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Diecasters confidently looking to the future

The majority of German diecasters increased their sales and production in 2014 and 2015 and are confident of being able to continue this trend in 2016, says the German foundry society - Bundesverband der Deutschen Gießerei-Industrie eV (BDG).
In the first half of 2015 growth rates remained at the previous year’s level:
• Aluminium diecasting plus 4 per cent (to 305,000t)
• Magnesium diecasting minus 13 per cent (to 6,800t)
• Zinc diecasting plus 3.6 per cent (to 27,300t)
As a result, diecasting accounted for more than half the total volume of non-ferrous casting produced in Germany - a trend that has been evident for years. 
In terms of the diecasting market, vehicle manufacturing is assuming an ever more dominant role - its share is now 77 per cent. The remaining 23 per cent of diecasting production is distributed between a large number of various customer sectors. 
Due to the positive growth trend in the sector, in the last few years the investments - both for maintenance and servicing along with capacity expansion - were also between four and six per cent of the sales generated by a diecasting foundry. As a result, according to surveys conducted by the BDG, in the last four years, 65 per cent of the sector’s investment motives have been determined by replacement investments, whilst 25 per cent have conducted expansion investments. What is more interesting however are the diecasters’ plans for the next five years: 69 per cent of the sector assume there will be replacement investments and 26 per cent are planning expansion investments. The trust in the future is continuing unbroken.
This is surprising in view of the fact that the sector’s main customer, the automotive industry, is currently losing its dynamism. The BRIC nations - with the exception of India - are crisis-ridden and even in relation to demand for automobiles, are hitting the brakes. In addition to the domestic market only North America and several EU countries are registering any appreciable, as a rule, single-figure increases. Here, the demand for the high-quality German premium models, which the domestic diecasters are mainly producing for, is continuing unbroken. Although the growth engine automotive industry is stuttering, it still needs the diecast products manufactured in Germany – and indeed in large volumes!
The automotive industry in particular finds itself faced with major challenges. By 2020 the required output for new automobiles will be set at 95g CO2/km. Lightweight design and engine downsizing are the automobile manufacturers’ response to this challenge. This has knock-on effects for diecasters.
The development of ever-new diecasting components is moving forward rapidly. Be it in the case of structural components, electric motor components or smart components for regulating conventional engines - in all areas the industry is trying to make use of the outstanding options offered by diecasting. It is amazing what innovative solutions and components are being produced in this process and many of them will be shown at the forthcoming EUROGUSS.