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An overview of the foundry clusters in India
There are more than 5,000 foundry units in India, having an installed capacity of approximately 7.5 million tonnes per annum. The majority (nearly 95%) of the foundry units in India falls under the category of small-scale industry. The foundry industry is an important employment provider and provides direct employment to about half a million people.
A peculiarity of the foundry industry in India is its geographical clustering. Some of the major foundry clusters in the country are shown in the map.
Typically, each foundry cluster is known for catering to some specific end-use markets. For example, the Coimbatore cluster is famous for pump-sets castings, the Kolhapur and the Belagum clusters for automotive castings and the Rajkot cluster for diesel engine castings.
A summary of the five major foundry clusters in India - Belgaum, Batala/Jalandhar, Coimbatore, Kolhapur and Rajkot - is provided below.
Foundry Cluster: Belgaum
Belgaum, located in the state of Karnataka, is an important foundry cluster. There are about 100 foundry units at Belgaum. The geographical spread of the cluster includes Udyambag and Macche industrial areas. The foundry industry at Belgaum came up primarily to cater to the needs of the automobile industry at Pune.
Belgaum is recognised to be a reliable source of high precision, high volume and economical castings. A significant percentage (almost 20%) of the foundry units at Belgaum has ISO 9000 certification and export casting.
The foundry industry at Belgaum caters to a wide variety of end-use applications as can be seen from the table below.
Distribution of foundry units at Belgaum by end-use markets
Automotive/oil engines 31 %
Pumps/valves 21 %
Electric motors 10 %
Tractors/agricultural implements 7 %
Food processing industry 5 %
Others 26 %
Cupola is the most common melting furnace at Belgaum. Three out of every four foundry use cupola as their main melting furnace. Most of the cupolas are of conventional designs. Divided blast cupola is not very common yet in the cluster. Low ash coke is commonly used in the cupolas.
About 40% of the foundry units have electric induction furnace, which are used either as the main melting furnace or for duplexing with cupola. A relatively small percentage (about 5%) of the foundry units use rotary furnaces.
Foundry Cluster: Coimbatore
Coimbatore, located in the state of Tamil Nadu, is an important foundry cluster in Southern India. The foundry industry at Coimbatore came up mainly to cater to the needs of the local textile and pump-set industries. There are about 600 foundry units in Coimbatore. The geographical spread of the cluster includes Thanneer Pandal/Peelamedu, Ganapathy, SIDCO, Singanallur, Mettupalayam Road and Arasur Village.
Most of the foundry units cater to the needs of the domestic market. A small percentage (about 10%) of the foundry units are also exporting castings. Nearly half the number of foundry units are manufacturing castings for the pump-set industry. The distribution of the foundry units by end-use markets is given below.
Distribution of foundry units at Coimbatore by end-use segments
Pumps/valves 46 %
Food processing industry 7 %
Textile machinery 6 %
Electric motors 6 %
Automotive 4 %
Others 31 %
Cupola is the predominant melting furnace employed by the foundry units. Majority (about 70%) of the cupolas in the cluster are of conventional designs. Electric induction furnaces are used by just 10% of the foundry units, mainly to manufacture graded castings and for duplexing operation.
Foundry Cluster: Batala and Jalandhar
Batala and Jalandhar, located in the state of Punjab, are important foundry clusters in Northern India. The majority of the foundry units is in the small-scale and produces grey iron castings. About 15% of the foundry units are also exporting their products.
The foundry units at Batala and Jalandhar are predominantly making machinery parts and agricultural implements. Castings for a number of other end-use applications are also produced as can be seen from the table below.
Distribution of foundry units by end-use segments
Automotive/oil engines 8 %
Tractor parts 6 %
Pumps/fans 10 %
Machine parts 33 %
Agricultural implements 35 %
Others 8 %
Cupola is the predominant melting furnace employed by about 95% of the foundry units at Batala and Jalandhar. The majority of the cupolas are of conventional designs. The foundry units at Batala and Jalandhar usually use high-ash coke in the cupolas.
Foundry Cluster: Kolhapur
Kolhapur, located in the state of Maharashtra, is an important foundry cluster for automotive castings. Historically, the foundry cluster came up to cater to the casting requirements of the local industries like oil engine manufacturing, sugar mills and machine tool industry. There are about 250 foundry units at Kolhapur. The geographical spread of the cluster includes Kolhapur, Sangli, Ichalkaranji and Hatkanangale areas.
A significant percentage of foundry units (about 25%) at Kolhapur are exporting castings. The foundry units cater to a wide range of end-use sectors, as can be seen from the following table.
Distribution of foundry units at Kolhapur by end-use markets
Automotive/oil engines 42 %
Pumps/valves 17 %
Sugar industry 6 %
Tractor parts/agricultural implements 4 %
Others 31 %
Cupola is the predominant melting furnace employed by about 75% of the foundry units. The majority of cupolas in the cluster are of conventional type. Divided blast cupola (DBC) can be found in some of the foundry units. Most of the foundries use low ash coke. A number of foundry units (about 40%) have electric induction furnace, which is used to manufacture graded castings and for duplexing with cupola.
Foundry Cluster: Rajkot
Rajkot, located in the state of Gujarat, is an important foundry cluster in Western India. There are about 500 foundry units at Rajkot. The cluster came-up mainly to cater to the casting requirements of the local diesel engine industry. The geographical spread of the cluster includes Aji Vasahat, Gondal Road and Bhavanagar Road areas.
Majority of the foundry units at Rajkot produces grey iron castings for the domestic market. A relatively small percentage (about 10%) of the foundry units export castings such as electric motor castings, etc.
Apart from oil engines, the foundry units at Rajkot cluster caters to a number of other end-use applications, as can be seen from the table below.
Distribution of foundry units at Rajkot by end-use markets
Oil engines 42 %
Automotive/textile 15 %
Machine tools 11 %
Pumps/valves 7 %
Others 25 %
Cupola is by far, the predominant melting furnace used by nearly 90% of the foundry units. Most of the cupolas are of conventional type. A local cupola design, called 'Rajkot cupola', is quite popular in the cluster. Use of low ash coke is common among the foundry units. A smaller number of foundry units (about 10%) producing castings for the automotive industry use electric induction furnace for melting.