Issued at 2020-07-30

The Slovenian Foundry Association under the leadership of Msci (Dr.) Dipl.-Ing. Mirjam Jan-Blažič invites you to the 60th anniversary of the international foundry conference in Portoroz on the Adriatic.

In 1953 the Association of Slovenian Foundry Specialists was founded in Ljubljana, always with the aim of leading a lively exchange with international experts beyond the borders of former Yugoslavia. On the one hand, this was the opportunity to present yourself and measure yourself against the others while keeping the doors open to international research and development. Bit by bit, an ambitious foundry industry was built up with powerful foundries and a few suppliers.

The conference in the idyllic Portoroz on the Adriatic was initially held mainly in Slovenian and German. Only since 2001 is it held only in English to meet the increasingly international demands. In the meantime, the representatives of the WFO (World Foundry Organization) as well as CAEF, and traditionally the German and Austrian Foundry Associations, and changing associations from different countries as well as various universities are accompanying the event.

60 years of Portoroz - a mirror of international politics
60 years of foundry conference in Portoroz means that political developments in Europe are also reflected here. While the first meetings were held during the “Cold War” under Yugoslavian leadership, a new chapter was written in May 1991 with the declaration of independence by the State of Slovenia. In the course of political change and the opening up to Europe, there were many opportunities, and the event became a leading forum for speakers and exhibitors. The peak so far was the World Technical Forum of the WFO in 2019 with 400 participants and 100 lectures - a highlight in the history of the organization.

Slovenia is a leading foundry nation
If you measured annual cast production by the number of inhabitants, Slovenia would be the leading foundry country in the world, says President Msci (Dr.) Dipl.-Ing. Mirjam Jan-Blažič with a smile.

Around 70 foundries with around 5,000 employees produce almost 200,000 t of cast iron per year, of which 2/3 are cast iron and 1/3 are non-ferrous. The customers of the Slovenian foundries mainly come from the automotive, railway, mechanical engineering, and glass industries as well as agriculture sectors. At the moment, the companies, like almost all of the world, are affected by the losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In April and May 2020, many companies were locked down and had to cope with significant losses, as they were closely linked to the European supply chains. From June 2020, things have slowly started up again and the forecasts predict a 15% decline in production if 2020 is favorable. The foundries, which are less dependent on automobiles, are in good shape and, like everyone else, benefit from the support measures of the Slovenian government with subsidies and bridging.

Source: Foundry Planet