To exchange ideas dur­ing one of the most chal­len­ging eco­nomic crises since dec­ades more than 80 rep­res­ent­at­ives of European foundries and foundry asso­ci­ations met in Paris on 22 and 23 Septem­ber at the CAEF Sum­mit 2022. The two-day pro­gramme included present­a­tions by experts on vari­ous facets of the crisis, but also on perspectives.

With cof­fee and crois­sant to go, a group of par­ti­cipants took to the bus in the early morn­ing of 22 Septem­ber and trav­elled to Beauvais, France. About 80 kilo­met­ers away from Paris, the first CAEF Sum­mit star­ted with a com­pany visit at Mas­sey Fer­guson. The man­u­fac­turer of agri­cul­tural machinery, which belongs to the AGCO Group, wel­comed the foundry­men from all over Europe. The excit­ing com­pany tour offered plenty of insight into the pro­cesses and provided much inform­a­tion about the demands and require­ments of castings.

Back in Paris, Roberto Arri­otti (Pres­id­ent of the CAEF Exec­ut­ive Com­mit­tee) and Fynn Willem Lohe (CAEF Sec­ret­ary Gen­eral) offi­cially wel­comed the par­ti­cipants to the CAEF Sum­mit. After Till­man van de Sand (CAEF Eco­nom­ist) star­ted with his present­a­tion on the cur­rent eco­nomic situ­ation, Stefan Met­tler (Knight Wend­ling) presen­ted his for­ward-look­ing study Guss 2035. The two present­a­tions illus­trated the explos­ive situ­ation excel­lently: Dis­tor­tions in the raw mater­ial and energy mar­kets and a loom­ing global reces­sion are put­ting foundries under massive pres­sure, while they are play­ing an indis­pens­able role in the green trans­form­a­tion and the expan­sion of renew­able ener­gies. This bal­an­cing act between crisis man­age­ment and medium-term ori­ent­a­tion was in the back­ground of the fur­ther exchange. Before the par­ti­cipants enjoyed din­ner together on the Seine, Fynn Willem Lohe used an inter­act­ive sur­vey to cap­ture the sen­ti­ment of the industry. The res­ult could hardly have been clearer: energy costs are threat­en­ing the exist­ence of the industry. The foundries, mean­while, are already doing everything they can to man­age the prob­lems. While energy-sav­ing meas­ures have been com­pletely used, only unortho­dox meas­ures are still effect­ive. How­ever, shift­ing pro­duc­tion to week­ends or night shifts can­not be the solu­tion for the industry.

The second day began accord­ingly with present­a­tions by two well-known experts. While Mar­cel Genet (Laplace Con­seil) shared his dec­ades of expert­ise in raw mater­i­als with the par­ti­cipants, Frank Roubaniv­itch (CLEEE) presen­ted the cur­rent devel­op­ments on the energy mar­kets. With this under­stand­ing, the European foundry­men listened to Titas Anuskevi­cius (EU Com­mis­sion, Policy Officer for Energy Intens­ive Indus­tries). Anuskevi­cius, who joined the con­fer­ence online from Brus­sels, poin­ted out that the EU Com­mis­sion is aware of the explos­ive situ­ation. At the same time, it also became clear that both national gov­ern­ments and the EU Com­mis­sion must imme­di­ately take much more action to tackle the enorm­ous energy prices in order not to des­troy Europe as an indus­trial loc­a­tion. Thus, the trans­form­a­tion can only be suc­cess­ful if foundry industry over­comes the cur­rent crisis.

Besides ques­tions on raw mater­i­als, energy and invest­ments, the event ulti­mately focused on the import­ance of people. The clos­ing point was set accord­ingly. E. Dilek Gündüz (Gen­eral Man­ager at Erkunt Sanayi A S) was hon­oured as the first win­ner of the European Foundry Women’s Award. In her laud­a­tion, Chiara Danieli (CAEF Pres­id­ent) highly val­ued the award win­ner for her exem­plary career and encour­aged young women in par­tic­u­lar to choose a tech­nical pro­fes­sion. For Ms Gündüz it is clear: “Every excel­lent leader act­ively pro­motes the role of women. This not only bene­fits the indi­vidual female employ­ees, but the entire organ­isa­tion.” The trophy was made by the French com­pany 3D Métal Industrie.

The Sum­mit ended with spe­cial thanks to the staff of the host Fed­er­a­tion Forge Fonderie  for mak­ing the Sum­mit pos­sible. Mean­while, for the rep­res­ent­at­ives of the asso­ci­ations, work con­tin­ued at the annual CAEF Coun­cil meeting.

 

 

CAEF Con­tact:

Till­man van de Sand
phone: +49 211 68 71 — 301
tillman.vandesand@caef.eu