When Slovenian Foundry Societies President Mirjam Jan-Blazic opened the 58th IFC in Portoroz, almost 250 participants from 15 countries were looking forward to 33 papers being presented in the conference program.
The conference motto, “Advanced Technologies with a Future for Foundries”, was emphasized by keynote speakers like Mr. Heiko Lickfett (BDG), Prof. Peter Schumacher (ÖGI), Prof. Aloiz Krizman, J. Campell, Dr. Konrad Weiss, and others. Also present were Dipl.Ing. Gerhard Schindelbacher, Prof. Dr. Reinhard Döpp, Erich Nechtelberger, Adolf Kerbel, Hajas Gergely, Prof.Dr. Zdenka Zovko Brodarac, and the President of the World Foundry Organization, Mr. Mark Fenyes.
The current status of the German Foundry industry
German BDG´s business economist, Heiko Lickfett, gave a remarkable speech for the current situation concerning the German foundry industry – Current status and some serious issues regarding outlooks.
He referred to brilliant figures in the German industry, with growth for iron and steel castings, and stability in the non-ferrous sector - meaning a capacity utilization of almost 90% in German foundries in the 3rd quarter of 2018.
The incoming orders for iron castings are still high, while steel is positive, but with an unbroken high volatility. As light metal castings are very closely connected to the automotive industry, the business climate in Germany in August 2018 is driven by Twitter and political uncertainties.
Current Perspective for the foundries:
The US market is weak, Europe gets positive impulses from Southern Europe and NC, while Germany and the UK are weak. Russia and South Africa see some recovery, and China is in front of the start in a new area of e-mobility.
2018 has the chance to end with plus 5% after a dynamic start of recovery in 2017. Especially strong areas include automation/robotics, rubber and plastic machinery, construction machinery, and paper machines. The mining and agricultural fields are recovering, and wind turbines are under pressure.
The never-ending story of overcapacities, hard price competition, structural changes, and something like the “Trump”-impact. In addition, nobody knows exactly what BREXIT will lead to in Europe and for the UK industry.
As every year, the Slovenian hosts provided an excellent program, and referred to the next year´s event: In September 2019, they will host not only the 59th IFC in Portoroz, but will also host the World Technical Forum (WTF by WFO). The foundry world can look forward to a great event at a unique and truly beautiful place on the Slovenian Adria.