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Boom of the Indian Foundry Sector

Mumbai, 3 September,  2018 (GNS) : The Indian Foundry market that has been growing at the rate of 5 – 7 % for the last few years and is expected to grow at 13 – 14% in the coming years as manufacturing has been gradually picking up and several sectors have opened up new opportunities.

The more than $19 billion Indian foundry industry is looking to double growth rates. India is the world’s second-largest casting producer after China and ahead of USA, but revenue wise the value of castings produced in USA is approx 30 Billion USD as compared to USD 19 Billion in India, indicating that value addition is comparatively very low in India. While China accounts for 40% of the world’s 105 million tonnes casting production, the U.S. and India each do between 11 and 12 million tonnes per year.

The industry expects the growth from the emerging opportunities from the agriculture, infrastructure, water pipes, wind turbines, automotive, railways, defense and oil & gas sectors, which will drive the future of the industry and also help in employment generation.

India continues to be the second largest producer of castings in the world at around 11.35 million tonnes but the industry is faced with a downturn in growth rate as demand slackens. Growth in the sector has been stagnant for the past few years but thanks to new national projects in infrastructure and defense there’s optimism is in the air.

The country’s ‘Make in India’ campaign – which predicts India to become the fastest growing economy – will require the foundry industry to grow three-fold in the next ten years to cater for other sectors. The major challenges to achieve this are: lack of skilled manpower, good power supply at competitive rates, sand availability due to mining and environmental issues, and the short-term slowdown in demand which could hinder medium and longer term investment.

The foundry industry is not a sought after career choice and thus acquiring talent in this industry has been a challenge. The perception on the foundry industry has to change and the industry needs to be profitable to pay higher wages. Companies need to upgrade the technology and make their foundries clean, non-polluting, and provide worker-friendly environments. India also needs to upgrade its technology, processes and response time for development of new products to have larger share in the global market. Cost of fuel and power in India is almost double that in China, Germany and even Turkey. The government has to address this problem to make India internationally competitive.

The Institute of Indian Foundrymen (IIF) is apex National industry body for Indian Foundry Industry (Metal Castings Industry). IIF is an active member of World Foundry Organization, CII, EEPC, BRICS Foundry Forum, and Asia Foundry Forum & represents the Indian Foundry industry in various international events & forums. IIF was set up in 1950 to promote education, research, training and development to Indian Foundrymen and to serve as a nodal point of reference between the consumers and suppliers of the Indian foundry industry on a global scale. With its Headquarters in Kolkata, IIF presently services the entire country through its 26 Chapters in all major cities including Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.

IIF provides an excellent opportunity to domestic industry players from Equipment Manufacturers, Tools & Tackles Manufacturers, Material Suppliers, Technologists and Simulation Specialists come together on a single platform to exchange ideas, experiences and best practices in foundry management, discuss and deliberate on latest technologies and services of the industry, exposure to new business opportunities and influence policy change.

The newly appointed President of the IIF, Mr. Shashi Kumar Jain said, “The Indian foundry industry has a tremendous scope and opportunities as the foundation to any manufacturing begins from a foundry. India stands a distant second behind China in the global market. The arrival of MNCs has upped the ante for technological upgradation in the domestic market to match the industry standards.  The Indian foundry industry faces severe shortage of manpower as it remains far from the top picks of the Indian youth. During the Foundry Development Council meeting one of the major decisions taken by Chairman, Foundry Development Council (Secretary DIPP) was formulation of Industrial Policy specific to Foundry Sector to promote sustainable growth for which, IIF shall submit proposed draft Policy to DIPP for its consideration.

The president of IIF continued to stress on the lack of manpower in the sector and summed up that the current growth of the industry could only be accredited to the ancillary growth.

As the competitors around the globe fight to stay successful, there is a strong need to add value and be a supplier of choice through innovation and maintaining flexibility whilst remaining efficient and competitive. The foundries producing components with a high knowledge content and skill base that are difficult to copy will continue to prosper and even those which invest in both technology and people will also set themselves apart. It will also be necessary to increase the numbers of highly skilled employees who can drive the company in new directions with greater ability.

Lighter weighing castings with a longer life span has continued to focus the mind of designers and cast metals engineers of the foundry industry, in all parts of the world. Pursuing this objective would require a continued high level of R&D expenditure and improved dialogue between practical foundry personnel, design engineers and OEM representatives at as early an opportunity that is possible in the concept stage.

The time of being just a reliable supplier is a thing of past. The consumers want much more now and foundries that embrace new ideas and concepts will be the ones that ensure the global foundry industry remains a crucial part of the supply chain with a prosperous future for many decades to come.” The President concluded. ENDS