Transformation harbours opportunities
5/16/2024 Events News

Transformation harbours opportunities

The motto of this year's Great Foundry Technology Conference in Salzburg was "The future of casting - transformation, young talent, technology". On 25 and 26 April, more than 600 participants from the foundry and supplier industry as well as casting users discussed topics such as the circular economy, rising energy costs, a shortage of skilled workers, digitalisation and new technologies.

Award ceremony at the  Great Foundry Technology Conference 2024 in Salzburg Award ceremony (from left): VDG Managing Director Dr Erwin Flender, Lars Steinheider, new VDG President, Andreas Müller, Managing Director of DGS Druckguss, BDG President Clemens Küpper
Frank Kühmayer on stage at the Great Foundry Technology Conference 2024 in Salzburg The participants were introduced on the opening day by futurologist Franz Kühmayer.
The conference, organised by the Federal Association of the German Foundry Industry (BDG) together with the Austrian Foundry Institute (ÖGI) and the Foundry Association of Switzerland (GVS), focused on current political, economic and technical challenges. 25 specialist presentations, a trade exhibition and two keynote speeches with panel discussions formed the framework for the successful event, which was held for the first time since 2018 and was supported by EUROGUSS.

The participants were put in the right mood on the opening day by futurologist Franz Kühmayer, who stated: "Many industries - including yours - are facing tough times. Things won't get better any time soon." On the other hand, the foundry industry offers good opportunities for growth: "This is something that could be more widely publicised. This is not only important for politics, but also for the labour market," said the researcher.
Stage at Great Foundry Technology Conference 2024 in Salzburg Panel discussion at the Great Foundry Technology Conference in Salzburg 2024

"Crucial question" for politicians

Afterwards, participants were able to choose from sessions on the topics of iron and steel casting, non-ferrous metal casting, transformation and digitalisation with presentations by top-class speakers from industry and research.

The programme later in the afternoon was dominated by young scientists who reported on their own research projects. On the following day, specialist presentations on the topic of the circular economy provided an additional focus, before Professor Karl Rose closed the conference with his plenary lecture on the future of energy markets and a panel discussion.
"Salzburg has galvanised us for what lies ahead. Perhaps we've become more prepared," said BDG President Clemens Küpper at the end of the event. With a view to the problematic framework conditions, for which politicians are also responsible, he called on the participants to ask local elected representatives the "crucial question": "What do you think about the industry? We want our state to make a commitment to industry," said Küpper. Lars Steinheider, newly elected President of the German Foundrymen's Association (VDG), said: "We are transforming ourselves every day in our industry, and we should go out with this message."

Innovation prize awarded

The "Innovation Prize of the German Foundry Industry - Peter R. Sahm", which has been awarded by the BDG for several years, was also presented during the conference and is aimed at companies, organisations or individuals who have made a special contribution to material, process and product innovations in the foundry industry. 

This year, the 15,000 euro prize was awarded to DGS Druckguss Systeme, St. Gallen, whose Managing Director Andreas Müller accepted the award.
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Editors EUROGUSS 365