19 Nov Progress Rail is Casting the Future

Leading steel foundry, Progress Rail, is the latest company to secure one of the “Casting the Future” Foundry Kits to help them encourage the next generation of engineers and technicians to learn about casting and possibly consider a career in the castings industry.  Progress Rail’s South Queensferry foundry specialises in manufacturing crossings for the global rail industry and the facility has the capacity to produce castings up to five tonnes in weight in a range of steel grades, from austenitic manganese to Argon Oxygen Decarburisation (AOD) refined stainless steel.

The Casting the Future foundry kits have been developed by the Cast Metals Federation, CMF, for use in schools and colleges to showcase the casting process to young people, and to encourage them to consider careers in manufacturing and engineering, and also the casting industry.

“We are very active in our local community,” said Jim Erskine, Foundry Manager for Progress Rail, as he received the kit from the CMF. “We organise community open days and events where we engage with local schools to encourage youngsters to consider apprenticeships in engineering.  We have a strong apprentice programme and need to keep ensuring the future pipeline of talent to help us continue to develop as a company.  We appreciate that many young people in our area, and also their teachers, may not know much about manufacturing and certainly not much about what we do as a company if they have never visited or toured our facility, and this kit will help us to show the basics of the casting process in a safe and accessible way.”

Pam Murrell, CEO from the CMF agreed, saying, “We recognise that many teachers and parents do not know that we have a castings industry in the UK and do not realise how the industry contributes to modern society.   The kits include all the equipment necessary for a foundry to showcase casting as a route to manufacture including a table-top melting unit, low temperature fume-free alloy and sand for moulding around the pattern or design to be cast.  We are pleased with how the kits have been embraced by the industry – our idea was to have kits in different locations around the UK, so that any foundry could borrow a kit if they wish to run an event with a local school, college or community group, so having a kit in Scotland is another milestone.  We are also very grateful to the many companies and charities that have supported the development of the kits.”

More details about the kit, including information about the website and tutorial that have been prepared to support their use, are available from the Cast Metals Federation, e: admin@cmfed.co.uk

Abigail Southall
Abigail Southall