Metalcasting Congress Going Virtual

Shannon Wetzel

The AFS Metalcasting Congress has a long history of bringing together the foundry industry to share best practices, advance research and showcase improvements in equipment and materials. In fact, the first such AFS gathering was held as far back as 1896. 

Last April, as the COVID-19 pandemic was making its first major impact on life, Metalcasting Congress was unfortunately cancelled. Pandemic-related travel and meeting-place restrictions continue today still—making it difficult to hold an in-person event. But the show will go on … line, that is.

Metalcasting Congress 2021 is being held virtually April 12-22 this year, and it will include live and on-demand technical and management sessions, a virtual show floor, keynote speakers and even awards ceremonies.

“Metalcasting Congress is all about innovation, and this year is no exception,” said Brad Muller, vice president of marketing, Charlotte Pipe & Foundry. “I’m eager to check out the virtual event platform and stream the latest industry presentations at my desk.”

Metalcasting Congress is being hosted on a secure digital platform from 6connex­—a leading provider of virtual events. Other organizations that have used 6connex platforms include Salesforce, the Association of American Medical Colleges, Glassdoor, and Unilever. The virtual conference is designed to bring together a full ecosystem of content to drive engagement.

Like the traditional in-person Metalcasting Congress, this year’s show offers something for everyone in the industry—this time without travel expenses.

“I am extremely excited about the virtual Metalcasting Congress,” said Mike Lenahan, CEO, KB Foundry Services. “Although unique, we can still honor the legacy in our 125th year.”

For industry suppliers, this virtual event is the best opportunity since 2019 to tap into the collective buying power of the $44 billion U.S. foundry industry. The audience will include decision-makers with purchasing power at foundries in North America and beyond thanks to increased digital accessibility. Networking features are built into the virtual platform, so this is a great chance for exibitors to reach the same audience at a fraction of the cost of exhibiting at a traditional trade show.

For foundry industry representatives, dozens of technical and management sessions and two Hoyt Lectures will be available to All Access Experience registrants. Along with the informative presentations, all users will also have access to a wide variety of exhibits from suppliers with solutions to advance foundry businesses.

For casting buyers and designers, Casting Source magazine is again sponsoring a dedicated education track filled with case studies, sourcing solutions, and supply chain management advice. Plus, they can meet virtually with foundry exhibitors to potentially find their next great casting supplier. The Buyer and Designer Tack and exhibits are available through the Metalcasting Congress Exhibits Pass. 

Finally, full-time students with AFS student memberships in good standing can register for the All Access Experience at no charge.

What to Expect

Dozens of technical and management sessions covering the latest research and best practices will be presented across the duration of the show. Presentations will be a mix of streaming live and on-demand, so registrants can attend in a group setting for live Q&As or at their convenience as work and family schedules allow.

“I was delighted when I got a preview of the new virtual format – it’s so interactive,” said Adam San Solo, director of sales and engineering, US Foundry. “Tough challenges produce innovative responses and I encourage people in the industry to be a part of it.”

The full program schedule will be published in the March issue of Modern Casting.

Topics will include:

  • Ferrous and nonferrous alloys.
  • Additive manufacturing.
  • Engineering.
  • Environmental, health, & safety.
  • Molding.
  • Quality control.
  • Workforce development.
  • Marketing and sales.
  • Casting design and purchasing.

The 2021 Metalcasting Congress also features three keynote speakers, including two Hoyt Memorial Lectures:

  • Hoyt Memorial Lecture: Greg Miskinis, director of research and process development, Waupaca Foundry, “Transformation of the Modern Foundry.”
  • Hoyt Memorial Lecture: Thomas Prucha, president, Metal Morphasis LLC, “Metalmorphasis: Change and Transition.”
  • Keynote Speaker: Harry Moser, president, Reshoring Initiative, “Reshoring Trends for 2021.”

In addition to the education sessions, the online exhibits will offer unique ways to connect with suppliers and view their newest innovations. Navigate the virtual booths for live chatting, videos, equipment showcases, surveys, and more. Bring your challenges to booth staff to find the solutions you need. 

While Metalcasting Congress will look and feel different this year, the objective of the show remains clear: help foundries improve their businesses, advance the industry’s capabilities, and strengthen the entire casting supply chain. 

“Innovation has always been the signature of the foundry industry...sometimes it’s by choice, sometimes it’s by necessity,” said Peter Reich, director, Laempe Reich. “AFS is adapting to deliver what will be an awesome virtual event, a true product of innovation.”    

Click here to view this article in the February 2021 digital edition.