As you may have heard, the die casting industry expects huge growth in the coming years. While this is exciting news, the industry will face significant challenges to keep up with this anticipated growth.
The Die Casting Industry is Thriving
Industry growth is never a bad thing, but it can present some hurdles. Exactly how much growth are we expecting? HTF Market Intelligence forecasts the global aluminum casting market to expect a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.2% or $39 billion for the period 2023 – 2028.
Moreover, Mordor Intelligence predicts the high-pressure die casting market —which produces lightweight components and is currently valued at $36.43 billion—will grow by a CAGR of 6.16% during the same period. The aluminum parts gravity die casting market—a traditional way of die casting currently valued at $6.44 billion—is predicted to have a CAGR of 4.82%.
Additionally, according to research from Exactitude Consultancy, the automotive parts magnesium die casting market is expected to grow by a CAGR of 7.5% for the period 2022 – 2029, achieving around $21.76 billion value. In other words, the industry is growing in leaps and bounds!
What are the reasons behind this tremendous growth? According to HTF Market Intelligence, there are two market drivers: the growing automotive industry and increased lightweighting initiatives. Advancements in casting technology and sustainability/recycling practices add wind to the market’s sails.
The Problem with Fast Growth
While all this growth sounds like great news, some impediments remain. What could hamper growth?
HTF Market Intelligence cites the casting process’s high energy consumption as one possible restraint and the volatility of aluminum prices as another.
But one of the biggest issues facing all manufacturing areas is labor shortages. In a short list of 2023 mold and die trends from Engineering.com, labor shortages were ranked second of five significant industry trends to note.
At Wes-Tech, we’ve been closely following the labor shortages in manufacturing. A combination of skilled labor shortages and changes in workplace demands (such as remote work) have disadvantaged manufacturers when it comes to filling much-needed jobs. The labor shortage in die casting is no different, and it is not a problem that is going away in the short- or medium-term.
The Answer to Labor Shortages in Die Casting: Automation
So, while the die casting market anticipates major growth during the next five years, the labor capacity sets the pace. Fortunately, in places where labor shortage is a serious handicap, industrial automation can supplement the workforce.
Industrial automation, however, is not a 1:1 substitution for manual labor; it far exceeds the speed and accuracy of human work. For instance, where manual labor plateaus in production, error-free throughput is surpassed by automation. An excellent example of the massive volume potential of automation comes from the results of Amazon’s “picking” challenge, where one of their robots could pick and place 1000 units per hour while human effort maxed out at less than half that amount.
Another advantage of supplying the labor shortage with industrial automation is that the die casting industry has notoriously high injury rates. Implementing industrial automation can reduce the number of burns, back strains, and repetitive motion injuries by removing the human element from hazardous work, thereby decreasing the personal and corporate costs of such injuries.
Wes-Tech has an extensive background in automating die casting solutions such as ingot handling, trim unloading, robotic press extraction, porosity testing, robot CNC load/unloading, final assembly, and part conveyance and packaging, providing die casters with improved overall processes, increased throughput, consistent quality, and a safer work environment.
If you’d like to learn more, we’d love to share!
We’ll be at the North American Die Casting Association Die Casting Congress & Tabletop this September 19 – 21 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Visit us at booth #642 to discover ways we help the die cast industry succeed. Not planning to attend the event? Call or email us today for a free consultation.