yellow   Foundry Sector to Outperform Overall Semiconductor Industry in 2014
    The global IC foundry sector is forecast to increase almost 9% in output value in 2014, while output value for the overall semiconductor industry will grow by a smaller 5.2%, according to Digitimes Research. However, the anticipated rise in output value for the 2014 IC foundry industry shows a slowdown compared to growth of 15% in 2013 and 19.9% in 2012, said Digitimes Research.
TSMC is set to move its 20nm SoC process to mass production in 2014, while new capacity at its 12-inch fabs will come online, Digitimes Research indicated.
Rivals Globalfoundries and Samsung Electronics will also ramp up production of 20nm chips in the first half of 2014, Digitimes Research disclosed.
Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics' foundry capacity utilization rate is likely to fall in 2014, due to the loss of Apple orders, Digitimes Research said. Buoyed by orders of application processors from Apple and strong IC demand for smartphones and tablets, TSMC's share of the global IC foundry market is expected to reach 50.3% in 2014 from 48.4% in 2012, Digitimes Research noted.
yellow Ashok Leyland to Sell Casting Unit to Ennore Foundries
    Hindujas promoted commercial vehicle major Ashok Leyland Ltd (ALL) is planning to sell its casting unit to one of the group subsidiary Ennore Foundries Ltd (EFL). The move comes in the wake of the Ennore Foundries' business recast to help it enhance capacity and focus more on export market.
EFL is planning to set up another foundry unit in Chennai to enhance its capacity to meet the growing export demand. It is also planning to reduce the share of ALL in its total sales. Ennore Foundries is reportedly scouting for a mid-sized casting unit for a possible acquisition.
According to information available with FE, Ashok Leyland has reportedly called for a meeting of its board of directors on Saturday to consider the sales proposal.
According to the proposal, ALL would sell its Ductron Castings Unit (DCU) in Hyderabad to Ennore Foundries Ltd. Once the company gets necessary approvals from its board of directors and shareholders, Ashok Leyland would go ahead with the sale of the unit to EFL. Though the company has not yet valued the business of the casting unit, analysts feel that it would be anywhere between Rs 40 crore to Rs 50 crore.
The Ductron Casting Unit in Hyderabad is Ashok Leyland's in-house, captive supplier of grey and Spheroidal graphite iron castings. Formerly known as Ductron Castings Ltd, this unit was taken over by Ashok Leyland in 1990 to augment the foundry capacity of the Group.
Ennore Foundries is in the process of setting up a new greenfield foundry unit as per its expansion plans. The company's new foundry unit is estimated to cost somewhere between Rs 100 crore and Rs 120 crore.
The board of directors of the company on Tuesday has approved the issue of 95,05,860 rights shares of Rs 10 each, at a premium of Rs 50 per share, aggregating Rs 57.04 crore.
The issue would be in the ratio of 1.4 shares for every 1 share held by the shareholders. The fund to be raised will be used to part finance the modernisation of current facilities, expansion
yellow   Cast-Fab to Supply Large Defense Castings
    Cast-Fab Technologies Inc., Cincinnati, has entered a multiyear agreement with a prime defense contractor to supply large castings for the military. Cast-Fab expects to produce more than 12,000 tons of iron over the length of the project. The project details are confidential.
The company anticipates it will be adding more than 20 new jobs at its manufacturing facility located in the Oakley neighborhood of Cincinnati over the life of the contract.
“Quite simply, Cast-Fab's stated purpose is to reaffirm America's manufacturing excellence in everything we do. I can think of no better way to help us fulfill our purpose than in support of our nation's military,” said J. Ross Bushman, president and CEO, Cast-Fab. “The timing of this project could not have been better; given this is the company's 25th anniversary under my family's ownership. It also gives us a solid long-term customer relationship that can help fuel even more growth.”
Cast-Fab Technologies manufactures and distributes gray and ductile iron castings up to 80,000 lbs. as well as heavy plate and sheet metal fabrications. It owns the Security Systems Equipment (SSE) and Collier brands in the bank equipment market and the Coldwell-Wilcox Technologies brand in the water and waste-water treatment markets. All products are designed, engineered and manufactured in its ISO 9001:2008 certified facility in Ohio.
yellow   EPA Issues Emissions Rule for New Plants
    Environment Protection Agency published its rule limiting carbon emissions from new power plants on January 8. The proposal is a key element of President Obama's climate change agenda. The draft rules are the first ever to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The rules require new power plants be built with carbon capture and storage capabilities if they burn coal or that they burn lower emission fuels like natural gas.
The proposal has drawn criticism from coal industry supporters who say carbon capture technology is not sufficiently developed at this point to be viable. Manufacturers are concerned about the precedent this rule sets for the currently pending rulemaking on existing power plants and future regulation of greenhouse gas emissions from other industrial sectors. Expect continued oversight of this rulemaking in the House in 2014. The EPA is expected to release draft rules governing emissions from existing power plants, also a centerpiece of President Obama's climate change plan, by June of this year.
yellow   Gravity Die-casting Divestment Completes Streamlining at GF Automotive
    GF Automotive, a division of Georg Fischer, is to divest its non-core gravity die-casting business in Herzogenburg (Austria) to the present managers in the framework of a management buyout. The transaction allows GF Automotive to fully focus on its core iron sand casting and light metal high pressure die-casting activities.
The company, based in Herzogenburg, is to be sold in a share deal to Kimaz GmbH, owned by the present managers of the Herzogenburg gravity die-casting plant.
The deal takes effect retroactively on 1 January 2014. The transaction will result in a decrease in the annual sales of GF Automotive of approximately CHF 70 million. The transaction has no impact on the 2013 operating result (EBIT), but leads to a one-off extraordinary charge of CHF 26 million on the net profit.
Yves Serra, CEO of Georg Fischer, comments: "The solution found for the gravity die-casting activity in Herzogenburg ensures continuity for our customers and our workforce. It also allows GF Automotive to fully focus on its core activities."
Andreas Zick, co-owner of the Kimaz GmbH, declares: “We believe in the potential of gravity die-casting, and are convinced that in cooperation with our workforce the plant in Herzogenburg will stay a reliable partner for our customers and suppliers as well as a significant regional employer.”
The gravity die-casting business in Herzogenburg is specialized in manufacturing aluminum cast components for the passenger vehicle and truck industry.
The company employs about 200 people. There are two other plants at GF Herzogenburg, iron casting and aluminum pressure die-casting, which are not affected by the transaction. Georg Fischer will provide services and facility management for the new owner.
yellow AMETEK Announces Record Results in Q4
    AMETEK, Inc. recently announced fourth quarter results that established records for sales, operating income, net income, diluted earnings per share and operating cash flow.
AMETEK's fourth quarter 2013 sales of $942.5 million were up 12% over the same period of 2012. Operating income for the fourth quarter of 2013 was $210.5 million, an 11% increase from $190.0 million recorded in the same period of 2012. Operating margins were 22.3% in the quarter, as compared to 22.6% in last year's quarter. Net income in the fourth quarter of 2013 increased 13% to $135.7 million from $119.9 million in last year's fourth quarter. Diluted earnings per share increased 12% to $0.55 per diluted share from the fourth quarter 2012 level of $0.49 per diluted share.
"AMETEK had an excellent fourth quarter to complete another outstanding year in 2013. We established records for essentially all key financial metrics in the quarter. Core sales growth was strong, up 7% over last year's fourth quarter, with broad based strength across our businesses. Our focus on Operational Excellence, coupled with the higher sales, resulted in record earnings for the quarter," noted Frank S. Hermance, AMETEK Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
For the full year, AMETEK achieved record levels of sales, operating income, operating margins, net income and diluted earnings per share. Full year sales were $3.6 billion, up 8% from 2012. Operating income in 2013 was $815.1 million, compared with $745.9 million last year, up 9%. Operating margins for 2013 of 22.7% were a 30 basis point improvement over 2012. Net income for the full year 2013 was $517.0 million, a 13% increase from the $459.1 million earned in 2012. Diluted earnings per share were $2.10 for 2013, up 12% from the $1.88 earned in 2012. We expect our businesses overall to show solid growth in 2014 as economic conditions continue to modestly improve across our end markets. We expect to see balanced growth across our businesses during the year.," notes Mr. Hermance.
yellow   New Committee Focuses on Metalcasting Process and Systems Improvement
    The American Foundry Society (AFS) has recently launched a new committee within its Engineering Division to equip metalcasting facilities with an understanding of quality, business and manufacturing principles to help them improve and optimize business practices.
The Process and Systems Improvement Committee (1Y) started in 2013 to address engineering and management topics that run across all alloys and casting processes. The ultimate goal is to inform and provide the metalcasting industry with best operation engineering practices in areas such as lean manufacturing, data tracking and analysis, process flow, ergonomics, benchmarking, inspection methods, succession plans, and quoting practices.
The next Process and Systems Improvement Committee meeting will be held March 11 at Sivyer Steel in Bettendorf, Iowa. The meeting will include a plant tour of Sivyer Steel and management, manufacturing and quality presentations
The new committee was formed as part of the AFS Engineering Division's restructuring from five committees into three. Besides the Process and Systems Improvement Committee, the Engineering Division's new structure includes the Design and Development Committee and Energy, Facilities and Operations Committee.
“By sharing knowledge and experiences in a manner that transcends process, alloy, and occupational categorizations, we feel it will be possible for members to obtain new ideas related to optimizing quality, manufacturing, and management/business practices that may not have been considered in the past,” said Roy Stevenson, committee chairman and ferrous applications manager at Magma Foundry Technologies.
“It was a way for each of these groups to focus an organized introspection before considering if changes should be considered,” said Tom Prucha, AFS vice president of technology. “As a result, many of our committees are challenging the way they have been organized and conducting meetings.”
yellow   ANH Refractories Appoints New CEO Delo
    Moon Township-based ANH Refractories Co. announced recently that Stephen M. Delo will hold the post of chairman and CEO. He will succeed interim CEO Gabriel Faimann, who ANH said has left to pursue other career opportunities as reported by Pittsburgh Business Times. Delo most recently served as director of integrated supply chain for Honeywell International's performance, materials and technologies business. Delo was with Honeywell for 34 years. “I look forward to the opportunity to transform ANH's operations and drive long-term growth and sustainability," Delo said in a prepared statement. "I am excited to be working with ANH employees to build upon our company's reputation and develop innovative ways to successfully meet the needs of our customers, as well as expand our markets served and products offered.”
yellow   Youngstown Business Incubator gets Additive Manufacturing Funding in Metals Casting
    Three-dimensional printing and other additive manufacturing techniques could be extremely well suited for metal casting, providing complex geometric molds, researchers, industry leaders, and investors believe.
To further that initiative, the Youngstown Business Incubator and Youngstown State University in Ohio have received funding from the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (American Makes) to promote the technology in the casting business.
“This award marks the next step in YBI's efforts to transform the region's economy. We've long been known for our work with start-ups; now we'll be able to assist our existing manufacturing base understand how to optimize new technology to make them more competitive,” said Barbara Ewing, chief operating officer for the Youngstown Business Incubator.
According to Dr. Martin Abraham, Dean of the YSU College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, “YSU is pleased to be able to collaborate with YBI on this exciting opportunity to develop new technologies that we believe will be important for our students and the businesses throughout the manufacturing community that hire them.”
Sand casting is a relatively inexpensive manufacturing process that is used for a wide range of products, including: engine blocks pump housings, cylinder heads, etc.
Casting has been limited in its usage by the cost and time it takes to develop the molds. Extremely complex molds or those that would be produced in low volumes are generally not cost effective to produce using traditional casting methods.
yellow   Siemens Profit Grows 2.3%, Acquires Rail Automation from Group Entity
    Siemens Ltd posted a modest 2.3% growth in net profit for quarter ending December. Net profit was Rs 65.1 crore for quarter ending December 2013 as against Rs 63.6 crore for the same period last year. Order growth was flat and sales were down 4% in the period.
Sunil Mathur, Managing Director of Siemens Ltd said, “While the results were impacted by the challenging macro-economic situation, they also reflect the benefits of various internal measures aimed at increasing the Company's competitiveness. Our focus continues to be on stabilizing our operations and strengthening our core competence. As an organization, we are preparing for the next phase of growth.” Siemens board also approved the appointment of Christian Rummel as Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer (CFO), of the Company and acquisition of Siemens Rail Automation Pvt Ltd which is engaged in manufacture, design and sale of railway signaling equipment. The acquisition was done as it has synergies with existing business of the company, Siemens said in its results statement.
yellow   ESI Releases A New Version of Procast, for Casting Process Simulation
    ESI Group, pioneer and world leading solution provider in Virtual Prototyping for manufacturing industries, announces the release of ProCAST 2013.5 along with its dedicated user environment Visual-Cast 9.0, both designed to enable foundries to improve casting yield and quality thanks to more efficient processes and solvers.
ProCAST, ESI's casting Simulation software, results from over 25 years of collaboration with major industrial partners and academic institutions all over the world.
The solution offers an extensive suite of modules and tools enabling foundries to meet the most challenging industrial requirements. ProCAST is well adapted to predict distortions and residual stresses after casting and addresses specific processes including core blowing, centrifugal, lost foam, semi-solid and continuous casting.
“ProCAST empowers foundries to address the most technically demanding tasks in casting, while reducing lead time, increasing productivity and controlling cost. This release offers best-in-class casting simulation in a single, integrated and customizable environment. The new fluid flow solver delivers twice faster turnaround time and improved accuracy, “says Marco Aloe, Product Manager, ESI Group.
ProCAST 2013.5 features a new version of the fluid flow solver that benefits from the accuracy of the Finite Element Method (FEM), the efficiency of the Finite Volume Method (FVM), and the speed of the Multi-Grid linear solver used by many prominent CFD software packages.
ProCAST's improved fluid flow solver and the modified porosity model enable the precise modeling of large titanium structures made by centrifugal casting, as demonstrated in the frame of the COLTS project, an international co-operation between China and Europe.
yellow   Tower Jazz Signs $70million Agreement with Wells Fargo Capital Finance
    Tower Jazz, the global specialty foundry leader recently announced the signing of an extension of its current agreement with Wells Fargo Capital Finance, part of Wells Fargo & Company to provide Tower Jazz with a $70 million credit line through December 2018 at a reduced interest rate. Maximum amount that may be drawn under the credit line at each specific point is based on formulas stipulated in the contract. Outstanding borrowings under the previous $45 million Wells Fargo credit line, available until September 2014, were $19 million.
Russell Ellwanger, Tower's chief executive officer, said, "I am extremely pleased that Wells Fargo Capital Finance, one of the largest asset-based lenders in the US, has chosen to extend our credit line from $45 million to $70 million. It has been great working with Wells Fargo over the years and we look forward to continue our business relationship."
"We are pleased to successfully complete this important financing for Tower Jazz and to have the opportunity to work with a strong and knowledgeable management team," said Stacy Gottlieb, Senior Vice President, Wells Fargo Capital Finance.
"Tower Jazz is a leading specialty foundry and we are honored to be able to support the company as it achieves its strategic goals."
yellow   Foundry Industry in Gujarat on Negative Trend
    While around Rs 300 crore investments have come in to Gujarat in the last two to three years in foundry and allied industries, slump in demand from user industries have pushed this feeder industry into negative growth territory as reported by Business standard .
Subodh Panchal, chairman of the 62nd Indian Foundry Congress and owner of Kastwel Foundries said that, "Quite a few major players have come into Gujarat in the last few years and set up units. Take for example, Brakes India Ltd, a TVS Group company, has set up a 2,000 tonnes per month unit at Jhagadia in Gujarat. Others like India Pistons Ltd in Jhagadia, Italian company Bentonite in Bhuj, apart from refractories like US-based Allied Refractory Products Pvt Ltd in Sanand have also come in the last two to three years." The overall investment in foundry and allied industries in the state in the last couple of years has been over Rs 300 crore, he informed.
One of the reasons behind these new units coming to Gujarat has been the recent investment plans in the automotive sector in the state, starting with Tata Motors, followed by Ford India and Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp and even the latest entrant Honda Motorcycles and Scooters. "As original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) come, several foundries would follow. Many foundries from other states have come to Gujarat thanks to the availability of power, which is a key requirement of the industry," explained Reena Bhagwati, joint managing director of Bhagwati Autocast Ltd and president of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen.
But, thanks to the general slowdown in the economy and in the automotive segment in particular, the growth of the foundry industry in Gujarat is on negative terrain, claimed Panchal adding that production growth has declined by around 20 per cent this year. Demand is down on an average by around 30 percent.
The turnover of foundry and allied industries in Gujarat is around $ 1 billion annually from around 2,000 units. The national turnover of the industry is around $ 12 billion per annum.
yellow   India Foundries Industry Focus on Defence, Infra and Construction
Faced with demand crisis from the automobiles segment, India's foundry industry has increasingly started focusing on other areas like aerospace, defence, infrastructure and construction. The automobile segment, which includes tractor makers and other auto companies, has the largest share of around 32% in the India's total castings consumption of about 8 million tonnes. Ms Reena Bhagwati, President, The Institute of Indian Foundrymen, said that “The foundry industry has been facing demand crisis consequent to reduced production figures of nearly 30% to 40% in the automotive and light commercial vehicle segment. So, we are shifting focus to sectors like defence, aerospace, construction and infrastructure.”
    This is a compilation of news from Various dailies, magazines, Trade publications and press releases.