With 1,600 employees, a global presence and a complete portfolio of foundry chemicals and auxiliaries, ASK Chemicals, founded on December 1, 2010 as a joint venture bundling the foundry activities of Ashland Inc. Dublin OH, USA) and Süd Chemie AG (Munich, Germany), is one of the leading partners of the foundry industry. In terms of expertise and professionalism, the new entity is built on the developments, products and qualifications of all the incorporated companies and their employees, some of which can look back on more than 100 years in their respective specialist fields. The new positioning of the company is based on these strong foundations, as CEO Stefan Sommer explains: “The combination of years of experience, innovative strength and a global presence enables us to make a significant contribution to the further dynamic development of the foundry industry across the world. Meanwhile, the principle of sustainable business is a particular focus of our mission.”
Whether globally or locally, ASK Chemicals offers tailored products, highly qualified expertise supported by constant research and development, above-average technical service and excellent problem-solving capabilities.
Growth potential for the future driven by a variety of factors
Mechanical engineering, the automotive industry and plant engineering remain growth segments of Europe’s established industries. Consequently, most of the technological standards for new products and material requirements are also set in Europe. This growth drives requirements for saving fuel whilst retaining or even increasing performance in engines by measures such as the use of turbochargers, which will soon feature in almost every new car. These cast products in turn place higher requirements on casters to manufacture more complex geometry with more sophisticated materials, which can only be implemented with the aid of specialist support and new products for the casting process. As a supplier of foundry chemicals and application engineering expertise, ASK Chemicals takes these challenges head-on and provides new products for technical implementation.
North and South America represent further sources of considerable growth potential for ASK Chemicals. In the USA, also driven by the need to save fuel, stricter requirements for engines are leading to similar trends and potential for growth to those in Europe. In South America and the emerging Asian economies, infrastructure, energy production and individual mobility are at the top of the agenda. In Russia, alongside equipment for oil and gas exploration, it is the expansion of rail-based infrastructure that is providing significant forward momentum. ASK Chemicals is represented locally on these markets with products and services and supports the technical requirements and capacity expansions of the domestic industries in these countries just as it does the international activities of its European and American customers. With research and development sites on three continents, ASK Chemicals can offer targeted solutions to problems arising during the production process in a foundry that are specific to particular countries or regions. The company also has access to extensive simulation know-how, which strongly accelerates development.
Sustainable business is an ever more important topic
Other challenges facing the foundry industry include massive pressure from legislators and society to move towards sustainable production, as well as energy and material efficiency. These topics are high on the agenda not only in developed Western countries, but also in Russia, China, India and South America. Sustainable production processes and environmentally friendly technologies are today among the most important strategic challenges for the industry. “Economic success and sustainable business alignment go hand in hand as far as we are concerned and define the shape of further product development for our researchers and developers”, comments Stefan Sommer.
In this respect, ASK Chemicals has in recent years taken a wide range of products through to series maturity which enable casters to reduce or even prevent emissions – and this applies to all product groups. In addition to additives to reduce emissions and organic and inorganic binder systems, these products include absorbent coatings, fluorine-free feeder systems and solvent-free release agents. Efficient new developments and product lines support sustainable production in both environmental and economic terms. The application and modes of operation of these products – identifiable by the symbol created especially for them – are presented at the ASK Chemicals stand. Representatives from R&D will be available to answer any technical questions.
As the subject of sustainability is one of such significance, ASK Chemicals has invited noted experts to a panel discussion entitled “Sustainability – buzzword or crucial factor for success in the global economy of the 21st century?”. “The intellectual debate surrounding the opportunities and risks of growth must be part of our corporate activities”, asserts the CEO. “We want to use this debate to create the momentum that is just as important for the industry, as we always do through our products.”Back to the news