Cutting-edge technology at forefront of AFS additive manufacturing conference

The American Foundry Society knows the importance of being at the cutting edge of technology. That, again, was proven true during the 2018 Additive Manufacturing for Metalcasting Conference.
From Sept. 10-13 in Louisville, Kentucky, over 120 attendees heard about the latest developments in this new and crucial process. They heard informative presentations and went on a tour of the University of Louisville’s Rapid Prototyping Center.
“The event that we’re having for additive manufacturing is pivotal in this industry,” said Brandon Lamoncha of Humtown Products (Columbiana, Ohio). “I’m getting more and more requests from OEMs that want to use foundries that have additive capabilities – whether that means they have their own printers or [are] utilizing service centers.
“Having all of those foundries here, and the providers getting together and networking to establish that supply chain, is huge.”
The conference keynote was delivered Sept. 11 by Ron Walling of Cummins (Columbus, Indiana). His speech, “Additive Manufacturing – The Path to Production,” was the first of many presentations that offered lasting value to anybody in attendance.
During his presentation, Walling stressed that additive manufacturing is here today, and that foundries need to educate themselves on the process, while additive companies should drive for cost competitiveness in comparison to conventional processes.
“I just think it’s important to get the information of additive manufacturing and other topics out there, and to really provide a lot of interaction between people and an exchange of ideas,” Walling said.
Of course, that’s the value of AFS conferences like these. Not only do they provide that networking Walling references, but they educate and help the industry innovate. As Kip Woods of Emerson Process Management pointed out, AFS also has sponsored many of the cutting-edge research projects at the university level, which keeps the industry on the front foot.
Woods would know. He recently earned a master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and now works for a buyer of castings that produces control valves for multiple industries.
“From the buyer’s perspective, it’s learning newer techniques that are up and coming,” Woods said.