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Metal Casting Technologies : December 2007
METAL Casting Technologies December 2007 6 LETTERS Dear Editor RE: Prof.J. H. D. Bautista - Honesty in the Foundry Business (Part September 2007). With great interest, I read this paper, and am sure all foundry managers and frustrated shop floor supervisors would relate to the issues discussed. Does it hark back to the old phrase "An honest day's work for an honest day's pay"? or does it go deeper. Honourable patternmakers Is it also significant that any reference to the patternmaker was omitted? Any honest assessment of the true make-up of the foundry industry must start with the accepted basic backbone, which is the patternmaker. We know patternmakers are "as honest as the day is long" and enjoy unquestioned integrity. We can only assume that this is why the patternmaker was totally left out of John's excellent article, and rightly so. Honesty - Honest' Concise Oxford Dictionary "Truthfulness - Fair and Righteous Act - Got by Fair Means" Prof. Bautista's article caused me to recall a previous paper many years ago titled C -C - P': (Conscientious approach to the Work Commitment to the Task Pride in the Result) and wonder if INTEGRITY is not more appropriate than HONESTY, as noted in his closing section 'Actual Experience' I further suggest one of our problems is that we are a mixture of 'art' and 'science' and nobody knows how to separate them. Many, many years ago MEEHANITE tried to take the ART out and replace it with SCIENCE. They did a great job of introducing the science but were preoccupied with, and concentrated on liquid metal procedures and treatment. Turning liquid metal into sound castings has been left as an ART. The science has advanced with leaps and bounds, and the ART has hardly moved forward at all. Making scrambled eggs Many have tried to unscramble the science, art, and skill of consistently making good castings out of liquid metal but with limited success. Way back in the seventies NSVV AFI President Prof. Jack Anderson School of Metallurgy Uni. of NSW said serious expenditure of research dollars will help the science, but only attitude will help the art. Knowledge and statistics - where are we?? Let's look at some statistics of the foundries attempts to turn the art of casting into a science. Australian foundry men attend AFS Congresses in North America, and C.I.A.T.F. World conferences, Asian Foundry conferences, and New Zealand Foundry conferences, all in addition to Australian AFI Conferences every year. The AFI Conferences have been held consistently for 40 years - that's right 40 years. Each year the AFI Conference presents about 35 technical papers, and about 200 delegates attend. That computes to 8,000 foundry people listening to 1400 lectures. Adding on all the other international foundry conferences increases the statistics by about 20% to 9600 Australian foundry men attending 1680 lectures, and still we haven't developed a science to guarantee consistent defect free casting quality. Computer methoding enters the fray As the nerds of technology are embracing the philosophy to thrust computerization down the foundry industries sprue's, the only honest attempt to bridge the gap between liquid metal science and casting art has been the introduction of computerization methoding. Being the flavor of the month for the last decade or so, methoding madness has actually contributed significant improvements to casting quality by applying directional solidification principals. If you can find the cash to fund one of these, and you employ somebody with an IQ over 100 to understand them, there is a fair probability you can improve the consistency of making sound castings. Honesty IS Integrity John's comment (last section) "the most important single factor in the production of metal castings is the INTEGRITY of the work force" and "no amount of high technology can overcome the value of INTEGRITY", should be cast in Ni Hard plates and hung over the door of every foundry I look forward to reading part 2 of Prof. Bautista's paper. Nev Murray President Master Patternmakers Association Australia Dear Editor I really enjoyed Prof Bautista's article on honesty in the foundry business. It is something which I absolutely concur with and thank you for reminding us all of its value. In our private lives we can chose to avoid dishonest people but in our working life this is not so easy. The one area which you have not addressed (in this part) is that of the Manager/ Owner who must also be honest in his/her dealing and rewards to the employee. So often, I believe, our workers are paid low for the service they provide and although I understand that we should all have 'personal responsibility', if you feel that you are under valued then this will encourage a 'non care attitude'. To me this is equally an important responsibility of the Manager/Owner as any of the failings of the manufacturing staff. Best regards Robert White South Island Sales Manager FOSECO NZ LTD http://www.foseco.com.au Look for your copy of the Metals 2008 wall planner in this edition