Last week our Manager Industry Development Dr. Boaz Habib had the opportunity to present at the Casting Technology New Zealand Annual Conference, 11 – 13 August 2017.
Focused on the theme ‘sustainable foundries for the future’ in casting technology, it was a well-attended event. Attracting around 50 industry representatives from across New Zealand and Australia to Dunedin.
For HERA, this conference was an excellent opportunity to network with this close-knit community. Where we were able to exchange industrial experiences and gain a better understanding of an industry fraught with tough challenges.
Metals NZ CEO Gary Hook opened the conference. Delivering a strong message around the need to be sustainable in today’s casting industry environment. Offering his own association’s thoughts on advocacy needs, industry collaboration, innovation and R&D if we’re to move forward successfully.
A sentiment solidified further by Key Note Speaker University of Cranfield Professor Mark Jolly. Who drew on his own prolific career in casting technologies research to give examples from the UK foundry industry. In particular their barriers and his own research efforts on overcoming them through sustainable practices.
During his presentation, our Dr. Boaz Habib reflected on the recent demise of a few of our own heavy engineering companies and recent closure of Hillside Engineering in Dunedin. Using the AGGAT programs waste heat mapping in foundries project to emphasise the need for this sector to not waste their time, resources and capabilities if they’re to survive.
“This conference truly demonstrates the international reach of the casting community, its potential and the obvious passion of all that work in this industry,” he said.
“But my concern is that there is no sense of urgency for mind sets to change if we’re to avoid company closures. At some stage we have to ask ourselves – is the industry really dying? Or are we letting it?’
A lot of hard work went into preparing this conference by Industry Champion Bill Lovell and the casting committee including Chairman Dean Armiger and Bev Lovell. A highlight to the first day being a tour of Scott Technology’s impressive facilities. Where their automation capabilities and application of robotics to primary industries such as meat processing demonstrated a company truly applying innovation to keep up with the times as a leader in their sector. And, with topics covering 3D sand printing, Industry 4.0, industry standards in training and health and safety as well as insights into benefits from simulations and advanced casting design techniques – many attested it was well worth the attendance.
It is time for all of you to also ‘cast your thoughts’ into your future and consider what opportunities could be available for you. If you’d like to share your visions and thoughts, please contact our Industry Development Manager Dr Boaz Habib.