The collaboration between the Blansko Foundry and the Department of Foundry Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Brno University of Technology has been going on for more than 70 years. Listing all areas of cooperation and projects solved would be exceptionally complex given the length and scope of the partnership. However, it can certainly be stated that this foundry and its collaboration have been highly significant for the Department of Foundry Engineering at Brno University of Technology and its staff. Some academic professionals have even gained experience at this foundry through various part-time jobs, internships, or in permanent positions. Notable individuals include, for instance, doc. Ing. Jaromír Roučka, CSc., doc. Ing. Rudolf Setnička, CSc., and from the younger generation Ing. Vítězslav Pernica, Ph.D. I am very pleased that this collaboration continues in the present day, not only in the field of metallurgy with doc. Záděra and Dr. Pernica but also in foundry technology with Ing. Vladimír Krutiš, Ph.D., or doc. Ing. Jaromír Roučka, CSc.
In 2023, the management of Ernst Leopold Foundry decided, based on a beneficial and long-term collaboration, to support the education and research of the Department of Foundry Engineering with a financial donation. This was a highly significant financial donation in the amount of 250,000 CZK, directed exclusively and in full towards the needs of the Department of Foundry Engineering. All funds from this donation were utilized for the renovation of existing spaces and the establishment of a completely new laboratory for both teaching and research in the field of precision investment casting (Fig. 1). This facility is dedicated to the preparation and assembly of wax models and trees, serving not only for foundry education but also for undergraduate studies in the subject of manufacturing technology, which is annually attended by over 700 students passing through these premises. Concurrently with the planned relocation of the laboratory for molding mixtures to the Department of Foundry Engineering, substantial progress was made in the reconstruction of spaces to which this laboratory will move in 2024.
Thanks to the financial support from Ernst Leopold, it was possible to organize an international course in the Department of Foundry Engineering focused on the technology of investment casting, which was attended by 16 participants from 8 countries associated with EICF (European Investment Casters’ Federation). Following its completion, the course received excellent evaluations from the participants, and a second annual session is currently being planned. During this course, the participants engaged in hands-on laboratory exercises with wax models, where they learned and applied methods and technologies for producing wax gating systems and bonding models to these systems (Fig. 2). Hosting these courses not only benefits the Department of Foundry Engineering but also serves as excellent publicity for the entire faculty and the foundry industry as a whole.
In this way, I would like to express my gratitude once again to Ernst Leopold company and especially to its owner, Mr. Zdeněk Tužička, for the financial support that has significantly enhanced the quality of our teaching and laboratory spaces, utilized for research and development in the field of investment casting. This technology represents one of the fundamental strategic directions where the Department of Foundry Engineering conducts systematic and long-term research and development.
I believe that the collaboration between Ernst Leopold foundry and the Department of Foundry Engineering at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Brno University of Technology, will continue, bringing benefits to both parties not only from a financial and professional perspective but also fostering positive and friendly relationships.
In Brno on December 5, 2023
doc. Ing. Antonín Záděra, Ph.D.
Dept. of Foundry Engineering,
Head of sub-department
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
FSI, BUT in Brno
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