red   ASK Chemicals Sold to Private Investment Firm
    ASK Chemicals GmbH, Hilden, Germany, owners Ashland Inc. and Clariant have entered into a definitive agreement to sell the joint venture to investment funds affiliated with Rhône, a London and New York based private equity investment firm. The transaction is expected to close prior to the end of Ashland's fiscal fourth quarter on September 30, 2014, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.
With 1,800 employees in 25 countries, ASK Chemicals' portfolio encompasses metalcasting binders, coatings, feeders, filters and release agents, as well as metallurgical products including inoculants, inoculation wires and master alloys for iron casting. In 2013, ASK Chemicals generated annual revenues of approximately $865 million.
“The sale of Ashland's equity interest in ASK Chemicals will allow us to focus on our core specialty chemicals business as we reposition the company for sustained sales and profit growth,” said James J. O'Brien, chairman and CEO, Ashland. “At the same time, the divestiture will give ASK Chemicals an opportunity for new investment as it works to build on its position as a leading foundry chemicals manufacturer.”
“The divestment of our stake in ASK Chemicals is part of our continuous active portfolio management to reallocate capital towards our more profitable growth areas,” added Hariolf Kottmann, CEO, Clariant. “In the joint venture we have successfully combined the activities of Ashland and former Süd-Chemie businesses. Now we release it to a new owner who will focus on growth perspectives.”
Rhône issued this statement: “We are proud to succeed Ashland and Clariant in the stewardship of ASK Chemicals. We are excited to be partnering with ASK Chemicals' management team and look forward to working with them to further develop the business in this new phase of ASK's expansion, leveraging on its leading technology platform, long-standing customer relationships, global manufacturing base and talented personnel.”
red   Padmashree Pratap Pawar Felicitated
Recipient of Padmashree Award Pratap Pawar was felicitated at the hands of Mr. D. Nath, a senior foundry man from Pune. The programme was organised by Arkey Conference Service Cell, on behalf of all Foundry men of Pune. R.T. Kulkarni in his welcome remarks said this to be a pride moment as Pratap Pawar is the first Foundry man to get this award. While Vishwas Kale, through his interviewing skills, took all foundry men through the journey of success of Pratap Pawar. Over seventy-five foudrymen were at the event to greet Mr. Pratap Pawar personally and shared the moment of pride.
B. B. Lohiya, in his thanks giving note, wished that higher awards would come to Mr. Pawar.
red   Materion Partners with Aristo Cast on Aluminum-Beryllium Line
    Materion Brush Beryllium & Composites, a Materion Corp. company based in Elmore, Ohio, has entered into a strategic manufacturing and marketing partnership with Aristo Cast Inc., Almont, Mich., for its proprietary AlBeCast aluminum-beryllium investment castings product line. The two companies initiated their partnership in October 2013.
Aristo Cast has received numerous awards for best in class magnesium castings from the American Foundry Society, the Investment Casting Institute, and the International Magnesium Association. Leveraging its lightweight alloy investment casting experience, Aristo Cast provides Materion with a breakthrough shell technology that in qualification proved not only to improve casting quality, but dramatically reduce production costs of aluminum-beryllium investment castings.
"Aristo Cast technology represents a game-changing development for the production of AlBeCast," said Lawrence Ryczek, vice president and general manager of Materion Brush Beryllium & Composites. "With the Aristo Cast shell technology, our expanded capability and world class casting team, we are confident AlBeCast will capture new applications that weren't possible even two years ago," he continued. "We are in qualification with a number of aerospace, defense and semiconductor firms seeking to capitalize on this alloy system and casting technology breakthrough. As previously announced, we are in qualification with Lockheed as a supplier for the F-35 Lightning II's Electro-Optical Targeting System."
Jack Ziemba, president and owner of Aristo Cast added, "Materion has the resources to grow the reinvigorated AlBeCast product line, and we look forward to working side by side with them to do it."
The Aristo Cast partnership coincides with Materion's own new investment in casting technology, equipment and upgrades at its Elmore facility. The operation offers customers rapid prototyping and solidification modeling to provide investment cast parts with short lead times and competitive pricing.
red   Sonic Foundry Announces Partnership in China
    Sonic Foundry, Inc. recently disclosed a significant partnership in China with Beijing MC Technology, also known as Beijing OneZero.
Under the agreement Beijing OneZero will provide channel, reseller and installation services for Sonic Foundry's Mediasite platform. In addition the company plans to develop integrated AV and IT solutions using Mediasite in the Chinese education sector.
Beijing OneZero is a leading value-added reseller of IT equipment into the Chinese government sector, with deep experience in the education and corporate markets.
“I am really pleased to enter this agreement with Sonic Foundry,” said Mr. Xin-Yang Sun, General Manager of Beijing OneZero. “The partnership with Sonic Foundry allows us to dramatically expand our offerings in the Chinese education system. I am proud to partner with them as we work together to realize a shared vision of anytime, anywhere education.”
“The stage is set for dramatic growth in video recorded lecture use during the next decade as the value chain of content providers and service platforms currently coming online matures. A best-in-class platform like Mediasite within a solution localized and supported by experienced partners in the market should be well-positioned to gain traction in this fast moving market,” said Stacy Austin-Li, analyst and China consultant, Wainhouse Research.
“With the significant growth of China's education-technology market, we're encouraged to reach a partnership that enables us to contribute to the country's strategic development of educational offerings. Beijing OneZero is positioned to transform the Mediasite platform into real value for Chinese students, teachers and administrators at all levels of the education system,” said Gary Weis, CEO of Sonic Foundry.
Sonic Foundry saw a 43% growth in billings in Japan and a 25% growth in international billings overall in fiscal year 2013. The company recently announced a partnership in China with Neusoft, and acquired two international companies, Mediasite K.K. in Japan and MediaMission in the Netherlands.
red   Avalon Precision Casting Acquires Precision Metalsmiths
    Avalon Precision Casting, Cleveland, has completed its acquisition of nearby Precision Metalsmiths Inc. (PMI). Additional production facilities are located in Jackson and Markesan, Wisc. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
PMI manufactures small, thin-walled investment castings ranging from fractions of an ounce to over 20 lbs. in both ferrous and non-ferrous alloys using traditional shelling methods and a solid mold process.
With proprietary casting technologies and almost 70 years of specialized engineering expertise, the company serves the aerospace industry as well as general industrial customers.
"Together, Avalon and PMI represent a new era for investment casting companies greater than the sum of their parts," said David Dolata, CEO and owner, PMI. "Creating more opportunities and expanding capabilities are key to delivering what current and prospective customers have been asking for: new ways for the investment casting process to solve their ever-more-demanding metal parts challenges. Avalon's acquisition of PMI puts the combined company in a unique position to service customers needing metal shapes with value, quality, a wider size envelope and capabilities to offer parts complete to print within one company."
Avalon Precision Castings grew from a merger of Avalon Castings, Cleveland, and Craft Cast Company, Jackson, Wisc. to provide precision-cast parts up to 100 lbs. Avalon services blue-chip OEM customers in the general industrial, pump and valve, oil and gas, food and dairy, military and capital equipment industries with value-added services including a dedicated in-house machine shop and tooling operation.
“The partnership between Precision Metalsmiths and Avalon demonstrates our commitment to building an industry-leading investment casting company capable of servicing a broad array of markets and adding increased value to our current and future customers from multiple facilities around the country,” said Doug Ciabotti, CEO of Avalon and leader of the newly combined business.
red   Foseco India March Quarter Net Profit Fell 21% to Rs 4.57 Cr from Rs. 5.80 Cr on Higher Costs
    Foseco India, metallurgical chemicals supplier for the ferrous and non-ferrous industry, reported disappointing results in its fourth quarter despite higher sales.
For the quarter to end-March, Foseco India said its net profit fell 21% to Rs4.57 crore from Rs5.80 crore even as its total sales increased 14% to Rs63.83 crore from Rs55.87 crore, same period last year.
Foseco India's expenses for the quarter to end-March increased 22% to Rs58.15 crore from Rs 47.78 crore a year ago period.
At 12pm Wednesday, Foseco India was trading 1.7% up at Rs534 on the BSE, while the S&P BSE Sensex was marginally up at 22,882.
red   AFS Signs onto Coalition Letter Opposing LIFO Repeal
    More than 125 associations and companies, including the American Foundry Society, signed a coalition letter to House Ways & Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), opposing the repeal of the "Last In, First Out (LIFO)" accounting method contained in his tax reform proposal, which he released in February. A number of metalcasting facilities utilize LIFO and would be seriously impacted if repeal was enacted. It appears that that some lawmakers saw LIFO as “outdated” and “less necessary” and assumed LIFO users would not object to or strongly oppose a prospective repeal, believing the central debate would be on how to impose a recapture tax.
In the letter to Congress, industry proponents claim LIFO is an appropriate means of evaluating inventory and its repeal would significantly and permanently harm many businesses, including metalcasting facilities. According to AFS, LIFO repeal's damaging effects arise not just from the punitive retroactive recapture tax, but also the prospective loss of the accounting method which most accurately and fairly states business income for businesses with ever-rising costs of replacing inventory. AFS argues recapturing up to 70 years of income in search of additional revenue to fund other tax priorities is unfair and unjustified under the rationale put forth in the discussion draft. This issue and other tax-related matters will be addressed by members of metalcasting industry at the June AFS Government Affairs Conference and Lobby Day.
red   Brazil's Foundry Industry Growth Expected to Resume in 2H15
    Brazil's foundry industry is expecting a difficult year in 2014, but is forecast to resume growth in the second half of next year, according to national foundry association Abifa's president Remo de Simone as reported by
In the last six years, Brazil's castings production went from ninth to seventh globally, but growth could have been higher, Simone said, according to a report on industrial machinery portal Usinagem-brasil.
"The sector could have grown faster if we had isonomic [equal for all] policies from the federal government and our industrial policy demands were implemented. Among them, trade defense policies before imports manage to match our domestic production," he said.
"In the case of primary aluminum, Brazil will be severely compromised if power prices keep making production unfeasible and production costs cannot be reduced."
On a positive note, the executive believes that the expected investments in the automotive sector are one of the reasons leading to growth resumption in the country's foundry industry.
"Our local industry is predominantly linked to the automotive market. As the latter performs its ambitious plans, our industry will continue to grow. Currently, automakers absorb 58% of our output and we see foundries producing about 4.5Mt/y in 2018," Simone said.
red   118th Metal Casting Congress : North America's Largest Event in 2014
    The American Foundry Society's 118th Metalcasting Congress was one of the most attended in recent history. This year's show was held in Schaumburg, Ill., from April 8-11 and featured technical sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions and more than 250 exhibitors on a sold out exhibit floor. Over the course of four days, nearly 2,200 people from across the globe converged on the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center for the largest metalcasting event of the year.
The annual show held every spring features the latest advancements in metalcasting technology and services. This year also marked the 5th Cast in North= America Exhibition, where 31 metalcasters showcased their capabilities to casting buyers. The show floor was bustling with exhibitors presenting the best their businesses have to offer. “Every year, Congress shows us the great potential of the metalcasting industry,” said AFS CEO Jerry Call.
“We look at Congress as the permanent assembly point of the metalcasting supply chain and we are excited every year to be the only event of this magnitude which helps metalcasters network, grow their businesses and expand their knowledge of the industry.”
To help businesses succeed and grow, Metalcasting Congress offers multiple in-depth technical sessions, covering topics from marketing to engineering to design and purchasing. The goal of these sessions is to help metalcasters hone their skills and ultimately improve their bottom line.
This is a compilation of news from Various dailies, magazines, Trade publications and press releases.