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Development of Die Casting

Die Casting Foundries Undergo Radical Change

| Editor: Isabell Page

The past few years have been turbulent for foundries. From constantly growing requirements and fluctuating revenues. One of the main drivers of change is the automotive industry, as the most important customer of the casting industry.

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The past few years have been turbulent for foundries. From constantly growing requirements and fluctuating revenues. One of the main drivers of change is the automotive industry, as the most important customer of the casting industry.
The past few years have been turbulent for foundries. From constantly growing requirements and fluctuating revenues. One of the main drivers of change is the automotive industry, as the most important customer of the casting industry.
( Source: Pixabay / CC0 )

On the one hand, future projects of the automotive industry (e.g. electromobility) require enormous investments. Structural and lightweight design play crucial roles in the realization of these projects. Many lightweight components are already produced as prototypes in 3D printers. OEMs such as BMW or Mercedes-Benz are already using this technology to print spare parts.

On the other hand, the sales of new vehicles are starting to decline, partly due to the diesel scandal. Compared with the previous year, the share of new diesel-powered vehicles fell by more than 13 %1. Constant uncertainties and political discussions upset consumers and prevent them from buying new vehicles.

In addition, a new emission test standard for new passenger car registrations was initiated at the beginning of September this year. The so-called WLTP (World Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure) leads to some changes and challenges, which led to temporal shifts in important projects.

Foundries File for Insolvency

These changes present foundries with major challenges that not all companies have been able to master successfully. In 2018 alone, three German foundries filed for insolvency:

  • Alu-Druckguss GmbH
  • Auer Casting
  • Schweizer Group

Alu-Druckguss GmbH produces high-quality die cast aluminum parts using complex processes. Alu-Druckguss GmbH was forced to file for insolvency six years ago. A poor order situation in 2018 forced Alu-Druckguss GmbH back into insolvency.

Shortly afterwards, the automotive supplier Auer Guss also filed for insolvency. Excessively high one-off costs and investments in new products had a negative impact on earnings and forced the Amberger Gießerei to file for insolvency. A three-month restructuring plan is to get Auer Guss going again.2

In December 2018, the Schweizer Group was also hit. The automotive supplier also filed for insolvency under its own administration. Only last year, 100 employees were laid off in the course of the conversion from small die cast parts to larger structural components. One of the reasons for the insolvency application is the lack of funds for new projects.3

Literature

1) Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt, 2017

2) Scherr U., 2018, in BR24

3) Hattenhofen, 2018, in swp

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Johannes Messer – Consulting GmbH; Pixabay; NuernbergMesse / Frank Boxler; GF Casting; Newalu; Stefan Bausewein; GF Casting Solutions AG / ERIC SCHMID; Pexels; Bühler AG; Parare; Proto Labs; Klaus Vollrath; Exxentis; NuernbergMesse / Heiko Stahl; ArianeGroup Holding, Jürgen Dannenberg/ Alpensektor; Emag; NürnbergMesse; Bühler Group; Marposs