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Metal Casting Technologies : September 2007
2007 OVERVIEW AsianFoundry "Demand from foreign customers (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, USA, Europe) is bigger mainly because they want to have an alternative for their Chinese suppliers that boost local foundries to invest more on new factories, production expansion and new technology in metallurgy, moulding." The industry associations representing the metal casting industries in Vietnam have research institutes, universities and government foundries among their members. "Private and foreign foundries, which I expect to be the change agents in Vietnam foundries in the next three to five years, are not yet interested in being associations' member," said Le Thanh Thao. She believes the next 12 months will see growing interest in the foundry industry. "There will be more local foundries expanding and using more modern equipment (induction furnace, furan No-bake moulding, green sand moulding) and making higher quality casting in ductile iron and stainless steel. Also more foreign foundries from Japan, Taiwan, South Korea will establish their factories in Vietnam. And more big clients will start outsourcing from Vietnam." The challenges for this growing industry include improvements in product quality and better processes, along with investment capital, marketing, production management and quality control. Editor of MCT magazine, Ken Foulke, was involved in the metal casting industry in China in the 1980's and 90's and likens Vietnam's rise to that of its northern neighbour. "I see a lot of similarities in Vietnam...I have a lot of time for the people up there and the industry...one of their major problems is the language barrier." The chairman of the Vietnam Steel, Casting and Metallurgy Association, Pham Chi Cuong, said in an article that appeared in the Vietnam News, by Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times), "The reason that Vietnam's casting industry is under-developed is that the industry is only a sub-industry. The casting sector has to base its growth on other industries such as engineering, automobile manufacturing and ship making, and these sectors will create the impetus for the casting industry to develop." "I think we need to have a casting industry that specialises in serving domestic industry and exports, because Vietnam has the technology, skills, materials and a large market from key industries," reportedly said Pham Chi Cuong. The Vietnamese Government issued, a few years ago, a mechanical engineering program and plans for key industries such as steel making and car manufacturing. It is expected that by 2010, this sector will supply 50 per cent of the mechanical products to meet the country's demand, and export 30 per cent of its total products. "Obviously, when the program operates effectively, the casting industry will also develop because the industry has to serve these other industries. Besides, as we are required to gain a high localisation rate for projects like manufacturing cars and motorbikes, high-quality cast products are needed. This is a wonderful opportunity for the casting industry," reportedly said Pham Chi Cuong. SRI LANKA By Paula Wallace, Associate Editor MCT The Foundry Industry is an important feeder industry for the engineering product sector in that it supplies parts and spares for machinery, equipment and tools etc. In addition to supply of vital components of various engineering products to tea & rubber industries, it also supplies a wide range of directly exportable metal products. Although mainly catering to the local market it has a high export potential. The industry at present exports few foundry products. Further it indirectly contributes to exports by supplying components to industries such as tea, rubber etc. The development of the foundry industry is of great importance to the engineering sector. The Foundry Development & Services Institute (FDSI) has been established and is owned, run and operated by the private sector foundry industry in Sri Lanka. The FDSI efforts are aimed at improving the productivity; quality and the market share of the foundry sub-sector and upgrading the foundry industry so that castings to international specifications could be produced. Although the membership of FDSI is more than 50 companies, at present there are about 25 companies in operation. The available capacity of annual production is about 100,000 tonnes, at present the maximum utilization is around 20.000 tonnes. Hence the industry uses only 20% of its capacity. The engineering products sector in Sri Lanka consists of over 1000 manufacturing units which includes small & medium sized manufacturing units and the export oriented Capacty Large scale 6 <01Tonne & above Medium Scale 8-10 101kg<01Tonne Small Scale 9-11 10kg < 100kg The present structure of the foundry industry is as follows: www.metals.rala.com.au 52