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Solid Reviews for Metalcasting's Big Show

Sept. 30, 2003
GIFA, the largest international expo for metalcasting and diecasting technologies, is held every four years in Duesseldorf, Germany. While attendance for the just-completed staging June 15-20 was down slightly from the advance expectations, the event was

The event was spread over five exhibition halls at the expansive fairgrounds there, and held simultaneously with exhibitions of thermal processing technologies (Thermprocess) and primary metal producing and processing (Metec). The initial presentation of casting design capabilities (Newcast) was held, too. And, there was a concurrent conference program. The program for the World Foundry Organization Technical Forum focused on metalcasting information technology.

According to the organizers, the entire enterprise drew 1,661 exhibitors from 43 countries, and 71,500 visitors from 84 nations. "The high internationality of the trade fairs is particularly impressive," remarked Horst Klosterkemper, managing director of Messe Duesseldorf. He noted that Europeans were the most numerous attendees, though travelers from India, China, South Korea, Argentina, and Brazil were also well represented. Most important, 90% of the attendees described their visits as "very good," and 98% reported they had met their objective.

This year's GIFA event, the 10th presentation of the trade fair, drew over 50,000 visitors from 35 countries, nearly as many from foreign countries (48%) as from Germany (52%). European visitors led the field of attendees, 69% of the total. Eastern Europeans made up 9% of European visitors.Most of the non-European visitors came from Asia. "A further rise in international reach has clearly confirmed GIFA's status as a flagship fair," said Dr. Gutmann Habig, an expert in foundry machinery for a German trade organization.

In surveys taken during and after GIFA, visitors described their interests in the event as focusing on metalcasting technologies (69%); the supply industry (25%); raw materials, auxiliaries, and operating materials (24%); diecasting technology (22%); machining and processing technologies (19%); and chemistry (18%).

Eighty-three percent of exhibitors describe their business experience at GIFA as "successful;" 86% expect good post-fair business, and 94% plan to return to Duesseldorf for GIFA 2007. Such responses from the exhibitors confirms the success of the fair: 85% of exhibiting firms were well pleased the event. And, GIFA 2003 proved just as popular with 97% of visitors.

On June 16-17, the WFO staged their Technical Forum. Experts from seven countries made a total of 27 lectures on state-of-the-art information technologies for foundries, such as computer simulations, automation, and process control. The WFO and its co-organizers with the German Foundrymen's Assn. were well received by the estimated 300 attendees, from over 20 nations, with several lively discussions following the presentations.

Spread over seven large halls, more than 800 exhibitors offered new and proven technologies for the range of foundry and metal heat-treating operations, as well as lab equipment, process control, and material handling systems.

Inductotherm's extensive exhibit featured the engineering group's complete melting, holding and pouring solutions for virtually all metals. Emphasis was given to a recent expansion in automated pouring system capabilities -- the result of acquisitions from DISA (Georg Fischer) -- installation of a triple induction furnace/power system, and continued growth and focus on aluminum melting and automated pouring applications.