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Metal Casting Technologies : September 2006
www.metals.rala.com.au 24 Waste minimisation The effectiveness of waste minimisation and handling and disposal of waste tends to be process- and sector-- dependent. For sectors utilising sand in molding, and core making, there tends to be little waste. The automotive components sector for example, largely reclaims and recycles the sand, which tends to be expensive. This is in part, due to limited supply and attendant transportation costs. Waste generated by melting is usually left in the hands of local officials with the State Environmental Protection Authority or other state approved contractor. Many foreign joint venture partners have the Chinese partner handle this responsibility, and generally accept Chinese partner's recommendations. In terms of emissions control, and low emissions technology, many foreign joint ventures, if they do use the technology, do so mostly in melting operations. Among the available technology, the Japanese systems are available and generally known. But, it appears that at least for some foreign joint venture foundries, and quite a number more of the second and third tier Chinese foundries, less stringent environmental safety standards seem to facilitate a more relaxed attitude among these firms toward employment of low emissions technology. Challenges Numerous issues face the Chinese foundry industry for 2007. Beyond the immediate matter of keeping up with supply, the majority view is that environmental protection is a major concern. It might be concluded that in the face of severe water, air and land degradation, there is the concern in the industry for the cost of implementing measures such as low emissions control. This presents the industry, especially the foreign joint ventures, a double-edged sword. Not known among the general public as being a 'clean' industry, the government has officially noted increased unrest among the population related to environmental degradation. The government is now forced to deal with the issues of an almost 30-year unbridled development-at-all-costs approach, but its manner in dealing with popular protests is increasingly being called into question, both locally and internationally. The government, for its part, is perhaps being simply forced to act. Historically, and politically, it has strived to uplift the masses from poverty and to provide a higher standard of living. It has achieved much by way of display of a combination of savvy in obtaining an application of technological know-how, brute will, and manpower, and it is recognised for its achievements. But, it now realises, like many governments internationally, that its AsianFoundryOverview