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Cast The Future – Diagnosis, Mission, Vision - 74th World Foundry Congress Review

Chair of the 74th World Foundry Congress organising committee Sang Mok Lee, reports on a successful event which brought the global foundry sector together in Busan, South Korea in October 2022.

The 74th World Foundry Congress (WFC) was held for six days, from Sunday 16th October to Friday 21st October 2022, at BEXCO Busan, South Korea. A total of 508 delegates from 32 countries attended the conference, and 235 abstracts were presented out of the 248 submitted. During the three days of the official program, there were six plenary sessions, 59 sessions with invited speakers, 115 oral presentations, and 61 poster presentations, respectively. There was also a special session –‘Covid Foundry Report’ – on the current global foundry status analysis; including the strategic planning of each registered country, such as Poland, South Korea, Japan, and China. In this connection, the main session – ‘Cast the Future’ – led a panel discussion about the foundry strategy for the post-pandemic era, based on two related lectures concerning the past and future of the foundry ecosystem. There were also ten online presentations of the WFO Ferrous Forum collaborated with FICMES from China. Countries participating were: South Korea, Japan, China, Germany, Poland, Spain, United States, United Kingdom, France, Slovakia, Thailand, Turkey, Czech Republic, India, Russia, Slovenia, Canada, Finland, Singapore, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Croatia, Egypt, Norway, and Romania. 


A Happy Gathering

Around 200 attendees, including 110 international guests, gathered at the third-floor open deck of BEXCO to celebrate the opening of the WFC, which was held four years after the previous World Foundry Congress in Krakow, Poland – a forced delay due to Covid. Amongst those welcoming attendees were members of the Korea Foundry Society, including professor Hyung Yong Ra, Chang Ock Choi, Bo Young Hur and Dr Young Hee Jo, along with Sang Mok Lee, chair of the congress; Dong Kyu Kim, president of the Korea Foundry Society; and Hyung Yong Ra, the former president of the Korea Foundry Society.

It was clear that delegates were delighted to be able to meet up with international colleagues once more under the banner of the World Foundry Organization (WFO).

This sentiment was echoed at the opening ceremony on Monday 17th October by congress chair Sang Mok Lee and by both Andrew Turner, general secretary of the WFO, and WFO president Carsten Kuhlgatz.

There followed three plenary sessions on the first day: ‘Graphite in cast iron-its crystallisation and implications on thermal analysis and casting porosity’ by Professor Doru M Stefancescu of Ohio State University and the University of Alabama; ‘Modeling and simulation of directional solidification process of Ni-based superalloy turbine blade casting’, an online presentation by Professor Qingyan Xu of Tsinghua University; and ‘Recent developments in ADI (austempered 

ductile cast iron) metallurgy and applications at CMRDI’ by Professor Adel Nofal of Central Metallurgical R&D Institute (Egypt). 

The plenary presentations set the tone for the event, which later broke out into parallel sessions to accommodate the 174 presentations from 28 countries, comprised of 129 in-person and 45 virtual presentations. These were supported by 61 poster sessions.



As part of the presentations on Tuesday 18th October under the ‘Cast the Future’ banner, representing: Diagnosis, Vision, and Mission, the COVID Foundry Report was given by José Javier González, of the WFO. The report gave an analysis of the current foundry status and strategic planning of each registered country. Later, PhD Dong Eung Kim (Korea), Dr Katarzyna Liszka (Poland), Dr Nishihara (Japan), and Dr Gaowei (China) presented the foundry status analysis and forecast of each country in the post-pandemic era. This session was broadcast live in Asia thanks to the collaboration of the Asia Foundry Association (AFA) and CFA (China Foundry Association). The representatives of the registered countries, such as China, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, and Mongolia, participated online. Furthermore, such topics were chosen as the agendas for the following AFA to be used as a basis for co-operation among Asian countries. In addition, the presentations in this session will be conveyed to the successive committees of the WFO to be used as the primary data to analyse the current global foundry industry and plan future strategies.



The second panel discussion session for strategic planning was moderated by Andrew Turner, general secretary of the WFO. In the session Prof Stefanescu lectured on the history of the foundry, and Prof Sang Mok Lee from the Korea Institute of Industrial Technology (the chairman of the congress) lectured on the future of the foundry, respectively. Professor Stefanescu explained that the history of metal casting technology has been through the development of art, infrastructure, microscope, and the complex interdisciplinary science of today. Also, he introduced major casting works and their technology and significance, explained the meaning of modern metal casting technology, and introduced experts who contributed to its technology development. Prof Sang Mok Lee explained socio-physiological, industrial, and technical factors that have influenced the vitality of the casting industry; and proposed four near-future development strategies to overcome current obstacles. The foundry strategies he suggested to proceed in the upcoming 20 years are: securing the competitiveness of casting materials, strengthening the value chain of the casting industry, customising production methods to respond to orders, and finally, the digital intellectualisation of equipment and processes. After the overview of the past and future of the casting industry, five panelists – including the president of the WFO, Carsten Kuhlgatz, and Prof Sang Hoon Kim – tried to form a consensus about the current issues and come up with a solution to deal with the particular situation around the industry. The digital foundry focused on the four-step strategy of Prof Sang Mok Lee and discussed whether the strategies: building the digital acquisition system (DAQ), standardising and enhancing data for AI calculation, building a production AI platform that is preferred for motion image and time series data, a real-time automatic control system based on edge devices to be attached on different equipment, are realistic and practical. Carsten Kuhlgatz agreed with the idea of developing the digital casting process. Also, he emphasised energy conversion, which is spreading out with Europe at the centre, the challenge of the four main chemical manufacturing methods, the advent of electric vehicles and new renewable energy, and their corresponding strategy for the foundry industry. Through the process, the direction for this conference slogan, Cast the Future, was set naturally.



Sustainable foundrymen’s growth was the topic of the third sub-session and formed the ‘mission’ aspect of the theme. Students with Master’s and Doctorate degrees from around the world, new engineers, and global foundry companies led the session together. They ran earnest academic presentations and Q&A aiming at natural networking. In addition, there were various informative activities between the business stakeholders and students.


Plenary Session II

On the second day of the conference, there were three plenary sessions: ‘Cast alloys - a key for innovative products,’ by Prof Babette Tonn of Technical University of Clausthal, (Germany); ‘Compacted graphite iron: past, present and future,’ by Steve Dawson of SinterCast (UK); and ‘Direct observation, modeling and validation for numerical simulation,’ given online by Prof Akira Sugiyama of Osaka Sangyo University (Japan). 


Networking Haven

Along with the technical themes and wide-ranging technical and practical presentations, the 74th WFC also included a well-supported industry exhibition, where equipment and consumables suppliers were able to showcase their services. There were also several social events, including an official banquet and a less formal foundrymen’s night, plus daily sightseeing tours. This was bolstered by a post-congress tour and a series of works visits to foundries and industrial sites in the region.


Celebrating Excellence

During the closing ceremony, Best Paper Awards were presented as voted for by Congress organising and WFO committees as follows: 


Best Paper (Science) Gold Prize

Dr Julian Riposan (Romania) for ‘Sructure characteristics of high-Si ductile cast irons’.


Best Paper (Science) Silver Prize

Dr Kyung Shik Oh (Korea) for ‘Start up of an ultra large section sized slab with POSCO mega caster (PosMC) developed by POSCO’s xxx engineering’.


Best Paper (Technology) Gold Prize

Cathrine Hartung (Norway) for ‘Performance comparison of Ca, Ba inoculant vs Ca, Ce inoculant in spheroidal graphite iron castings’.


Best Paper (Technology) Silver Prize

Dr Adam Kopper (USA) for ‘Assessing machine learning for process improvement direction’.


Best Paper (Industry) Gold Prize

Dr Patricia Caballero (Spain) for ‘The bioecological recycling of foundry sand for use as ecological substrate’.


Best Paper (Poster Presentation) Prize

Dr Byung Joo Kim for ‘Effect of melt temperature on microstructure of Al-Zn-Mg-Cu billet fabricated by direct chill casting process’.


Best Paper (Student) Prize

Taiki Nishihara for ‘Shrinkage cavities in conical mould casting of aluminium alloy’.


In addition to the awards presentations, there was a hand over ceremony for the World Foundry Organization as the general secretary of the past 20 years, Eur Ing Andrew Turner passed on the role of general secretary to his successor José Javier González, who has been acting as the assistant general secretary. Turner will remain working with the WFO in an administrative role.

Turner said he had “relished” his involvement with the WFO and with working with Gonzalez and the large number of WFO Executives and 18 WFO presidents during his 22 years as general secretary.

Gonzalez thanked his colleague and friend Turner for his years of service and enthused about the WFO’s future plans and the “guiding role” that Turner will play in this, along with the WFO membership, Executives and General Assembly representatives.


International Exhibition

A total of 63 companies and institutions exhibited in 120 booths in an ample space of 3,696m2. Despite the current difficulty for the foundry industry, many companies gathered to show the strength of the Korean foundry industry at this international event after the pandemic.

In addition to the foundry industry companies, there were event booths to introduce Korean culture, like the Dalgona making booth, which was introduced in the movie Squid Game; the calligraphy booth, and the mobile Grip Tok design booth. There were also VR event booths to experience the foundry shopfloor in virtual reality. 

It was especially encouraging to note that in these challenging times many foundry companies took the initiative to exhibit their products and highlight the power of unity of Korea’s foundry industry to the world. Regional foundry co-operatives also enthusiastically introduced their members at the exhibition where they presented a virtual market, K-Foundry, for the first time. This online shopping mall introduces Korean foundry products to the world beyond the exhibition period.


WFO General Assembly Meeting

The 21 representatives of the registered countries consisting of twelve offline attendees and nine online attendees, participated in the General Assembly. They especially had discussions about the future strategy that was also presented during the ‘Cast the Future’session from the previous day. Based on this strategy, they agreed to plan an online junior conference starting inn 2023. The presentation topics were decided: 1) Casting Solution, 2) Circular Industry, and 3) Digital Foundry. Finally, they agreed to give the winners free GIFA tickets and select them as WFO Junior Members to help their continuous growth.


The organising committee would like to thank its sponsors and exhibitors for their support. Sponsors were: Foseco Korea Ltd, Korea Sinto Co Ltd, HA Korea, Dongsung Ind Co Ltd, Inductotherm Group Korea Ltd, Samchully Metal Co Ltd, POSCO, Hyundai Steel, Anycasting Software Co Ltd, Samri Co Ltd, SeAH CSS Corp.