World Foundry Conference in Mexico
Worshipful Company of Ironmongers' Jubilee Award
In December 2011 I was awarded the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers Jubilee Award for my involvement in the commissioning of UESUK new heat treatment facility. The prize for winning the award was an all expenses paid to visit the 2012 World Foundry Congress in the city of Monterrey in Northern Mexico.
Although I had heard of the World Foundry Congress I was unsure what to expect but looking forward to the experience.
The congress and exhibition were held at the Cintermex exhibition centre which was located within the grounds of Fundidora Park. The park is on the site of the former Monterrey Steel Foundry Company and is a reminder of the factory that once stood there. The park is full of old foundry equipment with everyday foundry items such as ladles, sand mixers, ingot moulds and overhead cranes turned into ornamental features, to stand alongside the children’s play parks, cafes and water features. The centre piece of the park is ‘Horno3’ a blast furnace which has been converted into a museum to show the history of the Mexican Steel industry. A short presentation, which is attended by school children on a daily basis, shows how the furnace was operated and simulates the tapping of the Iron.
The congress and exhibition was well attended over the four days by people from all over the world with varying backgrounds including industry experts, university professors and students. Exhibitors included Inductotherm, Foseco and Heraues Electronite to name a few.
A number of technical sessions were available to attend over the four days with speakers presenting very informative papers on the varying aspects of the foundry industry from iron and steel to aluminium and copper base, from sand casting to lost foam and from environmental issues to computers and robotics.
Away from the Congress there was a chance to attend a foundry of your choice; I chose to attend Black Hawk Foundry, which produces small iron castings predominantly for the automotive industry. The foundry was of medium size with three moulding lines each producing up to 60 moulds an hour; two 6T induction furnaces supplied a constant stream of 2T taps to feed the lines on a 24hr 6 days a week cycle. The tour was very informative and the management team were very proud of their facility with expansion planned over the coming years.
The social aspect of the congress was excellent with each night providing a different experience, from an ice breaker cocktail party on the edge of the Park Fundidora Lake to a formal Gala dinner in the surroundings of the Horno3. The traditional food was fantastic as was the entertainment which included Mariachi Bands and folk dancers.
The overall experience of the World Foundry Congress is something that will stay with me for a long time and I would like to thank the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers, Eur Ing Andrew Turner, and Dr Pam Murrell for the Jubilee Award and would encourage anybody associated with the foundry industry to attend the 2014 congress in Bilbao.
Chris Jay MICME