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Metal Casting Technologies : Whos who September 2011
18 www.metals.rala.com.au will reduce, as the business model will change from captive type castings consumption to independent profit driven enterprises with greater emphasis on environment and natural resource conservation. This will lead to actual number of casting foundries reduction thereby leading to mergers and joint management of key strategic groups under government bodies for automotive, energy-turbine, diesel, railway, tractor, mining and pipe industries. Whilst the government will continue to attract FDIs in manufacturing industries so will be the resultant inflow of investments in the foundry sectors -- already multinational and homegrown castings groups have invested in green field sites for tonnage matching the western economy of scales - 120 to 200K tonnes per year. This large scale tonnage itself heralds a shift in productivity and manufacturing scale efficiencies. Industrial output may stabilize and restructure but the drive will be towards economy of scale, efficiencies and environment protection. Safety will be the priority for citizens, employees, employers and the government. Of the total US$210+ billion foreign direct investment in 2007- 2009 nearly 70% of the cash went into the manufacturing sector. This trend is expected to remain unchanged in the coming years but with a deliberate shift in value and energy efficient process development. Some examples being the R&D notable projects include -- Japanese -- Tsinguha University for Mg alloy smelting and castings, Rolls-Royce aircraft parts development, Microsoft, ICI, DuPont R&D centres, the plans from Toyota, Honda -- engine development centers, Airbus collaboration with China Aircraft industry for regional jet engine development, Kawasaki/ Mitsubishi investments in steel making research, casting simulation, pattern materials and high efficiency induction furnace melting equipment development. Inductotherm Asiapacifc R&D centred in Shanghai, Siemens, Mistsui and Fuji, GE investments in motors and parts of lower friction and therefore reduces energy losses. Motor industry design, parts and the related accessories will revolutionize the way we will develop future machines for human comforts, sports, leisure and healthcare industries. March towards greener and energy conserving -- smarter foundries? The casting industry evolution in China is on a progressive path which is positively molded with combined strengths of ambitious, multinational corporations, local and global entrepreneurs, local skill sets, disciplined labour and highly enthusiastic support from the Chinese Government. Although China's Government is making efforts to curb emissions, as evidenced by renewable and energy targets in its most recent five years plans, it has not yet demonstrated that it can meet the targets. It is estimated that by Year 2030 the total emissions in China will reach 9,600 million tonnes of CO2, 22% shred by the industry and 59% by power generation sectors. China accounts for: ● One third of the global crude steel output where the energy consumed is 20% more than the global average. The energy consumption is even more challenging in industrial goods. In this context we foundrymen will be much more crucial in delivering innovative components and machines that are smooth to run with, less wear, less weight and cleaner castings. ● Half of the global cement and glass production. Recycle, reuse as much as foundry and steel mill wastes as raw material inputs for these industries. ● Half of the urban building being built globally. The need is to build greener buildings that consume less heat to keep buildings warm during winter and take less energy to keep cool during summers. These requirements will revolutionize materials and process development of cast components for compressors, motors, pumps and couplings. ● China's annual per capital water supply is 25% below global average. By 2030 per capita supply is expected to fall from 2200 cu.m to less than 1,700 cu.m. In the northern region where the foundry and steel mill density is even higher, the water availability will be even more challenging at about 750 cu.m only. Therefore, again for us Foundrymen the need of the hour will be to develop casting processes and water management systems that will conserve water. Given the above factual challenges and the related initiatives from the local government the author has made an attempt to list a few concepts for mitigation of the risks and for a possible move towards value chain targets for the foundry industry in China. Business innovation ● The actual installed capacity already far exceeds the actual demand. Therefore avoid any new investments. Castings of similar type foundries may merge or collaborate for economies of scale and share and spread specific skill sets. Hence, the author is forecasting the actual reduction of number of foundries. Need upgrade in economy of scale and value chain investment. ● Redesign office and workshops to conserve energy - by design, by training and motivation. ● Rain harvesting and landscaping of foundries. ● Achieve higher selling prices by selling to OEM on performance yardsticks. Allocate adequate funds for R&D out of increased revenues.
Whos who September 2012