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A global organisation for a global industry

The World Foundry Organization (WFO) is constantly evolving and has in recent years grown in stature, thanks in part to increased awareness but also because of the development of new initiatives to satisfy a global thirst for foundry knowledge in both a business and more traditional technical sense.

Operating under a country member organisation structure, the WFO is tasked with representing the needs of 30 plus member countries from the casting tonnage dominating forces of China and the US to much smaller economies – but each with their own membership requirements. However, there is one element that unites all WFO member countries – the desire for information and collective debate.

The administrative structure of the WFO encompasses a general assembly committee, where all member countries are equally represented, an executive board and secretariat for detailed development, and executive officers to help guide the organisation. The current WFO president is Mark Fenyes FICME, chairman of Omega Sinto Ltd, who was elected into the role after several years’ service on the executive board. Foundry Trade Journal caught up with him to discuss his current and future ambitions for the organisation.

Fenyes is particularly keen to further develop the enhancements made to WFO membership over recent years. “My main aspiration would be to see through the reforms and improvements in terms of information and communication dissemination that the executive has been working on over the last few years,” he said. However, Fenyes and his fellow executives have greater ambitions for the WFO to build upon the success of the World Foundry Congress, the WFO holds every two years in conjunction with member organisations and the WFO Technical Forum held in the intervening years with more targeted events. He is keen to extend the amount of information disseminated by the WFO for the wider benefit of the foundry sector and customers. “The other aspiration I have is the successful running of the first WFO World Foundry Summit, which is due to be held in Rome in November 2018. This is the first time the WFO has held such an event, which is geared at senior managers and CEOs. There are some great speakers lined up and it will be a fantastic opportunity to look into the future of our metal casting business and also provide another excellent forum for networking.”

An ideal conduit

The WFO is committed to the dissemination of information and to bringing people together from all parts of the world and all parts of our industry – practical foundry personnel, senior managers, the supply industry and academia. “The WFO is in a great position to be the conduit between member countries to provide the necessary assistance and information to help the industry, whether this is the adaptation of new technology or evolving trends, the WFO can funnel this information to its members,” Fenyes enthuses.

As the chairman of an extremely accomplished and successful company, Fenyes, who regularly travels the globe, is in a good position to comment on the complexities and indeed similarities of the cast metals sector in differing regions of the world. “The similarities are extensive in almost every region and are based on the common lack of manpower and training, and of course, environmental issues,” he tells us. “Of course, the regional government’s commitment to encourage manufacturing also varies widely, as can be seen in North America where the new policies there are having an extremely positive effect on their industry.”

Fenyes is confident that there are still plenty of opportunities for the global foundry industry and for how the WFO can assist in this matter. “The increased use of sand and metal printing along with the electrification of the automotive industry provides both concerns and opportunities for foundries. The WFO wants to be at the forefront of understanding these dynamic shifts and support the industry by organising such gatherings as the World Foundry Congress, WFO Technical Forum and WFO World Foundry Summit to provide platforms to understand these factors better and in order for those in the industry to make an informed decision for the future.”

A digital communication platform

In addition to the increased activity in terms of events, including various regional seminars on specific topics that have been organised by the WFO and its working committees in recent years, the organisation has embraced the digital revolution to communicate effectively now and in to the future. Fenyes says the WFO already has a strong social media presence which has helped to raise the organisation’s profile and provided a great deal of valuable information to the industry. However, he tells us there is more to do. “This is just the tip of the iceberg and I would like to see the website platform developed further to allow member organisations to be able to access more easily and comprehensively those technical papers, working committees etc. that have a valuable influence on their day to day activities.”

World Foundry Congress 2018

Working with the WFO, the Polish Foundrymen’s Association has put together a captivating programme for the World Foundry Congress 2018 (23rd to 27th September 2018), Fenyes is keen for those yet to have booked a place to get along to Krakow and take part in what is set to be a memorable event. “Anyone not attending is missing an opportunity to hear the latest technical papers in our industry and also to network with like-minded people. It should also be noted that the Polish Foundrymen’s Association has made an outstanding effort not only from the educational perspective but also showcasing the best this captivating region can offer.”

For more information on the WFO and its member organisations visit: www.thewfo.com