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Foundry Daily News

12. February 2008

Foundries urged to be innovative to deal with challenges

“We have to bring in technology for scrap recovery”

CHENNAI (India) -  R. Seshasayee, Managing Director, Ashok Leyland, and past president of the Confederation of Indian Industry, on Thursday asked the Indian foundrymen to deal with the four vital challenges through innovation.

Inaugurating the 68th World Foundry Congress and 56th Indian Foundry Congress, he said the Indian foundry sector was largely affected by rising energy cost, increase in input cost, attrition and shortage of new materials.

To overcome these problems, he suggested that the competitors come together to build an ecosystem.

According to him, energy, and not water, would be the cause of future conflicts all over the world. Only a few countries had looked at energy costs as a competitive tool. The lack of a policy framework in India had affected those operating in the country. The Institute of Indian Foundrymen (IIF) should find ways and means of cutting energy costs.

“When you are handicapped, innovation takes place. The Indian foundry industry will find innovative methods to drastically cut energy costs. At the same time, input costs are going up, and there is a tremendous pressure on the casting sector to curtail it. We have to bring in technology for scrap recovery. The onus should be on the part of the waste generating industry and the foundry industry. There is a great opportunity for them to come together for organic recovery of waste material at affordable costs,” he said.

As for manpower shortage, he said the manufacturing industry remained flat-footed in attracting talent. “We have to constantly create excitement to retain them. At Ashok Leyland, we have a Fun Officer who will create excitement all the time. Our tagline reads thus: ‘We have passion for engineering’.”

IIF president V. Mahadevan said the institute acted as a link between the organised customers (the automobile sector) and the unorganised suppliers. Therefore, the challenge before it was to make huge investments to modernise the waste suppliers and help them comply with environmental requirements.

“The demand for casting, and tremendous opportunity associated with it, will put pressure on the casting sector. We have to invest in the future to reach 10 million tonnes in production of total castings. This calls for additional investment of $1 billion,” he said.

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