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GIFA’s Metalcasting Playground

Alfred Spada

GIFA is about the future of metalcasting.  The world’s largest metalcasting trade show held last month in Dusseldorf, Germany, is best known for all the technology and services on display by the 2,000+ exhibitors. It is the world’s largest metalcasting mall as attendees can shop ‘til they drop to outfit their casting facility with the latest and greatest equipment and materials.

But GIFA also has always represented more than just the shiny new toys on the exhibit floor.  It represents the promise of the industry.  It represents what the future might hold for metalcasting.

This future can be linked to technology, like additive manufacturing, or process advancements, like environmentally benign raw materials.  Or, this future can be linked to a shared vision to reintroduce metalcasting to the next generation.

My experience at GIFA this year was highlighted by the number of exhibitors who dedicated a portion of their exhibition to educating and entertaining the next generation about metalcasting.  This next generation audience isn’t necessarily a new crop of metalcasters-in-training, but instead the next generation of adults in training who will be our future teachers, doctors, lawyers, regulators, purchasing managers and design engineers. The exhibitors who catered to this group realize their future rests as much in the hands of the metalcasters who will purchase their goods and services as it does in general society’s understanding of the importance of metalcasting and how it must be part of our future.

On the GIFA show floor, exhibitors were providing:

  • Chemistry demonstrations.
  • A game show.
  • A race car simulator.
  • Virtual reality demonstrations of a casting facility and the process.
  • A simulated roller coaster utilizing a robot.
  • Live casting demonstrations performed by students.

Were all of these experiences 100% applicable to metalcasting?  No.  Did they all enhance the entertainment value of a metalcasting experience?  Yes. Take a look at our video at www.metalcastingtv.com to experience some of the metalcasting fun that occurred at GIFA.

This shared vision expressed by our industry at GIFA will continue to advance in all our markets so seize the opportunity to participate.  While you might not be able to affect the technological future of our industry, you can actively participate in educating the next generation and help carry our industry forward.