Investment casting process is a foundry process by which a metal part is produced from an investment mold that is formed by a heat-disposable pattern such as wax. Investment casting process is also termed as the lost wax method. These castings are commonly used in defense aircraft, launch vehicles, helicopters, regional jets, and commercial transport. Investment casting process is known for its highly accurate, and, near-net-shape.
Key factors driving the investment casting market include decentralized power generation, optimization of the casting process through simulations, and rising trend of pipeline connectivity and movement of natural gas. Rapid growth in the aerospace & defense sector will drive the demand for investment casting in the near future. Foundries must overcome the challenge of high energy cost as the energy consumption at every stage is immense. On the other hand, need for high initial capital investment is a major drawback of investment castings. The requirement of machinery for large scale production leads to high initial cost. Moreover, the preparation of the wax molds is a time consuming, labor-intensive process. These are some of the major factors hampering the growth of the investment casting market.
The global investment casting market can be segmented based on material, distribution channel, end-users, and region. On the basis of material, the investment casting market can be segmented into aluminum, superalloys, steel, titanium, and others which includes glass and brass. Based on distribution channel, the investment casting market can be bifurcated into direct sales and distributor sales. In terms of end-users, the investment casting market is bifurcated into aerospace & defense, automotive, industrial gas turbines, medical, engineering machinery, and general industrial machinery.
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Aerospace & defense is one the biggest end-user segment of the investment casting market. Commercial aircrafts and jet propulsion for defense offer investment casting the leading status in the casting industry. Based on region, the global investment casting market can be segregated into Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, South America, and Middle East & Africa. North America region is projected to be the major revenue contributor for investment casting due to the expanding manufacturing industry, primarily for civil aviation and industrial gas turbines.
Secondly, the market in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand at a considerable pace during the forecast period due to increasing government investment in the aerospace & defense sector. China and India are automotive hubs with large number of automotive OEM’s shifting their manufacturing facilities to these countries. This has influenced the demand for aluminium castings in these countries in the past couple of years. Rise in demand for investment casting in industries such as aerospace & defense, automotive, industrial gas turbines (IGT), medical, engineering machinery etc. will drive the market in developing Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea. This is expected to augment the demand for investment casting in these countries from 2018 to 2026.
Prominent players operating in the global investment casting market are Precision Castparts Corp, Amtek Group, Doncasters Group Ltd, ABB, Bharat Forge Ltd., Alcoa Corporation, RLM Industries, Inc., ThyssenKrupp AG, Milwaukee Precision Casting, Inc., Aristo Cast Corporation, CIREX, Georg Fischer Ltd., The Anchor Danly Company, MetalTek International, Zollern GmbH & Co. KG., Thompson Investment Casting, Nova Technocast, Signicast, and Solidscape Inc. These players are estimated to face tough competition in the near future due to presence of a large number of local players in the market. Major brands are likely to focus on innovation of new products and research & development activities to strengthen their foothold in the global investment casting market. Companies are undertaking mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures with local players to expand their product portfolio. Producers in developing countries are focusing on reducing their cost of production and increase profitability for the sustainable growth of their business.
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