In a statement accompanying its 2005 "State of the Industry" report, the North American Die Casting Assn. indicated that its member firms' shipments were reasonably steady in the year past. But, the group cautioned that difficult conditions ahead demand "innovative solutions for diecasting companies to remain profitable.
Because diecastings generally are components of more complex finished products, diecasters may expect to continue to do well as the broader economy grows in 2006.
However, NADCA president Daniel L. Twarog cited foreign competition, narrow profit margins, rising health-care costs, and energy prices as general economic conditions that require diecasters to adopt new technologies and business strategies to remain competitive and successful.
He also stated that diecasters must address their need for engineers with skills suited to global manufacturing competition.
For 2006, NADCA forecasts shipments of zinc diecastings will remain steady or increase slightly, and expects magnesium diecasting shipments to increase by just 2%. Aluminum diecasting shipments will decline by an estimated 3%, NADCA says.
These predictions reflect the industry's reliance on the automaking sector, which received 77% of all diecastings shipped last year (up from 68% in 2000).