red    China's Foundry House XMC Ties Up with Spansion
    According to industry sources, China-based 12-inch wafer foundry house XMC reportedly has teamed up with Spansion to jointly develop and produce 3D NAND flash chips, with trial production to begin in 2016 and volume production in 2017.
The collaboration will allow China to build up its own NAND flash manufacturing technology, dismantling the dominance currently held by makers in the US, Japan and Korea, the sources said.
Being a major supplier of NOR flash chips, Spansion has also been developing its NAND flash manufacturing technology for years, although its related technologies still lag behind those developed by Samsung Electronics, Toshiba, Micron Technology and SK Hynix, indicated the sources.
XMC signed an agreement to license Spansion's floating gate NOR flash technology in August 2013. The agreement covers Spansion's proprietary 65nm, 45nm and 32nm MirrorBit flash memory technology.
XMC also plans to expand its production lines, aiming to solicit equity investment from Spansion as well as to gain financial support from the China government-backed development fund set up recently to facilitate the development of China's semiconductor industry, the sources noted. Samsung, Toshiba and Micron all are still actively expanding their capacity for NAND flash chips, anticipating continual demand from the smartphone, tablet, cloud storage, Internet of Things (IoT) and SSD sectors, said the sources, noting that Samsung has even set up production lines for 3D NAND flash in Xian.
red   Indian Foundry Market to Grow at A CAGR of 19.67% - Research & Markets Report
According to Research and Markets Report the Foundry market in India will grow at a CAGR of 19.67% over the period 2014-2018
Foundries are workshops where metal castings are produced. Metal casting is a manufacturing process in which molten or liquid metal is poured into a mold made of sand, metal, or ceramic, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, to form geometrically complex parts. All major metals can be made into castings, and the most common ones are iron, aluminum, magnesium, zinc, steel, and copper-based alloys. Metal castings find application in cars, trucks, planes, trains, mining and construction equipment, oil wells, pipes, toys, space shuttles, wind turbines, nuclear plants, and many more. One of the emerging trends in this market is the increased need for technological improvements. Market vendors are investing significant amounts to improve the quality of raw materials procured within India and increase their efficiency.
According to the report, one of the main drivers in the market is the increased need for infrastructure and power generation. India's rapid industrialization and urbanization requires a lot of infrastructural investments and power generation installations, which will in turn create additional demand for castings, used as a raw material in the construction and automotive industries.
Further, the report states that one of the key challenges in the market is the high duties imposed for the import of raw materials by foundries in India. Government regulations for the import of metal scrap are affecting metal casting manufacturers as a whole.
red   Northern Indiana Metal Casting Plant to Close After 80 Years
    A northern Indiana metal casting factory is about to close after 80 years, costing the jobs of some 120 workers. Allegheny Technologies Inc. had planned to shutter the ATI Casting Service plant in LaPorte by the end of June after unsuccessfully trying to sell it. Company vice president Dan Greenfield says the factory is now in the process of shutting down after completing some outstanding orders. United Steelworkers local president Donn Pendergrass tells that about half of the factory's workers were laid off last month and the closure is expected to be finished by the end of August. The factory once had more than 550 workers, but the company says the plant has been losing money.
red   SPS Technologies Acquire KG Coating
    A Wrexham-based coating business which works with companies in the aerospace, automotive and defence industries has been snapped up by the UK arm of a New York Stock Exchange-listed group. More than 30 parties were interested in purchasing KG Coating, including a number of international bids.
SPS Technologies, the UK subsidiary of Oregon-based Precision Castparts Corporation, has acquired KG Coating for £2.3m. Founded in 1994, the business provides a coating service applying aluminium and polymer coatings for customers. It works with UK aircraft manufacturers and only has one competitor in the UK with an additional one in Germany.
Thirty parties were interested in purchasing the company through business sales brokerage KBS Corporate and five offers were received. Four overseas trade buyers from the US, Netherlands, India and France were among the potential acquirers.
SPS Technologies, which has its UK headquarters in Leicester, designs and manufacturers high performance and high strengthen fasteners. It was founded more than 100 years ago and has an £80m turnover.
Guy Haynes, senior deal executive at KBS Corporate, assisted on the deal.
He said: "Our client had previously purchased the business in 2013, and decided to investigate the option of selling after noticing improving market conditions within the aerospace industry.”
KBS Corporate assisted in negotiations through to completion, while legal advice was provided by Stephen Jarman of Taylors Solicitors in Manchester. SPS Technologies was advised by Walker Morris of Leeds.
red DISA - 30% Productivity Boost for Heavy Castings
    Based in Suzhou near Shanghai in China, the Suzhou Ishikawa iron manufacturing Co. Ltd (SIIM) took delivery of a DISA 231-X vertical moulding machine in 2012. This time, however, the new machine came with the new Double Index mould transport system from DISA, enabling extended Pouring time, higher yield and even better castings quality.
Founded in 1994, Japanese owned SIIM based its production of ductile iron castings for the automobile industry as well as railway parts on a DISA 2013-A from 2002. When the company expanded with a second foundry shop in 2005 in Suzhou, the DISA 230A was supplemented with a DISA 230B. The foundry soon needed a third moulding machine to keep pace with rising demand both in China and abroad and in 2012 a new DISA 231-X was installed, capable of producing 510 moulds an hour with dimensions of 535 x 750 mm and a mould thickness of 150 to 395 mm.
Heavy castings mean lower speed.
“A significant part of our output of 72,000 tons of ductile iron parts a year consists of heavy castings,” says SIIM Chairman Mr Gaishi Shiotani. “This meant a frequent need to extend Pouring time with the result that we were unable to exploit the full productivity potential of our existing DISA 230-B.”
Finding a way to realize the full mould capacity of the new DISA 231-X was top of the list in the discussions with the local DISA sales manager, Jack Yu, and a DISA expert from Denmark. It was decided to supplement the new moulding machine with an innovative mould transport solution recently developed by DISA for the production, for example, of power generation and automotive components.
DISA Double Index : Upto 30% Faster
“The DISA Double Index mould transport system basically adds an extra lane at the entrance to the motorway,” Jack Yu explains. “This means that SIIM can fully exploit the enormous mould capacity of the DISA 231-X.”
“The Double Index mould transport system means that we can extend Pouring time while the DISA 231-X is running at high speed, giving us an average productivity boost of up to 30 per cent,” Mr Gaishi Shiotani continues. “This is only half of the story, however.”
A double Shuttle Synchronous Belt Conveyor acts as a buffer for the higher number of moulds exiting the Automatic Mould Conveyor in order to provide sufficient cooling time.
New Pouring System
The extended Pouring time requires a modified Pouring solution. If Pouring is too fast, there is a risk of an unacceptably rough surface on the castings. The DISA Double Index System enables customers to pour much more slowly than they are used to in a regular DISAMATIC process. By Pouring two moulds at the same time, the foundry fully utilizes the additional Pouring time.
“Our solution was simply to place two Pouring units together, enabling us to pour 2 kg/sec simultaneously into two moulds,” Mr Gaishi Shiotani explains. “By doubling our Pouring capacity, we were able to increase moulding productivity by as much as 30 per cent for some heavy castings. Currently we are producing about 2,500 tons a month of heavy castings, such as housings, on the new line.”
red   German Firm Opens New Foundry for Die and Mould Specialty Steels
    Deutsche Edelstahlwerke has announced the opening of its secondary metallurgic centre in Witten, Germany, following three years of construction and a total cost of €50 million.
Martin Löwendick, chairman of the steelmaker's board of management, said: “The special plant design enables quality improvement in all our product groups, such as ball bearing steel, duplex and super duplex grades for offshore applications, high-quality gear steel or plastic mould steel.” The site to can meet the individual requirements of customers, he noted.
At the site, crude steel is treated to achieve the desired properties with the aid of added alloy components and various finishing treatments that improve quality. The new production line features a specially built, 35m-high hall with 2,800 square metres of floor space that houses all the secondary metallurgy units. The line features a new ladle furnace, a new alloy plant with 28 day-hoppers and automatic filling, a cleaning unit and a state-of-the-art vacuum treatment plant.
The company said the ladle furnace and vacuum plant are connected by a mobile tank wagon, which reduces ladle transport time from previously 20 minutes to roughly 90 seconds. “This makes the production process safer and much more energy efficient because the molten mass cannot cool off too much during this brief span,” it explained.
Another plus is an increase in occupational safety due to the reduction of transportation by crane and the automation of numerous operations at area with the open molten mass, the company added.
red   Columbus Foundry Expansion will add 500 Jobs
    US steel foundry to double in size Columbus Castings, one of Ohio's largest manufacturers and the biggest steel foundry in the USA is to recruit 550 more workers over the next three years, doubling its workforce.
Mr Joseph Haviv chairman of Columbus Castings said that “Everyone expected Columbus Castings to shut its doors during the recession, but this is a company that has an uncanny way of building a legacy.”
The city of Columbus is offering the business, which was founded by the great grandfather of Mr George W Bush 110 years ago, a seven year 65% income tax credit for new employees; this is contingent on the company receiving a state job creation tax credit as well.
Mr Haviv cited several reasons for the company's expansion, which comes after its 2008 acquisition by a private equity firm based in New York. It has traditionally made undercarriage components for freight and passenger trains, but it used the recession years to look at its operations and figure out how to adapt. One decision was to diversify. Columbus expanded from working with new rail cars into maintenance, repair and operations.
He said that part of rail's re emergence as a mode of freight has come from the USA's shale oil and gas boom. Oil from North Dakota's Bakken shale field might take 21 days to flow to Texas via a pipeline. By rail, it can take five days.
red   SFIL Bags Contract of US Navy
    Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd (SFIL) has won a landmark $6.2m contract to supply crucial castings for service in the US Navy submarine fleet as per reports.
The contract will see SFIL deliver 84 castings, to General Dynamics Electric Boat Corporation, the company responsible for the design, construction and lifecycle support of submarines for the US Navy.
SFIL won the order based on its strong working relationship with Electric Boat Corporation and its unparalleled history of supplying high specification steel castings for both the US and the UK Navy submarine programmes.
SFIL is only one of a handful of companies around the globe qualified by the US Navy to produce these high integrity casting, having undergone an extensive qualification program involving both Electric Boat and the US Navy.
Dr Graham Honeyman, chief executive at Sheffield Forgemasters International Ltd, said: “This is a landmark order for Sheffield Forgemasters and for the UK and it cements our long-standing working partnership with Electric Boat Corporation.”
“The specifics of the components are classified, but we can confirm that the order is valued at 6.2 million US dollars and is a significant body of work for our foundry, which will be required to deliver a series of complex castings over a period of ten months.”
Work to create the castings starts with the process of establishing specific material characteristics and goes to SFIL's melt shop under the new directorship of world leading metallurgist, Dr Martin Novak. The first casting is expected to be poured very soon
SFIL has been a supplier to Electric Boat Corporation for six years and has also been a key components supplier to the UK Navy's submarine defence programme for more than 30 years.
red   Orbit 1 Device Coats 3D-Printed Objects in Metal
    3D printing in metal is not easy: it's expensive, time-consuming and usually requires a highly specialized printer well out of a consumer-friendly price range. The Orbit 1, which was on display at Maker Faire 2014 in Queens, New York, may just be the solution to this problem.
Developed by startup Monolith Studio, the Orbit 1 isn't exactly a 3D printer: instead, the device can coat objects in a metal finish, called Go-Plating.
According to the creators they plan to put the device on Kickstarter this January, and expect to sell it for between $3,000 and $4,000.
The Orbit looks a little bit like a cross between a blender and a lava lamp: it mainly consists of a cylinder designed to hold a metal solution. Objects you want coated are placed inside this cylinder, suspended from a wire on the lid, and rotated inside the solution.
Right now the Orbit 1 works with four Metals: nickel, Copper, lead and gold. To use it, you first coat an object in a liquid form of the desired metal, then place it in a solution of that metal and other chemicals inside the Orbit 1. The machine then spins your object inside the liquid until the metal coating achieves the desired thickness.
red   Sogemi's Technology Lands in Taiwan
    One of the most important producers of components used in the aeronautical industry, counting among its customers important names such as BOEING and AIRBUS, chose Sogemi Engineering Srl as the supplier for a regeneration and reuse plant for Sands coming from its aluminum foundry division.
The Simplex regeneration plant has been manufactured and tested with positive outcome at the Aviocast facility in Taiwan.
Once again, the foundry market confirms that Sogemi branded Simplex Sand Regeneration plants are appreciated worldwide for their quality and, especially, for their high thermal efficiency. Simplex plant heats fluidification air through the recovery of heat from regenerated sand, halving the combustible gas usage.
Simplex thermal regeneration plant reduces, on average, the gas requirement from about 35-40 m3 per ton of sand, to about 18-20 m3.
red   UMC to Invest in New Chinese Foundry
    Taiwan's United Microelectronics Corp. will invest about US$1.35 billion over the next five years in a new foundry in Xiamen, China. The foundry will be a joint venture with a total investment of $6.2 billion, aimed at ramping to production of 50,000 12-inch wafers a month, using 55 nm and 40 nm process technologies.
The two other partners in the foundry are the Xiamen Municipal People's Government and Fujian Electronics and Information Group. UMC expects its funding to progress in installments starting in 2015, pending approval of the Taiwan government. To date, China has had limited success developing its chipmaking capabilities. For example, the country's largest foundry, SMIC, is just starting to ramp a 28 nm process with help from a deal struck in July with Qualcomm.
SMIC's output is dwarfed by the China fabs of SKHynix and Intel. But a fire last year set back production at the SKHynix fab, and a supplier said Intel's Dalian fab is running significantly below capacity. The Taiwan government prevents its foundries such as TSMC from transferring their latest process technology to China, said Bill McClean of IC Insights. That's likely why the new UMC joint venture will use relatively mature 55 and 40 nm processes.
This is a compilation of news from Various dailies, magazines, Trade publications and press releases.