From the Editor: Research—Laying the Pathway for Innovation
As stated in the Summer 2019, AFS Member Connections lead article, “AFS Research Benefits Members,” “The American Foundry Society funds research that drives the metalcasting industry forward. Past and continuing AFS-funded research helps North American metalcasters increase efficiency, improve quality, slash expenses, and enhance environmental stewardship.” In the role to lead the transfer of research and technology and stimulate further investigation to improve our industry, the IJMC strives to be an informational conduit of that work.
Advancement and improvement only occur when resources and efforts are applied to promote the understanding of identified needs, investigating and developing potential solutions, and then ensuring that the results are disseminated to the broadest audience, not just a select few. It is by this process that research can drive innovation by laying the pathway for our industry. As an example of these efforts, in that same issue in the “Summary of Current and Breakthrough Research,” it was mentioned that an AFS-Sponsored Research study on foundry sweepers assessed whether powered industrial sweepers contribute to employee exposure to respirable crystalline silica (RCS). Overall, the study data showed a 17% reduction in RCS exposures after high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA)-filtered sweeping as compared to before sweeping. However, the data also demonstrate variability. OSHA ultimately accepted the use of HEPA-filtered sweepers, considering them in the same category as vacuum. This saved many AFS members tens of thousands of dollars. The article demonstrates how a mix of practical and fundamental research work can make significant differences for those that take advantage and implement the findings. Those wishing to find out more can go to this link: https://www.afsinc.org/member-connections.
The route to innovation and improvement has many pathways, and it also knows no boundaries. That is why it is important to utilize a resource that has content for a global perspective. This is reflected in the breadth of the papers published and those that assist in reviewing work contained within the IJMC. Both AFS and the IJMC are helping to coordinate, sponsor, and promote the upcoming 2nd Carl Loper Cast Iron Symposium which will present 38 technical papers from around the world (http://www.azterlan.es/en/carl-loper-symposium.html) and the 2019 International Ferrous Melting Conference that AFS will be hosting October 30–November 1, 2019, in Nashville, TN (https://www.afsinc.org/conferences/2019-international-ferrous-melting-conference). The opportunities are available, please join us, and take the your first step along those pathways.