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ITALIAN TECHNOLOGY FOR THE FOUNDRY INDUSTRY ON SHOW AT IFEX INDIA 2009
Italian manufacturers of machinery for the foundry industry will again take part at this year’s edition of Ifex India , one of the most important international trade fairs specifically for this sector. The event will take place in Calcutta from February 13th – 15th 2009 and ICE (the Italian Trade Commission) has organized a joint participation in collaboration with the Amafond organization. Participating at this event is vitally important for at least three reasons. India is the third largest market for the foundry sector after China and the United States: in recent years it has witnessed a rise in imports exceeding in percentage terms that of any other world economy. Also, the approximately 4,500 Indian companies in this sector, which are all small to medium size, are turning to foreign manufacturers to provide them with the technology to rebuild and modernize their outdated production lines.
In 2007 (the latest figures available) Italian exports to India of foundry machinery and equipment were worth about 57 million Euros: 94% up on the previous year. The sheer quantity of Italian exports underlines the extremely strong growth in this sector, propelled by the rapid development of the automotive industry, a market worth anything between 650 and 700 billion dollars. The number of participants in the Ifex event clearly demonstrates the growing interest which draws together foundry machine manufacturers with operators in the sector. When the Ifex India event was held in Chennai in 2008 there were 220 exhibitors from 13 nations. The previous year there were 142. This represents a 55% increase in only one year.
There are about 140 Italian companies operating in this field, offering this expanding sector a specialized range of products. These fall into four categories: systems and machinery, pressure die-casting, fusion and thermal treatment furnaces, products and components. The majority of these companies are concentrated in the area of Brescia, in Lombardy. For example, here can be found some of the world’s leading companies in the manufacture of machinery, systems, equipment and accessories for aluminium extrusion; from presses and systems for conveying profiles, to matrixes and thermal treatment and ladle furnaces. The situation is similar for the die-casting industry. Here again Italy is a world leader and Brescia a centre of excellence in this technological and productive sector with a firmly-established production system ranging from the manufacture of die-casting machines (in which Italy holds about 65% of the world market) to moulds, foundry equipment, alloy production and automation systems.
Aluminium extrusion and die-casting machinery and systems are just two examples of the very high quality associated with the Italian manufacture of foundry machinery. It is an industry with strong connections to key sectors like the automobile and energy industries and now has worldwide recognition thanks to the achievements over the years of both the major companies and the many flexible, dynamic small to medium-size businesses operating in the field. In particular, end users recognize that Italian-made machines and systems offer high added value and, moreover, are constantly being updated.
These attributes have enabled Italian manufacturers to gain more and more ground on the international market. In a sector with a turnover of about 1,450 million Euros in 2007, exports accounted for 60% (the equivalent of about 840 million Euros). The European Union is the traditional export market, but in recent years Italian companies have been consolidating their penetration into the “new” economies, such as Russia, China and India, which have now become extremely important markets. At the same time, there are indications of good prospects in the emerging nations such as Ukraine, Turkey and Mexico.