UNI's Jerry Thiel Presents to NFFS Foundry, Automation, Integration, and Robotics Working Group

Posted By: Jerrod Weaver NFFS,

On October 26, 2022, the NFFS Foundry Automation, Integration and Robotics (FAIR) Working Group held its monthly meeting. Among the topics discussed were an update on the number of new robot installations in metals processing facilities and a new automation focused podcast for manufacturers. These updates were followed by a special presentation from Dr. Jerry Thiel from the University of Northern Iowa. Dr. Thiel discussed the Internet of Things (IoT) in the foundry, data driven process control, and robotic casting finishing technologies.

Dr. Thiel and the UNI team are looking to partner with non-ferrous foundries as they work to deploy automated grinding solutions to industry. Under this program, foundries are invited to provide a sample casting to the Dr. Thiel, and his students will work to develop a casting finishing robotic cell that will grind YOUR PARTS as a proof of concept. The UNI program also provides assistance with developing cost estimates and a technology implementation plan, as well as developing the business case for management consideration. For additional information or to participate, contact NFFS Executive Director Jerrod Weaver at jerrod@nffs.org.

Finally, NFFS announced that it is working with UNI and Dr. Thiel to provide a ‘Robotics Fundamentals Lab and Coursework’ to its membership. The 5-day course will be held in the spring of 2023 on site at UNI in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and includes both classroom instruction and lab activities. The courses will be limited to 10-12 students per offering to ensure plenty of one-on-one interaction between the participants and the instructor. Look for additional information regarding this program early in 2023.

The NFFS FAIR working group is open to all NFFS members. Visit the FAIR page to see a list of automation resources already developed by the group or to register to attend the next FAIR meeting on November 30, 2022.