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Metal Casting Technologies : September 2006
22 www.metals.rala.com.au Regional development Furthering the growth 'equation' is the manifestation of the development of new sites. New greenfield sites have been reported for at least one major Asian automotive manufacturer, Hyundai, in northern China, and a major European truck manufacturer, Iveco, in Nanjing, near Shanghai. As well, automobile manufacturers such as Volkswagen, along with other metal casting foundries in the shipping, aerospace, central airconditioning, petrochemical sectors have set up new plants Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Shandong regions. Subsequently, they have spread to Jiangxi, Anhui and Shandong provinces, or those areas which comprise the Changjiang (orYangtze) Economic Valley. Other sites reported around or near Shanghai include Songjiang, Kunshan, Changzhou and Ningbo Wujiang, in Anji, Jiangsu Province, has been tipped for development within the next few years, pending completion of a new major highway. Health and safety Overall, major industry injuries decreased considerably over 2006, with almost no major injuries being reported. However, this result was as much an effect of the decline in the total number of plants, as well as improved work processes with the use of TPM -- Total Productivity Maintenance. This has reportedly removed repetitive movements and resultant injuries by as much as 30-40%. Injuries may have declined also as foreign firms appear to be more likely to provide relevant safety equipment in the form of hard hats, gloves, ear plugs, protective eye glasses, and protective shoes. It is recognised that there are different -- some say widely different -- levels of safety compliance and enforcement existing between foreign or joint venture foundries and state-owned foundries. This has as much to do with the sector, as well as the on-site configuration of the facilities. On the legal front, while Chinese legislation is not yet as stringent as either Australian or European legislation, it is moving rapidly to reach international standards. The relevant authorities appear to be paying increasing attention to workplace health and safety. Impetus is added with Wal-Mart management's recently announced agreement for unionization of its Chinese workforce after a long, hard contest. This is expected to have a knock-on effect throughout industry generally. While the strength and effectiveness of the Chinese union movement is questioned, it is fair to conclude that in 2007 increased impetus will be given by the relevant local authorities to health and safety issues among foreign joint venture foundries - most especially where serious injury or death result. Cylinder blocks moulding station. Core set operations. AsianFoundryOverview