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Asia Pacific Aluminium Conference

Alucast 2010 establishes new Bench Marks

The Aluminium Casters' Association of India had organised a three-day international conclave cum exposition ASIA PACIFIC ALUMNIUM CONFERENCE- ALUCAST 2010 at Chennai Trade Centre, Nandambakkam in Tamil Nadu from 3rd to 5th December 2010.

While speaking to the media, Mr. Prasan Firodia, President of Aluminium Casters' Association of India and Managing Director of Force Motors said: "Since its inception way back in 1995, Alucast has been focusing on providing services to the aluminium casting industry by organising training programmes and annual conferences. Over the years, the aluminium casting industry has grown phenomenally and so have its needs. To meet the increased needs effectively and in a more professional manner, Alucast is now registered as 'Aluminium Casters' Association of India'. The association has a slew of big names as corporate life members including ASK, Buhler, Sunbeam Auto Private Limited, ZPF Therm; Tata Motors, Bagla, Endurance, Godrej, Maruti Suzuki, Amtek, Castall, Mico, Subros India, Mas Die Casting and more." He also assured all out efforts would be made to make the ALUCAST association one of international repute.

ALUCAST 2010 Organising Committee Chairman, Mr. Prataprao Pawar, Chairman & Managing Director, Ajay Metachem Sud Chemie Pvt Ltd., in his speech listed the objectives of the conference and said ALUCAST 2010 had attracted over 100 exhibitors and 250 delegates across the country and more than 30 overseas firms and 120 Indian players will be showcasing their products at the event.

He went on to say, that we expect to attract more than 2000 visitors to the exhibition. During the conference 22 papers will be presented by Indian and Overseas authors. ALUCAST has also organised a Buyer-Seller meet where over 40 participants will be participating.

Mr. L. Lakshman, Chairman, Rane Holdings Limited, in his inaugural address thanked the organisers for inviting him to be chief guest. He said that though the Rane group was a user of die castings and also had recently acquired a die casting company, he was not in a position to offer too many words of advice. He would however approach the subject from a macro point.

He defined globalisation as a process of interaction and integration among the people, companies and governments of different nations. There are he said, many for and against globalisation. However, he said, globalisation has most certainly resulted in huge transfer of knowledge, increased trade and investments. It was his personal opinion that globalisation can be beneficial but requires intelligent management so that poorer nations do not get saddled with the downsides.

Speaking of the economic downturn that has affected the western world, he continued this wa due to excessive consumption financed by debt and policy environments that supported the view that the financial sector is an end rather than a means for prosperity. This has resulted in tremendous opportunities for countries such as India & China.

Comparing China & India, from what one sees manufacturing content in GDP of China is 45% against 25% of India. The Chinese policy makers seem equally focused on today and the future.

They have created a climate that is created for innovation and given great importance to protecting intellectual property. As an example, the number of patents filed in China in August '10 exceeded those filed by China.

It would appear that China has stolen a march over India, as witnessed by the fact that India's part in the world trade is a mere 1.6&% as compared to China's 8.4%.

The Indian economy has survived the global downturn admirably. India's orthodox policies and Indian enterprise has kept the pace of growth at 8 to 9 % and it appears that this will be sustained. We however have to maintain this growth with low inflation.

Toady due to the success of the IT sector and many industrial sectors, Indian capability has come to be admires and our potential sought out not merely as a low cost supplier but also a solution provider.

The Indian industry's strong customer quality orientation, low cast manufacturing mind set and ability to learn and adopt modern manufacturing methods are the strong points in our favour.  Building on our entrepreneurship and learning abilities will open up many more opportunities to export to the west and the east.

While this would present a rosy picture we should also look at our vulnerabilities. These are low productivity, low use of IT for both business and engineering amongst others. One of the  areas that require attention in our industry is tool making a skill that will be increasingly challenged.

The die-casting industry being capital intensive, TPM, zero breakdowns and quick die changeovers will be of increasing importance. Spiralling wage costs in both white and blue collar jobs will be another challenge. These challenges can only be countered by increased productivity.

Poor infrastructure will also be a problem to be faced, at least for the near future. Though the issues are being tackled, it is bound to take some time for the position to improve. Exchange rate is another difficult to contend with.

He closed the address on a positive note by suggesting that exciting opportunities lay ahead. He said that we should question ourselves about, the global risk we would like to take and thus the volume of our exports. Are we confident about continually improving our competitiveness?

Are we willing to brave the frustration arising from poor infrastructure? These issues are to be addressed by every individual and his company.

Successful business models will as ever be simple - understanding the customer requirements well, flexibility in production equipments and above all a well educated and highly motivated work force.

He ended by wishing everyone the very best in their endeavours.

The H. K. Firodia Life Time Achievement award for the year 2010, was awarded to Dr. Abhay Firodia, Chairman, Force Motors, Pune.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Mr. Achim Klotz. President, Buhler Druckguss, AG Switzerland, who in his address appreciated the efforts made by the association to put up the exhibition in a grand scale and manner, and also predicted a bright future for the Aluminium casting industry all over the world and particularly to India.

Mr. R.T. Kulkarni Secretary, ACAI proposed the vote of thanks and wished that the event be fruitful to all the participants.


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