73rd World Foundry Congress: Meeting of Metalcasters From Around the World

On September 23-27, 2018, in Krakow, Poland, the 73rd World Foundry Congress took place. By the decision of the World Foundry Organization (WFO) authorities made a few years ago, Polish Foundrymen’s Association (STOP), which is the founding member of WFO, became the main organizer of the Congress. The honorary patronage over the Congress was taken by the President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, and the Honorary Committee was composed of: Jarosław Gowin, Minister of Science and Higher Education; Jacek Krupa, Marshal of the Małopolska Region; Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of the City of Kraków; Tadeusz Słomka, Rector of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow; Ewa Mańkiewicz-Cudny, President of the Polish Federation of Engineering Associations FSNT-NOT; and Mark Fenyes, President of the World Foundry Organization.

The 73rd World Foundry Congress began on September 23. On this day, a tour of the city and a Welcome Party at the ICE Congress Center in Krakow were organized for participants of the Congress.

The official Congress Opening Ceremony took place on September 24. During the opening, in the auditorium of the ICE Congress Center, participants were welcomed by Tadeusz Franaszek, President of the Polish Foundrymen’s Association; Tadeusz Trzmiel, Deputy Mayor of the City of Kraków; Tadeusz Słomka, Rector of the AGH University; and Mark Fenyes, President of World Foundry Organization. During the opening ceremony, the organizers thanked all the sponsors, handing them commemorative statuettes. Part of the official opening was honored by AGH Song and Dance Ensemble “Krakus” whose performance has introduced more than 900 people to the atmosphere of Krakow. The performance was complemented by a promotional film showing the diversity of landscapes and culture that the participants of the congress have the opportunity to learn about when visiting Poland.

The opening ceremony of the Congress was also distinguished by the plenary session, during which three papers were presented. The first of them was authored by Dr. Carsten Kuhlgatz, President of Hüttenes-Albertus Chemische Werke GmbH, titled “Development of the electric vehicles market by 2030 in Germany, Europe, US and China.” The second was given by Prof. Natalia Sobczak, Chairman of the Scientific Committee of the Congress, representative of the Foundry Institute in Krakow, which title was “Liquid metal engineering for Creative Foundry: from Lab to Fab.” A closing lecture of the official part was given by Piotr Olszewski presenting the latest achievements of Jan Felczyński’s Bell-founding Studio, “VOX PATRIS—the biggest swinging bell in the world,” which was cast in the Foundry Metalodlew SA. This paper, illustrated with a film, presented the unusual skills of Polish founders.

On that day, a press conference was held, attended by representatives of industry media, both domestic and foreign, and sponsors of the Congress. The conference was chaired by the President of the Polish Foundrymen’s Association, Tadeusz Franazek, and the moderator of the conference was a representative of Foundry Planet Journal, Thomas Fritsch. After the press conference, the WFO authorities, the organizers of the Congress and representatives of the Krakow Festival Office planted a tree in the Avenue of Congress, commemorating this extraordinary event.

On September 24-25, 43 scientific and technical sessions took place at the ICE Congress Center, which were held simultaneously in eight conference rooms. During these two days, meetings of two WFO Committees were also held: Metal Matrix Composites, Training and Professional Development, as well as meetings of the WFO and Past Presidents authorities.

An important element of the Congress was a two-day Seminar of Young Scientists, combined with a poster session on which 83 posters of young scientists and practitioners were presented. The Polish company PGO SA took patronage over this seminar. About 100 young people attended—students, PhD students, young scientists and industry employees. Guest lectures were given by the President of Kimura Group Mr. Kazutoshi Kimura: “Kimura Foundry Co., Ltd. Overview,” and Dean of the Faculty of Foundry Engineering of the AGH University Prof. Rafał Dańko: “The state of art and foresight of world casting production.” These papers presented foundry techniques aimed at encouraging young casters to constantly improve their skills and stay in foundry professions. During this Seminar, the Scientific Committee has chosen the best abstract. The award went to Y. Yoshitake, from the National Institute of Technology, Support Center of Education and Research, Japan for the paper, “Grain refinement of Al-2% Cu alloy using by vibrating mold.”

The Congress was accompanied by two exhibitions: historical “Foundry industry over the centuries,” by Jerzy J. Sobczak, Tadeusz Franaszek and Jan Witkowski, and the exhibition “Creative Foundry,” which was attended by over 50 companies from around the world.

On September 26, an excursion session was organized for the participants of the congress to visit the METAL Fair in Kielce. Participants of the Congress had the opportunity to visit the exhibition organized as part of the XXII International Fair of Technology for METAL Foundry. An annual meeting of the WFO authorities was held during that day at the Kielce Trade Fairs.

This day was crowned by Foundrymen’s Night meeting combined with the closing ceremony of the Congress. The ceremony took place in Stara Zajezdnia in the historic Kazimierz district in Krakow. During the closing ceremony, the General Secretary of the WFO Andrew Turner announced the winners in the categories Best Scientific Paper and Best Technical Paper.

During this ceremony, the WFO flag was handed over to the next organizer of the congress—the Korean Foundry Association. The Korean representatives presented a promotional film, inviting everyone to Busan, where in 2020, another 74th World Foundry Congress will take place.

The last day of the Congress, on Sept. 27, was devoted to technical tours, allowing the participants to become acquainted with the capabilities of the Polish foundry industry and its scientific and research facilities. ■