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EDITORIAL


Two Opportunities to Shape Your Future O


ur metalcasting industry is in a unique position. Demand for metal castings is increasing at a healthy rate (our forecast-


ing model predicts appoximately 10% growth per year over the next two to three years). Many of our customers are figuring out that the low-cost global sources that were the answer the last 10 years are not providing the expected consistency in quality or total cost for engineered cast components. And the recession from which we are emerging stripped approximately 5% of supply capacity (in tons) from the U.S. Tis puts your metalcasting facility in an envi- able position with current and potential customers as they have fewer sources from which to choose. In reality, our current capacity could be filled in the next two years (certain niches are already filled). With this demand-supply relationship, your facility should recoup its losses from the last few years and rebuild your nest egg for the future. But then what? When our customers run out of


capacity to turn to (and the capacity shortage issue may be global), what are we going to do to help them? In the 2011-12


Supplier Prospectus supplement you received with this issue of MODERN CASTING, the article “Sales Up, Materials Down: How Market Conditions Will Affect Purchasing in 2011” on p. 2 states that 33% of metalcasting executives polled in a recent sur- vey will make signifi- cant capital improve- ments to their facilities this year, and 58% will make upgrades that will lead to increased capacity. Honestly, I thought these percentages would be greater, particularly for improvements to increase capacity. While I am sure our facilities have streamlined


use of mechanization and automation technologies and our rate of technology adoption still isn’t on par with that of other manufacturing industries. In the next two months, you have at


“Look at your facility, determine where your


greatest inefficiencies are, and call one or several of the suppliers to see how they can help.”


least two opportunities to start down a path to change that trend in your cast- ing facility. Te first opportunity is to utilize the Prospectus that was sent with this issue of MODERN CASTING. Tis supplement contains profiles of more than 40 suppliers. Look at your facility, deter- mine where your greatest in- efficiencies are, and call one or several of the suppliers to see how they can help. Maybe it’s an equipment solution. Or maybe it’s a new process development or raw material upgrade. Te second opportunity is next month’s GIFA trade show in Dusseldorf, Germany, from June 28-July 2, where 60,000 attendees and more than 700 exhibi- tors from across the globe will gather for the first time in four years. I do not like to use this page to promote, but I am a firm believer that the future of metalcasting is on display at GIFA, and the minds that will make that future attend the show. Your firm must know what technologies, processes and services are shap- ing the global metal- casting industry. My challenge to you is that your firm must


take advantage of these two opportunities. Te next few years appear to be good ones for metalcasting. Why not make them spectacular?


significantly during the recession, was this improve- ment geared more toward manpower or through- put efficiency? Based on what I see in the casting facilities I visit, plenty of opportunities to increase efficiencies, improve product flow and ultimately increase capacity exist. While our casting operations are some of the most productive in the world, our


Alfred T. Spada, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief


If you have any comments about this editorial or any other item that appears in MODERN CASTING, email me at aspada@afsinc.org.


May 2011 MODERN CASTING | 7


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