At Cumberland Foundry, we understand the importance of an industry which provides the foundation for so many other value added manufacturing processes and machine building jobs throughout our country. In addition to making the quality iron castings needed of us today, we want to ensure there are new, innovative, and skilled people ready to replace us tomorrow. For this reason, we feel that it is of upmost importance not to get caught up in day to day production and lose sight of the big survival picture.
The only way a behind-the-scenes industry such as ours can begin to grow again is if we get outsiders, especially young people, exposed to, involved in, and excited about metal casting. The Rhode Island School of Design is unique in that it offers a pattern and casting class that gives students hands on exposure to metal casting from an idea, to a blue print, to a pattern, to a finished machined casting. The class begins by touring our facility and learning exactly what is involved in the casting process. This gives students an idea of what rules and limitations exist in designing an iron casting. From there, we guide them into designing a pattern that they make themselves.
Our real world production expertise ensures that their finished patterns not only look good, but work efficiently and reliably as foundry tooling in the production of green sand molds. The students turn their patterns over to us to make and pour sample molds that test their design. We help the students examine the resulting castings for defects and inefficiencies. Finally, the students present their casting project to the class and we sit in on a panel made up of their professor and department head as a final critique. Even if a student from this class doesn't end up directly working in the foundry industry someday, they have learned what castings are capable of and how to go about designing/manufacturing one. This is knowledge that helps promote castings as solutions and we feel that is a cause worth investing in for the future of our industry.
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