Q&A: Metallurgy & Engineering

Stainless Foundry & Engineering has a reputation for technical expertise that sets them apart from their competition. SF&E has many talented individuals, but two of the leading technical resources that have guided SF&E and her customers to conquer great challenges are Jeanne Wagner (Technical Director and metallurgist) and Florian Wisinski (Director of Engineering and mechanical engineer). They have provided knowledge and guidance to many of their customers, business partners, employees and community. Wagner and Wisinski were lead through a Q & A session on experience, technical feats and team work.

What skills are necessary for your position and how did you obtain them?

Wagner and Wisinski both graduated with engineering degrees but in different disciplines. Wagner has a Metallurgical Engineering Degree and has been in the foundry industry for over 20 years, specifically with SF&E for 15 years. Wagner mentions that you are given the building blocks in college but not the specifics—there are not many classes that deal with specific alloys. Part of being an engineer is the ability to learn and problem solve. Much of the practical knowledge is learned on-the-job and applying what you learned in college. Wagner explains, “Building relationships and learning how to work with people has been key to my learning process and success—I am still learning and always hope to. There is a lot to be learned from the employees doing the job, you need to learn how to talk with and listen to people of all different backgrounds and skill sets.” Wisinski has a Mechanical Engineering degree and has been in the foundry industry for over 10 years and with SF&E for 3 years. Wisinski made a note that you are given the tools to be a good engineer in college but the real experience comes from on the job work.

What metallurgical problems do you face day to day?

Our customers are faced with many challenges when selecting the perfect alloy and creating a unique engineered design. Wagner and Wisinski work together to overcome metallurgical and engineering challenges to meet there customers’ requirements. Wagner is faced with a common problem–the customer asks what alloy is best for their application. “We are not in the business of design, we do not know all the details of the customer’s application so we cannot make a recommendation on an alloy.  What we can do is discuss the application and the metallurgical properties the customer is looking for and then provide a list of options that should meet those requirements.” says Wagner. Wisinski added, “The customer can pick a great alloy, but if it’s not a casting friendly alloy we can help them find an alloy that will meet the customers’ needs but will also be friendlier to the process”.  Often times Wisinski and his engineers will make suggestions to make the design more “casting friendly” and see if it is something the customer can accommodate. The SF&E team educates their customers about the alloys, casting design and general foundry processing so that whenever possible changes can be made to ensure a successful casting.

What kind of engineering solutions have you recently provided to your customers? 

Wisinski leads a team of engineers to create innovative pattern/die design so the customer can have a single pattern to support many types of alloys. Customers with a demand to turn an iron casting into a stainless steel casting opt for SF&E. “A lot of the time we are faced with a design from a customer that is not meant to be a casting”, states Wisinski. As the Director of Engineering it is his responsibility to give the customer a quality, engineered casting design. “How do we take a part that may not be a good casting and turn it into a good casting? Or how do we take a four piece assembly design and turn it into a one piece casting?” Engineering is in the name for this reason. The ability to supply their customer with the desired part while saving resources, time, money and educating them for their next purchase.

Wisinski and his engineers make suggestions about casting design that are to benefit their customers. SF&E builds its reputation on engineering the cost out and the value in. “We have changed the way we use MAGMA and how to use it wiser and smarter”, states Wisinski talking about the solidification software his engineering team uses and one of the best in its kind. Wisinski and his team utilize MAGMA for their unique gating techniques. The engineering team also works with the customer by recognizing where potential shrink areas are when running the solidification software, MAGMA. The two departments work as one in knowing how to make a quality recommendation when the customer asks for an alloy or engineered design that is not casting friendly.

Has there been a suggestion you have made that was implemented in the process to benefit SF&E or her customers?

A huge feat lead by Wisinski, was the ability to engineer a sand casting into a better quality investment casting. “We understand the parts and understand the customer’s needs. The customer will bring us a part and they want it as a sand casting but with our technical expertise we let them know the benefits of making it an investment castings”. If something cannot be casted as design, Wisinski and his team offer solutions to make a unique quality casting possible.

Wagner states “My strength isn’t in dreaming up the idea on how to make the improvement. It is in working with other teammates to brainstorm various ideas, sort through those ideas together, develop a plan, and then execute the plan.”

Casting is just a part of what this team can do. Stainless Foundry & Engineering welcomes the opportunity to tackle those difficult designs, tighter tolerances and strange alloys. While Florian Wisinski and Jeanne Wagner have critical roles in providing a quality casting solution, it is truly the collaboration of all of SFE’s employees to execute the customer’s design into reality

Posted on: 2018-12-13 03:10:12

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