The cooperation between the Indian and Italian industrial metals districts is illustrated by an interview with Alberto Cavicchiolo. Alberto Cavicchiolo is the coordinator and co-founder of the Indo-Italian MetalHub project, which, for two years, brings together the major players in Italian, European and Indian metallurgy, with the cooperation of the AAI, ArtValley, Assomet, Amafond, Assofond Associations of some Confindustria offices, Al Circle, Metef, FACE.
What are the main strengths of this interaction in terms of education?
Definitely we will soon announce the Executive program on metallurgy that will take place in Italy in the summer of 2019. A training project that will last a little more than 3 weeks and bring together the main protagonists of Indo-Italian MetalHub, with ferrous and non-ferrous expertise.
What is the main purpose the Aluminium Innovation Manager course?
Aluminum is not just a raw material or a commodity of the LME market. It is also a complex driver. This Education program aims to describe smart aluminum, which is a structure where metal engineering combines with the raw material. For decades, Italian metallurgy expertise has been present in India through Danieli and Tenova (Techint) and now it is bringing in important new players such as: Foundry Ecocer, Metra, Intals, as well as Sideridraulic, Ekoplant, Gaser, and Properzi. The cooperation between India and Italy has now also become an education project for executives and young technicians.
What about the historical tradition of Italian metallurgy?
The LME statement notes that “International trade in metals could be said to have commenced in Britain when the Romans invaded in 43AD and extracted material from large deposits of copper and tin ore in Cornwall and Wales to satisfy their increasing domestic need for the production of bronze and alloys.” With Aluminium technologies and trade we can implement a very important synergy in India. After all, the Indian tradition of metallurgy and metals is known worldwide and, in addition, India is the world leader in steel. Soon it will also be a strong world leader in aluminum.
And what are the major actions of Indian metallurgy groups in Italy?
Some well-known Indian aluminum companies are operating in the sale of raw materials, semi-finished and extruded profiles in the Italian market. In the steel sector, India is essential. It is a determining factor that ILVA of Taranto is today Arcelor Mittal and Lucchini/Aferpi of Piombino is today JWD—or the Group lead by Sajjan Jindal. The two greatest Indian steel groups have elevated the destinies of the two main steel production plants in Italy. Thanks to Indian industry, its foresight and its economic power, steel in Italy is experiencing a resurgence.
Indo-Italian MetalHub’s two events — in 2019 INCAL in Bubhaneswar and in 2018, Aluminium Age — have collected many outstanding Italian companies under the banner of Indo-Italian MetalHub in Eastern India. How was the Indo-Italian MetalHub initiative launched?
We are very grateful to AAI the Aluminum Association of India, because we have simply collected the existing requests: Joint Venture exchanges, technological transfer, financial initiatives in the Italian and Indian countries. We are also grateful to the partnership with Al Circle, the most prominent aluminium web network.
The program, inaugurated in 2017 and continued in 2018, started with a week of meetings organized by ArtValley and A & L, with the Official Endorsement of AAI, the Italian Embassy in New Delhi, India, Ditecfer, and the Government of Odisha, Al Circle, Amafond, Assomet, Assofond, Al Circle and Metef. The first conference of Indo-Italian MetalHUB was “Aluminium Age”, a successful event held from 15 to 23 January 2018 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. The Indo-Italian MetalHUB program is aimed at decision makers in the industrial sectors in India and in Italy, and it was focused on industrial and cultural exchange between the two countries.
What are the main stages?
After the events in 2017 and 2018 in Odisha Indo-Italian MetalHUB , continued with the event of the 2nd July 2018 in Milan. Odisha with its enormous resources and industrial facilities, chiefly Tata’s project in Gopalpur, the Aluminum Park of Angul is one of the world’s “metalhubs”. The Edition of the 2nd July, was endorsed by the Lombardy Region, and it was the most significant moment of interaction between India and Italy in the field of metals and materials engineering. On that occasion we announced the inauguration of this new educational program.
Can you give an example of an Italian market strategy and approach in the market?
We can take the example of a company dedicated to aluminum foundries, Foundry Ecocer, established by Maurizio Sala. It is market-oriented company so they are moving the company services to where there are foundries. If the market is moving, they are moving with the market to protect our future. For example they are continually working with vehicle manufacturers on new products for new alloys.
Is there any relevant news in terms of innovation for foundry products and technologies? In particular, how do they collaborate with the automotive industry?
Very important new developments are soon expected for the automotive sector, where aluminium is increasingly used for vehicles’ structural components and for car bodies. The outlook for the future is that the advent of electric car engines will mark a revolutionary shift for the industry. That is also one of the focus topics in our next educational programme.
Milan, 24 March 2019