April 2, 2012
Global Industry Analysts Inc., San Jose, Calif., has released a comprehensive report on the global metal stampings, forgings, and castings markets. According to the report, the market is forecast to reach $407.6 billion by 2017. The report provides market estimates and projections for major geographic markets including the U.S., Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the rest of the world.
The market growth is being driven by new metal stamping technologies, particularly in the automotive sector. Postrecession economic revival, rebounding manufacturing activity, novel application areas, and strong production lines will boost the medium- to long-term prospects of the market further. Developing markets in Asia, Latin America, and parts of Europe, driven by rising outsourcing trends, expanding capacity utilization, and high demand, are poised to take industry growth to the next level.
Worldwide demand for metal stamping fluctuates with the global automotive industry, considered one of the largest end-use markets. The automotive stampings industry is characterized by the cyclical nature of the demand, technological innovations for quality enhancements, pricing pressures, and continued reduction in lead-time and manufacturing costs. Nonferrous casting alloys, particularly magnesium and aluminum, are looking at strong growth potential as vehicle manufacturers are opting for lighter metals to produce fuel-efficient vehicles. Pricing volatility of metals and alloys such as steel, chromium, molybdenum, nickel, and tungsten compelled the use of coated steels and alloys for stamping operations.
The metal casting and forging industry has been undergoing transition in technology in the recent past, with developments primarily focused on dies, material design and modeling, lubrication, optimization software, sensors and process controls, and preventive maintenance. New casting technologies have reduced costs and widened markets. As every automobile has a high proportion of cast parts, casting suppliers are developing new technologies, products, and business models to meet the demand for cheaper and smaller vehicles that comply with environmental standards and prices demanded by developing nations.
Automobile manufacturers operating in the U.S. and Europe are increasingly outsourcing their stamping operations to reduce the work load and to address the growing cost pressures. Moreover, proliferation of niche models, which resulted in the increase of stamped parts, also is fueling the trend toward outsourcing Manufacturers having strong infrastructure for manufacture of stampings and other small structural parts are outsourcing management responsibility to allow their in-house production to concentrate on higher volumes.