Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Car and truck applications drive CGI forward

In its year-end statement SinterCast has pointed to “the start of production of two undisclosed heavy duty engine programmes”, both of which use compacted graphite iron (CGI) cylinder blocks.

These two programmes, together with the continued ramp-up of commercial vehicle engine components and “improving economic conditions in key sectors” point the way to the Stockholm-based company finishing the 2014 year with record volume production and revenue.

The company notes that full-year series production is set to increase by more than 10 per cent, while the full-year operating result is set to increase by more than 30 per cent.

Finally, production gains have been driven by a 30 per cent increase in CGI engines for commercial vehicle production.

However, passenger vehicle engine production remains the star of the company’s forthcoming results, accounting for 55 per cent of the total.

Undoubtedly the star of the year from an application standpoint has been the debut of the first high-volume CGI passenger car engine – the Ford 2.7-litre EcoBoost turbocharged gasoline engine – which has been launched first in North America’s best-selling vehicle – the Ford F-150 pick-up truck.

This engine is poised to ramp up throughout 2015 and is expected to make a significant contribution to next year’s results.

Although December foundry shutdowns traditionally result in lower production volumes for the last month of the year, SinterCast executives expect the full-year results to have a turn-out that is 10 per cent above 2013.

“Following three consecutive years of record installation of iron foundry CGI processing technology units, installation announcements were quieter than normal,” admits Dr. Steve Dawson, SinterCast’s president and chief executive officer.

He added significantly: “This is largely the result of changing OEM policies regarding supplier information, and new CGI announcements which were also quieter than normal.”

Dr. Dawson concludes, positively: “Behind the scenes we are busy supporting customer activities, promoting new CGI applications, adding technical resources, developing new technologies and setting records. And we finish 2014 knocking on the door of the two million engine equivalent milestone, and looking forward to the potential of the year ahead.”

COMMENT: It is known that Dr. Dawson had been expecting to make at least one significant CGI announcement before the end of the year but was thwarted by various behind-the-scenes developments.                                                                              JM

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