Global Casting Magazine co-publisher Thomas Fritsch recently sat down with Remo Di Simone, the president of Brazilian foundry society ABIFA to discuss the state of the Brazilian metalcasting industry.
Thomas Fritsch: Remo Di Simone, you are in charge of the Brazilian ITAFUNGE Funds. Grais Ltda. This is a company for gray iron and ductile steel castings dedicated to the Automotive, tool making, mining and other industries. Now you added a new function, you are following Devanir Brichesi as the ABIFA president.
What does the ABIFA presidency mean for you personally?
Remo Di Simone: Being president of an organization with deep roots in the industrial development of Brazil is certainly a great honor.
Fritsch: What are the main targets for your presidency?
Di Simone: First of all, we will diligently defend our sector interests in the government sphere, and in the supply chains of the Brazilian economy.
Submit to our Directors a proposed adequacy of the entity to modern times giving it a management system that streamlines both the Operational and Institutional areas.
Institute the Competitiveness Department and consequently restructure the Economics and Statistics Departments.
Promote “Export” programs and courses for small and medium businesses.
Strengthen the “Study and Work Commissions” that I consider the soul of any entity.
Provide subsidy for the formulation of sectoral policies.
Fritsch: How will the foundry industry and casting technology develop in Brazil for the next five years?
Di Simone: I think that expectations are very good, despite occasional problems. However, the current political moment leaves little room for major changes or to formulate a comprehensive Horizontal Industrial Policy due to the Political Succession Process already underway.
All customers industries like automotive, oil and gas, railroad, agriculture and infrastructure continue to have ambitious targets with large volumes of investment and that will certainly require considerable investment in the metal casting industry to follow this demand. Moreover, the signs of the recovery of the global market are already perceived, most notably our biggest partner USA. I am optimistic.
Fritsch: Concerning: Automotive, Iron, Steel, Aluminum, Die Casting, World Cup, Olympic Games, etc.
Di Simone: The automotive industry is predicting an extraordinary growth of 400 thousand vehicles / year until 2020. Considering that our production of castings is 57% of the automotive market, we estimate an increment of 12% per year, for the next five years.
So the other component sectors like iron, steel, aluminum and die casting should have similar growing percentages.
On the other hand, the improvement of the economy in general, due to investments in Agriculture, Oil / Gas and Infrastructure industries will certainly increase the demand for castings. Adding all these, the estimated production of castings for the next five years is expected to be 580 thousand ton / year.
Fritsch: What will be the main focus for investments in the foundry industry?
Di Simone: The investments will cover the whole metal casting chain:
- Technological innovation to improve quality and reduce manufacturing costs.
- Management programs for improving operational efficiency and reducing waste.
- Preparation of molding Sands synchronized with melting cycles. Central melting furnaces with the replacement and expansion of furnaces and peripheral systems.
- Finishing operations with highest automation.
- Environment and layout.
Thus, predicting an increment in production of 580 thousand ton / year and multiplying by the investment factor 1.034, we can estimate the total investment of 600 million R$ / year.
Fritsch: What is the positional value of Fenaf/Conaf taking place in São Paulo in October 2013?
Di Simone: The Latin American Foundry Fair and Congress is now an undeniable reality, highlighting as the second event in the world industry. It happens at an appropriate time, considering the large volume of investments mentioned above. A highly significant foreign presence gives it the status of an international event presenting the “state of the art” of the foundry sector, an ample view of Brazilian products and services and it is certainly a message to the future. There will be present from the smallest to the largest foundries in the world consolidating its institutional image and certainly doing business through the core “Business Roundtable”. We also will be exhibiting the largest suppliers of Equipments and Services from 18 different nationalities including Brazilians, with its technology and its innovations. This event is undoubtedly the best approach that visitor and exhibitor have, not only to foster business contacts, as well as evaluate their integration in MERCOSUR through direct investment or as Joint-Ventures.
The Brazilian foundry industry is today an indisputable reality for its reliability and for the quality and innovation of their products present in the whole world.
This is the mission of Fenaf / Conaf
Fritsch: Where is the possibility meeting you personally around the world for the next time?
Di Simone: Having assumed the presidency for less than a month we do not have a program of institutional representation prepared and approved. But we will certainly be present in the largest industry events in the world.
We hope to have the pleasure to greet you in October in our Fenaf.
Brazil Casting Production in 2011:
Total: 3.24 million tons
Gray iron: 1.94 million tons
Ductile iron: 786,000 tons
Steel: 243,000 tons
Nonferrous: 273,000 tons