The Piedmont Chapter held its January Meeting in Athens, GA this year. We had a great turnout! Our technical session on Wednesday morning was focused around the new Silica rule. Trent Blake and Tom Smith started the morning off with a great talk about how facilities should collect their data as they look to make sure they are compliant. Matt Diestler followed them by giving some good examples of engineering control options to become compliant. Robert Vazzi came in from OSHA to explain the new standard some and help us understand better what is actually expected of foundries. And capping off the technical session was Joe Muniza and his discussion on ways to possibly eliminate some consumables that use silica. All of the talks were very informative and helpful and led to some great discussions. Thank you very much to all of our speakers for taking the time to come speak with us.
The afternoon continued with a tour and tasting at the local Creature Comforts Brewery. Just a few blocks from the meeting everyone was able to get a pint glass and taste many of the different brews on tap and then get a tour of the whole facility. It was a fantastic way to spend the afternoon with all our friends in the chapter.
During our evening reception Stephanie Salmon from the AFS Office of Government Affairs talked to us about what is going on in Washington DC, especially regarding the new Silica Standard. There has been a lot of changes in the federal government since the last election, so getting to hear from Stephanie often will keep us informed as to what is happening. There is a lot going on with the new silica rule and we are all interested in how things unfold. This new rule could have big implications to our industry.
Thursday morning we toured TACG (Toyota Automotive Compressors of Georgia). What an impressive facility. Between the die casting machines and the assembly lines, TACG can put out one compressor every 13 seconds. It was a wonderful tour and I believe everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Special thanks to TACG for accommodating us with this tour.
Once again Athens, GA fails to disappoint as a great meeting location. Next on the schedule will be our annual meeting in Blacksburg, VA. Our March meeting is always a crowd favorite as we get to spend a lot of time with the students at Virginia Tech and see all they are working on there. We will see you in Blacksburg on March 1-2, 2017!