Book and course latest achievements for Schorn

About 15 years ago, Ted Schorn wasn’t able to easily find materials about visual inspection. His company, Enkei America, produces aluminum wheels for the automotive industry, and it was important for them to use inspection to find defects recognizable by a trained employee.

When the firm was challenged to improve how it creates and inspects these products, Schorn looked at a variety of professional societies and their literature and came up empty. Then he explored Google Scholar and pieced together some materials, but they were scattered all over and difficult to find.

“I just thought that was a horrible circumstance,” Schorn said. “I felt like after putting into practice some of the things that I finally learned—and am having great success with it in our organization—I felt that I should share that information to try to fill that void.”

Schorn did that in 2018 when his book Improving the Effectiveness of Visual Inspection was published by AFS. Schorn has also taken the concepts from the book and turned them into a comprehensive AFS-sponsored course of the same name that will be held Feb. 26-27 at AFS headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois. Schorn will lead this hands-on class, teaching students how to boost the reliability of visual inspection. Registration is available at

In November, Schorn also spoke at the AFS Aluminum Casting Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Already a highly respected voice in the metalcasting industry, Schorn only added to his reputation with his book. In a review, Douglas C. Wood of the Quality Management Division of the American Society of Quality wrote “this book belongs in every industrial library where visual inspection is planned or managed.”

“In Improving the Effectiveness of Visual Inspection, (Schorn) has done the sourcing, reading, digesting, ordering, assembling, indexing, and referencing these many sources to create a book that quality practitioners may use to improve any kind of human visual inspection system,” Wood wrote. “His writing style is clear and straightforward, and his work is documented with over 200 references.”

The book and resulting course are the culmination of years of research and dedication for Schorn. In 2011, Schorn began writing the book and also presented a paper on visual inspection at that year’s Metalcasting Congress. But he had so much content from his research, he had enough information for three papers and eventually the book.

“It was so well received (in 2011) that it gave me more confidence that there was enough material and enough of an audience to put all of this into a more formal format,” Schorn said. “When you write a book, there’s content that you know and you have readily available to you, but in order to make the book complete you’ve got to investigate other aspects and do additional research.” 

Click here to see this story as it appears in the November 2018 issue of Modern Casting