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The Investment Casting Market is poised to register a CAGR of over 4.0% over the forecast period (2020 - 2025).
- Investment Casting is a manufacturing process under which a wax pattern is coated with a refractory ceramic material. This manufacturing process is also known as the lost wax process. The investment Casting process helps in minimizing material waste, energy, and machining. The process is majorly used to produce metal parts for the aerospace, industrial, gas turbine, and automotive industries. Common examples include, doorknobs, medical tooling, auto parts, airplane parts, kitchenware, gearbox cases, cylinder heads, cylinder boxes, pipes, machining components and much more.
- The demand for Investment Casting is majorly driven by the growing Aerospace & Military Industry, as there are many different applications and parts of aircraft, helicopters, Jets, etc., are produced through Investment Casting. These include flight critical and safety components, landing and braking components, and hydraulic fluid system components, all of which are vital to the safety of the aircraft.
- There are few factors which are hindering the demand of investment casting market such as manufacturing cost, high energy consumption, etc. However, foundries are trying to overcome these challenges by making collaborations to innovate advanced casting technologies using simulations, which is likely to reduce the shop-floor time and increase the casting yield.
Key Market Trends
Technological Advancement of Investment Casting Process Likely to Drive the Market
Investment casting is one of the oldest casting processes in the world know for metal-forming techniques and developed to be a widespread modern casting process. In recent Past, 3D printing becomes increasingly popular in producing the pattern for the expendable investment casting. The technique delivers changes in the manufacturing industry by reducing lead time, eliminating high tooling costs, producing parts with flexible and complex geometry structure, etc.
The traditional investment casting process is costly and time taking, depending on part complexity, the tool building process alone can take from 8 to 20 weeks and cost USD 50,000 to USD 100,000 or more. However, in current times by using the Stereolithography 3D Printing (SLA 3D Printing) the same process can be reduced to 3 to 4 weeks and potentially the entire production run of patterns can be built for less than a wax tool would have cost. The SLA printed patterns can be 25% lighter than conventional patterns.
Traditionally low volume and prototype orders tend to make the investment casting process less effective because of the high tooling costs and long lead times for wax pattern tooling. SLA 3D Printed investment casting patterns has opened the door for much smaller quantity orders of investment cast parts to begin to make economic sense for manufacturers.
North America Leads the Investment Casting Market
North America is leading the investment casting market and is likely to continue to hold the top position followed by Asia-Pacific and Europe, respectively. The factors attributable to North America’s growth is expanding the manufacturing industry, primarily industrial gas, aerospace & defense applications and the presence of significant defense aircraft and component manufacturers in the region including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman.
Also, the major investment companies in the region are expanding their business by eliminating their competition through acquisitions. For instance, In April 2018, Signicast acquired Consolidated Casting Corporation, an investment casting company in Hutchins, Texas. Through this acquisition, the company expanded its footprints into the oil & gas sector.
Asia-Pacific is likely to be the fastest-growing region over the forecast period. China is likely to lead the region as it is one of the significant countries which majorly contribute to the growth of investment diecasting through aerospace & defense, automotive industry, industrial machinery, etc.
The investment casting market is fragmented owing to the presence of various international and regional investment casting manufacturers. The investment casting market is lead by Alcoa Corporation, ThyssenKrupp AG, Zollern GmbH and Co. KG, Georg Fischer Ltd., Signicast, Milwaukee Precision Casting, RLM Industries, among others.
As the market is fragmented companies are making investment, partnerships, joint-ventures, acquisitions, etc., for being ahead in the competition. For instance,
- In February 2019, Signicast has signed an agreement to acquire CIREX, a European investment casting specialist based in the Netherlands, from Amsterdam based investment companies Convent and Nedvest. This acquisition will enable Signicast to better serve its growing international customer base and in addition to Signicast’s existing three facilities in the US, the combined operation will now have plants in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
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