Nearly 50% of UK foundries export castings, with 80% of these exports going into the EU – such are the findings of the 2017 Casting Industry Census published this month. For larger companies, with over 100 employees, 50% of turnover is being exported (for companies with over 50 employees the figure was almost 41%). Indeed, 16% of the total industry turnover was exported making it a significant part of the industry’s income. The UK investment casting sector makes up 50% of the European market, with Europe accounting for 43% of the world share, so the UK investment casting industry is globally significant, according to figures from the European Investment Casters’ Federation quoted in the census.
The census also confirmed the wide range of high value sectors that rely upon components manufactured using the casting process, from the more obvious ones such as aerospace to automotive, through to the chemical industry, defence and renewable energy – indeed all sectors that serve our modern technologically enabled lives rely to some degree on liquid metal engineering. The direct value of the sector to the UK economy is almost £2 billion but taking into account the diverse range of sectors served, the impact to the UK economy will be higher.
Pam Murrell, CEO of the Cast Metals Federation who commissioned the study from the ERC at the University of Warwick Business School, said: “The 2017 Casting Industry Census clearly shows that there is an opportunity for the UK manufacturing sector, and casting supply chain which is
integral to it, to supply highly engineered components to the high value manufacturing sector both at home and internationally – we now need the manufacturing environment in the UK to continue to encourage and enable UK firms to develop and grow to take advantage of this opportunity. Clearly, it remains challenging for UK foundries to compete with high energy prices and strict environmental controls, so we cannot compete on price – we need to be efficient and productive, embracing new technologies and automation where appropriate and offering a solution to engineers and designers. “Castings are, and will continue to be, used in all areas of modern life – so perhaps the only question is ‘will they be made here in the UK?’ I certainly hope so, as we have many innovative and highly productive component manufacturers here, adding value and providing skilled jobs to the UK economy”.
The 2017 Casting Industry Census was commissioned by the Cast Metals Federation and compiled by the Enterprise Research Centre, ERC, University of Warwick Business School from data supplied by 159 CMF Member foundries. The data was collected during late 2017.
CMF Member foundries represent every part of the sector and manufacture around 85% of all castings produced in the UK. Ranging from global foundry groups to small jobbing foundries, CMF Member foundries supply precision finished parts and assemblies in a range of sizes, metals and process to the UK and global markets and generate sales revenues of at least £1.89billion.
For more information on the 2017 Casting Industry Census or on CMF contact: Dr Pam Murrell FICME, Cast Metals Federation, National Metalforming Centre, 47 Birmingham Road, West Bromwich, West Midlands B70 6PY, United Kingdom, Tel: +44 (0) 121 601 6396, Fax: +44 (0) 121 601 6391, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.castmetalsfederation.com