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Conference Report

The International Conference and Exhibition on Aluminium Castings, The Asia Pacific Aluminium Conference - ALUCAST 2010 was held successfully at Chennai from 3 to 5 December 2010.

The Technical Sessions were the core of ALUCAST 2010, organized by the Aluminium Casters' Association of India (ALUCAST), at the Chennai Trade Centre, Chennai. Nearly 250 persons had registered as Delegates to the Conference. The theme of the Conference was "Going Global".

While speaking to the media, prior to the conference Mr. Prasan Firodia, President of Aluminium Casters' Association of India and Managing Director of Force Motors said: "Since its inception way back in 1995, ALUCAST has been focusing on providing services to the aluminium casting industry by organising training programmes and annual conferences. Over the years, the aluminium casting industry has grown phenomenally and so have its needs. To meet the increased needs effectively and in a more professional manner, ALUCAST is now registered as 'Aluminium Casters' Association of India'. The association has a slew of big names as corporate life members including ASK, Buhler, Sunbeam Auto Private Limited, ZPF Therm; Tata Motors, Auranabad Electricals , Endurance, Godrej, Maruti Suzuki, Amtek, Castall, MICO, Subros India, Mas Die Casting and more." He assured all out efforts would be made to make the ALUCAST association one of international repute.

ALUCAST 2010 Organising Committee Chairman, Mr. Prataprao Pawar, Chairman & Managing Director, Ajay Metachem Sud Chemie Pvt Ltd., in his speech listed the objectives of the conference and said ALUCAST 2010 had attracted over 100 exhibitors and 250 delegates across the country and more than 30 overseas firms and 120 Indian players will be showcasing their products at the event.

The exhibitions attracted more than 2000 visitors. ALUCAST had also organised a Buyer-Seller meet where over 40 participants participated.

The Conference was inaugurated by the Chief Guest, Mr.L.Lakshman, Executive Director, Rane Group, Chennai. The Technical Volume and the Souvenir were released by Mr Lakshman. Delivering the Keynote address, Mr.Lakshman complimented ALUCAST for choosing the theme "Going Global", which he felt was very apt in the current world scenario, especially with reference to India. Noting that demand for castings meeting global standards has exploded in the last five years, with a number of auto majors of the world setting up manufacturing facilities in India, he said that casting manufacturers should quickly build up their capabilities to meet the demands. Up gradation of technology, backed up by awareness and compliance to international norms of business management, safety & environmental issues would be key factors for success of companies manufacturing aluminium castings in India, he said.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Mr. Achim Klotz. President, Buhler Druckguss, AG Switzerland, who in his address appreciated the efforts made by the association to put up the exhibition on such a grand scale and manner, and also predicted a bright future for the Aluminium casting industry all over the world and particularly to India.

He went on to say that his Company has full confidence in aluminium die casters in India and would work in close co operation with ALUCAST and impart training on state-of-the-art machines and other facilities at the Buhler Training Institute, Bangalore, to operators, mechanics, supervisors and engineers. Such training would enhance their capabilities by several levels, stated Mr.Klotz.

The H. K. Firodia Life Time Achievement award for the year 2010, was awarded to Dr. Abhay Firodia, Chairman, Force Motors, Pune.

At the end of the inaugural function, Mr. R.T. Kulkarni Secretary, ACAI proposed the vote of thanks and wished that the event be fruitful to all the participants.

A total of 20 presentations were made, spread over six sessions, on 3 & 4 Dec. Authors were from Switzerland, Germany, Italy, UK, Singapore and India.

Papers presented on the first day focused on topics relevant to business management, such as Outsourcing, Comparative vs Competitive Advantages, Lean Management, Export Logistics, Mergers & Acquisitions, Productivity improvement and Global Customers' perspective of current capabilities and potential of aluminium die casting industry in India. Speakers included Sourcing Agents for Auto majors in Europe and India.

Topics covered on the second day were more technical or technology oriented, such as Casting Simulation Techniques, Heat treatment of dies, Wax-free die lubricants, Production of automobile structural parts in aluminium, and Advanced Vacuum technology. Speakers included internationally acknowledged experts in die casting technology. All the Sessions were inter active, with the speakers and delegates participating in the Question & Answer Sessions.

The topics covered and the presentations were generally of high standard and are reproduced in a printed Technical Volume, which is a useful reference material for delegates and others connected with aluminium die casting.

The chief guest for the valedictory function Mr SRV Ramanan, Director S.V Associates, Chennai in his valedictory address commended ALUCAST for doing such good work in its short existence of 5 years. He said that he was highly impressed by the show that had been put up in Chennai during ALUCAST 2010 and wished the association of die casters all success in the future.

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