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An interview with Riccardo Ferrario, General Manager, IDRA Group at METEF 2017
IDRA Group is an Italy based manufacturing group involved in the design and manufacture of die casting presses and automated cells for the light alloy foundry business worldwide. IDRA exhibited at METEF 2017, the international expo of customized technology for the aluminium and innovative metals industry.
Mr. Riccardo Ferrario is the General Manager of IDRA S.r.l with over 31 years of experience in the light alloy foundry business and worked for global companies such as Teksid (Fiat Group metallurgical product division), EurAlcom Group and Meridian Technologies. Mr. Ferrario is a metallurgical engineer and possesses strong experience in foundry manufacturing process and business development. He is a member of the board of High Pressure Die Casting Technology of AIM (Italian Metallurgical Association) and Vice President of AMAFOND (Italian Foundry Supplier Association) and is well known in the aluminium and magnesium foundry community worldwide.
Riccardo Ferrario spoke to AlCircle during Metef 2017 exhibition in Verona, Italy and spoke about their company and the innovating use of aluminium die-casting in the automotive sector.
Here is an excerpt from the interview:
AlCircle: Give us a brief overview of IDRA Group and its products and services.
Riccardo Ferrario: Thank you for giving us an opportunity to speak about IDRA. IDRA is a strong name in the automotive die-casting sector and has a long history in this specific business. Our company is well-known as a manufacturer of high pressure die-casting press. We are here in this business for last seventy years and we are one of the leading companies capable of making highly innovative and technologically advanced presses for the aluminium and magnesium foundry business.
AlCircle: What is the role of aluminium in your overall business?
Riccardo Ferrario: Aluminium is actually our core business, because, 90% of our products are aluminium-driven. Our customers are big OEMs who are interested in making aluminium parts themselves in their captive foundries like FCA, Volkswagen Group, Renault, but We also supply to the most important Tier #1: Magna, Nemak, Endurance group, as well as smaller family owned business, foundries with 3-4 die-casting machines. So, we operate internationally and other than the 90% aluminium business, the rest 10% comes from magnesium, another lightweighting material. 80% of our sales are driven towards the automotive sector and the rest 20% is for the electrical and other specific applications.
AlCircle: Do you think aluminium casting products will slowly replace steel in various automotive and aerospace applications?
Riccardo Ferrario: As a supplier to the automotive sector, I do believe aluminium is bringing about a transformation in these sectors and it is a booming business. Aluminium will be able to substitute a number of interesting steel applications, mainly due to its ability to reduce weight in the cars, also driven by the stricter environmental and fuel consumption rules in the U.S. and Europe and now in China and India. The countries are foreseeing that the automotive industry would have to redesign their cars. The body and structural parts of the cars were mostly in Electroslag welding (ESW) steel applications. The automotive companies are already substituting a number of their parts with aluminium like the shock tower for instance, opening up opportunities for a booming business.
AlCircle: Do you think aluminium can be the most preferred option for automotive engine components and wheels for lightweighting and fuel economy?
Riccardo Ferrario: Yes, I do believe aluminium will grow more than many other potential alternative materials for a couple of qualities. Not only it is lightweight but also it is already utilized successfully by engineers in various engine applications as a normal material. The interesting thing is that the new car engines will to be smaller as they have to be hybrid. Smaller does not really mean less powerful. Aluminium is the right choice for an engine which is smaller and lighter but with a very good content in terms of energy or the horse power it releases. The hybrid engine will have more and more aluminium components driven by the three basic factors- a lighter engine and a lighter car, secondly; it is a well-known and tested material and thirdly it is capable to perform at the mechanical spec rate required by the components.
Disclaimer: “The information presented herein is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional advice. The views and opinions shared in the interview section of www.alcircle.com are unique to the interviewees and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of www.alcircle.com."
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