Metalcasters want to sell you castings, whether you know it or not.
Just how much they want to sell you castings was apparent at the recent Marketing and Selling of Castings Conference, put on from July 31 to August 1 by the American Foundry Society. With more than 160 metalcasters making their way to the Chicago area this year, attendance was up more than 100% from 2007. If you arrived late to the conference room at the Westin O’Hare, you couldn’t get a seat.
The relationship between casting makers and buyers is unique in the world of manufacturing. It’s not like many component producing/consuming relationships, where there is only one industry that can satisfy the needs of the buyer. Industries that can benefit from castings sometimes don’t even know the products exist. And metalcasters often don’t know who needs their products.
Events like the Marketing and Selling of Castings Conference are designed to bridge this gap in the supply chain. They’re an attempt to bring casting sellers and buyers together and allow them to network and bounce ideas off each other. Among the presenters at the conference were representatives from five companies that use metal castings—Caterpillar, Winergy Drive Systems (USA), FMC Technologies Inc., Haas Automation and Cummins Inc. Those particular sessions were great opportunities for metalcasters to hear exactly what their customers want from them.
The conference was also a great opportunity for metalcasting buyers to find out exactly what their suppliers want from them. Even if you didn’t attend the conference and get the details, rest assured. One thing your suppliers apparently want is to deliver you the products you need. Sometimes, that can be difficult to come by, but by working closely with a metalcaster on the design of your desired components, you can develop a close relationship and a quality engineered component.
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