Metal has a very special place in our life. It is the building material for many things, from cutlery to spacecrafts. Metals have the strength, ductility and various other properties that allow us to build massive structures as well as the small notes and bolts to hold them together.
If you looked around, you will find that you use some kind metal for almost every function, from cooking to driving. This is why casting foundries are so important. A foundry is where metals are given shape and form.
This is where we make metal fittings and structures that can range from a small screw to a broad sheets. Casting foundries India have a special places in metallurgy and various industries like the steel industry.
Thanks to the rapid development and availability of foundries — both big and small, India is today counted among the world’s most important manufacturing countries.
A foundry is a factory where we use the casting method to work with metals. In simplified terms, the metal, is melted, moulded and cooled in a foundry.
The metal is first melted and then poured into a mold. The melted takes on the shape of the mold. It is then left to dry and harden. Foundries are responsible for making big structures like rail coaches as well as the smallest parts.
Some of the vital areas where casting foundries are vital include:
- Machine tools
- Power machinery
- Pipe Fittings
- Pumps / Valves
Some of the prominent industries includes the critical infrastructure and industries of national importance like defense and aerospace. But casting foundries India have a much more significant importance as suppliers for big corporations and small.
As the producers of fittings and raw material, its presence and development in the manufacturing sector is equally vital. The presence of casting foundries is often taken as a barometer for the industrial development of a country.
The Indian scene
According government figures, the Indian foundry industry is valued at$19 billion with exports accounting for approximately$ 2.5 billion. There are close to 5000 units, of which almost 90% belong to the MSME sector.
About 1500 units have International Quality Accreditation. India has several large foundries that are modern and globally competitive.
The foundries are also a major source of income. It is a labour intensive industry and hence, a huge source of employment.
As per the latest figures, it is responsible for 5 lakh direct & 15,00,000 indirect employment! One of the important aspects of the industry is its presence in smaller towns as well as in the small and medium sector. This way it forms a major source of employment for the socially and economically weaker sections.
The major foundry clusters in India include Batala, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Agra, Pune, Kolhapur, Sholapur, Rajkot, Mumbai, Ahemdabad, Belgaum, Coimbatore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Howrah, Kolkata, Indore, Chennai, Ahemdabad, Faridabad, and Gurgaon.
Typically, each regional cluster specializes in a particular industry. For instance, the Rajkot cluster supplies diesel engine castings.
The manufacturing industry has been hit due to certain external factors, but it is already showing signs of recovery. With the government refocusing on ‘Make in India’, these sectors are expected to see further recovery and growth from he recent slump.
The two main factors to aid this will be the growth of the manufacturing sector and the thrust towards infrastructure development.
The nature of the casting foundries India is also changing rapidly. Although most foundries use LAM Coke, most of these are now shifting to induction melting. A lot of this is driven by environmental reasons. Cokeless cupolas and induction furnaces are seen as more sustainable alternatives.
As we go ahead the casting industry has to gear up and face new challenges. The growth of casting foundries is accompanied with the mushrooming of new units every few months. The result is heavy competition. The only way to survive is to improve functions, while retaining low costs.
A major growth area is in international markets, especially developed markets where local prices are quite high. The output of the Indian casting foundries is usually consumed locally. So, international markets represent a largely undiscovered market. However, more firms need to look for international quality accreditation.
With upcoming infrastructure projects casting foundries India have a bright future. However, we need to tighten our belts, improve procedures and implement international manufacturing standards before we can reach our full potential.