This was CHINA DIECASTING 2019
Every year in July, Shanghai once again experienced an exceptional situation. For the 22nd time, exhibitors and visitors from all over the world met at the CHINA DIECASTING & CHINA NONFERROUS 2019.
This year's die casting fair was characterised by more than 450 exhibitors. In addition to the trade exhibition in 3 halls of SNIEC, parallel lectures and discussions on current and future topics took place.
For example, the German consultant Christian Heiselbetz showed in his presentation what innovation is and how it is transformed to the die casting industry. With his so-called “Phase Gate Model” he explains that the most important thing is “shaping instead of administrating”.
Shaping is also the keyword when it comes to new developments for electric mobility. If you believe Franz-Josef Wöstmann, electric mobility is the biggest game changer for die casters. The solution is casted salt cores in electric motor housings, says the department head for foundry technology and lightweight construction at the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology & Applied Materials Research. In the future, high pressure die casting (HPDC) will therefore be a good solution for electromobility.
Light Metal Magnesium as a Challenge
In his panel discussion, Jost Gaertner, Managing Partner at AluMag, shed light on the topics currently occupying the foundry industry. The results were quite controversial - especially when it came to the light metal magnesium. Wang Xuefeng, Foundry Expert of Vehicle Development at AIWAYS, sees great potential in Magnesium Shock Towers. Steffen Dekoj, Head of R&D Asia at GF Casting Solutions, sees things differently. In his opinion, automobile manufacturers primarily want to avoid the additional risk of corrosion problems by solving this through coating. New risks mean higher investments, so OEMs have little interest in Magnesium Shock Tower. Nevertheless, according to Bücker, magnesium can be used sensibly in the interior - not for seat frames, but rather for cross car beams. Heiselbetz expects the development of the market for structural components to be stable rather than increasing.
And how is the market for high and low pressure casting developing? Here, the participants agreed that sometimes low pressure casting is the cheaper alternative - even though China mainly uses HPDC. So you can't generalize and say "from high pressure to low pressure die casting". Whether foundries use LPDC or HPDC rather depends on the cooling channels. For electric vehicles and chassis parts LPDC could actually be more interesting.
It was also interesting that none of the participants could answer the question whether Thixocasting or Thixomoulding was an alternative. Neither GM nor GF Casting Solutions has investigations in this area so far.
Further Challenges for Die Casters
This year's CHINA DIECASTING showed that the industry is definitely changing and that every company along the value chain has to deal with different problems. Stefan Fritsche, CSO for Die Casting and Metal Forming at Yizumi, views internationalization and optimized customer support as his company's biggest challenges at the moment. Another buzzword is Industry 4.0, which IFAM is already working on. It is important that the use of Industry 4.0 makes sense for the user and the customer, only then is it true Industry 4.0, says Wöstmann.
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