The German die casting industry faced challenges to get approval under the WLPT standard, resulting in reduced call-off figures, the new rising demands on alloy developments and process technologies promise significant opportunities for the foundries.
Fremont, CA: The German die casting industry started with a high capacity use and euphoric future proposals. Despite that in 2019, particularly the second half, the stumbling blocks faced by OEMs forced the production figures downward lower than the level they were last year. The main cause being was substantially decreased call-off values caused by the obstacles to approval under the WLPT standard. Producing the ‘right’ castings being essential for the manufacturers, they look for flexible die casting that suits their configuration set-ups as well as satisfies their quality and volume output requirements.
At the beginning of the year, the German die-casting foundries can maintain its high level of the previous year, and simultaneously, the European passenger car registrations declined by more than 3 percent. For many years now, international vehicle manufacturing, specifically passenger car production, has been progressively dominant customer segment. Moreover, die-cast components are additionally making inroads into the commercial vehicles and therefore conquering new market segments. Meanwhile, approximately 80 percent of non-ferrous metal castings from Germany are produced to be used in vehicle manufacturing. The remaining 20 percent is for several different client segments like general mechanical engineering and electrical engineering. The rising demand in recent years has led to a stable investment rate of 5 percent of revenue. Investments to expand capacity are playing a major part along with ongoing investment for rationalization and replacement.
Die casting foundry operators to have some concerns at present. Many die casting foundries need to adjust to structural changes in demand because of the discussions about the future of the internal combustion engine in general and diesel engines in specific. Concerning this, an explicit openness to technology in the development of mobility is entirely imperative.
The areas of the application and complexity of die-cast products are continuously increasing. A lot of requests received are constraining new alloy developments and process technologies, for instance, to meet the specifications for chassis and structural components.