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Globalization of metalcasting demonstrated at GIFA 89.

Globalization of Metalcasting Demonstrated at GIFA 89

While the most advanced foundry technology available today was clearly the focus of GIFA 89--the 7th International Foundry Trade Fair--it was equally clear that beyond technology, metalcasting is rapidly becoming a global industry.

The Future of Foundry Technology was the theme of GIFA 89, the 7th International Foundry Trade Fair held May 20-26 in Dusseldorf, Federal Republic of Germany. And while metalcasting technology was clearly the focus of this year's event, the theme could just as easily have been The Future of the Foundry business.

Beyond the advanced technology on exhibit, the increasing international participation at GIFA was clear evidence that the business of metalcasting is rapidly approaching global status. The future of the foundry industry will embrace not only global technologies but will emcompass global markets, as well.

Held every five years, GIFA was organized and first held by the Dusseldorf Trade Shows in 1956. That exhibition featured 428 exhibitors, 71 of which came from outside of West Germany. International participation in GIFA has continued to grow.

The 1984 version of GIFA, for example, had 509 exhibitors with 205 designated as "foreign." This year the GIFA exposition was comprised of 624 exhibitors, of which 266 were foreign. Some 28 countries were represented among the exhibitors. Foundry exhibits this year took up 38,000 sq meters (409,000 sq ft), more than 20% larger than the 1984 event.

In addition to GIFA, three other major trade shows were held concurrently at the Dusseldorf Fairgrounds. They were: METEC, an international exhibition of metallurgical technology and equipment; THERMPROCESS, the fifth international exposition of industrial heating and thermal production processes; and BERGBAU, the third international mining show.

By the time the gates closed on these four mammoth exhibitions, more than 132,000 visitors had been counted. GIFA was the largest of the four shows.

More than a quarter of all attendees this year came from outside Europe. A breakdown of the total shows that 74% of the participants came from Europe; 10% from Central and South America; 8% from Asia; 5% from North America; 2% from Africa; and 1% from Australia.

In all, 41% of the GIFA attendance came from outside Germany. Some 113 were represented, according to Dusseldorf Trade Shows.

U.S. Presence

While American companies have participated in GIFA since the outset, this year's event was particularly significant in that 11 firms banded together to form the U.S. Pavilion. Anchored by the American Foundrymen's Society, the pavilion proved to be an effective tool for promoting U.S. foundry products and technology.

"This was our organization's first GIFA, and we and the other firms were very pleased with the visitors' response to our presence at the show," said Chuck Jones, AFS executive vice president.

Bill Bergdahl, executive secretary/treasurer of the Casting Industry Suppliers Association (also a pavilion exhibitor), agreed. "The show was very successful for us. We made great contacts with customer foundries throughout the world, and we'll be back for the next show," he said. "We were quite impressed with the size of the fairgrounds and the quality of services offered."

Some 26 U.S.-based companies exhibited at this year's show and occupied 5350 sq ft of space, according to the GIFA organizers.

World-Class Technology

As with GIFA 89, world-class technology was at the heart of the 56th World Foundry Congress held in conjunction with GIFA in Dusseldorf. Nearly 1100 metalcasters from 48 countries examined many of the critical technological developments that are shaping the future of the worldwide foundry industry.

More than 30 technical presentations made up the program that was organized by the International Committee of Foundry Technical Associations. In addition to formal presentations, this year's meeting featured a special technical forum on surface quality and dimensional accuracy of castings.

Cast Art

Another special feature of GIFA 89 was "CastArt," an exhibition of modern art casting. More than 120 artists from West Germany and neighboring countries displayed nearly 200 sculptures, reliefs and plaques. The cast art exposition, which was attended by some of the best known European artists, took up the entire Hall Six at the Dusseldorf Fairgrounds.

A concurrent exhibition, "The Cast Iron Furnace: History, Form and Technology," provided an in-depth look at the historical development of cast iron and furnaces.

PHOTO : Nearly 132,000 visitors attended the four trade shows--GIFA 89, METEC, THERMPROCESS and

PHOTO : BERGBAU--held May 20-26 in Dusseldorf.

PHOTO : AFS executive vice president Chuck Jones (ctr) congratulates Gerhard Engles (r), president

PHOTO : of GIFA 89, on the success of the show. With them is Christian Winslow, president of

PHOTO : Dusseldorf Trade Shows' New York office. In the background is the U.S. Pavilion. This was

PHOTO : the first time that an American group exhibit was held at GIFA.

PHOTO : "CastArt," an exhibit of modern art casting, was a special feature of GIFA 89. More than

PHOTO : 120 artists displayed nearly 200 pieces of cast art, including sculptures, reliefs and

PHOTO : plaques. Also shown were antique, ornamental, cast iron stoves.
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Title Annotation:7th international foundry trade fair
Author:Kanicki, David P.
Publication:Modern Casting
Date:Sep 1, 1989
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