Pittsburgh, Pa., hosted the 18th International Forgemasters Meeting Sept. 12-15. The historic OMNI William Penn Hotel was the venue for the triennial event, which was last held on U.S. soil in 1994.

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The OMNI William Penn’s elegant grand ballroom was the site of the IFM Banquet.

The international forging community gathered in Pittsburgh for four days in September. More than 550 attendees representing 230 organizations (including 35 exhibitors) from nearly 30 countries heard the latest news relating to industry business conditions around the world as well as about 80 papers on technical topics.

The International Forgemasters Meeting 2011 (IFM 2011) is an opportunity for international forging industry executives to stay current with the state of the global forging industry – both economically and technically. The event was organized by the Forging Industry Association (FIA) and sponsored by Ellwood Group, Inc. After registration and a welcoming cocktail hour on Sept. 12, formal presentations began on Sept. 13.

The sessions opened with a welcome from Roy Hardy, FIA executive vice president, who also introduced Dr. Kevin Handerhan, COO – Forgings and Castings of Ellwood Group, the event’s premier sponsor. Handerhan gave his own welcoming remarks and began the program by introducing the first speaker. This was the only plenary session, and delegates heard papers regarding the state of the forging industries in North America, Germany, U.K., Japan, France, Korea, Italy, Eastern Europe, China and India.

On the afternoon of the first day of papers, the technical programs began. These were split into two tracks, which ran simultaneously through to the conclusion of the papers on Sept. 15.  Technical presentations from 12 different countries were delivered in several categories: metal-forming facilities and equipment; steelmaking and remelting; power generation; simulation and modeling; forging technology; quality and NDT; rolls; nickel-based and stainless; and physical metallurgy. After each presentation, time was allotted for questions and answers.

After the morning’s technical sessions on the final day of the conference, plant tours were given. Attendees were given the option of two distinct bus tour itineraries. Route A was a tour of North American Forgemasters, Ellwood Quality Steels and Ellwood Milled Products (all in New Castle, Pa.). Route B toured Union Electric Steel Corp. (Burgettstown, Pa.) and Electralloy (Oil City, Pa.).

A highlight of the conference was the announcement at the event banquet on Sept. 14 by IFM Steering Committee Chair Peter Birtles that the 19th IFM would be held in 2014 in Tokyo, Japan.