Metal Casting Technologies : MCT-SEPT-2014
METAL casting Technologies september 2014 9 Dizzying rate of technology transformation ike me, I am sure most of you are conscious of the information deluge that flows from our devices. Add to this the perception that we are time poor, and we often experience a low level of anxiety when we think we are “not keeping up”. We are in the midst of a technological revolution that is transforming the world at a dizzying rate. This issue of Metals reports on how technology impacts the metal casters of the world with a focus on trends in the new age of manufacturing for the Asia Pacific region. Here at MCT Magazine we focus on how technology disrupts and disturbs the metal casting world. An immediate area of disruption that comes to mind is the reduction in price of information and communications technology (ICT). Already it has created cost-effective incentives for employers to replace labor with ICT capital. The tasks that ICT are able to perform ultimately depend on the ability of a programmer to write a set of procedures or rules that appropriately direct the technology in all contingencies. It’s easy to have a vision of a robotic workforce. This trend is already being exhibited in many manufacturing procedures. However, for many years to come we will still need the benefits of human perception, creative and social intelligence tasks. It’s like a dance step – timing is important. As we move further into the twenty first century industrial robots will increase in population and decrease in cost. They will have more enhanced sensors and manipulators enabling them to perform routine tasks. This also translates into the computerisation of logistics, to the increasing cost effectiveness of the highly instrumented and computerised automotive, aviation and maritime manufacturing industries – which all need metal castings. It is clear that this steady flow of automation from the 20th century has lead to and will continue the hollowing out of middle-income jobs. It will further replace low skill and low wage occupations. The foundry industry has experienced some difficulty in presenting the automotive manufacturing sector as attractive. With the fast moving world of manufacturing technologies, the image of the industry has the potential to be seen as a positive challenge for highly aspirational professionals. There is a relentless effort to continue improving the performance of vehicle development through research in manufacturing systems, tooling, and new technologies. There is a new push towards reshoring, bringing the manufacturing operation back to its country of origin, to be closer to the end user. This trend will be interesting to watch as the US ran down their stock of skilled workers to send their manufacturing off shore. It is another part of the fast paced world – the dizzying rate of change. Barbara Cail Managing Editor Barbara Cail EdITOrIAL L 8 www.metals.rala.com.au cONTRiBUTORs JOHN HERMEs D. BAUTisTA PMAi Technical consultant DR.P.c.MAiTY Metal casting and Materials Engineer JEff f. MEREDiTH casting solutions Pty Ltd DANiEL ALLEN Based in London and Beijing, award- winning writer and photographer Daniel Allen has journeyed widely across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. His work has featured in numerous publications, including the Guardian, National Geographic, Discovery channel magazine, Geographical, Esquire and cNN Traveller. JAcK fROsT After achieving first class honours in his Bachelor of Applied science in Mechanical Engineering degree, Jack began his career in the foundry industry, working in canada, Australia and italy. A short United Nations assignment for Zambia Railways foundry took him to Africa. Now in semi-retirement he is working on new foundries in Norway and Peru. PROfEssOR B RAVi Dr. B . Ravi is an institute chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering at indian institute of Technology Bombay, where he joined in 1992 after completing his Masters and PhD at indian institute of science, Bangalore. He is well known for his contributions in casting design and simulation through 220 technical papers, 55 professional training programmes, and over 100 invited talks. JOHN PEARcE Metals specialist, MTEc National Metals and Materials Technology centre, Thailand sAM HALL Based in sydney, sam Hall is a motoring writer for fairfax Media’s Drive team. He has covered with great interest the recent manufacturing closure announcements made by ford, Holden and Toyota. Quality analysis is essential to your metals. The Thermo ScientificTM ARL iSparkTM is the most advanced OES spectrometer series packed with power, performance and reliability. Combining best of both enhanced technologies – CCD and PMT – it fully embraces the virtues of optical emission. Superior performance to detect C, N, O and critical traces down to ppm with highest precision and accuracy. Improved method to determine micro-inclusions. Indeed, ARL iSpark series is the solution to produce reliable quality metals, hence improve your productivity and profitability. innovative OES for quality metals • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.thermoscientific.com/ispark Thermo Scientific ARL iSpark OES Spectrometers ©2014ThermoFisherScientificInc.Allrightsreserved.AlltrademarksarethepropertyofThermoFisherScientificanditssubsidiaries.