Foundry suppliers, an important part of this industry’s value chain, do not remain oblivious to the evolution of Industry 4.0.
In recent years, the casting industry in Europe has experienced notable changes in the search for a good positioning in order to face present and future challenges. These changes range from the increase in automation and the collection and management of a huge amount of process data (Industry 4.0), additive manufacturing, through to the permanent improvement of costs and competitiveness in order to maintain its leadership over other regions with cheap labour.
With this in mind the Vesuvius Group and specifically Foseco, its foundry division, has undertaken an ambitious programme to improve its research and development centres and to concentrate its production requirements in order to take advantage of economies of scale and to maximise efficiency.
This programme began with the opening of its R & D centre in Enschede (Holland) at the end of 2014 and the remodelling and expansion of existing R & D centres in Borken (Germany) and Pitsburg (USA).
The second phase of this programme is the optimisation of the production centres, which involves the concentration of production in the largest and most efficient plants, in order to focus all technical and economic efforts, both in investments and specialised personnel. This will allow, not only containing the production costs, but above all to reach even higher levels of quality, reliability and consistency of the products.
The Foseco General Management is aware that in the next few years the company will not be manufacturing the same products as it currently does. As a result of investments and the effort of R & D centres, the launch of new products to the more complex market is expected, whose serial production will require greater specialisation and more automated and controlled production means. In short, Foseco is preparing to enter fully into Industry 4.0.
This ambitious programme contemplates that the European wet process production of sleeves and lining for steel ladles will be concentrated in the Borken plant (Germany) and that the European production of resins and paint coatings will be concentrated in the plants of Hengelo (Holland) and Igorre (Spain), significantly boosting these productive centres.
The company expresses the conviction that this is the way forward to maintain the leadership in the supply of products and services to the Foundry industry and, what is more important, to contribute to the increase of the competitiveness of its customers to face successfully the challenges of the sector.
For more information contact Foseco South Africa on TEL: 011 903 9500 or visit www.foseco.com