Victor S. LaFay
Victor S. LaFay Research & Technical Development Manager, S&B Industrial Minerals and 2009 CISA President

Foundry Management & Technology has always been at the forefront of supporting the long term efforts of our industry. Both the Casting Industry Suppliers Assn. and FM&T have provided information, education and services that have taken us into this century and beyond. Considering the current state of the economy it is the responsibility of the leadership of the foundry industry to manage our business through a sustained economic downturn by making tough decisions. But, more important, through innovation and service excellence the foundry industry can be transformed to meet today’s challenges and those of the future.

Subscribers to FM&T has been able to benefit from the many articles and commentaries that have been written to demonstrate innovation in materials, processes and service that will support the growth of the foundry industry. This CISA issue represents these innovative solutions that will sustain the growth of the foundry industry. Last August, Guest Editorialist and 2008 CISA President Mark Zeigler pointed out that “95% of our membership stated that they are involved with a new product or technology that can improve foundry efficiencies or performance.” This innovation is even more important today than it was a year ag,o and the CISA membership is here to support the industry.

Innovation alone will not be enough to transform the foundry industry. Service excellence, in cooperation with innovation, is what the foundry industry needs. Foundries are making tough decisions to mange their business and placing greater demands on the equipment and consumable suppliers of the industry. Because the economic conditions that face our industry have been sustained through a longer period of time many foundries have taken more creative solutions to improve material consumption and processes. The CISA membership are developing new products and supplying “service excellence” to meet foundry requirements.

Many foundries have reduced their employee base to meet their internal requirements in this difficult economy. Because of this reduction in foundry employees, the foundry suppliers are being asked to supply support services on existing equipment and consumable products that is used in the foundry industry to produce castings for foundry consumers that have increased their expectations. In addition, to the service requested by the foundry industry on existing processes, the service that is required when a new product is introduced into the foundry is even greater. The introduction of new products requires technical support on the “foundry floor” to demonstrate the improvements/application of the product with less internal support staff available in the foundry. The concept of “service excellence” has taken on a new meaning to the foundry industry.

Service Excellence can be seen in every element of our industry. Foundry Management & Technology supports our industry in supplying articles that educated and demonstrate innovation that has occurred in foundries. Suppliers to the foundry industry in cooperation with CISA continue to demonstrate product innovations and services that will support the growth of the foundry industry.