Symposium Conference - Casting of Chassis and Body Components
In early February the fourth symposium on the casting of chassis and body components took place in Germany. In addition to specialist presentations with a broad range of topics, the programme included a discussion round on the current challenges facing the industry.
New mobility concepts and the continuing trend towards digitalisation provided ample opportunity to bring together foundrymen and experts in chassis and body development as well as specialists and managers from the construction sector for a joint exchange of ideas. The event was organised by the VDI and is regarded as a central meeting point for industry members in the German-speaking area. Speakers from renowned automotive and die casting manufacturers as well as university speakers were among the participants. This covered a wide range of topics from e-mobility and lightweight construction to hybrid production process chains in casting.
What are the Most Challenging Topics?
As part of the program, participants discussed the relevance of lightweight design, the transformation of the foundryman from part manufacturer to first tier, alternative drive concepts and climatic aspects. With regard to lightweight design, the experts still see a high relevance. However, they see a trend away from aluminum as the main material towards a flexible material mix. Cost efficiency also plays an important role in this topic. What topics will foundries have to deal with in the future? The focus here is on operational excellence, long-term commitment and the balance between performance and demand. Just as important is know-how as a distinguishing feature, but at the same time creative potential for new products and business models must be shared. Looking to the future, the development of alternative drive systems also plays a central role. Especially with regard to hybrid vehicles, increasing, but also new casting volumes can be expected. The opening of technological boundaries could also offer potential for partnerships, for example cooperation with extrusion companies. In terms of climate, the experts see the need for greater use of secondary aluminum and the procurement of liquid metal. But here, too, cooperation in the form of collaboration along the entire value chain is necessary.
The conclusion: despite a large number of proposed solutions, there are still enough open questions and issues that are currently keeping the industry very busy. It is therefore foreseeable that the current developments will not be completed at the next conference and will still be of particular relevance in the future.