering Division
- Additive Manufacturing Division
- Aluminum Division
- Copper Alloy Division
- Molding Methods & Materials Division
- Cast Iron Division
- Magnesium Division
- Melting Methods & Materials Division
- Steel Division
- Environmental Health & Safety Division
- Lost Foam Division
- Government Affairs Division
- Human Resources Division
- Marketing Division
In addition to these divisions, the organization has technical staff to assist with engineering services, a system to support research, and an extensive library. More than 15,000 articles from the digital library are available free of charge to members of the organization.
Regional Chapters organize educational events and hold chapter meetings, usually at monthly intervals, to promote technical or business subjects related to foundry and the foundry business. The 2019 CastExpo show will be held April 27–30, 2019, in Atlanta. The 2020 Metalcasting Congress show will be held in April 2020 in Cleveland. The 2021 show will be staged in Milwaukee, and CastExpo 2022 will be held in Columbus, Ohio.
- The Foundry, Vol. 29, Issue 1, Cleveland, OH, September 1906