In search of positive signals in the foundry industry

AMAFOND Convention 2023: Sustainability and innovation in the foundry industry

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Thomas Fritsch, Chief Editor

As always, AMAFOND, the Italian Association of Foundry Industry Suppliers, invited 310 registered participants to its annual convention on the last Friday in November.

AMAFOND President Riccardo Ferrario welcomed the guests with his usual optimism, even with a clear view of the concerns and needs of the foundry industry in Italy,  in Europe and particularly in Germany. Ferrario pointed out that the environment between the transformation of the industry, inflation and various crises caused by wars, supply chain difficulties and raw material and energy price competition is still such that foundry production in Italy is on a good footing and that the positive sides and signals from the foundry industry must also be sought these days.

With interesting presentations on a variety of topics, the event provided a sophisticated overview that reflected the times in which we live.

The event thrives on a lively network and interesting presentations. While Ruggero Zambelli from the alloy specialist Raffmetall impressively demonstrated how important but difficult the path to producing climate-neutral raw materials is, the Brazilian Sergio Sgarbi, COO Gnutti Carlo Group, showed the challenges of an international foundry group and the famous Italian journalist and author Paolo Mieli fascinated the audience with his wealth of experience and the historian's independent view of our time and society.

Assofond President Fabio Zanardi then presented the latest figures for the Italian foundry industry, which are similar to the previous year in the first two quarters of 2023 but show a significant downturn in the third quarter.

Using the CAEF figures for the difference between 2018 and 2022 as an example, Zanardi then impressively demonstrated the shift in casting production in Europe:

2018 vs 2022 Casting Production CAEF Countries in Kton:

                                   Ferrous                       Non-Forrous

CAEF                          - 1,482 (-12%)              - 591 (-14%)

Italy                             - 202 (-16%)                 -47 (-5%)

Germany                     - 1,140 (-27%)              - 383 (-33%)

Turkey                        + 662 (+39%)                + 192 (+35%)

It is quite clear that, in addition to the familiar challenges, we are also dealing with shifts in the markets.

This was also confirmed by the Consul General of Mexico in Italy, Maria de los Angelos Arriola Aquirre, and the Executive CEO of the Mexican Association of Automotive Parts Manufacturers, Francesco N. Gonzáles Diaz. They were able to enthusiastically and proudly present the good production conditions that companies can find in Mexico. According to Gonzáles Diaz's documents, Mexico has been ranked 4th in the world for automotive parts production since 2021, after China, the USA and Japan, and ahead of Germany in 5th place.

As always, the event concluded with awards and honors for deserving entrepreneurs from the Italian foundry industry, before the participants were able to network over Italian cuisine and wine.

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