Foundries should collaborate with research and development agencies and make available technologies to the units in the MSME sector, said Sanjay Jayavarthanavelu, deputy chairman, CII - Southern region.
At the inaugural of the two-day foundry conclave organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the Institute of Indian Foundrymen here on Friday, Mr. Jayavarthanavelu said that in any manufacturing industry, the importance of castings was well known. It was a feeder industry to the major manufacturing sectors. Most of the developed and emerging world economies depend on the stability of the foundry sector to further the nation's growth. So it was important to focus on the technological growth of the foundries.
Indian foundries have a 10 % share in the global sector, both in volume and value. As there was a trend of supply chain consolidation globally, foundries in India would have to benefit from the castings value chain and become proprietory product suppliers. The challenges lie in infrastructure, skill, pricing, etc. Further, disruptive technologies such as electric vehicles would pose a significant risk to the foundries. But, it would also force the industry into innovation in casting design and production process.
Mr. Jayavarathanavelu elaborated on the technologies that the foundries can adopt. “Innovation and technology upgradation are a continuous process. Readily available technologies from overseas cannot be directly adopted here. They have to be innovated and customised to suit the requirements of the foundry units in India. The industry here should also adopt new age best practices," he said.
N. Muthukumar, chairman of CII Karnataka State Council, said about 550 foundries in Coimbatore served as the backbone for the pump, motor, wet grinder, and automotive component industries here. The foundries produced 1.3 million tonnes of castings a year, contributing to 14 % of the casting production in the country. The Indian foundry industry was the third biggest globally, with more than 10 million tonnes of production in the ferrous and non ferrous segments. The manufacturing policy of the government envisages increase in share of manufacturing to 25 % of the GDP from the current 15 %. Since the engineering and other sectors use metal castings, the role of this industry in the growth of the manufacturing sector was vital.
M. Ramesh, chairman of CII- Coimbatore zone, said the two-day conference had discussions on topics of general interest on the first day. On Saturday, there would be three parallel sessions on iron, steel, and aluminium castings.
Shashi Kumar Jain, president of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen, also spoke.