UK Casting Industry Census shows industry growth – but challenges remain

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The latest Census of the UK Foundry and Casting Industry shows that there has been an 11% increase in sales revenue in the last two years, together with a continuing rise in productivity and high levels of capacity utilisation. Improvements in efficiency and value added services have taken place, with more than half the firms reporting investments in capital equipment within the past two years and over 70% providing value added services such as rapid prototyping, innovative design and simulation and near net shape component manufacture.

Welcoming the publication of the 2017 Casting Industry Census, Dr Pam Murrell, CEO of the Cast Metals Federation, trade association for the UK castings industry, which commissioned the report from the Enterprise Research Centre, ERC, at the University of Warwick Business School, said: “The census clearly shows that the UK casting sector has really begun to recover after the global recession and confirms the information we have been hearing from our members, many of whom are now extremely busy. All the markets that are served by the industry, and that is all sectors of our modern technologically enabled lives, seem to be doing well (with the exception of industrial gas turbines), and this is very encouraging.”

She added: “Clearly there remains uncertainty, with the continuing negotiations regarding the UK’s exit from the EU providing little clarity to business, high energy pricing and skills shortages. We are also faced with significant technical changes taking place with the move to hybrid and electric vehicles, light-weighting and the increased use of additive manufacturing techniques. But the industry is used to change and is always innovating.   Many of these changes actually represent an opportunity for closer contact with customers to provide innovative solutions to design challenges.”

mike naylorMike Naylor, CMF Chair agreed, saying: “We make highly engineered components that provide technical solutions to our customers, through liquid metal engineering and the application of complex science. The industry is diverse and services all sectors of manufacturing – and I do not see this changing – indeed the industry will continue to evolve, embracing change. Our focus needs to be on high value added, complex and technically challenging parts, near to market through close cooperation with designers and our customers. I am pleased to see that the optimism seen around the industry presently has been confirmed by this census and I would like to thank the team at the ERC for their work in analysing the data and compiling this census.”

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: Web:

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