Metal casting software donated to UWP

March 30, 2007

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2007_03_30b.jpgPLATTEVILLE- The metals processing technology program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville recently received an approximately $1 million software donation. The programs, MAGMASOFT(r) and MAGMAIRON(r), were donated by Magma Foundries Technologies Inc. of Schaumburg, Ill., through an alumnus connection.

The alumnus connection is Benjamin Johnson, a 2006 graduate with a degree in manufacturing technology management with minors in drafting and product development and metals processing technology. Kyle Metzloff, UWP associate professor of metals technology, collaborated with Johnson and Magma Foundries Technologies Inc. to obtain the software for the UWP metals processing laboratory. Johnson is employed at the company as a project engineer. His duties include setting up projects for account managers, being a support person for account projects and setting up presentations.

Johnson met the company during an internship with Berntsen Brass and Aluminum Foundry of Madison. As part of a project, Johnson compared two different software programs from two different companies, one of them being Magma Foundries Technologies Inc. The goal of the project was to find the best software for analyzing the cooling of metal castings.

After his internship, Johnson kept in contact with Magma Foundries Technologies Inc. He met them again at the 2005 Foundry Education Foundation (winner of the 2004 UWP Friend of the College Award) College Industrial Conference in Chicago, Ill. At the conference, industrial leaders recruit students from accredited schools. UWP is one of these 25 accredited schools in North America and has been since 1969.

Johnson was hired by for Magma Foundry Technologies in May 2006. Shortly after he was hired, he approached the company about donating the software. "I had friends in the program that I thought would enjoy the new Magma software," said Johnson. To obtain the software, Johnson and Metzloff sent summaries of how the software would be used in the curriculum at UWP to the owner of Magma Foundries Technologies in Germany. When the owner came to the United States to visit the company, he approved the donation.

The new software will help students to simulate things they are unable to do in a laboratory, like casting 100,000 pounds of molten iron. Casting parts such as engine blocks, tractor parts and car suspensions can be done with less chance of defects. Students can apply the software to a three dimensional model and see if the casting process will be successful before casting the actual product. The software analyzes the way the metal cools, predicts how the metal will flow in the mold and identifies defects and potential problems. In this way, costly mistakes on the product are avoided. "This sets UWP apart," said Metzloff. "We can do the theoretical aspects and manufacture the product. It's one thing to just model something, but we take it a step further in that we put it to use to see how it really works."

Metzloff believes that the software will help attract more students to the metals technology management program. "Students like to see cutting edge technology. We still need employees for manufacturing in Wisconsin. It is the third largest supplier of metal castings in the nation," he said.

The software will be put to use in fall 2007. Metzloff will take a weeklong training course in March to become familiar with the software. Johnson will aid in the training as well as the set up of the equipment.

Anyone wanting more information about the donation may contact Metzloff at (608) 342-1142 or metzlofk@uwplatt.edu.

Contact: Kyle Metzloff, professor, metals technology, (608) 342-1142,metzlofk@uwplatt.edu Prepared by: Krystle Kurdi, UWP Public Relations, (608) 342-1194,kurdik@uwplatt.edu

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