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Palmerton man recognized for his contributions to die casting industry

Published November 17. 2012 09:02AM

Andrew Behler of Palmerton, vice president of Blue Ridge Pressure Castings, Lehighton, was recently presented the Herman H. Doehler Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the advancement of the die casting industry, the art of die casting as represented by technical achievement, advancement in plant operation and other activities.

Behler is a third generation die caster, literally having grown up in the die casting industry. His extensive die casting experience is a result of the opportunity to work in every phase of the die cast business and a lifetime of participation in die cast association activities. He is trained as an engineer, holding B.S. degrees in Engineering Science and Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College. In addition, he is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Pennsylvania.

Behler spent his career in attempting to apply engineering principals to the solution of die cast problems. In the area of zinc casting his work includes conducing the field work for the NJZ in their "Thin Wall Zinc Die Casting Demonstration Project."

This every early work included development of machine instrumentation and characterization, thermal analysis and temperature control, application of Illzro-Battelle gating techniques, and process optimization through statistical methods. Result of this work was shared with the industry through publications and demonstrations.

Efforts in brass die casting, die material analysis of both refractory base materials and conventional hot work steels, alloy development in minimizing the effects of hot shortness through element control in manganese bronze. The work he did on closed form analysis of machine and die deflection provided the basis for almost 20 years of NADCA research by Dr. Al Miller and his team at OSU. Working with tier one OEM's on aluminum die cast designs. Behler provides guidance and training in the integration of finite element analysis and fatigue analysis utilizing safe load methods for fatigue avoidance. Understanding the inherent die cast defects and their impact on fatigue, toughness and pressure tightness, he provides a design guidance where none exists.

Inspired by his dad to participate in industry association activities, he quickly learned the benefit of being an active member at both the local and national level.

Participating as both a student and a leader he has had the opportunity to both learn and lead. His tenure dates to 1973 and the NADCA predecessor organizations, where he served as chairman or the R&D committee, and culminated with a position on the NADCA Board of Governors.

During his time on the board he served as secretary/treasurer, vice president and chairman of the board. Committee activities have included R&D committee, Finance committee and Government Affairs. As chairman of the Finance Committee his conservation fiscal policy helped steer the Association back to a position of financial strength. In addition, he has served on many sub committees helping evolve the technology road maps, strategic plans and industry liaisons which have guided our industry through an ever changing landscape. Behler remains a most ardent fan of NADCA and its role in the die cast industry.

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