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Die and drop forging
 

Basque die and drop forged part producers account for more than 75% of all business activity in the industry in Spain as a whole.

In 2006 there was a 4.4% descent in product tonnage delivered, a drop caused by big increases in the price of steel, up 50% on average, the inflation differential, the strength of the euro against the dollar and increasing energy costs. To offset the negative effect of these developments, businesses in the sector will have to continue with process automation and improvements in productivity. Productivity in 2006 came to 88.46 tons/man-year, up 2.1% on 2005 and a 32.6% increase on levels achieved eight years previously. Even so, die forging firms ended 1Q 2007 with a 4.7% increase in tonnage delivered and are looking to clock up 265,000 tons by the end of the year, which would mean a return to the levels for 2004 and 2005.

Whatever happens, activity in the industry is based mainly on work coming in from European and US industrial vehicle makers, backed by orders from the farm machinery and civil works sectors as well as from pipe and tubing accessory producers. In contrast, demand from the forging industry's main customer, carmakers, weakened considerably, as the automotive industry begins to show worrying signs of saturation after a number of years of sustained growth. The fall in demand from makers of petrol-driven cars was offset by a shift in demand towards diesel-run cars, 4 x 4s and large people movers. Spokesmen from Spanish die and drop forging business group SIFE stress that demand from farm machinery, civil works and the gas and oil industries looks set to hold steady.

Altogether the industry billing 437 million euros in die and drop forged parts, down 2.3% on the previous year.

In 2006 the industry exported 138,846 tons directly, 8% down on the figure for the year before.
Meantime, companies a making a major investment effort. Mondragon Cooperative Corporation member Ulma Forja, for example, increased sales by 24% in 2006 to add a roll-forging technology to make flanges of up to 24 inches that permits major savings in raw materials. SFP is to reorganize and concentrate its two mills in Amorebieta on the Boroa industrial estate, while Forjas de Berriz will integrate in Elorrio. Sidenor has also been busy on the investment front, as has CIE Automotive, which has improved its position in drop forging by buying up factories in Brazil and acquiring two new presses for its Galicia-based subsidiary Galfor.

 


RELATED LINKS
Society of Die-Forging Industries - SIFE
Business news

 

(Source: Presidency of the Government - General Secretariat for Communication )

Fecha de la última modificación: 10/07/2008