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Metal Casting Technologies : December 2006
Going Green s we put the finishing touches on another year, it's always a good time to reflect on where we have been and where we are going. The year 2006 saw a general slow down for the foundry industry in the region. In Southeast Asia, the buzz has toned down slightly. In Australia, the trend has been more significantly downward. I have not been able to really discern a slow down per se in China and India but I think we have now come to the point where a slow down in those places would be considered to be a major disaster for the casting market in general. I am of the opinion that this slow down is not particularly out of the ordinary, as the foundry industry has traditionally been one of great ups and correspondingly huge downs over time. We seemed to have a few good years recently, and now will have to turn our efforts to growing market shares and taking care of those other important issues that are not so easily addressed during the boom times. Such as going green . . . A large part of the focus of this issue of MCT is on exactly that, and there is now no better time to begin to address the green issues that we are all facing: operating a more environmentally friendly foundry and figuring out what to do with our foundry wastes. If you have already addressed the situation, and taken the steps to fix things up, congratulations. If you are in the middle of taking care of everything, keep it up. If you have not even made the first move yet, what's holding you back? Sooner or later everyone will have to face the music, and either make things right or close up shop. Harsh, but true. Unfortunately, improving the environmental aspects of a foundry is not an easy thing. That placement into the 'too hard' file is what will cause increased headaches down the track. Australian foundrymen may note what they perceive as an uneven playing field by comparison with their Asian neighbours. This comparison will have to change as Asian foundries are now on notice to clean up their act. On a recent visit to Malaysia, I visited a foundry in Kuantan where I was grilled about waste disposal. This foundry is now at the point where they have to start getting permits to dump spent chemical EDITORIAL Ken Foulke A ELIUS LEVIN is a native-born Australian business journalist who has lived in China for 12 years. He has worked as an editor and writer throughout the past 20+ years, and professionally since 1989. GORDON FELLER writes regularly about the metals industry. He is based in China and travels throughout Asia PROF. JOHN H. D. BAUTISTA PMAI Technical Consultant DR PC MAITY Professor in the Foundry Technology Department of the National Institute of Foundry and Forge Technology in Ranchi India DR JOHN PEARCE Metals Specialist, MTEC National Metals and Materials Technology Centre, Thailand JEFF F. MEREDITH Casting Solutions Pty Ltd CONTRIBUTORS METAL Casting Technologies December 2006 4