The 10th International Technical Foundry Forum took place on October 27 and 28 at the Bilbao Exhibition Center. Taking as its motto "Future, attractive and sustainable", the technical program focused on some of the latest technological innovations for iron and aluminum casting. The HA Group actively supported this year's forum with HA Ilarduya being a Gold Sponsor of the event. HA product manager Holger Barth gave an update on developments in additive manufacturing, presented new developments of inorganic, low-emission binders for this production process.
The foundry industry is facing major challenges due to the transformation of the automotive industry, rising energy and raw material costs, and general supply shortages that are also affecting other industrial sectors. Its greatest asset, the 10th International Technical Foundry Forum found, is also the key to remaining efficient and competitive: Innovative strength.
Andrew Turner, Secretary General of the World Foundry Organization, said, "We should not be surprised by the rapid and profound impact that external events have on our industry. If we've learned anything in recent years, it's that we need to be dynamic and adapt to an ever-changing environment."
Similarly, Andrew Turner reinforced the idea that "we should be proud of an industry that continues to play a strategic role in economic and social development around the world, currently generating nearly $200,000 million in revenue, which is expected to grow to $250,000 million by 2026, making us a growing industry."
Contributions at the forum also focused on the future of foundries, for which the training of skilled workers and young talent plays an important role. It is important to take advantage of international synergies for the continuous development of skilled workers and the training of new employees, he said. The industry needs to develop a more attractive image in order to be able to attract enough qualified specialists in the future.
A platform for presenting the latest technical innovations
For example, the AZTERLAN Metallurgical Research Center presented the development of new tools for process optimization and prediction of component defects based on metal quality and the state of critical process parameters in real time. Casting, he said, is a complex process that involves a large number of parameters with great variability.
Although the automotive sector relies heavily on aluminum and light alloys, the metal that is experiencing the most growth in the automotive industry is steel, he said. With this in mind, an important conclusion of the event was that it is just as important to innovate and drive new developments as it is to recognize which technologies and ideas will last and which ones can be relied upon.
In line with the theme of the conference and the trends shaping the market, the issue of sustainability was an important point in the new developments presented at the Foundry Forum.
Updates from the field of additive manufacturing
The Foundry Forum also offered information on new developments and applications, such as additive manufacturing.
Holger Barth, HA's product manager for additive manufacturing, said, "We are certain that additive manufacturing and 3D printing will have significant market penetration in both the casting process and the post-processing of molten components." In this context, Holger Barth presented the new inorganic, low-emission binder systems for additive manufacturing and 3D printing developed by HA - another important milestone on the way to more sustainable production processes.
At the end of the event, the participants drew a positive conclusion:
The forum is an important platform for industry experts to exchange innovations and new ideas internationally and to jointly develop strategies for the challenges ahead.
David Zorita Leza, General Manager & CEO HA Ilarduya, the main sponsor of the Forum, summarizes a successful event:
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