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Individual Foundries; Together an Industry

Shannon Wetzel

August 9, 2022--When I first started covering the metalcasting industry for Modern Casting, I did not know what a foundry was or what it produced. Fast forward a few years to today, and I can’t believe how an industry that is so prevalent in our daily lives is relatively unknown to the pubic at large. Positive news about this vital industry doesn’t exactly show up on our newsfeeds, which is why activity with AFS is so important, and it’s why this magazine exists.

How can a legislator cast pro-foundry votes without someone informing them how certain policies will affect the industry? We wrote about this in “Don’t Be a Stranger” in the July 2022 issue. Sachin Shivaram, president of Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, said, “We are an industry that has a lot of touch points to government, and policy really impacts our fortunes, more so than probably most industries. So it’s an industry where having good government relations really makes a difference.”

Advocacy is an important role, but involvement in a foundry association like AFS provides much more than that: industry-advancing research, education and training, and the power of a network. The foundry industry is a $44.3 billion industry that puts parts in all the things that keep our world going, but it’s also a world unto itself. Building relationships with others in the industry who face similar situations, challenges, and opportunities can help leaders make business decisions and course-correct when needed. You don’t need to be a member of AFS to build relationships, but it helps lay a lot of the groundwork.

In this edition, Jordan Brown, vice president of AFS Corporate Member BCI Solutions, talks about her involvement at AFS and its benefits on page 16. Every company and individual will find their own unique mix of reasons membership is beneficial; for Brown, it’s been the training opportunities such as the AFS Institute Foundry E-Learning and webinars, as well as valuable networking.

“The more you get yourself involved, especially in committees or AFS groups, the more you will get out of it,” she said.

Brown also pointed out the benefit of harnessing resources and information specific to the metalcasting industry, such as the AFS Foundry Hourly Wage and Benefits Report. 

“BCI has tons of manufacturing in the nearby areas but being able to compare specific foundry positions allows us to know we remain competitive locally and within the industry,” she said. 

Industry-specific news and reports are the backbone of Modern Casting. You are not working on an island, and we share case studies, research articles, and business profiles to help you feel connected with your metalcasting peers. You can find archived issues back to 2012 on our website at www.moderncasting.com. AFS members also can access articles much further back by topic through the AFS online library at www.afsinc.org under “Innovation and Management.” 

The delicate business climate and inherent industry challenges foundries face are significant forces to be contended with—we at Modern Casting and AFS have your back. And we’ll continue alongside with you, equipping you and your team with the practical know-how, relevant tools, and savvy strategies needed for your ongoing success.