American Foundry Society
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The American Foundry Society (AFS) has a three-part mission of advocacy, education and innovation in the $30.3 billion metalcasting industry. It serves all metalcasting industry producers, suppliers, and end users, regardless of process or metal. The organization traces its roots to 1896 when the American Foundrymen's Association was formed. The Association was subsequently named The American Foundrymen's Society, and later the name was shortened to the American Foundry Society, sometimes shortened to AFS. The society is considered an international organization consisting of 9,000 members across 48 countries, organized into 45 local chapters and 34 student chapters in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The AFS promotes the interests of the foundry industry to the federal government and consists of a professional staff and volunteer committee structure. Activities of the AFS include committee work, education, organization of regional and national conventions and other work in support of the metalcasting industry. AFS develops and funds research to address metalcasting technical needs. The organization also maintains a Washington DC office and advocates for public policies conducive to a strong metalcasting industry. The AFS Institute, formerly Cast Metals Institute, provides education on metalcasting processes, materials and disciplines, and launched an e-learning initiative on July 1, 2016. AFS is based in Schaumburg, Illinois. Doug Kurkul joined AFS as CEO in January, 2016.
For a number of years prior to the founding of the Society many local bodies of foundrymen met for mutual protection in regards to labor, prices and interchange of technical information. The attendance was usually strong in these organizations in times of prosperity but waned when economic conditions slowed. Early in 1896 the Philadelphia Foundrymen's Society through discussion with its members conceived that a more general, larger benefit might be gained through organizing a wider group of foundrymen. They invited foundrymen from around the country to Philadelphia for a meeting. The response was spontaneous and well received. On May 12, 1896 the American Foundrymen's Association was formed.
The Society has approximately 800 business members and 7,300 individual members. There are 44 regional chapters, as well as 38 student chapters at colleges and universities. AFS is organized into 13 Divisions with committees under each division:
- Engineering Division
- Aluminum Division
- Copper Alloy Division
- Molding Methods & Materials Division
- Cast Iron Division
- Magnesium Division
- Melting Methods & Materials Division
- Steel Division
- Environmental Health & Safety Division
- Lost Foam Division
- Government Affairs Division
- Human Resources Division
- Marketing Division
In addition to these divisions, the organization has technical staff to assist with engineering services, a system to support research, and an extensive library.
Local Chapters organize educational events and hold chapter meetings, usually at monthly intervals, to promote technical or business subjects related to foundry and the foundry business.
- The Foundry, Vol. 29, Issue 1, Cleveland, OH, September 1906