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Reflecting a technology focused industry

A dramatic change of image to reflect a more polarised industry and adjusting to appeal to the next generation is how the new Diecasting Society president sees the development of the organisation in the coming years.

Speaking exclusively to Foundry Trade Journal, Stuart Gregory explained how the DCS would accommodate a new breed of worker in the international diecasting sector. “The demographics have changed, people want different things now whether they are individual members or corporate members. We have to appeal to a completely new audience, many of whom have transitioned into our sector from the plastics industry and other engineering disciplines.”

For Gregory and his fellow DCS board members the primary focus is an online presence that matches their expectations. “The website is growing increasingly important and whilst networking is still a vital part of membership we have to accept the advantages of networking over social media as this is what today’s and tomorrow’s generation want to do. It is where they are comfortable and we have to get in touch with that.

“Traditionally our membership has been predominantly high pressure diecasters and the supply chain that supports that. Now we have different people, with differing perceptions working in our sector and they have influences from other disciplines. There is also a huge international impact with many of our corporate members being owned by international companies. Certainly most of our members will be working with a global customer base so the whole dynamics have changed.”

Such is the commitment to this “new way of thinking” that the DCS is currently undergoing a re-design of its website, due to launch later this year. This is all part of the Society’s desire to become more encompassing and, as Gregory explains: “Look to younger people and present ourselves in a different way.”

The new president is also keen to harness the skills and expertise of the existing diecasting sector to shape the future of the industry. “I would like those with years and years of experience in the diecasting sector to act as mentors to those new to the industry so we can pass on information and skills for the benefit of our industry.” One solution for this is the organising of a regular technical conference such as the event to be held in October in Solihull, UK. “Sometimes traditional social functions are less important to the new generation of engineers but ‘out of work’ activities are still an attractive option, if you organise the right activity they will engage. It’s also important to remember that there is a huge amount of knowledge in our Society that can be tapped into. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. there is bound to be someone at the Diecasting Society who can help and advise, but you have to join to be a part of this network of information.”

Gregory is the managing director of Petrofer UK, the technical co-ordinator Japanese business in Europe and a member of the Petrofer Group executive committee and as such he is well placed to guide the membership. “Petrofer has been a member of the Diecasting Society since 1994 and is in a fortunate position that we are active in fifty countries and a wide range of market sectors. As we cover a breadth of industrial processes, we can gain a good insight into how the industrial sector is changing and how the process chain is responding, so we get a wider view. This is vital for the Diecasting Society and its membership as we can’t stand still – so much is happening globally, we need to reach out to international businesses, work closer, and support our internal infrastructure such as the new Elite Centre for Manufacturing Skills in the UK. We are a technology focused industry and our Society must reflect this.”